moving to islands - visiting in next 2 months
have been reading the threads, finding great info - tks everyone - specifics: single dude, looking for decent apt. or prob room/efficiency for month of may - 600, 700 bux, (?) Just for 4 weeks or so, scouting for jobs while there - plan on posting resumes prior however; prev careers GM of resort last 6 yrs, in mid/upper mgmt 15 yrs prior, but dont require mgmt position if happy with job; have the opportunity to make dream a reality - to live the island life and live on island time. looking at st thomas 1st, st croix 2nd, st john 3rd, and not ruling out p rico (or even dominican republic - tons of travel/hospitality/resort job opportunities there, it's just not in u.s.). so yes, i realize there are many pros/cons to island life, but there's no doubt I'm doing it. This is my chance and I'm taking it. And looking forward to it with tremendous excitement. So any tips/advice certainly appreciated. betty you had great advice on what to bring (memories) and what to sell in one of the threads i read. i've spent 2 decades accumulating the various things a household has, and i look forward actually to selling it all off, even the antiques and other furn/possessions i've enjoyed. but that's it, i've enjoyed them all these years - and after all, it's all just "stuff". marcus
One big tip that you've surely read on the majority of posts is NOT to sell everything right away. As excited as you are, the reality is that island living just doesn't work out for everyone.
Best to put at least some of your things in storage so that if it doesn't work out for you you won't have burned all your bridges. Good luck.
i have indeed emailed villafairview. thank you.
So altho I realize you guys are not IN Puerto Rico or Vieques I would have thought there would be mentions of those islands (or from people on those islands) on occasion; but I've yet to come across any threads or posts. I'm sure life there is just as different and moreso the culture, just as each of STT, STX and STJ are different from each other; only I'm sure P.R. is much moreso. As far as relocation, I have not limited myself to the USVI only and do want to explore P.R. (and Vieques esp). while I am down. So gimme the lowdown on the differences. I would think USVI islanders would hop to P.R. every now and then but i dont guess as much as I thought? At least I've not seen it mentioned. Isnt it or wouldnt it be as easy to hop to San Juan (or P.R. in gen.) as those from STT do to STX (or vice versa) ? Or are the USVI/British VI more of a clustered group culturally? - meaning dont get to or hang with P.R. very often. ........Reason I'm saying is that i KNOW i'm selling my car when i make the FINAL move, so I mean, San Juan is quite cosmopolitan, right? Why wouldnt a person be able to pick up a new/relatively new vehicle there and hop a ferry or boat on to the USVI? And furniture and things I've seen mentioned as being expensive on the islands, dont people go to P.R. and pick up things like that? Just curious. I mean, from my research, I do feel that I would prefer to end up on one of the 3 (or 4 if you count it that way now) USVI, but I'm just wanting to live in the tropics. I've never discounted P.R. (and isnt Vieques about as large as STT anyway? - course I know VIeques is a sleepy village compared to STT) - I'm even not discounting the Domincan Republic - just because of the vast possibilities in the hotel/tourism industry - it's just not U.S. territory, which is the main drawback.
May I point out that this a forum for those looking to relocate to the VI. That is why only the VI is discussed.
If you use the search facility, you might find some posts about PR. I used to live on PR and I know that i wrote a few posts about living there.
i have spent a fair amount of time on vieques. feel free to email me with any questions...
Thanks jane, i'll ck that out - i just thought there would be more inter-activity among the P.R. islands and the USVI as a whole - I mean, i know it's prob not like me hoppin in the car and driving to Birmingham for the weekend (1 1/2 hrs away), but then again maybe it is for some people. Erin, i'll email you later 2day or 2morrow. thanks again. marcus
Its not as easy Marcus, just to go to stt from stx by ferry I'm looking at close to $100. To go to pr its more and there is no ferry. Plus you have to consider that compared to usvi puerto rico is huge. Sure people travel between islands but its just not that cheap of thing like hoppin in your car so trips like that are usually reserved for mini to full vacations. So I can tell you about great places to vacation there but cannot give you any real info about living there.
PR and the VI are quite different culturally. Native English speakers are the majority in the VI and the minority in PR. Mainland PR is much more like life in the mainland US, i.e.: you can drive more than 30 miles, more shopping options (Wal-Mart, Walgreens, a real mall). The latin lifestyle is much different than the West Indian lifestyle.
Here on STX it costs at least $150 to fly to San Juan and there is no ferry. So, unless you're made of money it is not something you do on a weekly basis. As far as Vieques and Culebra go, I haven't been to Vieques since the Naval base closed down. I remember it as being very laid back. Culebra is absolutely beautiful and is closer in distance to St Thomas than STT is to STX.
Some of the reasons mainlanders choose the USVI are, the US flag and English as the dominant language. The USVI is more "user friendly" for US conitentals than PR. PR has the US flag as well but I definitely feel more foreign there as an Anglo than I do here. While you can get by in PR knowing only English, Spanish will open more doors. That being said, imo, it is one of the worst places in the world to practice your Spanish because a lot of puertoriqueños will answer you in English a lot of the time.
