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running away from the states... need help!!!

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krissallen
(@krissallen)
Active Member

looks like it is time for a change in my life!!! i have left my husband and i'm thinking the islands will be a nice hideaway to clear my thoughts!!! looks like i am aiming for a mid july move!!! i am a RN who turned into an executive assistant... not looking to turn into anything i can do to survive in on the islands... well.... not just anything, something legal!!! hehehe
looking for some advice on where to live, where to work, should i bring my car? should i pack my household?? i'm thinking st. croix or thomas would be better for me... i was originally thinking st. john, but after reading all the reviews, i'm looking for somewhere with a bit bigger population...
i would love to "meet" someone else who has been in a similar situation... who knows... maybe meet ya on the beach for a beer when i get there!!! i do not want to spend any money to visit before moving...
please respond with any comments... would appreciate all advice!!!!

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Topic starter Posted : April 12, 2010 3:35 pm
pamela
(@pamela)
Trusted Member

Dear Krisallen,

Remember, dear, also run towards something never away from anything. Moving to the islands should not be a reaction to a traumatic incident. You have lost so much that moving to a place where you have no support networks is probably not a good idea. This is Grandmother talking here! The islands is a culture shock to anyone who moves here. Do you really need more trauma?

Perhaps move someplace far away from home but in the states for a year and clear your thoughts? I know you don't want to spend the money coming down first but it is a lot more expensive to move here then have to move back. Expensive in more ways than just money. The islands will be here next July and the economy will be better.

Don't sell the household. Put it in storage. Have someone take care of your car. Come down for a long visit and see what you think, perhaps? You can always go back and get your "stuff". If you just need to talk, PM me.

Grandma Pamela

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Posted : April 12, 2010 3:50 pm
rks
 rks
(@rks)
Advanced Member

Good luck to you. I've found that running "from" anything is usually disappointing at best, disastrous at worst. Running "to" something is often blissfully successful. Why not make a pre-move visit (PMV as it's known here) to see if island life on one of our beautiful rocks is something you want to run towards?

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Posted : April 12, 2010 3:50 pm
STXBob
(@STXBob)
Trusted Member

If you're not going to do a PMV (pre-move visit), then you should not ship anything here, because you'll probably move away again within 6 months (based on the average experience of transplants), and it will have been a waste of money! In your situation, you should rent somewhere short-term at first, like 2 weeks, while you explore the island(s), then rent long-term, and then maybe ship your stuff here. However, a lot of rentals come furnished. Shipping cars and containers isn't cheap though, so make sure you really want to stay here first.

Which island to move to:
I'd pick STT for better transportation options to the states, and to STJ and BVI.
I'd pick STX for lower real estate prices, more room and less traffic, hustle and bustle.
Crime is about the same on both.

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Posted : April 12, 2010 4:05 pm
fdr
 fdr
(@fdr)
Trusted Member

Good afternoon krissallen,

Wishing you best of luck with the transition of your divorce. It's one of life's most traumatic events.

It is tempting to want to change a lot of things at once when one goes through a transition like this. It works out better in the long run, though, to make those changes small rather than big. Perhaps you will not want to hear this, but for 95% of all people within the first year of their divorce, one's judgment is not going to be as sharp as usual, and mistakes of all kinds ensue. (I've worn those shoes.)

You have just changed your relationship situation AND your career -- and now you think you want to change your location as well. You need a retreat, a vacation, and maybe a long one -- but a move to the islands isn't those things. A move to the islands brings many challenges and a lot more transition.

People "run away" to here all the time, and then they run back home, either when their problems catch up with them anyway OR when they realize they miss all the things that island life can never provide. Sometimes it works out well, but often it is a sad and expensive -- and entirely preventable -- life lesson.

If you want to come down here as a temporary move -- for three months, six months, or a year -- that's a very different story from what it sounds like you are suggesting. If that's what you want to try, put your things in storage, gather up a few thousand bucks, pack your suitcases, and come on down. Maybe you will like it and stay, maybe not, but your old life will be waiting for you if you want it back, and available to ship if you don't.

Good luck to you.

