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Money or Regret

Posts: 2045
Noble Member
Topic starter

I almost hijacked MSU's thread but didn't want to do that because she's been kind enough to post to all after deciding to go back stateside. EE made a comment that its not a failure but a good experience and now she will have no regrets (to paraphrase).

So my question is for all of you that have come to the islands and for whatever reasons have gone back stateside. Are you glad you had your experience on the islands or would you rather have all the money back that you spent moving to the island? I'm sure this might be helpful to people thinking of moving here.

Posted : June 12, 2007 6:12 pm
Posts: 10
Active Member

I was going to ask MSU if she did a PMV to Mich. before returning.

Posted : June 12, 2007 6:30 pm
Posts: 684
Honorable Member

Now that doesn't make any sense.

Posted : June 12, 2007 6:37 pm
Posts: 3111
Famed Member

No, but it's hilarious.

Posted : June 12, 2007 7:33 pm
Posts: 713
Honorable Member

Can I split the middle and say I want my money back AND I had a great experience???

I've been honest from the first - we made our own move harder than it needed to be...if I knew then what I know now, it would have never happened and I would have taken that big old chunk of money, and all I would ever know of the USVI is blue skies and sunshine on vacations where it was all about me.

As it is, we spent a lot of money unnecessarily and came in at completely the wrong time for buying a home, as well as some personal family situations we left behind which grew like some sort of wild weed once we cleared the mainland.

I would not take anything for the experience - however, my caveat would be (yes, Linda - I know, I should have listened) -

1. Take as little as possible. And that means kids, dogs, furniture, and problems. If it is you or you and your partner, that is one thing. All that other stuff bogs you down. I know you can't leave your kids behind, but at least have your head up and your eyes open if you bring them. Be prepared to put them in private schools. If you're at a bad financial point, this is not the solution. If you've hocked your soul to the University of Michigan to put your oldest child through law school until he was 29 years old, you might want to hold off just a bit....okay, I digressed!

2. Do a PMV. I don't care if you're offered a gazillion dollars, do a PMV. (Okay, with a gazillion, I might change my mind). We all have different viewpoints on that, but I'll stick with most of the people moving need to do one.

3. Come for a specific period of time and reevaluate when you get toward the end of that time.

4. Don't put all your eggs in one basket. If you put your stuff in storage for a year, it will most likely still be there at the end of the year. That will give you time to figure out what is reasonable to ship to the island and what isn't....and what shouldn't go is a longer list than what SHOULD go.

5. If you are going on a job contract, make sure you know what you're signing up for.

6. Take advantage of every holiday - absorb the sights and sounds - revel in the differences and know you are living a life that many others dream of, no matter how long or short your stay is.

7. Before you leave, take a good hard look inside.....see what is important to you. Really look at yourself, because I can guarantee at some point during or post move you will be wondering where your head was at. That's true with any move, though, isn't it?

8. When it really gets overwhelming, hit the beach for few hours. Your perspective may come back.

9. Don't blow your life savings and 401k and whatever to get there. Saw too many do that. Not good.

10. Get involved with something - some group - that will make it feel more like your home.

Would I do it again? Not knowing what I know now about me and my family and our lives together.....but you couldn't buy the memories for any amount of money, either.

Posted : June 12, 2007 7:34 pm
(@Anonymous 1418)
Posts: 3
New Member


I have a quick question...what is a pmv?
I moving and the container comes tomorrow....

Posted : June 12, 2007 8:16 pm
Posts: 181
Estimable Member

Sweet, a pmv stands for a Pre-Move Visit. Most everyone recommends them for coming down here to see if you can handle it.

I will tell you that this is my second island in the Caribbean that I have called home. I lived on Grand Cayman back in 2002 (no pmv) and I just hated it, and I mean loathed nearly every minute. The job was bad, the friends were terrible, the island life wasn't very comfortable, and the answer to any complaints was, "lighten up buddy, have a drink!" I lasted only nine months.

When I was moving to St. Thomas I kind of considered Cayman to be my pmv. I'm sorry folks but not all of us make grown up money and one plane flight is all we can handle, despite the consequences.

That said I have enjoyed my time on STT here and there. I still have some of the same issues that I had on Cayman, but the people I meet here sure are a lot better to me, and that means a lot. Not to mention I was coming down to do a job I loved (which didn't work out) and the job I have now is very fulfilling...even if it's not very pocket feeling. Incidentally I have lived here for a little over a year now.

I wouldn't trade the experience of this unless I knew ahead of time what was behind door number 2. Spin me a better scenario and I would probably take it, but for now this ain't bad.

Posted : June 12, 2007 8:35 pm
Posts: 988
Prominent Member

I like the question Betty, and I'm looking forward to people's responses.

However, having voluntarily moved several times in my life, I can say that EACH ONE cost money I wish I could have back now 😉 ...and each one came with it's pros and cons. Each one has been a cultural change. And each one took time to adjust to. I wouldn't go back to some of the states/cities I've lived, but had a good time in each. Like they say...Life is a journey, not a destination. Just gotta keep your hands on the wheel and have an escape route!

Posted : June 12, 2007 11:00 pm
Posts: 124
Estimable Member

Not necessarily money back, but I would like the time back. I think my daughter could have been better served educationallyand enrichment - wise and I think on balance, I would rather have stayed on PR for a while longer and then gone Stateside. But don't get me started n how much it cost us to live there - lost earnings, moving costs, higher cost of living AAAAKKKK!

Posted : June 13, 2007 4:49 am
Posts: 2045
Noble Member
Topic starter

Neil I don't know where you've moved before so I'm not going to say it will definitely cost you more to move here but making an overseas move generally cost quite a bit more then moving anywhere stateside. But it also depends how much you bring with you. If you just bring a couple of suitcases you're ahead of the game if you bring cars and furniture its going to be ALOT more then any stateside move.

Posted : June 13, 2007 2:23 pm
Posts: 988
Prominent Member

Chicago, NY, Louisville, back to Ohio.
It's not the money, it's the packing and unpacking that kills me.
Love all the advice to leave it all behind. If only.

Posted : June 14, 2007 5:12 am
Posts: 26
Eminent Member

I am not sure if I am qualifief to answer this post, since I am about to move to the VI! However, I did an (almost blind) move to a smaller island a few years ago and I lived in London for a few months prior to that. In both instances, I did not do a thorough pre-move visit. In both instances, I returned to the states with infinitely less $$$ , but richer and wiser in terms of experience! I made friendships I maintain to this day and most importantly I learned valuable lessons! I learned the value of being prepared for the unexpected! I have become more tolerant and understanding. Most importantly, I have learned that at the end of the day, I will be okay. You really can't put a price tag on that! So, as difficult and challenging as my former experiences were (sticker shock takes on an entirely different meaning when the dollar is weak against the pound and everything is double price), I would not trade them in for money!

Posted : June 14, 2007 2:39 pm
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