Questions about relocating
Linda, thank you for your advice. There must be some confusion I have repeatedly stated that I welcome advice. I am pleased to know that I am on the right track. Most of the things you mentioned are things i had already planned for. I mentioned before that we may have to scrimp to save our start- up money but that we would not come without it. I have rigerously studied newspapers , to be prepared for the increase in cost of living rental prices, groceries ect. We are in an area without much of a future. We have looked at several areas to relocate to. I have considered childcare, that is a big concern for me. Health insurance is something I have considered also. I have not been to the VI which is part of its appeal. as mentioned above our move down is our PMV. If things do not work out we always have a place to come back to. I have to say that I am not really suprised that most of the critisim I am getting is due to our moving with a child. I am very concened about the effect this will have on her, but I am also thinking of what this experience will offer her. Again thanks for the advice.
It will do you and,don't forget about your husband a lot of good.Your daughter on the other hand will be just a baby and from the father of 3 girls you will learn 'that baby's are tougher than steel'.Even if a bad experience happens she will never remember,and you and your hubby will not wounder the rest of your lives what if should have.It's worth the try why not? search my posts go for it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Your dreams are there so are my wife and mines nobody can change that.Sometimes you just have to go it on your own and thats OK if you are willing ,good or bad,the experience will make you stronger.
April, don't worry about people who presume to be shrinks with no qualifications whatsoever. There is no need to defend yourself. You've said you have a back-up plan & will have a cash reserve. If it's what you want to do, just do it. If it works out, that will be wonderful & if you hate it, you'll leave.
to all the posters. we all know your advice has been given and some of you are worried about them. the plus side is they have a year and a major change in there life to to think this move through. who knows how they will think by summer of 08. its not like they are doing this next week.
Dear April, I have to be the first to say that the advice on this board is well meaning and accurate. I have lived here 4 months and did extensive PMVs. One of my visits was for 5 weeks. Everything that could go wrong with our move went wrong. Our expenses were double at least what we calculated. I also moved here with a 3 year old and an ailing disabled mother. Though I had the financial resourses to move and live here they are strained because our house back in the states has not sold as of yet. Though our time here has been difficult and the move was hard I would not hesitate to do it again. Every day I love this island more and more. Wether you do well here or not it certainly is an adventure. I can't see that moving here would do you any harm only make you stronger. As long as you have a return ticket or money for one and don't fall in with the drinking crowd you will survive. As far as you child goes, I would suggest maybe you and your husband work different shifts. One work days and one work nights. That would eliminate the need for two cars and childcare expenses. My son loves it here and every day he and I have great adventures. If you still want to come here after you have your child, I say go for it. Have a good day.
I swore I wouldn't touch this one with a 10 foot pole, but here I am anyway....
I think East Ender gave you the best advice possible - if you are hell bent to make this move, go for it - but set a specific amount of time to see if things are working for you - don't come here open-ended with everything you own...go slowly. Child care may be a problem. Health care/insurance may be a problem. You may find you want or need the support of your respective families more than you anticipated after the birth of your child. You may not see problems for MONTHS down the road - we didn't. You may not see problems until it is time for your child to being pre-school. But if you come and set a goal of one year, leaving everything behind, if it doesn't work out you made your goal, you had a great adventure, and you can turn around and go back without a lot of fanfare. On the other hand, if you say this is the rest of your life and you go into it in a big way, then it is very difficult to accept the fact that this ISN'T the rest of your life and "what now?" if it doesn't work out.
I'll split the middle with you on the PMV - yes, I think it is EXTREMELY important, and I personally would recommend it. If you haven't been to STX, you simply do not know - you don't need to step off the plane a stranger in a stranger place. All that being said, I think too many people turn their PMV into a vacation, so what do you really learn? My one caveat is this - have a savings account that has enough money to get you back stateside quickly if you decide this isn't for you after the new wears off. If you're still on island in 3 years, break into it and throw a big party...but do not give up your cushion. I would tell you the same thing if you were moving to New Orleans...don't break every tie and assume this is your new life, 'cause sometimes it just don't work out that way. I think you are making good headway with your research, but I will be honest enough to tell you that I believe most people considering a move such as this interpret their reading in a slant that they want to see it.
