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To all who just moved to the VI

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davidryder
(@davidryder)
Advanced Member

Thanks for the kind words EngRMP.

I was half asleep last night when I wrote that up, and it took me over an hour to finish it.

Trade, I'm sorry I offended you, I was just really frustrated when I started writing. What is keeping you in the Virgin Islands if you don't mind me asking?

Just to clarify, this site has been extremely helpful. I have enjoyed all the stories and am extremely appreciative of all the answers and help I've gotten thus far. I guess what I said could have been phrased differently; my frustration was more from the combativeness of any positive remarks regarding the islands. I understand that living in the VI isn't going to be all sunshine, rainbows, and lollipops. In fact I expect it to be quite a struggle. But I just feel that if somebody wants to celebrate the beauty of the islands, why not participate rather than opposing?

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Posted : June 25, 2008 2:17 am
Trade
(@Trade)
Expert

How could you possibly offend me?

What is keeping you in the Virgin Islands if you don't mind me asking?

Because it's my home. Why else? Why are you trying to imply I hate it here?

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Topic starter Posted : June 25, 2008 9:39 am
davidryder
(@davidryder)
Advanced Member

How could you possibly offend me?

What is keeping you in the Virgin Islands if you don't mind me asking?

Because it's my home. Why else? Why are you trying to imply I hate it here?

Just curious! I'm glad you aren't offended 😀

I just thought there were some things you loved about the islands...

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Posted : June 25, 2008 9:43 am
Trade
(@Trade)
Expert

Have you ever been here? When are you moving down?

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Topic starter Posted : June 25, 2008 9:48 am
davidryder
(@davidryder)
Advanced Member

Trade: is there anything you like about the islands (Besides the fact that it's your home)?

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Posted : June 25, 2008 10:08 am
Trade
(@Trade)
Expert

Yes.

Have you ever been here? When are you moving down?

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Topic starter Posted : June 25, 2008 10:15 am
echogirl
(@echogirl)
Advanced Member

Trade,
It does sound like you hate it there and why won't you answer Davids question about what you do like there? As for having been there, I have and plan on moving next month, I've also lived in Hawaii,Alaska, and an Indian Reservation so I know about living where things aren't so great, you don't have all the luxuries you're used to, the Indian Reservation was the worst but I loved it, the people were great and if you're a nice person and can respect the locals you do fine and they love teaching you about their culture. Everyplace has negatives, but the positives usually outweigh the negatives. No place is perfect, but if you're a positive person you can find the beauty anywhere, its all about your state of mind. Life is what you make it, use standing in line to catch up on reading or listen to your ipod, .I to think there should be more positive feedback on here. What are the positive things?? Why do you live there? Were you born and raised there? Did you move down and now are stuck with no money to leave so it has to be your home? Please, just give an honest answer.
I'm sure I'll get some nasty feedback from this post, but OH WELL can't make everyone happy, does that upset me? absolutely not!

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Posted : June 25, 2008 1:14 pm
Linda J
(@Linda_J)
Expert

Those of you who are planning or dreaming about a move don't need to hear positives. The positives are obvious. What you need is a big dose of reality and that's what we are trying to provide.

What I would really appreciate is your report of your move and first 6 months living here AFTER you get here. Assuming you do make the move.

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Posted : June 25, 2008 2:03 pm
davidryder
(@davidryder)
Advanced Member

Linda, that's a jaded way to look at things don't you think? People planning or dreaming about a move do need to hear about positives. Some people need encouragement too...

Not everybody who goes there is some dumb kid that has nothing but fantasies about living in the Caribbean. And for those people that are that way, chances are they won't move anyway - or they'll shortly return to the mainland with some stories. It's a phase for a lot of people. Whether somebody likes it there or not can only be determined by that person.

I came here seeking information about what it's like living in the VI and I don't want only one side of it. I've said it before, so don't take this post the wrong way: I have been very humbled by this forum and have learned a lot. I appreciated infinitely the amount of information I have found here. It's just that I would appreciate it if members weren't so afraid to celebrate the islands for the joy they give them - or at least allow others to celebrate.

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Posted : June 25, 2008 2:35 pm
Trade
(@Trade)
Expert

Thank you, Linda.

