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What was your biggest challenge when you relocated to STX?

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srooney
(@srooney)
Active Member

I'm very grateful to have this message board for information about relocating to STX. There is so much useful information, but I'd like to dig a little deeper and I'm hoping the people here can help.

Everyone has talked about the high price of food, electricity, and water. There has been discussions on the crime on the island. The refinery closing has been a huge blow and it will affect the economy in a many ways.

These are all important subjects for anyone thinking about moving to STX, but I'd like to know what the biggest challenge(s) people have faced when they moved to the island. Was it the price of products? Availability of products? The culture? Employment? The people on this board who live/lived on STX have had to face situations that they weren't expecting (or were they?), and I'd like to get a clearer picture of what to expect from the people that faced them and how they learned to adjust to them.

If this subject has been covered before, I apologize for taking up space.

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Topic starter Posted : January 29, 2012 2:33 pm
gonetropo
(@gonetropo)
Advanced Member

My advice to you would be before making plans to move anywhere is that you plan a trip here for as long as possible so that you can answer your quesitons first hand. We have lived all over the world and on two other islands in the Caribbean and this has been for us the most expensive place to live by far and with the closing of Hovensa, it is only going to get more expensive.

You really need to determine if the life style, weather, sand, sea, etc. outweigh the high cost of living here. We like it here but for many, it is not paradise. The beauty of paradise dissipates quickly when your bank account is empty!

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Posted : January 29, 2012 3:43 pm
speee1dy
(@speee1dy)
Expert

the high cost of items at grocery stores/not being able to find all that you might need for a recipe at ANY grocery store even after having visited all of them. The rudeness of others especially the lack of good customer service.

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Posted : January 29, 2012 4:04 pm
STXBob
(@STXBob)
Trusted Member

- We moved into a new property that wasn't quite ready. It had no electricity or running water for the first 2 weeks, and we had to oversee a hundred little problems while construction was finished. It was a new vacation rental villa, so we also had to set up much of the house and figure out policies for everything. There were a lot of new things to learn about, like generators, cisterns, centipedes, green pool water, etc.
- The weather was unusually rainy, hot and humid that summer (2005).
- Driving on the left. It took about a week to get comfy.
- Getting lost occasionally while driving.
- Forgetting to pay our credit card bill in all the excitement of moving and settling in.
- Finding the right social life. There were lots of people, places and activities to experience.

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Posted : January 29, 2012 4:08 pm
HappyFace
(@HappyFace)
Advanced Member

I've seen more people go back to the States because they miss their families or are required to join their families support system.

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Posted : January 29, 2012 5:03 pm
Iris Tramm
(@Iris_Tramm)
Trusted Member

Quality health care. It does not exist at any price.

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Posted : January 30, 2012 4:55 am
DonExodus
(@DonExodus)
Advanced Member

Lack of singles.

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Posted : January 30, 2012 1:22 pm
JulieKay
(@JulieKay)
Trusted Member

I agree with HappyFace, probably the hardest thing for me so far since I've moved full-time to stx is missing my family. It isn't that far back (a plane ride) but there's a mental distance.

Second probably has been the bugs, and the constant cleaning. We don't have A/C, which is nice for breezes, but the bugs and dirt get in. I've had to modify my judgment of "clean" somewhat. 🙂

Last is probably just meeting people. I'm blessed to already have friends here (and I moved here to be with my boyfriend) - not sure how it would go if I really knew nobody and arrived cold turkey on island. Most people are friendly and outgoing, but hesitant to make friends (at least, not as easily as it is in TX). I think it may be because they want to wait and see if you make it for the long haul, who knows. In Texas you could meet someone at a bar, strike up a conversation, and then plan to meet up for lunch the next day. I'm finding that harder here, and actually am having to tone down my natural friendliness quite a bit as a result.

Food prices haven't been a big deal to me, most likely because we eat a lot of vegetables and I don't buy many packaged foods. Some things you can't get here I ship from the mainland. Electricity hasn't been a big deal either - it's about the same as in Texas, but I had A/C there and it was hot, so the bills are a wash for me. I know for some people it's shockingly high.

Oh, and the mosquitos! I'm about to start a thread to get advice on being less delicious. 🙂

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Posted : January 30, 2012 1:22 pm
watruw8ing4
(@watruw8ing4)
Trusted Member

Besides not finding what you want, when you want it, in the stores? Warranty repairs! Took us about a year to replace a lemon oven, and well over a month to get a tiny doohicky fixed on a new tv, because we had to go through each brand's "authorized" service repairmen (one of which lived in PR and only got to the island once every 2-3 weeks).

