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Which Island Should I Move To?  

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Olivia12
(@Olivia12)
Active Member

Hello!

My name is Olivia and I am moving to the VI in August. I'm 25 years old and moving by myself. While I have many, many questions- I figure I'll start with which island should I move to? I have never been, but everyone tells me that St. John is the way to go. However I hear that St. Thomas is cheaper with more opportunity. I want to work and live on the same island. I plan on working in a restaurant or hotel until I find a non-profit organization to get involved in. So, I guess I'm asking for advice or pro's and con's of living/working on each island.

I realize I haven't been before, but I'm positive that this is what I want to do. Island life seems to fit me perfectly. Yes, I do plan on having an emergency fund if things don't work out.

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Posted : January 23, 2017 5:05 pm
Alana33
(@Alana33)
Expert

STT.

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Posted : January 23, 2017 5:11 pm
tedc
 tedc
(@tedc)
Advanced Member

STJ.

(figured that's just what we're doing, no reasons, just three-letter answers?)

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Posted : January 23, 2017 5:21 pm
Olivia12
(@Olivia12)
Active Member

Advice would be great! Why STT or STJ? I would love to hear your input as I won't be able to visit before I move.

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Posted : January 23, 2017 5:34 pm
Alana33
(@Alana33)
Expert

STJ is smaller, more expensive, harder to find jobs, harder to get around without a car. It is lovely as is STT, STX. Each island has its pro's and con's but think STT would give a wider variety of job opportunities as well as for meeting people in your age bracket. STT also has its challenges as does STX with public transportation and IMO, a dependable car is necessary, especially getting to and from work, shopping, going out or to beach. Basically, getting anything done.

Try to find job, first, then find where to live in nearby proximity. You don't want long commute, especially in dead of night on our ill lit, pothole riddled roads. Good luck to you.

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Posted : January 23, 2017 6:03 pm
speee1dy
(@speee1dy)
Expert

at your age and the job you want, i would go for STT

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Posted : January 23, 2017 6:39 pm
tedc
 tedc
(@tedc)
Advanced Member

The answers are totally accurate.

Without seeing each island first-hand, there's no way to determine what your best fit is - STT is definitely "easier" in most ways - expenses, getting around, more jobs, more people, more apartments, more potential friends.

STJ, for its size, does have a lot of tourism, and a lot of 20-somethings working bar and restaurant jobs.

Both have many active non-profits, whenever you decide to make that move.

STJ tends to be more desirable in terms of green space - National Park beaches, endless hiking, undeveloped areas. That comes with the downside of the expense, and tons of tourists. STT has great out-of-the-way areas (I like the entire northwest corner of the island!), but living out there stretches your commute and the drive home after drinks.

In the end, you're not locked in beyond your lease term - so you could always test the waters with the easier move to STT and decide the slower, smaller island is a better fit after 6 months or a year. (I did this, and am happy I started this way, as I can defend STT as being more than just the dump and the airport when someone who has never seen most of the island pipes up...)

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Posted : January 23, 2017 8:38 pm
SausageInTheCan
(@SausageInTheCan)
Advanced Member

PMV

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Posted : January 23, 2017 9:56 pm
Exit Zero
(@exit-zero)
Trusted Member

STT and STX are more accepting of new residents like yourself. And they both have a more varied economic community. STJ , while beautiful in physical terms has a very snobby and clique undercurrent of a noveau riche cultural bent -- [ sometimes called St Marthas syndrome].

Even though I have lived on STT for over 4 decades I am still treated like a tourist when I visit STJ --- usually by people who have only been there a few months.

You will find STT has a more year round vibrant activity level, STX is quieter but still a year round economy -- STJ is crowded busy during the winter months when the multi million dollar villas are rented but remains very expensive to live on year round.

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Posted : January 23, 2017 9:57 pm
mtdoramike
(@mtdoramike)
Trusted Member

To me, at 25 years of age, it would have to be St. Thomas with all that night life and living to do that is where I would be. But any Island is what you make of it and you would enjoy any of the three.

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Posted : January 23, 2017 11:34 pm
East Ender
(@east-ender)
Expert

Sez Exit Zero: "Even though I have lived on STT for over 4 decades I am still treated like a tourist when I visit STJ --- usually by people who have only been there a few months."

This is my biggest complaint about St John. When you talk to the server you don't recognize, they act as though they are superior to all on earth because they moved to St John last month.

To the OP: IF you aren't sure where you want to go, either come for a visit, or pick one and see how it works out. Good luck!

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Posted : January 24, 2017 12:18 am
stjohnjulie
(@stjohnjulie)
Trusted Member

Yup. That happens. I recently was snubbed by a hostess at a place that I know I've clocked more hours at than she has over the years. I don't go out much these days, and when I went out for a glass of wine and an app the other day I didn't recognize a single person while I was walking through town. Lots of 20 somethings on St. John that last a couple of years and then move on. Most of the people that I know that have been here a long time don't really hang out in town much. We do do parties though 🙂 Beach parties mostly with tons of food, friends, and family. I happen to like St. John quite a bit. Lots of green space, very small town type of community, and the snobs don't really bother me because I rarely have to deal with them.

Sez Exit Zero: "Even though I have lived on STT for over 4 decades I am still treated like a tourist when I visit STJ --- usually by people who have only been there a few months."

This is my biggest complaint about St John. When you talk to the server you don't recognize, they act as though they are superior to all on earth because they moved to St John last month.

To the OP: IF you aren't sure where you want to go, either come for a visit, or pick one and see how it works out. Good luck!

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Posted : January 24, 2017 6:44 am
stcmike
(@stcmike)
Advanced Member

Manhattan

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Posted : January 24, 2017 8:21 pm
MaryZ67
(@MaryZ67)
Active Member

Find a short term rental for a while when you first move so you have some time to explore and check out different areas before you commit to something more permanent.

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Posted : January 25, 2017 4:30 am
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