Obviously, you haven't read my previous posts. Click on my name & read. I've lived here 26 years. I will HATE to leave. I'm not stuck. I've made a good living, have a paid for home & did it all on my own when it was tougher than it is now, but it gets really tiresome being attacked because I'm pointing out things that aren't like Peoria. For 26 years I've seen people come & mostly go because it's tough. If we get a big hurricane TONS will leave.

I've lived through those & without electricity for 3 months in one case. I've lost everything I own. I adapted to how things are which is what I keep stressing must be done. I'm tired of a couple of you sending me nasty PM's after I've asked that they stop. I live here. You don't. I post reality. Yes, it's beautiful. Yes, it's a slower pace of life. Yes, I feed the sugar birds. Yes, I have a ton of friends I consider family, some who were born here. Those who leave after 6 months may miss that but if it's not for them, it's smart of them to figure that out & leave. I'd loathe living in Manhattan but I'm not saying it's a horrible place to live.

And why won't David answer whether he's ever been here?

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Topic starter Posted : June 25, 2008 3:04 pm
echogirl
(@echogirl)
Advanced Member

I think you're all trying to make yourself feel "special" because you "made it" I'd think you were more special if you had positive outlooks on life, negativity is very ugly. Why is it so hard for all of you to talk of the positives? Do you not see any positives? I think everyone that's planning on moving there has a good idea of what to expect thanks to lots of you. Lots of people want to live lots of places and sometimes once they get there they realize its not for them, that goes for anywhere in this country. Some like the city, some the country and would hate anything else. That doesn't mean what they don't like is bad, just not their style. Its what makes the world go around, diversity. Wheres the love?? I truly hope I am fortunate enough to find positive people to be friends with when I arrive, when you're positive you attract those others like you, when you're negative you attract negativity. You know what they say, Misery loves company!
I'm moving there with an open mind and positive attitude and the information I've learned on here in the back of my mind. I'll let you know if I "make it".

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Posted : June 25, 2008 4:12 pm
EngRMP
(@EngRMP)
Advanced Member

echogirl, I might be wrong, but my sense tells me that you're misinterpreting and over-reacting a bit. Just to explore that notion, let's try this hypothetical post to you:

I'm looking for a change in my life. I'm really tired of materialism, with K-marts everywhere and everyone with big fancy cars. I saw a PBS special on an indian tribe that really looked interesting. I'm thinking of moving there in a few months. What can you tell me about the place?

Now, be honest... how are you going to provide useful info... what are you going to say... how are you going to deduce what this person really knows about their imminent change in life style? Can you really articulate a balanced, unbiased picture? Or, after seeing similar questions from 100 other similar people, are you going to focus on the most common misconceptions.

I've only been on this forum for a few months and I've already seen between 5-10 people who similarly are just thinking about moving to the USVI. The folks that live here have answered every question. Yes, they weigh their advice based on their own judgments and experiences.

My advice is: if you want more information, all you have to do is ask more questions... you're smart enough to filter out what doesn't apply... do you really want to spend your time looking into the mouths of gift horses?

Believe it or not, I'm really just trying to help to move this along... I hope I haven't just stirred the pot one more time around...

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Posted : June 25, 2008 4:51 pm
echogirl
(@echogirl)
Advanced Member

Just to clear up what you're saying and explain what I'm all about, I didn't just think it would be cool to live on an indian reservation, I do healthcare and go into places to take care of the sick! So I see the worst of the worst lots of places. Like I've said before, I have a positive attitude everywhere I go and keep an open mind and always do well, never have I had issues anywhere that I've spent time living and working. I'm an adult who knows how to make informed decisions,never have I ever regreted anything I've ever done or been. I prefer to see the positive not the negatives. I still have not heard you say whats positive about living there?? Why can you not talk about that aspect of it?? As for me, I'm no longer going to use this board, its become way too negative for me. I love life and will continue to do so when I arrive there.