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Posted : April 12, 2010 6:31 pm
krissallen
(@krissallen)
Active Member

Hmmmm.... my brain cells are definitely synapsing!! I have had thoughts of moving to the Virgin Islands for about a year now... the more i think of living there, the happier i seem to feel. just need a change!!!! someone please tell me there are a boatload of nursing jobs there?? i know the states have a huge nursing shortage... maybe that is because all the nurses move to the islands and there are no jobs there.... i can try for a year... why not?? risk?? money... my support system??? i have some money i can bring with me... i live far from them all now.... the phone and skype works perfect now, i bet it will work there too... i am a strong, scorpio, german woman who once something gets in my head watch out!!! i am on a mission to get the hell outta dodge and start fresh.... i have a husband that i left, a boss who i want to leave, and a new attitude on life.... i want to wake up to the ocean... i currently live in upstate NY where i do not even see the sun!!!!! i need a break!!!! i am running towards a new life, i am running towards some peace, i am running to find MYSELF and not have to worry about anyone but ME!!!!!!
your thoughts???

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Topic starter Posted : April 12, 2010 7:28 pm
pamela
(@pamela)
Trusted Member

Find out about the traveling nurse program. There is one who has just arrived here on the board. Look for the thread "absurd question" and PM her. Traveling nurses are very valued here.

Pamela

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Posted : April 12, 2010 7:37 pm
krissallen
(@krissallen)
Active Member

Thank you Pamela, I have PM'd her and cannot wait to hear back from her. As I sit here in my office reflecting the past year and half of my life, i want OUTTA here!!! the question of me leaving is not the issue, the question of where to leave to is... if i am going to give everything that i have worked so hard for, does geography really matter?? i have travelled all around North America on my job for the past year and half, and i do know that i want blue water, blue skies, and sunshine!! (and some blue mountains!!!!) i am more than willing to load up on sunscreen and shorts!!! i am willing to buy more scrubs (as i have not worked as a nurse in year and half) just to get outta this life.... looking for a new start...

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Topic starter Posted : April 12, 2010 8:06 pm
pamela
(@pamela)
Trusted Member

Krisallen,

The naysayers, me included, are only trying to save you some heartache. Life here is not easily adapted to by many and having heartaches to start with might make it harder. I moved here in 1995 'cause I wanted OUTTA THERE. It has worked well for me. Let me know how the traveling nurse program works out for.

Pamela

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Posted : April 12, 2010 8:21 pm
Linda J
(@Linda_J)
Expert

If you feel that you must come immediately, the traveling nurse program is your best bet.

You mention you have a little money. I would suggest that if you come without a job, you will need between $7,000 and $10,000 to come. That will allow you to have first, last and one month's security to rent an apartment, have deposits for utilities, a cheap car, and a cushion until you find a job. And realize summer is our slow season and jobs will be scarce. On the other hand, apartments are easier to find in the summer.

good luck

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Posted : April 12, 2010 8:28 pm
STXBob
(@STXBob)
Trusted Member

As I hear it, all of the nurses at Juan Luis Hospital on STX are traveling nurses, and it is a difficult environment for them to work in, so definitely do your homework on that.

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Posted : April 12, 2010 8:29 pm
roadrunner
(@roadrunner)
Trusted Member

I'm not one to squash someone else's dreams, especially since I don't know the details of your situation. As someone who will soon be hopping on a one-way flight to STX, I've had my share of, "You're moving WHERE?! WHY?!" You know yourself best, and with enough thought, you'll make the right decisions for yourself. But like the others who have replied, I'd like to help you put on the brakes for a moment and make sure you've thought through all angles of this and really, truly know what's on the other end of that flight you're about to jump on.

Please, please read through this forum, if you haven't already, to give yourself an idea of what you're getting into. It has been absolutely invaluable to me. Yes, the VI are gorgeous and have a billion things going for them, but it's not all sunshine and blue water. They come with a whole lot of reality, too. Work is still work. You'll still have to go grocery shopping, pay bills, drive in traffic, etc. And you'll have to learn a new culture and learn your way around a new place. Technology doesn't always work when you need/want it to.

There are people on this forum who went to the VI on vacation and never left -- had their mainland friends send their stuff down, sell their stuff, ship their pets, etc. So it can be done. You don't have to sell or pack everything you own and show up with just a suitcase. Do it in baby steps, as suggested above.

If you're able to, it sounds like you might benefit from a week off work. Spend time doing nothing. Read this forum until you get tired of seeing the same issues pop up and until the posters here seem like old friends. Start finding yourself; it's easier to bring yourself along than to go searching for yourself once you arrive in a new place. See if you can arrange a 13-week or 26-week travel nursing spot. And see how it goes! You are outrageously lucky that you're in a career that gives you that option.

