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One Week to Decide between Louisville or St. Thomas

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jj224
(@jj224)
Active Member

I have until Friday to decide whether or not I should move to Louisville KY or St. Thomas. My job is requiring me to relocate and those are my choices. I have exhausted the forums and think I have a fair understanding of what to expect. However, I would appreciate any opinions on my circumstances.

I am 29 married with a 5 year old little girl. We have lived overseas on the island of Okinawa before so I may not understand "island time" but I do understand the isolation and difference in cultural expectations. We loved parts of being there. Specifically the weather and the water activities. Other parts of it we hated. I attribute most of what we hated due to the fact that my wife was pregnant for 9 of the 13 months we lived there. So this isn't my first Rodeo.

I will be working for the U.S. government, and can expect some sort of government subsidy for housing. My rent will not be taken care of completely but the example I was given was "lets say a place cost 3,000$ a month, you can get it for 1,300$". So theres that. My salary without my wife working will be roughly $75,000. When she gets a job I would anticipate a little more.

My wife has concerns over the crime and the public school system. How much does private school cost? Also she wants to know if she can buy a moped scooter and drive around the island.

Thanks

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Topic starter Posted : January 16, 2011 7:24 pm
terry
(@terry)
Expert

Well in KY they have that white sh*t on the ground in the winter. :X In Stt you will never have to shovel sunshine off your car to get to work.:D
The most miserable place I have ever been was Louisville in Aug., and I am from AZ where it can hit 122* in the summer. Louisville was about 100+ and 100% humidity.
I find the islands much better.
Ric and Linda J could answer much better. They moved from Louisville to STX.

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Posted : January 16, 2011 8:24 pm
Neil
 Neil
(@Neil)
Trusted Member

I lived in Louavul for three years of muggy summers. No thx.

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Posted : January 16, 2011 8:35 pm
jj224
(@jj224)
Active Member

Well in KY they have that white sh*t on the ground in the winter. :X In Stt you will never have to shovel sunshine off your car to get to work.:D
The most miserable place I have ever been was Louisville in Aug., and I am from AZ where it can hit 122* in the summer. Louisville was about 100+ and 100% humidity.
I find the islands much better.
Ric and Linda J could answer much better. They moved from Louisville to STX.

Funny you say that as I am making this decision from Long Island, where I haven't seen my grass in over a month because it is currently hidden by the 18inches of snow on the ground.

I'm not really interested in moving to LOU but I'm concerned about what kind of life I will be able to provide for them in St. Thomas on 75K.

Been Reading up on the crime statistics and it seems like everywhere else in the world. Nothing good happens after midnight and stay away from alleys late at night.

Still wondering about getting my wife a scooter as means of transportation.

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Topic starter Posted : January 16, 2011 8:41 pm
jj224
(@jj224)
Active Member

Crap. I just got a pm saying that the crime and racism is the biggest reason they left. That they basically said they never felt safe. I will have a very hard time if my wife doesn't feel safe. I know there is crime everywhere but is it really that bad?

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Topic starter Posted : January 16, 2011 9:25 pm
terry
(@terry)
Expert

Since I splint my time between AZ and STX, not STT I can't really answer the racism question.
I have yet to experience any racism on STX. and I'm sure there is some.
Sometime you get back what you project.

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Posted : January 16, 2011 10:15 pm
Juanita
(@Juanita)
Expert

Hi JJ,

Welcome to the forum! My first suggestion is to pay very little attention to the PM's that you get to start out. Read the forum cover to cover. It's all here, open and honest, without the need to send messages that others can't see or respond to.

When you get a PM about crime, racism, etc., it's just one person's perspective, not open to correction or challenge.

I like Louisville, but it's really cold there right now. I was there in Jan. a couple of years ago, when it was 10 degrees, and everyone was laughing at me for being there. The one thing we can't be beat on, here in the VI, is the weather!!

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Posted : January 16, 2011 10:30 pm
jj224
(@jj224)
Active Member

As I do appreciate the personal messages I truly understand that they must be took with a grain of salt as they cant be scrutinized. I believe financially I can afford the move. So the only thing holding me back from signing the paperwork is getting a better understanding of what to expect from a safety perspective, or more importantly what my young pretty wife can expect. If anyone has any direction to other threads or specific information about st. thomas, I would really appreciate it.
Thanks

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Topic starter Posted : January 16, 2011 10:42 pm
roadrunner
(@roadrunner)
Trusted Member

This is, in my opinion, a huge no-brainer. Snow in the winter and humidity in the summer versus tropical paradise? Hmm...