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Posted : June 25, 2008 5:32 pm
EngRMP
(@EngRMP)
Advanced Member

Echogirl,
I hope that I haven't chased you away. Just to make sure that I'm not chasing you away on a misunderstanding:
- I'm not sure if you're directing your questions to me now,
- if so, I can't answer your questions about the positives vs negatives... I don't live in the USVI yet.
- I am like you... seeking answers
- I can only advise on a possible approach to using these boards.

I personally hope that you stay involved with this board. You bring another voice and spirit, and think of questions that the rest of us haven't. Your thoughts and opinions are just as important as anyone else's.

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Posted : June 25, 2008 6:02 pm
Linda J
(@Linda_J)
Expert

Ok, I give up.

Positives of living on STX

1. Weather is temperate, no snow in winter, no 100 + in summer.

2. The people on STX are pleasant and friendly, a little reserved, but that's fine with me.

3. Perfect for diving (we learned after we moved) and snorkeling.

4. Good for lying on the beach with a book and a glass of iced tea.

5 Rum and gas are cheap.

Otherwise it's like living in a small town anyplace in the continental US.

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Posted : June 25, 2008 6:35 pm
terry
(@terry)
Expert

Linda,
I may be wrong, but I think that those two are over compensating a little. Maybe some of their friends or family are telling them what fools they are to move. We have seen the same thing with people who didn't like it there, and seemed to over compensate the opposite way, everything negative as if they have to justify why they left. Jane seemed to be a little that way.
We as humans usually only see what we want to see. Yes there are many nice things about the VI, but there are many not nice things as well. Sometimes we have to over compensate a little to keep us going in the direction we think we want to go.

Personally I love it down there, and wish we could move full time. In a way I wish I had never come to STX. Before going to STX instead of the Caymen Islands for a dive trip, I thought I would never want to leave AZ. I think I have a great life here. I get to work from the house on peoples street rods, something I have always loved doing. I make great money, can set my own hours, and no bosses except Annie. But after seeing STX, I am getting to see everything here in the bad light. Everything there is wine (Rum) and roses. Not a care in the world. No money problems, perfect weather..... Oh now here i go!:D

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Posted : June 25, 2008 7:59 pm
morna
(@morna)
Advanced Member

Linda, you forgot...no sales or state taxes! 😉

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Posted : June 25, 2008 8:15 pm
dougtamjj
(@dougtamjj)
Expert

Well guys, if you think the answers you are getting are negative try reading the posts 2 years ago when I first moved here. I was afraid to stick my head out the door and cried for 5 weeks thinking I had made the worse decision in my life.

Trade is so pro Virgin Islands and one of the most helpful people on this message board. Linda J has always said she and her husband have a great life here. It wasn't so long ago that Trade was called the leader of the cheerleader brigade. Why don't you two go back and read some of her posts. I think a nerve was struck when you said the answers you were getting lacked insight and honesty. You are getting insight and honesty but it isn't what you want to hear. No one on the message board has anything to gain by telling you what to expect. Take it for what it is and come or don't come but trust me you are getting very honest information. In any case you are an adult and can do what you will. Go for it. Good luck.

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Posted : June 25, 2008 8:21 pm
davidryder
(@davidryder)
Advanced Member

dougtamjj, I started a thread about VI culture and was hoping newcomers & regulars would share & participate. The first several comments were about how horrible the economy was and how the pictures I posted don't represent the culture on the VI. That was it. There were no corrections, no participation, just an overall bad spirit that ended up ruining the thread.

I don't know what I said to lead anyone to believe that I don't want to hear about the negatives in the VI. That's one of the reasons I'm here. But I also like to hear about the positive. In that thread that I started it was inappropriate - IMHO - for some to act the way they did. That was just one instance.

It's not the fact that people are sharing negative aspects of the islands - that's expected, appreciated, and very welcomed - it's the off-hand and useless remarks that don't add to the discussion and the reluctance to share anything positive that irked me. This is the last time I am going to comment on this matter, as I have received enough PM's from newcomers & regulars to make me feel confident that my approach or attitude is not incongruous to the mission of these forums.

Please please please don't misconstrue my comments. I am a very understanding & compassionate person and I do listen very carefully. I read about 15 pages of threads before I even posted anything here. I don't only see or hear what I want; I have had some powerful realizations in my short 2 weeks here. But I, along with several others, feel that there are some people that don't want to share in the happiness the VI has to offer - possibly in fear that it will give people false hopes. Any attempt to be positive is met with near hostile negativity. It's the equivalent to trying to knock happiness down a notch.

