I've been to this site quite a few times over the years, as the thought of relocating to the Islands has crossed my mind more than once. I currently live outside of Chicago, and times are getting tough, and I guess I am looking for an escape, or mostly searching for myself. I have visited St. John many times, in fact, I'll be there this Saturday for 13 days, and we rent a villa, so I kinda get an understanding of how expensive it can be. But what I want to know is:
1. How hard is it to find a job there, on either St. John or St. Thomas?
I work hard at searching for a job, but it seems up here that applying every where you visit isn't enough, it's a matter of luck. Seeing as the atmosphere is more laid back on the Islands, I was curious if job oppertunities were a little more straight to the point, and easier to find. Also what is the general pay rate? The websites breakdown of pay rate didn't make much sense to me.
2. How hard is it to find a decent studio that won't fall apart on you as you live in it? Also how hard is it to find one that accepts a neutered cat?
My current renting house is falling apart on me and the landlords don't give two s~~ts about it. Also what is the average rental price range? I saw the website hasn't been updated since '08 so I thought I would ask in case anyone knew.
3. How is the life down there? Is it stressful at times?
I am a laid back kind of guy. I don't expect much. My idea of a great day is working, then just hitting the night life, just watching, a few drinks maybe, or laying on a beach on my day off taking a nap. I don't need much to keep me happy. I love to explore, and I kind of need to get away from the hold that TV and Online video games have on me. When I'm there on vacation, I love laying out on the beach at Maho, or LInkster(spelling?), or Honeymoon, and it's just so amazing there. I know I CAN'T do it everyday, but I can live with doing it a great number of times. I think I would love to try hiking, get a bike and just go around the islands.
4. As far as money, is it required to work two jobs just to get by or can one make due on one job?
I don't care if I have to work 1, or 2 jobs, I'm just curious. When I'm at the Beach Bar, yes I realize a lot of my experiences are from my stay on St. John, I think how nice it'd be to bartend, interacting with the locals, the tourists, watching people get drunk, the job looks like a blast!!!!
5. College. I know that St. Thomas has a University, but my question is, is it necessary to have a college degree, Bachelors, to live comfortably there?
I currently have a few college hours under my feet, and a high school diploma, and I guess finishing college wouldn't be out of the question, but collecting debt isn't what I want to do anymore.
6. One last thing I forgot, I'm a musician, how welcoming are musicians?
I'm a bass player and would love to live off playing music.
If you can answer any or all of these questions, that would be most appreciated. Like I said, I will be down there in St. John, on Saturday June, 27th.
If you look at the archives here, you will find that many of your questions are ones we have seen repeatedly. I want to comment on just one of your statements:
If you are running away from something, the Virgin Islands are probably not a great spot to go. Your problems will not go away and may only get worse. You have a vacationer's mind set: Everything was so wonderful while i was on vacation (aside: Where is the Mighty Whitey joke when you need it??) and if I live there everything will be wonderful again...
It isn't difficult to find a studio, but it may cost ya! 😉
While I agree that running from my problems will be a bad idea, it's more so just trying to find peace within myself. I have a realists mind as far as what a vacationers view is and a local view is, which is why I still asked. I have been trying for the last few years to compile a list as to why I want out, and it stacks highly against the reasons I should stay. In the end from what I see in myself, I wouldn't be running I would be making my life better. I've already talked to some locals while I visit, and honestly the islands feel like home to me.
1. Pay rate is less than most of the states.
2. Studio on STT is around $800-$900+ utilities(utilities are 3-5X the stateside average).
3.Life is the same here as anywhere, it can be stressful(or even pain full to see how slow/stupid some things/people are).
If you hang out at bars everynight, you`ll likely give your expendable income to them.
4.Between our utilities,insurance & food prices, many have 2 jobs(very expencive here!).
Bartenders get paid lots of tips(in the right places).This may be the best option for you reviewing your post as you like to hang at bars, so you may as well get paid well & have the customers foot your bill!
Careful,this can be hard to balance as you need to maintain to do your job, & you need to sober up before you travel home!
5.It depends on what you want to do (you can`t bar tend forever!)
6.If you can get with a band that does weddings/events, you can help your income(don`t get wasted during the gig though, noone is interested in hearing a drunk play).
Reading my response. it sounds like I`m a prude.
That is not the case,i enjoy a drink as much as the rest!
I guess i`m saying, you have to maintain!
That lifestyle is often described as a functioning alcoholic. The VI is a fairly tolerant community as far as accepting this behavior. There is also quite an active and supportive 12 step program on each island.
Fairly tolerant of bad spellers too.
Well when I meant hanging at bars, I wasn't meaning drinking. Not a big drinker in fact. Might sit back with a beer or three, but never intoxicated. So far from what I read from relocation stories, to posts here, this does sound like something I can look forward to doing. As soon as I finish some debts here, I can see myself a proud renter in st Thomas, while I'm there in a few days, I plan to take a day or two out to collect some brochures about renting houses, maybe getsome info on job postings too. Can someone give me a current experience? Last story I read was from 2005 and since 4 years later economys changed haha. I would appreciate it greatly!!!
And I thought I was being a prude!
Perhaps we should have a teacher section, where content is a distant second to spelling & grammar.
We can call it the retard section!,,(I know you would like that!)
What comes to mind here, is something Bruce Lee said”any fool can pull a trigger” (now, I’m showing my age here)
Likewise, any fool can use spellchecker!
What do you think teacher?
Me, I’d rather focus on the content!
When you are here pick up an Island Trader - this will give you an idea of rentals on St. Thomas. Visit Connections in St. John where you will be able to look at ads for rentals. If this is your dream - try it. You can always leave if you hate it. But you may love it and make it your home. It is more expensive here but if you are reliable and show up on time and stay you will be able to find a job relatively easily. If you want to break your tv habit just don't get cable and save some money. Good luck.
I always said it is like living in a foriegn country with the "benefits" of still being in US,it's a life style,not a "life" as in mainland USA be ready to scarafice some things while accepting the pleasures of VI living. It's quite personal to each person.