Moving off the moun...
 
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Moving off the mountain

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Djbuddha
(@Djbuddha)
Active Member

I'm pushing all in! Never been to Croix but have spent an extensive amount of time in the Bahamas and many other islands in the Carib! Living at 9000ft on top of a mountain in Colorado, but now it is time to move on to life's next great adventure! I have had many jobs over the years from; sport fishing in Florida and the islands, managing restaurants, dj'ing underground nightclubs, maintenance jobs, hotels, and now I've been bartending at a casino in the Colorado high country for the last ten years.

So my question is, do I need a car right away?

I'll be coming down with a one way ticket in September with only a backpack and some flow. I own a Jeep Wrangler, but I'd like to leave it here in Colorado, for at least a little while. I'm an outdoors guy, and a ten mile hike at sea level is no big deal to me, I climb ten miles going up 14,000ft peaks here, no problem. I have a mountain bike I'd like to bring, and use that as well. The point being, simplify my existence and get away from unneeded luxuries, like a car for instance.

Does anyone see any huge problems with myself finding a job doing anything, getting a cheap place, and getting around without my jeep?

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Topic starter Posted : February 20, 2016 9:00 am
Alana33
(@alana33)
Expert

Yes.

If you're going to depend on your bike to get around you may not realize that there really aren't that many areas that have sidewalks so you'll be driving on our, lumpy, bumpy, pot hole riddled roads with nutso drivers . I guess it's possible if you live nearby to where you work but you'll still have to shop for groceries, etc. STX is flatter that STT, luckily. It's also larger than STT so distances to drive greater.
Also Sept. in VI is our slowest tourist month, so you may not find a job right off. Many places close during Sept. for renovations, vacations. It's traditionally the height of hurricane season.

Make sure you bring enough money to pay first, last, security deposit plus utilities and whatever else you may need like groceries, linens, towels, tv, toaster, etc.
People usually recommend $10K. It goes fast as it's expensive to live in the VI.
Good luck.

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Posted : February 20, 2016 9:38 am
OldTart
(@the-oldtart)
Expert

... Never been to Croix ... The point being, simplify my existence and get away from unneeded luxuries, like a car for instance.

In all honesty I don't think you're likely to realize the dream of "simplifying" your existence anywhere in the USVI. Life here will likely be quite different from that which you're used to but you may be disappointed in not having that expectation realized. A car here isn't an unneeded luxury but for the majority an absolute necessity. Being without one is very limiting and gets very old very fast while a mountain bike is NOT a safe method of transportation.

Hopefully you've read all the information available in the drop-down menus top of this page. Of course come here, but make sure you have sufficient funds for a return ticket, and don't burn all your bridges! Good luck.

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Posted : February 20, 2016 9:48 am
speee1dy
(@speee1dy)
Expert

i am assuming flow means money?

there is a casino on stx ( east end ) with another one opening sometime in the near future ( christiansted )

might be better off if you bring your jeep unless this is just a 6 month or so journey. if thats the case just buy one when you get here and sell when you leave.

there are scooters here that can be bought, if thats more to your liking.

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Posted : February 20, 2016 11:46 am
Alana33
(@alana33)
Expert

Cars here aren't luxuries, they're necessities.

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Posted : February 20, 2016 12:15 pm
Juanita
(@Juanita)
Expert

I often think that people who have not been the the VI imagine it to be like the Bahamas. It's NOT!! There are so many small islands in the Bahamas that do, indeed, fill the bill of relaxed living where you don't need a car. Some islands don't even have cars on them, at all. You can walk, ride a bike, never wear shoes, etc., but the catch is...it's not US territory, so you can't work. If you could, that's where we would have settled.

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Posted : February 20, 2016 1:52 pm
Djbuddha
(@Djbuddha)
Active Member

Thanks everyone for the feedback! I've been to Thomas and Tortolla down there and spent time in Jamaica and Costa Rica as well. I moved from Florida to Colorado without ever visiting and have been here for 17 years now. I'm fully familiar with island life, and am excited to get back to the slow pace of life.