Biggest differences: Vieques and Culebra are integrated into PR and have cheaper government subsidized ferry links to mainland PR. It is possible to take your car to the big island and come back in the same day. Here on STX, if you don't have your own boat, you're limited to pax ferry service 4 days a week to STT or flying off island. For me, though I love the island, STX can seem to be isolated. At least on STT you can go to STJ for 5 or 10 bucks and the BVI for $40 roundtrip. Tradeoffs abound. For me, STT is too "urban". Again, just speaking for myself, STJ is too expensive. My advice is to not sell everything and take some time to visit first. Only you know what you like and what appeals to you.
Kewl - Thanks 2 u both. Betty your posts are always so pleasant and informative - I've gathered you live on STX, and Iguana, ha, I've got 2 iguanas on my desk right now - ceramic I guess - one I picked up in Cancun and the other on a drive through northern Mexico. And great info/tips from you also. I hope to make reservations by next week for places to stay in STT and STX for the month of May. During that period I would prob take a few days to spend some time in Vieques and P.R. Gotta go, but will be back n touch w/the board this p.m.or 2morrow. Thanks to everyone. Marcus
Make sure thayt you spend some time in PR visiting the NW corner - Aguadilla, Cabo rojo, and Rincon - some of the best beaches in the world - IMHO. I learnt Spanish while livingg there and found the locals only too eager to helpm if you wanted to speak their language. PR is a trip!!!! I personally...see that caveat...prefer it to the VI.
Hi Marcus, Just wanted to give you my opinion on a couple things. My husband and I just moved to STT a few weeks ago from Michigan. First off - life is different here for sure. We've both had to learn to be a lot more patient at the grocery store, driving, doing everything really. We had the same attitude as you that we had the chance to come here and we weren't going to give that up. I don't know how long we'll stay but we've really been enjoying it so far. We had jobs lined up before we moved. I'm sure you won't have difficulty finding a job with your experience. As far as finding an apartment - we didn't have much luck calling people when we were in Michigan, the people didn't seem to take us seriously. The one lady we called even had the nerve to ask my husband how old he was - as if that matters. What we did was place an ad in the newspaper here with what we were looking for - we got a call and ended up with an apartment. We kept most of our smaller items back in Michigan in storage and just sold our furniture. I'm glad we kept a lot of it now because there isn't much selection here and the prices are pretty high. Now I just have my family ship us things as we need them. Hope you enjoy your visit. While we've only been here for a short time now I haven't regretted moving here at all.
Hey Sherry.....where at in MI are you from?? My g/f and I are doing a visit @ end of April. I can't wait to get away from this snow!!!!!!!
Andy - We were from Gaylord. I don't miss the snow at all. Where in MI are you from?
Ahhh yesss....the booming metropolis of Gaylord. hahaha We are from Grand Rapids. It's surprisingly mild here right now...35. But it was 65 last week. I don't know how connected to anyone up here you are but thats just the weather.
Thanks guys - hoping to wrap things up next week on flight plans, room/efficiency/apt or what-have-you to rent. I have been spending the last few months learning Spanish; I figured most anywhere in the Caribbean or Central Americas it would be beneficial, of course, even if not specifically the USV islands. Not planning on selling any of my furniture/possesions/car until AFTER I have hopefully found employment and a short to long-term permanent housing. I'm assuming that provided I am fortunate enough to find gainful employment in my 4 wk PMV, I will be coming back for a couple/few weeks to settle things here. 'Course all my friends and acquantiances are beating at my door, calling dibs on my various pieces of furniture, my place, etc. -And in the same breath they're making plans on when to come vacation and stay ! -they're all just jealous ha 🙂 Hey, i understand, wish I also had a longtime friend who lived on an island who I could visit and stay with. Sherry, I AM looking forward to a slower pace - hey, I'm not an impatient person anyway. I want a slower MINDSET. When I told my sister about the speed limit she was like, Oh, I'd never make it - --she LIVES in the left lane of the interstate --- so I'll be sure and warn everyone if she's about to arrive and takes to driving. Me, totally opposite. Thanks again to everyone. More later. Marcus
i just got rid of my verizon cell service - cingular is no toll to call to usvi or p.r. and verizon charged like 0.29 a min plus using your minutes for calls to usvi and p.r.; i know cingular has good service down there and i think i've come to the conclusion that my best bet in making certain reservations,/contacts/etc. is to simply CALL some of your places in person. i've sent several emails but havent heard back and i certainly dont want to seem intrusive or bug people and get on their nerves, but i HAVE read many times where many of you say You gotta be persistent, that as a rule people arent in a hurry to get back with you. comments?
Marcus, you can just get a stateside cell number if you want.....works the same anywhere....I don't know if they can program you for an island # or not.
Emails go unanswered most of all, I think......the next being the telephone. Standing in line, although boring, works best of all.......
y'know, i am one of those few people i guess who have no problem (for the most part) standing in a line waiting. i never have. that's not to say i'm necessarily so easy-going in all aspects of life, but patience i guess is one of my qualities. I'm actaully a high-strung personality, which may seem at odds with having patience in line - but i find i usually meet people or strike up conversations in line. have never been one to suddenly "shut down" upon entering an eleveator either - it's so odd when you get on an elevator - suddenly it's like a vacuum of silence and uncomfortableness - not for me and never has been. i'm usually talking and keep on. tks for advice. marc