St. Croix Move
I am considering a position with the U.S. Government in St. Croix. I have several questions regarding life there. How hard is it to adjust to the different life? I currently live in the Dallas/Fort Worth Texas metroplex. How difficult is it to find a decent rental home/condo and how expensive? What's the best way to set up a PMV? I know the package deals (hotel/airfare) are rather steep. I would need to make that PMV fairly quickly, as the job announcement closes on May 15. One other question - my husband would need to find a job quickly. He's currently in local law enforcement and has been for many years. What is the current job market like? Any insight/assistance you can provide will be greatly appreciated.
The pace of life is slower here, but there are lots of things to do and everyone is friendly. Some people adjust easily to the changes and others have a harder time. It all depends on someone's attitude an expectations when they arrive. If you arrive expecting it to be exactly like where you came from, you will probably be irritated when you find out that it is different. If you arrive ready to embrace the experience and to take the oddities in stride as part of the whole thing then you may have a great time.
There are a variety of hotels, guest houses, B&B's, etc. that you can choose from for PMV housing. Some options are a little more affordable. Most flights to STX are routed through San Juan, Puerto Rico and you catch a commuter flight from there to St. Croix. Some of the cheaper flight options are usually found from Jet Blue or Spirit Air.
The job market is usually pretty tight. There is a great need for additional law enforcement officers. The question is if they will cooperate with giving your husband a lateral transfer or if they will try to freeze him out because he's not originally from here. If he has any special training, that makes it much easier to get hired onto the local law enforcement roster. There are also lots of jobs available with security companies if he'd be interested in that variation on his work.
There are house and condo rentals available. They are tougher to come by from November through early April and now the housing market is showing a little more vacancy. Pet-friendly rentals are always in short supply. You should also be aware that the rental rates here are often higher than they would be for comparable properties in most other places (other than large cities like NYC where the rates are astronomical, of course!) due to the Hovensa oil refinery and all the contract labor they bring to the island. The refinery provides a housing stipend to their workers from off-island and that has increased the average rental rates to be found.
Hello there! I think Alexandra did a great job of providing food for thought and things to consider in making such a move.
Should you decide to follow through, I did want to let you know that I have both a large guest room if you do a pre move visit (near Christiansted) as well as a 2 bedroom condo for rent. I would of course suggest, as did Alexandra, coming for a visit or two prior to committing to move.
One 'poster' on this board considered his time in the Caribbean a 'sentence', and I have found it to be much like coming home after many years of not having roots. Everyone is so individual, that I imagine everone's experience is different, and probably falls in the spectrum in between "being sentenced" and "coming home".
If you have any specific questions, or if using quest quarters for a visit would be helpful, please just contact me at Affiliationllc@aol.com
Best wishes to you,
St Croix is certainly not for everyone - would you be held to a certain length of time here with the Gov. - could you transfer off the island easily if you found it intolerable..and not everyone is friendly -that is a might idealistic.
PMV's are an absolute must - we look at our time there as a 5 yr PMV.