April, we are a 50's couple - my husband was a professional, I have my own business which I ran from my home on the island....the pay discrepancies between the states and the islands are enormous, or at least in his field (pharmacy) and our own regional area of the U.S. (Arkansas). Although you may not find what you need in Ohio, you may find more of what you need and more opportunities in - let's just pretend - St. Louis. We found that being separated from older, failing relatives and our grown children was more than we could handle mentally. You are young, your parents are most likely our ages or somewhere close.....so that's not a big player for you right now. But it could turn into one. Or you might (and probably will) find less employment opportunities on island that will provide your child with what you want that child to have.
I think you must keep in mind that many of these posters have made the same move you have, with the same ideas, with what we thought was the same planning, and it did not work out. Blunt is not necessarily ugly, it is just.....well, blunt. We've been there, done that.....and many of us want to shake people by the shoulders and tell them to wake up and don't go blindly. I have a child your age.....I'd slap him stupid if he told me he was moving to the islands with his small child because I've been there. It may work for some, it will not work for all - but that is true anywhere.
Go slowly. Don't have your heart set on this - wait, have your child, see how the family thing falls out.....and if at all possible, do try to make a visit so that you can be sure this is an environment you want to raise your child in and that you feel you can flourish in. Although I wouldn't take anything for our time on the island, we also did everything contrary to what we were advised - - - and we got to pay a huge price. It's sort of Let The Buyer Beware - everyone is trying to give you the downside as well as enourage your dreams - but sometimes we just have to put our dreams on hold for a while.....we just do, and especially as parents.
Dear April, Despite appearances, the posters, even the ones with "negative" comments are trying to help you to make an informed decision. At the end of the day it is you and your husband's decision to do what you think is in your family's best interests. Moving here is not like moving to another state or city back on the mainland... you can't just drive back home if things don't work out. This site has great information from people who have made the move but you can only do so much pre-investigation to reassure yourself. If there is any way possible please try to make a pre move visit. At the end of the day, the only way to know for sure is to do it. Try not to throw all of your eggs into one basket just in case things don't work out. Try to have a back-up plan to get home... i.e. return tickets back to the mainland two months from arrival for example (you can usually change your return date for a fee)... and a place to stay and a job in mind when/if you go back to the mainland.
Yes the USVI is expensive. Yes, life can be just as much or even more of a struggle here than back on the mainland. All that is true. Life itself is a gamble and that is true everywhere. I remember when my partner and I decided to have a second baby. Based on a purely logical decision it wouldn't have made sense. There is never a "good" time to have a baby and if people waited until they were totally financially secure to have children there wouldn't be as many as there are. As long as your number one priority is to make the best possible life for your child and are willing to work hard to acheive that goal you'll do fine. You'll discover soon enough if you can make it here. My father worked two jobs during my first three years of life. My parents had to struggle but they did what they had to do and through their hard work and sacrifices we made it. That was back on the mainland but basic rules apply even in the VI.
Many people are lured to the islands by the idea of "paradise". Even Jimmy Buffet- the poet laureate singer songwriter of the Caribbean- doesn't live here in the islands full time. Some people find that- to paraphrase a 70's song- "the weather suits their soul". Others find that the reality of living without the conveniences and culture of the continental US is just too daunting and that they are not happy here and they go back. Nothing ventured nothing gained. Just remember that no place is paradise. Paradise is within your own heart and soul and that can be anywhere you are.
What were your original questions??? 😉
Congratulations on getting such strong responses. You've made an impression. 🙂
The great thing about this forum is that the folks are candid & honest, and, for the most part, rooting for you to be successful here. I think they'll say the same thing to your face as they will on this site. The idea is not to come and fall on your buns. I've moved many, many times since reaching adult age, in part thanks to the military, other part to my free spirit. My rule was to always move somewhere I've never been before, despite the crazy looks and "hater" comments I got, and there were many. No regrets. Personally, I've rued lack of action (if only I did that!) more than doing something and saying "oops." At least you stick your neck out there, and you'll have great stories to tell your kids.