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Posted : January 30, 2012 1:31 pm
poorthang
(@poorthang)
Advanced Member

The....PO PO (police are not community servants....more like wannabe thugs!Can't seem to trust any one with a badge. Sad situation.

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Posted : January 30, 2012 9:47 pm
Hiya!
(@Hiya!)
Trusted Member

There is No One Thing. One Thing can be overcome.

It's usually several things. Many don't really think about how much they will miss family and friends and how expensive it will be to go home and how every "vacation" will really be a trip to your stateside home and not a vacation. Many just can't adapt to the culture. Many can not make it work financially. Often times in a couple one person will love it and the other hate it. Crime for others.

Basically as a newcomer you think you know how it will be cause everyone is telling you what to expect. But that's like telling someone what they will be like or what it will feel like to be a parent. It's like it is with everything in life, you will not know until you experience it. But the truth, the facts are most go back. So, come but have your eyes wide open and come with a exit strategy. Don't spend your retirement money to come here. Or risk your children's educations. Use caution and you are much more likely to have less regrets. I don't think regrets come from Not trying things but from doing foolish things.

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Posted : January 31, 2012 12:45 am
coolchica27
(@coolchica27)
Advanced Member

My goodness, it isn't any one thing. I lived on STX for four years. Great decision professionally, sucked in every other aspect. Not even sure where to begin. Good vacations became a thing of the past, as every "vacation" became a trip home to alleviate homesickness. Grocery shopping is a joke...the only decent places to shop are FoodTown and Schnooer Bay, unless you want to be overcome with utter, sheer ghetto-ness; the police are a sickening joke, as is the local government; the "locals" are incomprehensibly rude, I'll-mannered and narrow-minded; and that was during good times. Don't believe me, look at the sorry state of affairs right now. I get a real kick out of reading posts on tourism in the Vi, especially STX. Crucians aren't ready for tourists, unless it is to commit crimes against them.

Believe what people are saying. I sank about 10-12k in relocating to the VI and lost four precious years I won't get back. Forewarned is fore-armed. It is just not worth it.

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Posted : January 31, 2012 1:56 am
jbatl
(@jbatl)
Advanced Member

For me, definitely culture. Don't expect a welcome mat. Whoever said that people here look suspiciously upon newcomers to see if they can hack it is exactly correct.

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Posted : January 31, 2012 3:07 am
Iris Tramm
(@Iris_Tramm)
Trusted Member

For me, definitely culture. Don't expect a welcome mat. Whoever said that people here look suspiciously upon newcomers to see if they can hack it is exactly correct.

To be fair, that attitude is not just prevalent among the "bahn heah" locals, but also among relocatees who won't really take you seriously until you've lived here at least three to five years. A lot of the latter attitude had to do with the very real fact that many, many, many starry-eyed people relocate here only to leave, disillusioned and broke. People are skeptical about establishing relationships with what tends to be a pretty transient (or seasonal) Continental population.

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Posted : January 31, 2012 12:45 pm
jbatl
(@jbatl)
Advanced Member

For me, definitely culture. Don't expect a welcome mat. Whoever said that people here look suspiciously upon newcomers to see if they can hack it is exactly correct.

To be fair, that attitude is not just prevalent among the "bahn heah" locals, but also among relocatees who won't really take you seriously until you've lived here at least three to five years. A lot of the latter attitude had to do with the very real fact that many, many, many starry-eyed people relocate here only to leave, disillusioned and broke. People are skeptical about establishing relationships with what tends to be a pretty transient (or seasonal) Continental population.

To be fair, I see it LESS from locals than others. Maybe just me, though.

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Posted : January 31, 2012 3:56 pm
JulieKay
(@JulieKay)
Trusted Member

For me, definitely culture. Don't expect a welcome mat. Whoever said that people here look suspiciously upon newcomers to see if they can hack it is exactly correct.

To be fair, that attitude is not just prevalent among the "bahn heah" locals, but also among relocatees who won't really take you seriously until you've lived here at least three to five years. A lot of the latter attitude had to do with the very real fact that many, many, many starry-eyed people relocate here only to leave, disillusioned and broke. People are skeptical about establishing relationships with what tends to be a pretty transient (or seasonal) Continental population.