I was asking about the jeep because I'd like to use all my funds to relocate, and would most likely have it shipped down after a few months of getting settled. I imagine it's expensive to ship. Can anyone ballpark the cost for me?

I've been told the hiring season is October to get ready for season. If I'm willing to do anything, would it be extremely difficult for me to find work?

Again thanks everyone for the heads up!

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Topic starter Posted : February 20, 2016 5:28 pm
OldTart
(@the-oldtart)
Expert

Use the search engine for information about shipping a vehicle here - there are several threads on the subject. Change the search date for the greater number of threads. Glad you're fully familiar with island life! 😀

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Posted : February 20, 2016 5:36 pm
Gator's Mom
(@gators_mom)
Trusted Member

You can always plan to buy an island car when you first arrive. Add a couple of grand to your budget for this.

Once you're settled, ship the Jeep and then sell the beater. If you're lucky, you'll break even.

Out of FL, we've been quoted between $2,000 and $3,000 to ship a Ford truck.

You really do need a car on STX. Roads are too narrow for bikes and cars to coexist peacefully.

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Posted : February 20, 2016 5:39 pm
Djbuddha
(@Djbuddha)
Active Member

Thanks for the advice with the bike vs. car, the lumpy bumpy pot hole filled roads are kinda what I'm used to here in the mountains. The distances don't bother me as much as getting smashed by a drunk driver on the bike. I hear there are a lot of them. I hike quite a bit as well and enjoy walking and being outside, again the distances don't really bother me. I live a simple life now, with no tv or Internet, and don't really need all the materialistic things most people can't live without. My main concern would be finding a job, and a place within 5 or so miles of it.

September might not be as good with finding employment, but it might give me time to explore the island and scope out where would be best for me. Jobs will be hiring in October though, correct?

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Topic starter Posted : February 20, 2016 7:20 pm
Djbuddha
(@Djbuddha)
Active Member

I like the scooter scenario, I've gotten around in the islands before with them, thanks for reminding me.

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Topic starter Posted : February 20, 2016 8:43 pm
Djbuddha
(@Djbuddha)
Active Member

So you do see this as an unmanageable situation? From what I've heard so far, everyone's in agreement that a car is best. I'd like to get by for at least a little while without it, to get settled. I'm a very flexible person and can make any situation work with enough determination. With this kind of outlook and attitude, would it be impossible, or just inconvenient?

Again thanks for your help and input, it's helping a lot to formulate my plans.

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Topic starter Posted : February 20, 2016 8:51 pm
Djbuddha
(@Djbuddha)
Active Member

Yes, thank you, I have looked at all the info in the menus. I'm a firm believer in being able to make life simplistic anywhere you choose to live. I may have misstated when I said it that way. Maybe what I was getting at was, a different relaxed life than the one I have now. Trade in the snowshoes for flops, the snowboard for a surfboard, you get the drift. By the way, how are the waves on Croix? I love living an adventurous life, doing things that you don't have a clue what will happen or where you'll end up! You only get one shot at life, so get on with it and don't worry about where you'll end up, cause you never know.

I would never burn a bridge, my boss's are sad to see me go, and have told me I'm always welcome back. Having an escape plan is always a good idea, every traveler should have one, as I do, cause you never know what will happen.

Thanks for your advice, it's most helpful, and it seems like the consensus is that bikes are dangerous modes of transport. Appreciate the heads up!

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Topic starter Posted : February 20, 2016 9:05 pm
Djbuddha
(@Djbuddha)
Active Member

I know! I love the Bahamas, and have spent so much time there on so many different islands. It's my favorite country on planet earth. If I could work there, I'd be there. I was backpacking across Europe this summer and would love to live in the Netherlands or France, but again, the whole work thing. So the USVI it is!
Hopefully when I get down there, I can meet up with each one of you and share some experiences over a cold beer!