I grew up in Virginia, which is not all that different, climate-wise, from Louisville. I don't miss the 6 months of gray, cold weather at all. Spring and fall are pretty, and summer is manageable, but the VI are a whole different story. Sure, it gets hot here in the summer, but there's all that water to play in, and there's almost always a nice breeze.

I'm about as white as they come, and I've never had any hint of racism here. Maybe I'm just not observant, or maybe people hide it well, but I feel comfortable. Again, it might be about getting back what you put out there.

About the moped... no. Once you see the roads here, you'll understand! They're curvy, with steep hills, potholes, crazy drivers, goats, etc. My boyfriend has a serious BMW motorcycle addiction, and even he left all 7 of his bikes at home. It's just not safe. If she wants a fun little island vehicle, go for a Jeep.

Living here on $75,000 should not be a major problem... it's certainly doable as long as you aren't expecting a lavish lifestyle.

Ignore those PMs... in general, they're from people who are afraid to come out and say what they're thinking in public, where it can be discussed. There is a lot of crime here, but if you're smart about where you go, how you act, what you carry around or leave in your car, etc., it will be much less of an issue for you.

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Posted : January 16, 2011 10:58 pm
Linda J
(@Linda_J)
Expert

Well, I live on STX, but right now I'm visiting and sitting in my son's apartment in Louisville. Even though it's cold and gray here today, I still believe Louisville has lots to offer and I like it a lot. Louisville is a city much like many others in the states, but STT is unique. If you can visit STT first before you decide, I would suggest you do so. If you can't, maybe you should choose Louisville first. How often do you relocate with your job? With a small child, I wouldn't move to the VI without a scouting trip to see if it would be a place you'd like to live.

On STT you need to assume private school ($10,000 or so a year) until you can evaluate the public schools for yourself.

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Posted : January 16, 2011 11:01 pm
jj224
(@jj224)
Active Member

This is really good info. Thank you all. My wife will definitely be bummed about the mo-ped. Got another pm talking about crime on st. croix. Unfortunately I will not be able to make a trip prior to having to render a decision, and my job does afford me the opportunity to leave after the first year.

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Topic starter Posted : January 16, 2011 11:14 pm
STXBob
(@STXBob)
Trusted Member

$75,000/year is do-able, especially since your housing is subsidized.

Private school will be a big expense if you go that route. But at 5 years of age, your child may be OK in public school. Generally, the older the child, the harder it is for them to transplant into public school here.

Since you seemed to like Okinawa overall, it sounds like you would be OK on STT. You'll adapt, and you'll learn the local customs and how to avoid crime. If you're friendly, and learn the local culture, racism should not be problem.

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Posted : January 16, 2011 11:31 pm
jj224
(@jj224)
Active Member

Showed the wife both pms and this message board. Didn't scare her off, she is still ready to go.

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Topic starter Posted : January 17, 2011 1:07 am
Alexandra
(@Alexandra)
Trusted Member

Skip the scooter and get her a small car. Your wife will need it to take your child to and from school and activities as well as run errands, etc. Especially if you want them to have any quality of life and not hate the island experience. Some singles come here and live an austere lifestyle, but it's a choice they make for themselves and they don't always like being stranded even so.

With a solid income and benefits, plus a housing supplement, you are likely to do fine even with school fees for one child. If they are giving you an "out" if you don't like it after the first year, you can confidently come for the adventure and make the most of the experience. If the island grows on all of you, stick around!

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Posted : January 17, 2011 7:23 pm
Hiya!
(@Hiya!)
Trusted Member

Between STT and Louisville I would pick the Louisville in a second. I find people to be much friendlier there and there is a rich culture there as well. The countryside is incredibly beautiful, yes the humidity is higher in summer then here but most houses have a/c as well that will cost a fraction of a/c cost here. They have four beautiful season's, instead of one. They have incredible food. You don't have to spend a fortune to leave island for vacations, to see family, for medical care, etc...

The islands absolutely have crime. We have the highest per capita in the nation. Public schools are awful and for private you are looking at around 10k a year.