Good luck with everything, and please keep us posted on how things go!

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Posted : April 12, 2010 8:40 pm
mnjj
 mnjj
(@mnjj)
Advanced Member

Go for it! it is all about your attitude. I was scheduled to make the move this year, but because of some unforeseen life events that happened last year, I haven't. I have been visiting STX since 2002 and I will tell you that it is a place like no other I have visited. (That is what makes STX attractive to me.) I like the simple, yet challenging, way of life.

For instance, I stay with friends when I visit and I have visited different times of the year for each visit. The last visit was during the month of December. Unknowing to me, my friend's home does not have gas to heat the water coming from the plumbing. The water is heated from the sun beaming on the roof to the pipes. Never before had I noticed this because I was usually visiting in warmer months. There is a propane tank that provides gas to the stove for cooking. So, for baths for the kids, I heated water in a pot on the stove and mixed with cooler water until the temperature was just right. Talking about be adaptive.

My friends are native to the islands and my only experiences are staying with them in homes that have been owned by their families for generations. In some instances, things have not been upgraded "just because". Is this the way it is everywhere? I doubt it.

I share this experience because island life is doable with the right attitude, and so is life. Learning patience and being able to adapt will take you a long way when considering living to the islands.

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Posted : April 12, 2010 8:42 pm
roadrunner
(@roadrunner)
Trusted Member

As I hear it, all of the nurses at Juan Luis Hospital on STX are traveling nurses, and it is a difficult environment for them to work in, so definitely do your homework on that.

No, they're not. About half of them are locals -- meaning either "born here" or permanently moved from the mainland. It can be difficult for the travelers because they're paid more than the locals, and everyone knows it. So they wind up working a lot harder. However, that's a generalization. There are quite a few local nurses who are absolutely awesome.

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Posted : April 12, 2010 8:43 pm
roadrunner
(@roadrunner)
Trusted Member

Krissallen, what field of nursing are you in? Just curious!

Another thing I should have mentioned is that since you've been out of nursing for about 18 months, you might want to think about picking up a few shifts somewhere before you move, just to make sure your skills are up to speed. It will be one less thing to have to deal with when you arrive in a new place.

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Posted : April 12, 2010 8:47 pm
Afriend
(@afriend)
Trusted Member

Listen, after 9 years I still love having a home in the islands BUT and it's a big BUT I find I have to go off-island every 4 to 6 months for several weeks to get a "touch of civilization". It's called "Rock Fever" - you get a bit frustrated driving around a small island and having to go to 3 or 4 stores just to get the week's worth of food staples, you get tired of long lines at the bank, the utility company, etc.. Think of island life as living in a small town without the ability to get in your car and ride over to the "big city".

Take the advice gien here - make that pre-move visit, don't burn all your bridges back home and give it a try to see if you'll like it - there's no rush, he islands will be here for long after we are all gone and burried.

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Posted : April 12, 2010 10:44 pm
STXBob
(@STXBob)
Trusted Member

As I hear it, all of the nurses at Juan Luis Hospital on STX are traveling nurses, and it is a difficult environment for them to work in, so definitely do your homework on that.

No, they're not. About half of them are locals -- meaning either "born here" or permanently moved from the mainland. It can be difficult for the travelers because they're paid more than the locals, and everyone knows it. So they wind up working a lot harder. However, that's a generalization. There are quite a few local nurses who are absolutely awesome.

I sit corrected (although it IS what I heard!)

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Posted : April 12, 2010 10:55 pm
fdr
 fdr
(@fdr)
Trusted Member

A travelling nurse's job sounds ideal for you right now. Search the archives for "nurse" and read everything you can about the wide variety of experiences nurses have had (and locals have had with travelling nurses).

Don't count on Skype working well -- I have yet to find a VoIP connection that works reliably with our Internet infrastructure. Just one of the many differences between where you are and what the islands can achieve. If your friends are in the States and you live somewhere with good cell reception, just get an unlimited calling plan.

Notice that the most encouraging post here is from someone who does not live here. There is a reason for that! Good luck, and keep us posted....

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Posted : April 12, 2010 11:24 pm
fdr
 fdr
(@fdr)
Trusted Member

Another thing I should have mentioned is that since you've been out of nursing for about 18 months, you might want to think about picking up a few shifts somewhere before you move, just to make sure your skills are up to speed. It will be one less thing to have to deal with when you arrive in a new place.