I am past all of this and done with it. I don't hold silly grudges and am perfectly capable of having a civil discussion in another thread like none of this happened. We all obviously share different views on life and if we just all attempt to realize that it may be easier to coexist. Again, sorry for the long-winded post, I just want to feel welcome here and be able to participate in discussions civilly with everyone here.

Sometimes to get along you have to go along. And with that said, I think I will follow my own advice and use it in the future 😀 :@) 😎

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Posted : June 25, 2008 9:00 pm
Trade
(@Trade)
Expert

*-)

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Topic starter Posted : June 25, 2008 9:32 pm
dougtamjj
(@dougtamjj)
Expert

No problem David. Just wanted to point out that neither Linda J or Trade are negative about moving to the VI and both are very active in answering questions, sometimes the same ones over and over. They have a lot more patience than I do. Also I didn't see a negative comment from either one of them on your VI culture post. They honestly try and help. Me, however, I think you should just do what ever you want. I am a newbie here and I didn't want to hear anything bad when I moved here.. I just thought to myself, these people are big crybabies. ROTFLMAO now. Believe me the advice you are getting is great. I say just come on down and find out for yourself. It is quite an adventure. Hopefully you will love it as much as I do. Good Luck.

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Posted : June 25, 2008 9:43 pm
truebluefan
(@truebluefan)
Advanced Member

echogirl wrote:
"never have I had issues anywhere that I've spent time living and working. I'm an adult who knows how to make informed decisions,never have I ever regretted anything I've ever done or been."

wow! how many of us "adults" can say that?

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Posted : June 25, 2008 9:58 pm
puddlejumper
(@puddlejumper)
Advanced Member

I followed this board before I moved here. I too thought there was a lot of negativity here. I have lived on St John full time now since Aug '07. I know now what I thought (or perceived) to be negativity was not the case. It was well informed and truthful replies to newbies questions. I am still a newby, but know and appreciate what the old timers post here is truth and very helpful. Not that anybody here is old. oops. 🙂

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Posted : June 25, 2008 10:28 pm
SunOrSki
(@SunOrSki)
Advanced Member

This thread has been like a soap opera, you hate to admit watching but can't help yourself 😉

I do think it's a little ironic that this thread was started by Trade pretty much welcoming us newbies for the interesting new posts. It's only my guess but I got the impression one of the newbies Trade was referring to was David because David has been so active.

David, I do not think Trade derailed your thread about VI culture. It's a great thread and lots of people have enjoyed it. I'm pretty sure that's the thread Rotorhead shared photos of the Contessas castle . . . I always wanted to see that place up close, so thank you!

I first found this forum last December just after making an offer to buy the house there I now own. I don't think I ever thought there was a negative tone, I appreciate the honesty and have grown to consider this the place to get real answers for real issues down there. I know why I bought a house - the weather, the water, the view from my gallery, the slower pace, the friendly smiles, the local families playing at the beach on Sundays, eating breakfast while watching the gecko family on my gallery that never seems to be able to catch that nasty fly, the sound of the mourning doves my BF said were frogs, leading to those huge ass frog/toads/whatever living in the pump room that freak me out, the neighbor who did not offer even a gallon of water when our cistern was dry for 2 days (i found it more amusing they did not offer than annoying), and just the plain ability to spend 24/7 together or apart as a couple while we are there because we are so freakin' busy when we are not there.

I would love to live there full time, but financially it's just not practical right now. We are not ready to pull the plug on our current lifestyle, maybe one day we will be, maybe never. I don't even care because I love my life just the way it is.

From this forum, I kept lists of things I needed to remember, I know the advice here has saved me a lot of time and aggravation. I personally like to keep my expectations low so I can celebrate when things turn out better. I love to celebrate so I make it easy.

