My husband is flying out tomorrow, and my goal is to be in stx by July 1. We are looking forward to this new adventure, but hope to make some friends and contacts before we arrive. I'm an attorney and will be looking for work on the island. We also have a 13 yo son.
On our way, looking to make friends and network
Safe travels and welcome!
enjoy your new home
Shouldn't be too tough & this seems like a good place to start. Sounds like an exciting thing to be doing and makes me miss that sense of adventure I felt. I'd definitely try to make your son as comfortable as possible with everything. That's a weird age to begin with and adding in a change of scenery could be difficult for him.
Good afternoon! My husband and I are also moving down. He will be there in a couple of weeks, I'll be about a month behind him, after tying up loose ends. He will be working on the refinery. A local friend helped secure his job and a home to rent.
If I may ask, what is the local "mood". Our friend said many people are unhappy. I'm one who mentally prepares for my travels.
I wouldn't say many people are unhappy. A few may be frustrated not being able to find affordable housing. Some people are happy being unhappy. Been here 8 years and I'm happier than I've ever been. Even with months of no power after Hurricane Maria. haven't shoveled or driven in show in 8 years. Booze is cheap, food is awesome, beaches are uncrowded, people are friendly for the most part, life is good. No kids so I can't offer any info there.
The animal Welfare Center is doing amazing things here and they are very overwhelmed with animals being brought in, they always need volunteers. The animal welfare center has a thrift shop that needs help as well. Like I said we have amazing restaurants here. Good local food and anything else you can think of. In my opinion we rival the restaurants in The French Caribbean and St Maarten. Any thing from fancy dining to come as you are restaurants, beach shacks and we are just ramping up our food truck scene. A local brewery that makes great beer and does many family friendly events.
There are more volunteer opportunities than you can shake a stick at. Something for everyone. There are several older forum threads on this topic.
And how we can do this?
I haven't noticed any change in the local mood over the past year. Its challenging to live here at the best of times so there will always be unhappy, struggling people trying to make ends meet. Don't worry, be happy.
If you look at some of the Facebook pages and read The Consortium you would think the place is falling apart. It's not really. In fact the Cat 5 hurricanes brought in more than billions of $$, they also may have ushered in a new era of modernization and new kinds of tourist attractions like AirBnB, Farm to Table foodie places, etc. There are problems to be sure, but I think most people are too occupied with family, work, worship, fun and just living to have it affect their mood much.
It’s also what happens in areas that are “up and coming” or full of opportunity.
HGTV contributed greatly to St. Croix (prior to the hurricanes). After Maria, and the flood of relief workers (like after Hugo in 89), and now the refinery reconstruction, St. Croix is back on the map. As you will find when you arrive, it’s still a somewhat “undiscovered country”.
When my wife and I started visiting here over a decade ago, people used to say Cruzan’s were perpetually waiting for their boat to come in. They used to joke about how it was always anchored just off shore, just out of reach.
They don’t say that anymore...
There are also complaints about "gentrification" on Facebook STX groups. Those invariably descend into Facebook keyboard fights and race gets brought up.
I'm not sure gentrification is the right term unless St Croix is in the very early stages of it. It isn't San Francisco after all. Much of stateside gentrification happened because people wanted to be closer to well paying technical jobs. Although the refinery is bringing in lots of people I don't see where a lot them will become landowners and stay long term.
On St Thomas, at least, it seems as if the changes are due to newcomers who want St Thomas to be like their former home. We had neighbors seal up their windows from the tradewinds so they could a/c the place. Also things like those spy doorbells instead of learning to answer to the call of "Inside!" 😜