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Topic starter Posted : February 20, 2016 9:13 pm
Djbuddha
(@Djbuddha)
Active Member

You know, after working in casinos for the last ten years, I'd like to get away from them, it gets to you after a while. I try to stay upbeat and positive to help give the gamblers something to smile about, but it's time for a change. Of course I could work for one until something else came along, but not my first option.

So east end or west end, which is more expensive to live, and where are the majority of the job opportunities? East or west?

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Topic starter Posted : February 20, 2016 9:21 pm
Scubadoo
(@Scubadoo)
Trusted Member

Yes.

(tu)(tu)

And most of those lumpy bumpy pot hole filled roads don't have shoulders (or room for shoulders) so when you're on the road with your bike and cars are passing in both directions guess who loses?

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Posted : February 20, 2016 10:44 pm
Djbuddha
(@Djbuddha)
Active Member

Yes.

(tu)(tu)

And most of those lumpy bumpy pot hole filled roads don't have shoulders (or room for shoulders) so when you're on the road with your bike and cars are passing in both directions guess who loses?

Yup, and drunk driving down there is quite common, huh? Thanks for the heads up!

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Topic starter Posted : February 20, 2016 11:29 pm
Alana33
(@alana33)
Expert

Not so much drunk driving but people not paying attention to stop signs, lights, lines on roads, staying in their lanes, passing on corners, yakking on cell phones, etc.

Heck, it can be dangerous being a pedestrian crossing the street, sometimes.
I was visiting the hospital just recently and met a lady who, along with her husband, got run over by a taxi in Red Hook, crossing the street by Tap & Still.
She had been hit and then taxi ran over her, breaking her femur in multiple places. She and husband, both, had to be medi-vaced as Drs. here said it was beyond their capabilities to repair. They were the 3rd incident in a week out in Red Hook. Trying to enjoy their vacation with son, daughter in law and grand kids.

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Posted : February 21, 2016 1:27 am
CaptainMalibu
(@CaptainMalibu)
Advanced Member

A lot of accurate cautionary advice in the above. In my first PMV I met this young couple who moved to St. Croix on a whim. They managed abdominal strengtheningit hour a car, walked to work and made living expenses manageable by having roommates. Things seemed to be working for them, however, they no doubt are more the exception than the rule as their move was ill planned and potentially disastrous, with that said, being young and foolish pays off sOmetimes. Much respect to these guys, they are adventurous souls who will undoubtably have stories to tell.

While I am all for pulling up,stakes and keeping life adventurous, I have also become accustomed to a certain lifestyle which I wish to maintain so my move is a bit more planned and researched. Thanks to the good folks in these forums, much has been learned and appreciated.

If you plan to go without a car, consider living in Christiansted or Frederiksted so that walking is doable for shopping, work, etc. I agree with the feedback about getting around on a bike. It would not be my choice. In general, everyone on the road must be alert and watch for themselves. That means don't expect anyone to watch out for your safety, that's your job. That's not to say that drivers are generally rude, quite the opposite a great deal of the time. Stateside you may be used to another driver had honking at you as a complaint about your driving. I remember at first I thought folks were honking at me because Imwas doing something wrong but usually it was to let me make a turn or some other courteous act. I also found that a honk was frequently just a way to say hello. At one time I thought a scooter would be a desirable form of transportation but not sure I would feel safe on a scooter and I can't imagine they hold up long because of the road conditions.

As far as costs in transporting a vehicle we have received two quotes, one out of Jacksonville, FL for 1400 and one out of Miam for 1600. In both cases we just deliver the vehicle (2014 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited) to the port. These are recent quotes.