If you are going into a govt job, really try to make contact with the new place in stt that you will be reporting to. I have several friends that are feds and they all say the work is not the same here. Some seem to love but more seem frustrated or unhappy.

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Posted : January 17, 2011 11:45 pm
terry
(@terry)
Expert

It makes me wonder Hiya why are you still in the USVI if things are that bad. You do know that the airplanes will take people both ways.

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Posted : January 18, 2011 12:21 am
DUN
 DUN
(@DUN)
Trusted Member

You can always return to a city such as Louisville (as stateside dime a dozen), whether you end up liking STT or not, you certainly can't experience it in the continental US!

You can drive a scooter here in STT (I've done it for 8+ years).
Better to have 150CC or better to keep up w/ the traffic, though I ran a 50CC for 2 years(2 stroke, =more torque)& I'm over #200!
Yes, you always take a chance driving a scoot & I would highly suggest against taking a child on one.
I've only been in one accident(knocking on wood), the car was alongside of me & suddenly turned into me(didn't see me AT ALL)!
I was knocked down suddenly & HARD by a 3600 lb. car, but got right back up to straighten things up enough to get her home(I'm pretty tuff, the other driver was amazed).
I don't believe you could find a more efficient way around considering the traffic, parking, fuel prices.
At a minimum, the best errand machine around!
Since the minimum insurance allowed is only $250/yr., maybe also get a island car.
Since we have some of the worse drivers I've ever encountered here, you need to drive very defensive(even if your driving a car).
Just my .02

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Posted : January 18, 2011 12:39 am
Hiya!
(@Hiya!)
Trusted Member

Terry what did I say that was untrue?

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Posted : January 18, 2011 1:32 am
stcmike
(@stcmike)
Advanced Member

If it was st. croix I would say St. Croix. Having spent a little time several years back in Kentucky, I must say I was pleasantly surprised. The people were friendly and the cost of living is very reasonable. At 75k a year with a wife and kid, you have to choose KY. Medical care, early education and just having more entertainment choices at a reasonable price means you have to choose KY. I know this won't be a popular answer on this Board but when you have a family, you have to put them first and look at the total picture. Snow isn't bad, every kid should experience riding a sled down a hill and having snowball fights with friends. Louisville is a home to a fine college that will provide allot of educational, cultural and entertainment possibilities.

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Posted : January 18, 2011 2:09 am
stcmike
(@stcmike)
Advanced Member

One more thing, to get a flavor of each community listen to local talk radio stations in both communities, you could do so on the internet

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Posted : January 18, 2011 2:15 am
Ms Information
(@Ms_Information)
Advanced Member

I vote for St Thomas. If I had the chance for a year on St Thomas when I was your age, I would have jumped up and down with excitement and joy. You said you only had a one year option, do it. If it doesn't work out, then move on just as many people do.

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Posted : January 18, 2011 3:45 am
roadrunner
(@roadrunner)
Trusted Member

Terry what did I say that was untrue?

Pardon me for butting in, but I thought the same thing Terry wrote when I read your post. It's not that you said anything untrue, but that you're focusing on the negative. For most of us here, the positives outweigh the negatives. If you're that unhappy, maybe you should consider moving, if that's possible with your job, family, etc.

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Posted : January 18, 2011 9:06 am
Hiya!
(@Hiya!)
Trusted Member

There are not enough positives to ever outweigh living on stt, and that is why I don't. But seriously, if you don't like my post don't read it. But realize when you read it you are putting your own "tone" on it. So you guys are really judging yourself.

And that has nothing to do with me. Just read it again and I don't know what you guys are talking about. The positives of living are are beyond obvious, the negatives are not.

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Posted : January 18, 2011 11:11 am
aussie
(@aussie)
Trusted Member

For most of us here, the positives outweigh the negatives.

Yup. That's probably true for most folks in their first 6 months or first year on island.

Hiya!'s words ring true for me.

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Posted : January 18, 2011 11:24 am
terry
(@terry)
Expert

For most of us here, the positives outweigh the negatives.

Yup. That's probably true for most folks in their first 6 months or first year on island.

Hiya!'s words ring true for me.

If I ever start to feel that the negatives out weigh the positives I will no longer come to the USVI.

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Posted : January 18, 2011 11:35 am
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