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Why do people leave the VI?

 
wanderer
(@wanderer)
Trusted Member

So I've read a lot of stories about people moving *to* the islands but not a lot of stories about people moving away *from* the islands. From various sources, it looks like the reasons might be:

- crime
- high cost of living
- high unemployment
- island "fever"
- bad infrastructure (government, roads, police, hospitals)

Any other categories?

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Topic starter Posted : February 18, 2014 7:03 pm
Linda J
(@Linda_J)
Expert

We left because of family problems back in the states. Otherwise we would still be there. When we left 2 years ago, most people were leaving for personal reasons rather than any external ones.

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Posted : February 18, 2014 7:12 pm
Alana33
(@alana33)
Expert

Costs of electricity that effects everything!

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Posted : February 18, 2014 7:27 pm
Rowdy802
(@Rowdy802)
Trusted Member

Hovensa clousure...

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Posted : February 18, 2014 7:30 pm
Alana33
(@alana33)
Expert

There are all kinds of reason people leave, personal or economical.
As has been stated before, "Island life is not for everyone" and sometimes as one gets older priorities change and it's time to make the move for whatever reason. Why do people come here and then complain about it?

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Posted : February 18, 2014 7:40 pm
JulieKay
(@JulieKay)
Trusted Member

We left because we could no longer purchase individual health insurance, the current state of the medical system on STX, and the logistics of frequent business travel now that Hovensa is closed, i.e. there are not as many flights and they are not at good times.

Crime was a secondary reason, but not a primary reason.

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Posted : February 18, 2014 7:40 pm
JulieKay
(@JulieKay)
Trusted Member

Most of our friends who have left lately have cited economic reasons (i.e. loss of job or income), the medical system, and/or loss of local businesses due to the Hovensa closure.

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Posted : February 18, 2014 7:42 pm
roadrunner
(@roadrunner)
Trusted Member

I wonder what the statistics are on population turnover in the VI versus another similarly-sized community on the mainland. And for what it's worth, I left because I can make twice as much on the mainland doing the same job in a much more supportive/less stressful workplace, and I actually feel appreciated at work and enjoy my coworkers, who not only do their jobs well but are cheerful and fun to be around.

That said, I miss a lot of the non-work things about the VI (and some of the people I worked with).

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Posted : February 18, 2014 8:31 pm
speee1dy
(@speee1dy)
Expert

illnesses, sick relatives, lack of convenience, lack of easy travel, lack of road trips, lack of options, lack of quality health care,lack of cultural things to do ( opera, museum, quality plays ), high cost of electricity. high crime.....,..

we still live here still think it is beautiful but it does have a lot of problems

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Posted : February 18, 2014 9:06 pm
Exit Zero
(@exit-zero)
Trusted Member Registered

Depending on your career choice many people leave because of the lack of personal advancement possibilities and even the definite liklihood that your experience will not keep current with stateside opportunities and becoming obsolete after years here. It is certainly one of the underlying causes of our young people not returning after college which is the brain drain affecting many small or rural communities in the states.
Personally I have seen many people leave for many reasons but a common thread is often that they don't appreciate what IS available to do here and lament the things they can't do.

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Posted : February 19, 2014 2:58 am
Native Son
(@Native_Son)
Advanced Member

So I've read a lot of stories about people moving *to* the islands but not a lot of stories about people moving away *from* the islands. From various sources, it looks like the reasons might be:

- crime
- high cost of living
- high unemployment
- island "fever"
- bad infrastructure (government, roads, police, hospitals)

Any other categories?

It is not feasible to attempt to compete with the massive amount of opportunity and convenience available in the United States, just a couple of hours away by airplane.
That being said, there are people here who can afford to live anywhere on earth, but choose St. Croix...and love it.
Living here is a deeply personal thing that has nothing to do with crime rates, WAPA, roads, services, potholes, etc.

It could be as simple appreciating that people actually stop to let you into traffic, or as complex as just feeling some sort of spiritual connection to the place...or a combination of many of those things. It could be enjoying the outpouring of community spirit at annual events like the recent Agricultural Fair. I grew up here. I lived in Williams Delight and Grove Place, and I graduated from St. Croix Central High School. I have spent a lot of time in the places that are spoken badly of on this board, and met some of the greatest people ever in those places...lifelong friends.

For me, there is no other place that I'd rather live, and I've lived in many places. I had a chat with a nice lady just last weekend (we were watching a beautiful sunset at The Beachside Café) who had lived in over 200 places and finally settled here.