Anyhoo, it looks like you've weighed the negatives; I got that impression from your original post. My only concern is that you have, or will have, a little one. Seems like you came to this forum to counteract the resistance from your family. You've acknowledged it will be a struggle to move to the VI. Life is a struggle, so I'll move on.
I don't know about bartending and how much you'll make. I worked in a 5-star restaurant at the service bar, tips were unpredictable. The servers paychecks were laughable. The high rollers, in general, tipped less, but the "I'm just happy to be out of the house" folks were very generous. I hope you get the out-of-the-house-happy people.
Can you live on one income now? I understand you're currently living check to check, but maybe you could try it for a month or two in the future. Stash your or your hubby's check in a savings account, and try to budget from there. I wouldn't suggest ruining your credit or not paying your phone bill. Utility companies usually don't accept "but we were trying something NEW!" as an acceptable explanation.
Mail as much as you can through the post office, parcel post...clothes, dishes, relatives.... That is, if you can part with the big items, like bedroom sets. Villa Fairview may let you use their addy. Some of the post offices may allow that also. PO addresses and numbers are on usps.com. You can also get a basic estimate of shipping costs on their website using dimensions and weight. Shipping to USVI is considered domestic, but double check me on that.
Lots of opinions on shipping cars. Is it paid off? You need the title to get your car to the VI, cuz the bank won't let you take "their" car. If you still owe, let's say, $3000 on it, you can pay it off ($3000 gone) then pay to ship it ($2000 - $3000). So now you've paid $5K to $6K for an original $3K. Remember you may wanna' ship it back, too. Bye bye another $2K. Check with your insurance company also. Do they insure here? If not, who does? Last post I saw about that was "Shipping Your Car," originally by Tiffine, Jan 25. There was a recent response, so it's back maybe 2 or 3 pages.
Limited temp housing because of a baby? You'll be a lot more limited with pets, so don't put your little one on a leash and call him/her "Woofy." You're asking for rejection. 😛
In any case, the frequent posters know what they're talking about, so try reading what's here several times. From your responses, you seem like a sassy chica, but I understand your hormones jump & slump 50 times a day. Something you took as an attack may not seem so bad at 3 am. The information here is invaluable.
I say plan for the worst, and kick life in the tooty. Anything's possible.
If I added nothing to your thought process, I hope I at least made you giggle.
April: On boards like this you have to just I-G-N-O-R-E some people! My own experience is that when you find a board, read through enough threads to identify the @#$%&s and just read, say one in every ten of their posts. Then find the upstanding citizens of the board and read every post they ever wrote! 😉
Wow this thread has been busy. Thanks everyone for your support. I wanted to mention again that I do want positive as well as realistic advice. I only took offense to a couple of post. As for my education. I have three years of college and one or two more to go. I have checked into the University of the Virgin Islands and I am amazed to see how much cheaper the tuition is than most schools here. Even if i have to pay for out of state tuition, it is a great opporitunuty. I also checked to see if they have my major. They so. All in all we think that this move will offer a lot of opporitunity. I did not mean to imply that we are destitute. We simply live in an area where most jobs do not pay well. One of our cars is older and we will most likley sell it for around $1,000 . Our other is blue booked at around $5,500. We owe $1,400 on it right now. We are going to sell both and use that money as well as what we save to bring with us. We have not decided if both of us will work or not. My husband works in pest control. I am currently a state certified childcare provider. I left bartending (aside from some occasional side work) a year ago. I just assumed that in a place where tourism represents over half of the jobs that I would make more as a bartender than my husband. When driving the 1 1/2 hours to work I made around $600.00 a week including tips. My husband makes around 400.00 a week before taxes. The bills that we pay now are close to what I have read about in the USVI, but without the perks.
Good luck to April! You only live once..dreams are so important...they get you through the day and let you look toward the future.
Most importantly ~ Happy Baby!
