Yearning to Move to the Virgins
I am a divorced mother of 3 daughters, my eldest 21 attending is a graduate student, my middle graduating from high school this year, and my youngest will be 5 in December. I have always committed to providing the best lifestyle for my girls (I moved from North to South) and giving them the opportunity to enjoy clean wholesome living. Since visiting the Virgin Islands a few years ago, I have had a yearning to live there on a full time basis. My daughters have been in agreement with me about the islands being a great place to put down roots. I am a licensed foster parent, as well as a trainer of foster parents (which I don't have any foster children in my home at the moment) and I am also an evening undergrad college student in my town, majoring in psychology. I have being doing much research and have come to the conclusion that Saint Croix will be my home, eventually.
I am not rich, but am very resourceful. What are the chances of myself and my girls making a good transition to the island lifestyle? Are there apartments of small homes for rent at affordable rates. I have not secured employment yet, but hopefully I will be successful in that area. I have been able to financially maintain a comfortable and somewhat frugal lifestyle here on the mainland, but how difficult, if at all, will it be to live on a modest income. Also, please give some advice on areas in which to live that are affordable, as well as safe for my family. I intend to make a short visit in the very near future, so that I may feel out the island, but any information that anyone can share with me would be greatly appreciated.Thanks in advance.
The first thing I would ask is about your savings. If I was going to try this, I would want NO LESS than $20,000 in hand for the move. That would get you here, get you settled in a home and give you 2-3 months cushion to find a job.
If you have that, then you need to do decide if you want to move, and start your planning. If you don't. I would suggest a lot more research.
Like everyone else is going to tell you, come for a visit and check it out. STX could always use a psychologist and some foster parents. You have to see if you and your family likes STX and can function here. There's quite a few challenges, cost of living is high, the public schools may not work for your daughter and so on. The good people on this board can answer some of your specific questions.
I will tell you that if STX gets into your soul like it did me you won't be able to live any where else, despite the challenges. good luck.
Also, you will probably want your daughters to get a much better education than the public schools can provide....and a better experience, too...Country Day is pretty good.
Life is a slower pace here, so your mainland attitude will need to remain there!
Housing is different here too. ...... hard to describe until you're here, but what you get for the money in the states will surprise you how little you get here.
What standards you're accustom to.........reliable electric, nonstop free flowing water, real hi-speed Internet, and always finding your favorite anything at the store every week.......so if you see something you like buy 2 or 3 coz it might NEVER be seen again.
Then if your girls are squeamish about bugs, lizards, bats & other creepy crawly things, they 'll need to get over that quickly!!! They are everywhere! I love the lizards/geckos & they help by eating bugs.
Finding a job here is also time consuming. You may not find anything with your back ground or experience, so be prepared to try something different. plus the hiring process is slower too.
Think really hard about your idea of moving here, paradise isn't always what it seems when you live here. Its not for everyone!!!
Hopefully you know someone here prior to moving.............trust me it helps!!!!
Good Luck in your quest for a better life & possibly welcome to STX.
Unless you've actually visited STX (or any island where you think you'd like to live) "Yearning to Move to the Virgins" is just that a "yearning". Ask yourself, would you move to another town in your home state without first checking out the town, housing, schools, etc.??? Would you buy a car without doing a test drive? Do yourself a favor, read EVERYTHING on this website/forum and you'll find lots of usefull information.
Regarding "lifestyle" questions, only YOU can answer those questions - life in the USVI's is not necessarilly better or worse than where you are now it's just different. Living expenses are often higher and wages are usually less than where you now live so be prepared for making some major concessions. Budget "extra" for private schooling for your children if you want them to get a good education.
Understand too, that many "newbies" develope "rock fever" - a feeling of being trapped on the island with no place to go. The island is small and similar to living in a small town without the ability to get in your car and drive an hour or so to the big city. instead, you have to fly to San Juan or Miami if you want a taste of "sophistication".
Do your research first hand - don't rely on others to plan how YOU will live and work.
Good Luck in following your "Yearning"!!!