Admittedly, it is not for everybody. But then, no place is for everybody. There are countless miserable people in New York, San Francisco, Chicago...all of those beautiful places with the museums, concerts, shopping malls, etc. I have been there, and seen it. You will find people complaining about the same things wherever you go, because people are people. In winter it's too cold, and in summer it's too hot. You can't please everybody.

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Posted : February 19, 2014 11:32 am
rosesisland
(@rosesisland)
Trusted Member

We left here to take care of my elderly parents, Alzheimer's and dementia. We were gone 12 years but, were able to move back in '12.

I believe people leave here for the same reasons they will leave any area. Just remember that island living is not just for anyone. I like St. Croix because it is less crowded, more laid back and we have a divided highway that you can get on a pretend you are on an actual road trip!

Recommend for you a PMV! When you live here you are NOT on a vacation! I don't work and my life here doesn't begin to look as if I were on vacation. You will still have to deal with other things you wouldn't have to while vacationing...

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Posted : February 19, 2014 11:38 am
Iris Tramm
(@Iris_Tramm)
Trusted Member

Ten year resident. Left because of job loss and poor health care options on STX.

Been gone a year. Still miss it every day. For as much as I bitched about it's failings (and OH it has them), nothing else feels like home anymore.

IT

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Posted : February 23, 2014 11:17 pm
mtdoramike
(@mtdoramike)
Trusted Member

For me, it was the lack of job opportunities.

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Posted : February 24, 2014 2:03 pm
SunnyCaribe
(@SunnyCaribe)
Advanced Member

Many peopleon this board leave because of the things the OP mentioned. Most transient people in real life leave for the same reason they came--because they are bohemian spirits who are enriched by travel and the adventure of discovering new and interesting people and places. The same urge that brings people here also carries them away to new destinations.

Having read many of the replies to this and other similar discussions lately, I am reminded of one of my favorite quotations: "you should not lug along what you are trying to leave behind." This applies most aptly to people who want to move to 'the islands' but are fettered by concerns of power outages, crime, health care, potholes and so on. If first world priviledges are in the forefront of your mind, you certainly aren't ready to leave them, and you'll be miserable here if you try.

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Posted : February 24, 2014 10:08 pm
JulieKay
(@JulieKay)
Trusted Member

Message Removed.

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Posted : February 24, 2014 10:41 pm
SunnyCaribe
(@SunnyCaribe)
Advanced Member

Message Removed.

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Posted : February 25, 2014 12:47 am
Jumbie
(@ohiojumbie-2)
Trusted Member

We left after 7 yeas (Sept 2005 - May 2012) as my wife retired May 2012.

Reasons we left: and sold our home was:

Cost of living such as groceries, home insurance, etc., much lower where we had moved from in '05. Our retirement $$ will go al lot farther.
Cost of electric 5x higher in STX than it is here in Ohio.
Health care coverage in USVI severely lacking options vs many options to us in Ohio.
Hospital on STX - very basic vs hospitals in our area.
Wanted to spend our retirement years closer to our kids and grandkids. It became too expensive for them to visit STX.

Crime had nothing to do with us moving - we never had any problems at our home in the 7 years we were there.

We truly miss our many STX friends. So for the past 2 winters have spent some time on STX "visiting".and enjoying the many positives of what St Croix has to offer.

Jumbie

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Posted : February 25, 2014 2:13 am
DixieChick
(@DixieChick)
Trusted Member

After being here almost 25 years we are leaving
In April.
It's time for a new adventure.
Health care, prices, govt all played a small
Role. Alot of friends have left or are leaving.
Will miss the island but time to say good bye.

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Posted : February 25, 2014 10:59 am
speee1dy
(@speee1dy)
Expert

dixie, you have set a date . so happy for you. did you sell the house yet

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Posted : February 25, 2014 1:13 pm
CAtoSTX
(@CAtoSTX)
Trusted Member

If/when we go it will likely be for better job opportunities for us & better educational opportunities for out kids.
Also to be closer to family, especially for our kids,

Now our daughter is in daycare so school is not an issue yet.
Job has been a constant issue for me since we moved from STX to STT... Mostly due to people not following through or wanting work for no pay.

We thought we were coming for 1 year, that was 4-1/2 years ago. Most of our wedding gifts are still in storage.

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Posted : February 26, 2014 12:34 am
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