We have another one!!!!
Hello St. Thomas,
My name is Dave and I will be arriving on the Island sometime in the second week of March (forgot the exact date). I am 25 year old recent college grad. I live up here in Indianapolis right now and I am coming down to St. Thomas in a few weeks to stay a while. Hence... "we have another one".
I am starting grad school in September and I just wanted to get a way for a while. Meaning experience a different way of life/culture. I wasn't really sure where I wanted to go, but I found a really cheap ticket (one way) to St. Thomas and I bought it. Not sure how long I will stay for sure, but I don't have to be back to the states until the beginning of September/late August.
Here's what they don't teach you in College. I am coming down with basically nothing, smart right? Like I said I am a recent college grad. How many of those do you know have a lot?
So here's the question. If any of you have any advice or suggestions to make my arrival a bit more easier, I would greatly appreciate it.
Me? I am 25, Male, extremely laid-back, like to read/write, lay around, people watch, I am extremely clean and easy to live with if any of you have a room to rent or job suggestion.
Sorry so big.
Thanks for any help.
Soon fresh off the plane
My advice, Gate? Make sure you have a return ticket...I can't begin to tell you how many people come on a one way ticket...and then regret it. Granted, you're only planning on a short stay to begin with...but I would recommend getting your return trip ticket before you come...kinda like a safety net, ya know?
Thanks for the encouragement. 🙂 At the same time... you're absolutely right. Don't know if I will actually do it before I arrive, but I appreciate the message.
I would appreciate it if you could let me know if you hear of something or know someone.
Hope all is well down south,
Good news is people with absolutely no skills, no drive, and no direction have moved down here and made a good go of it so I dont see why should have any concerns.
Come on down and enjoy yourself. If it works out....super. If not chalk it up as a great life experience and move on.
You must not be too excited about comming down, you forgot the date.:) Since I booked my ticket to come down Mar 5th, every day I could tell you how many days til I get there (22 days). LOL 🙂 I guess, I'm not really too excited, I don't know how many hours and minutes. LOL 🙂
I do know howmany months until my wife retires and we will split our time, ( 29 1/2 ) ROFL 🙂 🙂
Dave - give Ronnie a call at Villa Fairview. He has affordable housing to get you started while you get your bearings on the island and find a place to call home until you head back to grad school. There are a variety of jobs available on the islands, much of the time in positions that have high turnover, so something is always showing up. It used to be the norm for college students to take a summer or a year to explore Europe before going back to school. The exposure to other cultures and ways of life, plus roughing it somewhat for a while, can give you a lot of insight to the adult world and incentive to build yourself a solid career so you don't wind up waiting tables and hustling for odd jobs forever! My oldest son graduates from college in May. He, like you, is figuring out what to do next to transition to an entirely new life experience after a lifetime spent in school.
Most of the jobs you will be likely to pursue for a 4-5 month stay are things you mostly hear about through word of mouth. If you want to wait tables or tend bar, hang out at a few beach bars and you'll hear about those openings and others from the workers and clientele alike. You can hear about rental availability there, too. If you hit it off with someone, you may round up a roommate situation to save you some $$.
I wish you a fabulous time on STT.
I second Alexandra's post. But if you find yourself having too much fun as many as the young (especially restaurant biz) people do, don't forget to go back to school! Lucky for you you've already have a degree...because the islands do have a way of seducing people into thinking "well, I can always go next year..." Seen it happen many a time. Have fun on your time off, but remember to go back! 🙂 This message board is great but it often is geared towards an older crowd who aren't in the same position as many of the younger ones that come down. If you were coming to STX I would have more direct advice...but, try to come down with at least some cash in case ($2000) if you need to put a security deposit down for an apartment or living space and to hold you over before finding a job.
Also for temp work, the best bet is waiting tables or bartending. If you have experience that should be easy to find. Even if you don't have experience, but are willing to work hard, show up on time and be commited (and not have a serious rum problem during working hours) you can still get a bar or restaurant job. Or try crewing on some of the charter boats if you're interested in that (experience preferred, but many will train you)... For now, just find a definite place to stay for at lest your first week. (Villa Fairview perhaps?)...and the rest by word of mouth once you are down. Bars and restaurants are a good place to start for word of mouth if you don't know anyone. Make friends with the bartenders and staff and that should get you somewhere in terms of finding housing and work.
To add to my long message before.... I just thought to ask: What should I bring? I don't want to bring a lot, so what do you suggest would be the essentials for clothing while I am homeless? 🙂 Will my cell phone work down there? I don't really want to bring it, but maybe I should just in case if it will work.
Thanks for the message A Cruzan. You mentioned $2000. Well... what if I don't have that much. I just graduated college and all my savings went towards rent and bills. What do you think would be the bare minimum to come down with?