One last reference to the information you read here, everybody's experience and opinions are different. You know yourself, the lifestyle you expect to live and your "survivor" skills. You can get a pretty good idea of rental options on Virgin.craigslist.org. From my own PMV experience consisting of 2 visits spanning 5 weeks, food costs are double what we are accustomed to in Florida and the electricity is 5 times more per kWh than what we pay now.

You mentioned having an exit plan so if that's in place, what do you have to loose?

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Posted : February 21, 2016 3:47 am
Djbuddha
(@Djbuddha)
Active Member

Thanks very much, and yes from Southeast DC to the streets of Miami to the back alleys of Brussels, all the way down to the islands in paradise, I agree you are the only one who will watch out for your own safety and best interests. You are absolutely correct, there's nothing to lose but my own time, which (hopefully) I have plenty of.

I'd like to thank all of you for you advice and input, it has definitely helped to shape my plans for the next great Delusion of Grandeur! They usually work out perfectly, with a little incite and a adventurous heart, this one should too!

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Topic starter Posted : February 21, 2016 5:40 am
East Ender
(@east-ender)
Expert

dj: You say you have never been to "Croix", so just to let you know, it's St. Croix, or STX, if you wish to shorten the name. And the name of "Thomas" is St. Thomas, or STT.

Why did you pick St. Croix?

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Posted : February 21, 2016 3:48 pm
speee1dy
(@speee1dy)
Expert

not really that many jobs ( 1 casino/hotel ) out east. mid island and downtown seem to have a lot. but really scattered throughout. it really depends on your skill set

scooters can be had i think on the boardwalk area of stx.

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Posted : February 21, 2016 3:56 pm
Djbuddha
(@Djbuddha)
Active Member

Yeah it's all good, STX seems like it is cheaper to live on and less tourist than STT. STJ would be my first choice, but I worry about the availability of jobs and affordable housing. I will probably hit all three islands to see which one suits me best, but in the end, I'll be good on any of them.

As far as skill sets, I am the type of person who can do anything. I have a great work ethic and an open mind to try anything and the confidence and determination to succeed at what ever I choose to do.

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Topic starter Posted : February 21, 2016 4:49 pm
butchCondor
(@butchCondor)
Advanced Member

You're recommendation to bring 10k, is that with or without having a job somewhere on USVI?

I thought 10k would be enough, but I found out by the time you add up (2) airline ticket and having a car shipped to STT that was assembled in Canada, half of that 10k is already gone before stepping one foot on the USVI

I think what you are saying is 10k is barely enough to get started even with a job and after all moving expenses have been paid. You arrive with 10k, and that will go fast, a rental, 1st & last + deposit, utilities and a thousand other unforeseen things, the 10k will evaporate before your eyes. To move there with 10k and no job? I'm not going to say it's impossible, but it is not going to be a walk in the park. Better pack a parachute. A way to bail out and get back if everything goes sideways.

As for airline tickets, I can fly 1st class one way for $150 more than coach. Flying 1st class isn't important to me. But, by flying 1st, I can bring 3 large checked bags for free, between me and my wife, that's 6 large checked bags. The difference in what it would cost me to ship those 4 extra checked bags is a lot more than flying 1st class, I'm saving shipping costs by flying 1st. Of course you have to buy your tickets well in advance to get this deal. I found the secret is 48 days, more or less in advance to get the best price.. This is with AA website, not Orbitz or any of the so-call cheap tickets outlets.

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Posted : February 21, 2016 8:33 pm
OldTart
(@the-oldtart)
Expert

The recommendation of $10K is for basic start-up costs on island, not including airfare. Landlords usually require 1st, last and one month's security deposit. You'll likely have deposits for power, internet, cable/TV if not provided by the landlord. If you don't bring a car you need to find wheels and if you don't have a job lined up (most don't as it's the rare employer who'll hire you unless you're on island) you need $$s to keep you going until you find something. You're right, it gets eaten up very quickly - plus you should always keep enough money back for a return ticket if things don't work out.

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Posted : February 21, 2016 8:46 pm
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