I will be curious to hear how your story unfolds as my husband and I are hoping to relocate soon too. I have been doing my research and making plans and it is always the money that concerns me that is needed to get started and maintain a living. We don't want to move with less than 25,000, no debt etc. Our weekly income is 2,000 at our current jobs but we know we will take a good pay cut and are fine with it. Have you researched what your husbands job may pay on the island as opposed to Ohio? I guess I am very conservative when it come to savings but at the same time there is something to be said for doing it because you know yourself and your family better than anyone else here! I have started a computer file listing all our expected first move expenses and needs for 6 months without employment on a spread sheet. I have detailed it down to every small expense like a taxi ride to get to the car rental place etc. I have also started making lists of things we can do without and things we can not do without. My husband and I spend a lot of time talking it out (even if we just say the same things over and over again. (Of course he is in Iraq right now so I just enjoy hearing him talk anyway!) We do not have children and do not plan on it in the near future anyway but I have taken on an evening nanny position just to put a little extra in my VI fund and to pay for an official PMV in June. We have already done two vacation/visits in the last year. Good luck to you and if I could offer just one small piece of advice it would be to do a PMV, vacation, visit whatever. We learned so much from talking to people on the island. They pointed us in many great directions. They gave us emails and phone numbers, offered up a room to stay in and I still talk to them! I know we will have a little bit of help when we arrive for good and that makes me feel good. That's is it for advice. Have a greta life!
ok april. let me get this straight. You live pay check to pay check now, in a relatively low cost state. You will add a cost you don't have today of a new child and move to a place that is 20-30% more expensive than where you are today. You can easily find employment since you are a 'skilled' bartendar as opposed to all the 'unskilled' ones that exist on island today. Thank God you are coming. Not sure how your husband will pick up the slack with the differential you might expect from his change in employment.
Oh sorry, I forgot, you only want to hear the positives. Health care and education for newborns is much cheaper and much higher quality than what you can get in the mainland, plus you have dialup family support services here. Any problems you could ever imagine are easily resolved by caring, compassionate people that are just a phone call away. The big advantage is that this, after all, is paradise, so feel free to just pack up and move. You obviously have thought through all the one time extras, so don't let the ongoing additional costs bother you. You obviously don't want to hear about them anyway.
You have decided it is ok to move without a pmv, since you are just so smart, and I agree....no need to find out what you are getting into. After all, how different can it be than Ohio?
I'll just be like so many of the others and blow smoke up your butt (since that is what you prefer), and tell you to move on down. Just think of this like southern Ohio.
No need to smell the coffee now...wait until later. You have made your decision and you are just looking for validation. You don't want the truth because as Jacl Nicholson said, you can't handle the truth. Your decision is made so stop pretendung. Come on down, Disneyworld is awaiting.
APRIL: Remember I-G-N-O-R-E. You do have an exit strategy, you aren't burning your bridges back home. I agree with you that there are some pretty mean spirited jumbies on this board. Sheesh!
Well said and I agree 100%!!!!
Whether you agree with April's "game plan" or not, a little kindness and tact is most definitely in order here.
I must admit I haven't read all the thread - don't need to. Just some 1st hand experience. My son and his girlfriend came down w/ their 3 month old baby. It started out ok. Then mommy got depressed (post partum depression hits up to a year), then she was missing her family back home (who she had the baby to get away from), then she (being depressed and needy) hooked up w/ another man and suddenly fled to the states with the new man and baby.
Point - you will be going thru a lot of changes in your life with the new baby. Depression is real for new moms. Depression is real for people who come here and don't know what they are getting in to. And reading about stuff - no matter how many times or for how long - doesn't rEALLY prepare you for dealing with it in real life.
And sometimes when a couple comes down here they find that the "dream" was not as strong for both of them. Sometimes one loves it while the other either can't stand it, or tolerates it for the sake of the other.
Running to a new place to get away from the crap jobs in a crap town in a crap state doesn't solve the problems. Your surroundings are only part of the problem. For all of us.
I really dont think it is mean to tell someone who is living pay check to paycheck and is now going to have a third mouth to fed that coming to the vi is wrong. I think the more strongly you say it the better. If they were childless I would say do whatever you want, but with the kid its just not fair.