On last visit, I rented a PO Box at the Frederiksted post office. I had my drivers license, warranty deed to prove I owned a house on island (I would have never known I would need that if someone had not said so) and my SS card (which I did not need, but someone recommended taking). I expected the process to take hours. Maybe I lucked out but it took me about 5 minutes in line (watching their TV) to get the application, another 5 to complete it, another 2 in line again and then a whopping 10 minutes (2 spent watching the clerk rescue my drivers license she accidentally dropped behind the counter) before I was handed my keys. I can tell you the po I use here in Baltimore is not as efficient or as friendly as the one there. So, the experience gave me several things to celebrate.

See, there's a positive story . . . but it could have been very negative had other people not shared their experiences here.

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Posted : June 25, 2008 11:35 pm
Gerie
(@Gerie)
Advanced Member

I've been reading this board for years. I've known for many years that I will be moving to the islands, either St. Thomas or St. Croix, upon retirement. I've dreamed of moving sooner, but that would not be a sensible move. The day I will become a resident of one of the islands will now be in 5 or 6 years. Am I eager, excited? You bet!

I have been visiting St. Thomas annually for two weeks since 1997. It's usually my only vacation each year. Naturally when I'm there most of the time is spent visiting many different wonderful beaches sunning and snorkeling, gazing at beautiful baubles downtown, dining at wonderful restaurants. I return to a resort room where I don't have to be concerned about electric costs, water usage, clean sheets and towels, landscaping, appliance repair, grocery shopping, medical care, the government and infrastructure, hurricane preparedness. I just need to know that the maid has left a clean, well supplied room. My only care is that there are lots of pretty fishies in the water when I'm snorkeling, that the restaurants will give me a really good table with a view, I don't get a bad sunburn, and that I don't feel a single raindrop during my two week stay. Those are the only concerns a vacationer should have.

However, when I do make the move my concerns will change. For that reason the postings about daily life and routines on the islands have been invaluable to me, preparing me for situations that would never occur on Long Island, for inconveniences and costs that would be shockers if encountered without prior warning. Can I live with these differences? I believe I can. I hope I can. I want to be able to. I do not feel I am getting negative feedback. I feel I am being prepared for things that will be different from my current way of life. Folks aren't saying, "Don't come!" They say, "Please be advised..." The transplants from the mainland who have made the islands their homes have also faced the challenges of life in the Virgin Islands and have been able to adjust to it. They've made living in the islands work for them. It is now their home, and apparently they find many many positive things about island living to remain there. Those who did not like island life for any number of reasons have moved from the islands back to the mainland, and for the most part have discontinued posting.

One quite obvious positive aspect to living on any Virgin Island is the ability to establish oneself in a community. It is very clear from reading these boards. There is a friendliness and caring. They are involved in civic-minded activities and volunteering. They voluntarily offer advice to complete strangers asking questions about living on their islands. From this I anticipate having more of a sense of neighborliness than I do in these overcrowded suburbs I call home. When I visit St. Thomas and sit in Delly Deck for breakfast I watch how everyone greets one another, sits for a moment for conversation, inquires about family members. I cannot wait to share in that familiarity. I feel it in each post from all the residents on this board.

If I were really organized, I would put all concerns about moving into a PMI chart: Positives, Negatives and Interesting points. From a New Yorker's perspective I can fill in a few off the top of my head just for starters:

Positives:
Never have to wear socks again
No need to shovel the driveway to get the car out to go to work in February
Can see your toes in the water when swimming
Significantly lower real estate taxes
Much lower car insurance premium
No need to buy fuel oil to heat the house
Never have to buy anything stuffed with "down"

Negatives:
Electric rates
Water use concerns
Merchandise availability
Potential rock fever
Separation from family
Health care

As stated by another poster who was helped prepare for getting a post office box, the residents who tell it like it is are not being negative, are not telling you not to make the move, but are just warning you about some things that can be expected to be different from your experiences on the mainland.

Please embrace the advice, suggestions, realities from the local posters as the help they are intended to be. Realize that if they did not think they were living in a wonderful place, they would not be there for so many years. All prospective transplants know the plus side of a move also, or else why even consider it. We don't just need affirmation of the obvious.

I will continue to read until I make the move, and be thankful for being so very well prepared when I do.

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Posted : June 26, 2008 12:26 am
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