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Young Florida couple longing for Island Life

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Hatterasman
(@Hatterasman)
Active Member

Just my opinion...

Why do we give false hope to people who want to move here with nothing...

I worked my ass off for 30+ years and now can comfortably live the island life.

Why do people think that they can just drift around and expect everybody to pick them up when they haven't even tried to make a go of it in life...

Work, make some money, save... and then give it a try....

And y'all wonder why the attrition rate is so high.

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Posted : June 3, 2016 1:44 am
St X
 St X
(@St_X)
Advanced Member

A shack by the ocean may be hard to come by, but a shack with a view of the ocean could happen. Plenty of people have come here with no money and made it work (usually they're single and able to couch surf for a while).
It's not impossible. The savings just makes it easier.

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Posted : June 3, 2016 1:54 am
Exit Zero
(@exit-zero)
Trusted Member Registered

I am not one to crush anyones dreams, because I moved here sight unseen with a suitcase and enough money to last about a month and now have a comfortable lifestyle 40 years later but it took some occasional hard work along the way.

I don't know anything about Amelia and her boyfriend but what she has posted here but I think if they now have 4 jobs between them and are in debt and trying to stay afloat in Fla. with stateside wages and prices, there are few if any factors in the VI that will improve their situation and our increased cost of living and lower wage structure will further complicate their financial structure.

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Posted : June 3, 2016 4:08 am
OldTart
(@the-oldtart)
Expert

And y'all wonder why the attrition rate is so high.

I don't wonder at all. People leave for myriad reasons and the financial aspect is only one factor.

However, I agree wholeheartedly with ExitZero's summation where this young couple is concerned.

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Posted : June 3, 2016 10:03 am
speee1dy
(@speee1dy)
Expert

have you tried the keys yet? they are covered under the aca. you can drive off if you cant make it. or even some of the barrier islands florida and the carolinas have to offer? would cot less to try those especially considering your financial situation

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Posted : June 3, 2016 10:54 am
LiquidFluoride
(@LiquidFluoride)
Trusted Member

I don't wonder at all. People leave for myriad reasons and the financial aspect is only one factor.
.

For all the people I know that have left in the last 3 years it's not been for financial reasons... there are definitely other challenges here.

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Posted : June 3, 2016 12:20 pm
OldTart
(@the-oldtart)
Expert

For all the people I know that have left in the last 3 years it's not been for financial reasons... there are definitely other challenges here.

Stick around for another 30 and your frame of reference will be HUGE! 😀

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Posted : June 3, 2016 12:25 pm
AmeelsOnWheels
(@AmeelsOnWheels)
Active Member

For what it's worth, there are also plenty of people, particularly those who are young and relatively unencumbered, who simply take the plunge.

Planning and saving for 30 years sounds like torture to me, and there are plenty of opportunities for fate to squash your dreams in the span of three decades. Keep some stuff and contacts in FL, as well as a return ticket, come down and see what happens.

Some last a few weeks before retreating, some last months, some do stay forever. First weeks are obviously the hardest - but if flexible with living arrangement at first [may be month-to-month, may be a sub-let room, may find other opportunities], own good walking shoes, and network with everyone possible, the island sometimes looks favorably and aligns the stars for you. It's not a turn-key existence, unless you do have the $10-$25k most people say you "need" to start up here - which allows for instant gratification of nice apartment, a car or two, and time to find the perfect job.

Although owning property would be a wonderful goal- kids and the structure of The American Dream (saving and working a 9-5 everyday so that I can some day sit my ass in the sand) seem a little daunting to me at the moment. Luckily, I was blessed with a financially responsible father who has instilled some structure in me. I do have 2 IRA's and some stock so I'm definitely not destitute when it comes to money (for my future)-- I just want to work with what I have (right now) and do it before I'm old. And like you said, there is so much that could happen within that time frame that would inevitably, squash my dreams.

I don't think we are aiming for instant gratification.. We struggle here because connection and respect are so minimal and rare. Networking and connecting with people are two of our strong points and I don't think we would have any issues putting ourselves out there. So I believe, no matter what, we will be testing the waters in St. Croix.

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Topic starter Posted : June 3, 2016 1:06 pm
AmeelsOnWheels
(@AmeelsOnWheels)
Active Member

So basicallllyy... do get hurt, on an island with rough terrain. Or sick... should be interesting!

Meh, from what I've seen no one has insurance and the hospitals don't turn people away... not so sure how big of an issue this is... but I'm 36 & only been to the hospital "overnight" once in my life (it was here, however...).

they will take payment plans...

Shack on the ocean? how about a Tent near it? My mom lived in a tent with an extension cord from my house for MONTHS (she wanted to...)

I have two volunteers living in my house on a work/trade out program.. they pay exactly zero a month for living expenses (water, electric, internet, rent, garbage, entertainment from watching my mad farm life, I don't feed them,,,, very often). It's possible with the right personality to land a "house watching" gig as well, though not super easy.

So with all the nay sayers out there... there are options as well.... Just remember, with everything in life, drive, desire and perseverance trump all. (trump... haha!)

I would love to help out tending to a farm!

I actually stumbled across Ridge to Reef and am really intrigued by their Farming and Agritourism Internships. Looks like a lot of hard work and dedication, but might be a great way for me to dive into St. Croix. Does anyone have any thoughts on this?

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Topic starter Posted : June 3, 2016 1:10 pm
OldTart
(@the-oldtart)
Expert

We struggle here because connection and respect are so minimal and rare. Networking and connecting with people are two of our strong points and I don't think we would have any issues putting ourselves out there.

I'm curious as to what this means and, that said, not sure why you think it would be different here whatever it means. A pre move visit should definitely be on your agenda.