Well if some of you do not mind I will make my own deciision. I think there is some confusuion we are palnning to wait untill the baby is a year old. That will be summer 08. Thank you so much, those of you who are encouraging.
Great, honest post Linda - thanks for sharing. Your last sentence says it all. Being first time parents is difficult enough, much less in an environment you will be discovering with a one year old on your hip.
April, I know you have your mind made up - and I do hope it goes well for you if this is what ultimately happens - but I think the support of your family, for you, your husband and your child, by your respective families is the greatest gift you can give a developing child. Please think again.
Have you read my post:
Just for info and add another perspective for you. May I ask what appeals to you about the island?
Which is a very interesting question, indeedie since she has never visited.
But I'm here to tell her to do it. Take the plunge. Good or bad it'll be an experience. You know TOUGH LOVE.
This thread has been a BLAST!! the Good the Bad and the UGLY! I love it ALL. Sounds like you all have pretty much the same feeling of wanting to help April, but with the added fun and spice of personality. LOL!! I agree with everyone. really.
I'm a mother of 4 Boys and in the middle of my own move to STX. First, I want to thank you for overreacting to that post, it has allowed me to glean some very sage advice. I wish I could follow all of the advice but sometimes life doesn't move slow enough.
And as for your move, I can only speak to two things 1.Motherhood & 2.Moving Headaches!! We have moved 12 times in 10 years -north, south, east, and west.---But never over a large body of water---this fact alone indeed changes the average headache of the rental truck and a road trip into somewhat of a huge International headache.
The biggest lesson I learned in our travels was 'Home is where your FAMILY is'. You may or may not be bothered by that. I myself was surprised by the strong pull and desire for the familiar. And the desire for the familiar had an ugly side effect (the intolerance of differences) There was for awhile the constant mental checks not to judge people by my own homegrown perception and view of life as apposed to there's, but to embrace the beauty of cultural difference.
I admit I have never been to STX and yet I'm moving there. Keep in mind though that my parents just made a move there recently and even if I didn't want to make the move, work is pulling us there, and much sooner than we had planned. We originally planned a PMV in July but I admit that it would've been more of a vacation than anything, since just from this sight and my parents I have found most of the info I needed.
My advise to you --Keep your ideas of moving quite until after the baby is born and family starts to fall in to place. (Just like Earl Nightingale might advise). And in that time of introspections on this move and leaving your life there to start new, ask yourself 1.What about this move would be great for my family/baby/myself? also ask 2. What about this move would be hard/bad on my family? you may be raising an eyebrow about now. My husband is an Anthony Robbins Coach and this is the kind of life advice he might give a client. By all means keep on this board, you'll find most of the answers you need here. But, by staying quite at home with your friends and family it allows you to ask and answer those questions that only YOU and your husband should answer, without the added push and pull of the outside. I wish you success.
Enjoy The Journey!
we are also planning to move to ST.Croix this fall. We visited the island the last 2 years.
We are a professional couple with local contacts on the island. (Matt and Stevie Spencer). I am a Master Pilates Instructor and Personal Trainer and my boyfriend is a general contractor and professional sailor. We live in Annapolis, Md. and are tired of "the rat race". We have no children, unless you count our 2 dogs -a lab and a Golden.
We are looking for a simpler life!
My question is why did you say that 75% of the people on this forum havn't stayed on the island?
would love to talk to you. We are also considering the move. We have spent 2 xmas there and love the island, but mostly the people!
Call me, Cheers!
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April: You have denigrated both my posts and those of others who've dared to challenge your dream and it seems that you still haven't absorbed the whole point which I and many others personally find very frustrating. You are being dissuaded for very good reason from making this move wth an infant child for so many reasons from so so many people.
Those who are telling you to "go for it" and giving you encouragement are far outweighed by not only those of us who have lived here for a long time but also from some who for many different reasons came, sought and went.
Feeding on the positve without really reading what you perceive as negatives is counter-productive. Cheers!