I hate to say it, but even nursing skills that are 18 months out of date are usually far ahead of what our medical facilities can offer. 🙁

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Posted : April 12, 2010 11:26 pm
roadrunner
(@roadrunner)
Trusted Member

Another thing I should have mentioned is that since you've been out of nursing for about 18 months, you might want to think about picking up a few shifts somewhere before you move, just to make sure your skills are up to speed. It will be one less thing to have to deal with when you arrive in a new place.

I hate to say it, but even nursing skills that are 18 months out of date are usually far ahead of what our medical facilities can offer. 🙁

If you don't mind expanding a bit... I always wonder where statements like this come from. I've spoken with a number of people who said they heard terrible stories about the hospital, but once they actually went there (within the past year or two), they were very impressed with the quality of care. It sounds like maybe the hospital really was an awful place a couple of decades ago (maybe even more recently than that), but from what people say, it seems to have really turned around. Did you have a bad experience recently?

And you're right... everything I say should be taken with a grain of salt, since my experiences are based on a long PMV, not on actually living there (yet). I thought I emphasized making the decision cautiously, but maybe I didn't emphasize it enough! You might wonder who I think I am, giving advice to someone when I don't even live there myself yet, but I guess I'm trying to empathize with the decision-making process and the process of preparing to move. I couldn't have done it without this board.

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Posted : April 13, 2010 12:11 am
East Ender
(@east-ender)
Expert

roadrunner: I agree with you. I am tired of the medical facilities being bashed. Y'know, if you expect NYC health care here, you are not going to get it. But saying that nursing skills are not up to snuff is not correct. And actually, in some ways, we provide much more than NYC does.

To the OP:
1. Do not burn your bridges back home.
2. Come for a specific period of time (6 months, a year) and reevaluate your stay.
3. Your experience as a traveler will be different than that of a staff nurse. There are also other nursing opportunities besides the government system.
4. No matter what, you have to work through the divorce. You can't run and you can't hide.
5. Sometimes a change of scenery is good.
😉

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Posted : April 13, 2010 1:04 am
poorthang
(@poorthang)
Advanced Member

If your miserable.....I'd rather be miserable on an island like STX than in NY....Having said that ...IF you dont' have 5-10,0000 bucks for at least 3-6 months of unraveling,mind crap then your not ready anyway....save up some serious money.. ...unless you have it alreafy....and buy a one way ticket for a month from now.. then come for a visit....3 months ....if your ready you'll go home.... if your not you'll find a way to make it work....if your serious don't bring a phone....just pretend your an illegal alien.... my best to you 😀

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Posted : April 13, 2010 1:35 am
fdr
 fdr
(@fdr)
Trusted Member

Another thing I should have mentioned is that since you've been out of nursing for about 18 months, you might want to think about picking up a few shifts somewhere before you move, just to make sure your skills are up to speed. It will be one less thing to have to deal with when you arrive in a new place.

I hate to say it, but even nursing skills that are 18 months out of date are usually far ahead of what our medical facilities can offer. 🙁

If you don't mind expanding a bit... I always wonder where statements like this come from.

I don't mind at all. In my case, they come from the travelling nurses I have met, who leave because they are afraid of being behind on their skills when they go on to their next post in the states. They also come from people who have been patients with serious conditions that eventually led them to transfer to a stateside hospital, so they got a direct comparison in types of treatments and care.

The efforts put into the quality of care is not at issue here; the medical staff works hard with what they have available. I'm definitely not bashing anyone's efforts. It's just that the technology and skill sets are not usually (I didn't say "always") what is available stateside. It's pretty much like what you might or might not find at the grocery store when you go shopping -- maybe what you want, maybe what you need, and maybe none of it on that particular day. EE, of course it isn't NYC! But it's not wrong to point out the differences, either, so that people understand what some of those differences are.

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Posted : April 13, 2010 9:52 am
pamela
(@pamela)
Trusted Member

Unfortunately, my husband has extensive experience with Roy L. Schneider hospital. We have always been pleased with the level of care and service there. It is a country hospital and, yes, not up to NYC standards but it has a charm all it's own. We have not felt that he was not getting the best of care there.

Pamela

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Posted : April 13, 2010 1:12 pm
krissallen
(@krissallen)
Active Member

I did hospice for 8 years and oncology for 8 years... inpatient and outpatient...

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Topic starter Posted : April 14, 2010 2:27 pm
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