To be fair, I see it LESS from locals than others. Maybe just me, though.

My experience too. It's the relocatee folks who have been here long enough to not be "new" anymore but still wouldn't be considered "local" that I find the most standoffish. Not sure why. It isn't a rule of course, there are friendly people amongst all the different demographics here, and unfriendly ones too, but for me this has been the hardest group to fit in with.

How long does it take to be considered a "local" anyway? *grins* 😉

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Posted : January 31, 2012 4:00 pm
noOne
(@noOne)
Trusted Member

How long does it take to be considered a "local" anyway? *grins* 😉

I feel it took me about 7 years, but i am still known as "white boy John", which is a title 🙂

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Posted : January 31, 2012 4:15 pm
aussie
(@aussie)
Trusted Member

I know a prominent stateside transplant that has been here for more than 20 years. He was given this bit of wisdom by a prominent Crucian.

"It doesn't matter how long you live here. You will always be our guest."

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Posted : January 31, 2012 4:25 pm
JulieKay
(@JulieKay)
Trusted Member

I know a prominent stateside transplant that has been here for more than 20 years. He was given this bit of wisdom by a prominent Crucian.

"It doesn't matter how long you live here. You will always be our guest."

Very nice. I like!

I don't care if I'm ever considered a "local" or not - I'll just be me. 🙂

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Posted : January 31, 2012 4:37 pm
HappyFace
(@HappyFace)
Advanced Member

Aussie,
I know what you speak is true about the guest. However The Crucians do not own the island never did. There are more down islanders that claim to be crucians, but the stats prove them wrong. I own my property free and clear, pay Real Estate tax, Income tax, live on STX, and vote, but I am an American (not Crucian). I would have asked that prominent Crucian how much of the island does he "OWN"?*-)

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Posted : January 31, 2012 4:38 pm
Hiya!
(@Hiya!)
Trusted Member

There is little point in being offended by crucians not accepting you if you weren't born here. Texans do much the same thing. We'll allow you to be called Adopted but you have to be born and raised there to be a Texan. And for one large ugly state (compared to many others) we are very proud of that status. Let the Crucians have their pride. Most of them will accept you and gladly call you friend or neighbor after you get to know them. It's just like any other place, nice people and not so nice people. Part of the problem is many statesiders have never lived in another culture.

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Posted : January 31, 2012 6:41 pm
JulieKay
(@JulieKay)
Trusted Member

Agreed. I was born in Europe and lived several places there, but I lived in Texas for almost 25 years. I graduated from Texas A&M. My parents still live there. But, I've never claimed to be a Texan, other than when people ask where I'm from. I'm happy with that.

I feel the same way about STX - I'm good never being a Crucian other than when people back home ask me where I'm from in the future. But I am happy to be friend and neighbor, and that's what I'm working on. 🙂 And I hope to give back as much as I get.

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Posted : January 31, 2012 6:53 pm
katherined
(@katherined)
Active Member

I too am looking for this info...we want to move wiithin the next three months....

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Posted : January 31, 2012 7:02 pm
Hiya!
(@Hiya!)
Trusted Member

Katherined what are you talking about?

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Posted : January 31, 2012 7:04 pm
Iris Tramm
(@Iris_Tramm)
Trusted Member

For me, definitely culture. Don't expect a welcome mat. Whoever said that people here look suspiciously upon newcomers to see if they can hack it is exactly correct.

To be fair, that attitude is not just prevalent among the "bahn heah" locals, but also among relocatees who won't really take you seriously until you've lived here at least three to five years. A lot of the latter attitude had to do with the very real fact that many, many, many starry-eyed people relocate here only to leave, disillusioned and broke. People are skeptical about establishing relationships with what tends to be a pretty transient (or seasonal) Continental population.

To be fair, I see it LESS from locals than others. Maybe just me, though.

Disagree completely. The local standoffishness can be downright RUDE (i.e., "you don't BELONG here"), where as the Continental standoffishness is grounded in "we aren't sure how long you're going to be here so we don't know how much to invest in you emotionally". One is rational, one isn't.

As far as how long is long enough? If you weren't bahn heah you ain't NEVEH gonna be here long enough. They're trying to put that in the Constitution, or haven't you heard?

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Posted : January 31, 2012 7:38 pm
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