Thanks again to everyone for being helpful,
Dave - if you are arriving without much $$ in your wallet, you might want to start with a backpack of necessities such as shorts, swim trunks, t-shirts, a couple button up short-sleeved shirts, underwear, thongs, a working cell phone (cingular and sprint are the two main carriers that work here), toiletries, a towel, maybe some snorkel equipment, and don't forget a digital camera to store your memories for later in life and to share while you are here. If you are flat broke and wind up sleeping on the beach for a few days, you don't want two large pullman suitcases and a couple of carry-on bags to tote around. It's a college tradition to do the backpack trip over a summer, so go the minimalist route and enjoy the new experience. You may have a couple boxes of other items you leave with family or friends to ship to you later if you get an apartment and find you want more stuff. If you have a laptop computer, it's probably worth bringing so you can stay in touch with family and friends and even get advice from this message board after you are here. There are some places around with wireless hotspots that you can find if you make the effort.
You have proven to be most helpful. I wrote Ronnie an email at Villa Fairview. Do you think they will be willing to cut a backpacker a break? You mentioned sleeping on the beach. Is that a safe thing to do? Are there certain areas that are better than others? I'm asking because I have already thought about me having to sleep outside somewhere... I just assumed I will. Especially going down with nothing.
You also mentioned that you had a son in college. Is he in college in the states or down there? If he's in the states does that mean you have a spair room? 🙂 Just jokes (not really).
Thanks again for all your help,
Dave - I am on STX, so I don't have a room to offer you on STT. My son who is about to graduate from college is on the mainland but will undoubtedly be down when he graduates for at least a visit. Another son is here on STX and a third son is also currently in school on the mainland, but will be here for the summer. As a mother of three young men, I can empathize with your situation and hope that someone tosses some opportunities your way while you are on STT. You are most welcome to whatever info I can provide along the way.
If not $2000 bring as much as you can. You will need to be on a pretty tight budget...Figure at least $50-$80 bucks minimum per night until finding a place--where you would find these prices in season in STT I don't know, but if you took the ferry over to ST John (about a $10 ticket? I haven't done it for a while) you could stay at the Maho or cinnamon campgrounds for that .
Food--$25-$50 a day (if you don't have a kitchen for that first week) depending on your appetite (maybe you could survive on potato chips and water until the cash starts flowing...).
If you sign a lease for an apartment you will have to pay a security deposit of at least half of what the rent will be and the first months rent --I'm not familiar with St Thomas prices but on STX a studio/one bedroom in less expensive areas (like West) cost from $400-800. You can see how $$ starts to build up. If you are lucky, a room in a house or with a roommate might not charge you the security deposit. If you landed a bar job (an you are good at it) in the first couple days, that might pay your daily rate for the temp. place. But it might take some time to save up what's needed for permanent living.
Bottom line, bring as much cash as you can. Don't camp out on beaches. It really is not safe unless the beach is at a resort and they'll probably kick you off anyway...
There are also some eco-camps in St John that offere free accomadation (or heavily subsidized) in return for some work. http://www.islands.org/virgin/viers/supportstaff2.htm
Do some google searching for these kind of alternatives.
We have verizon and it did work on STX. Cloth I would bring bathing suits, some polos, shirt, shorts a nice summer pans for job interviews. Casual pair of shoe as well as a dress shoe. It really all depends what kind of occupation if any you are seaking. Roll of Quarters so you can wash them. ;)You really did not say much in your first post.
I assume that STT is the same (I'm on STX) but it wouldn't be a bad idea to get a health card immediately when you get to STT. That has helped me tremendously on STX since employers didn't have to wait for me to get one. And be outgoing! I was 23 when I moved here and I'm 25 now. I'm offered bartending positions because of the experience that I have almost every week. I can only imagine that it's the same on STT. Good luck with the move.
Here's the info about a Health Card.
Verizon works in the USVI, but they will charge you roaming at a hefty 69 c /minute. Before I moved, I used to visit and got stuck with a disgusting bill when I got back to the states. This was a few years back, but I'm still pretty sure Verizon charges roaming and STX (don't know about STT) is not in their nationwide network. Get a Sprint or Cingular phone.
I agree with setting up with Ronnie first. Have some essentials packed and ready to mail out to you by your family/friends with more essentials when you settle in. Go to the Dellydeck Restaurant or Shipwreck to see if they are hiring for servers(they both usually are) and sit at bars everywhere and introduce yourself to locals and see a lot of info. fly at you. Most locals are ready to chat and may offer great advice or you may be somewhere at the right time and find a job, housing, etc. just by chance....Good luck!
Hitchhiking is acceptable to get where you are going...in everything you do, use good common sense and take caution in your choices and you should be fine. No sleeping on the beach!!!!!