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Posted : June 3, 2016 1:24 pm
Alana33
(@Alana33)
Expert

If you're struggling to make ends meet in FL, take into consideration that the VI is much more expensive to live than FL. Everything costs more, plus you have the start up costs for a rental, car, utilities, groceries, household items, etc.
A pmv would be a good eye opener for you.

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Posted : June 3, 2016 1:50 pm
AmeelsOnWheels
(@AmeelsOnWheels)
Active Member

We struggle here because connection and respect are so minimal and rare. Networking and connecting with people are two of our strong points and I don't think we would have any issues putting ourselves out there.

I'm curious as to what this means and, that said, not sure why you think it would be different here whatever it means. A pre move visit should definitely be on your agenda.

Well the fact that we live in a a city with over 300,000 people in it makes it hard sometimes to feel connected. Please don't take this wrong, for I have a very close nit group of friends and business relationships but this place honestly just feels too big for me right now.
Is that so bad? Am I wrong to think that the ocean breeze can take some of the edge off of people? Or are people going to be just as abrasive and in their own world?

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Topic starter Posted : June 3, 2016 2:12 pm
AmeelsOnWheels
(@AmeelsOnWheels)
Active Member

If you're struggling to make ends meet in FL, take into consideration that the VI is much more expensive to live than FL. Everything costs more, plus you have the start up costs for a rental, car, utilities, groceries, household items, etc.
A pmv would be a good eye opener for you.

Thanks Alana, I do plan on doing a pre-move visit.

And I don't know many people my age that aren't practically living paycheck to paycheck already... I just think I'd be happier living paycheck to paycheck somewhere with lush green mountains and a beautiful ocean that I can visibly see everyday. Just that alone would make my heart happier everyday.

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Topic starter Posted : June 3, 2016 2:22 pm
rosesisland
(@rosesisland)
Trusted Member

I'm 65, first came here in '95 to live. If I had to do it all over again, I would've come here at your ages. I've seen and met plenty of young people that have come with a one-way ticket and no car and make it here just fine. If you are service orriented and friendly, you'll be fine! Some, I've met through the years, have left for many different reasons, but, they will always have the experience and STX in their hearts forever. Do it while you are young and healthy and before you have kids! Best of luck to you and come on down!

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Posted : June 3, 2016 2:24 pm
OldTart
(@the-oldtart)
Expert

Or are people going to be just as abrasive and in their own world?

Some will be that, others will be the polar opposite and many will be in the middle - just like anywhere else!

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Posted : June 3, 2016 2:30 pm
AmeelsOnWheels
(@AmeelsOnWheels)
Active Member

Or are people going to be just as abrasive and in their own world?

Some will be that, others will be the polar opposite and many will be in the middle - just like anywhere else!

well I'll take it, with a side of ocean breeze please! 😉

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Topic starter Posted : June 3, 2016 2:34 pm
OldTart
(@the-oldtart)
Expert

Just curious again, but where else other than Florida have you lived?

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Posted : June 3, 2016 3:20 pm
AandA2VI
(@AandA2VI)
Trusted Member

Thank you all--

We will definitely be doing a visit soon-- and hadn't even hoped to make a full transition until sometime next year.

So...

**transportation a must
**save up, what seems to be an unattainable, amount of money (for us at least)
**stay blessed
**come visit
**never leave

<3 🙂 <3

If you can not save 10k to come, I would highly suggest not coming other than to vacation. Sorry.

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Posted : June 3, 2016 3:44 pm
AmeelsOnWheels
(@AmeelsOnWheels)
Active Member

Thank you all for your opinions and tips. I've learned a great deal in just a few short days. I will for sure take your words into consideration when making one of the biggest decisions I've made thus far. I honestly just want to leave this thread at that, because if I have one more people suggest I won't be able to do it without 10k I might scream 😀

Ultimately we only have ourselves in the end and without risk of following our own feet we might get lost on the tracks of life. Following my heart, my feet and my dreams. See you for a visit soon :@)

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Topic starter Posted : June 3, 2016 4:07 pm
OldTart
(@the-oldtart)
Expert

I honestly just want to leave this thread at that, because if I have one more people suggest I won't be able to do it without 10k I might scream 😀

Contributors are just being realistic even though it's not what you want to hear. That $10K for a couple isn't at all unrealistic, as has been explained. Three months rent up front, an island car (you'll not be able to get around without one) and living expenses until you find jobs are just the basics and the tip of the iceberg. In over 30 years here I've seen literally thousands of people in your boat who come here with nothing, thinking that they'll be able to get by on less than a shoestring and that those green mountains and blue sea vistas and breezes will make it all work. They just don't. Good luck!

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Posted : June 3, 2016 4:39 pm
AmeelsOnWheels
(@AmeelsOnWheels)
Active Member

I honestly just want to leave this thread at that, because if I have one more people suggest I won't be able to do it without 10k I might scream 😀

Contributors are just being realistic even though it's not what you want to hear. That $10K for a couple isn't at all unrealistic, as has been explained. Three months rent up front, an island car (you'll not be able to get around without one) and living expenses until you find jobs are just the basics and the tip of the iceberg. In over 30 years here I've seen literally thousands of people in your boat who come here with nothing, thinking that they'll be able to get by on less than a shoestring and that those green mountains and blue sea vistas and breezes will make it all work. They just don't. Good luck!

I don't plan on coming with nothing man! I understand (and appreciate) everyone's realistic input on the importance of coming prepared- and for the next year my number one goal is to do just that. Save and be prepared.

Sorry if I put the idea out there that I'm just going to be flying by the string of my pants down there-- not my intention! I just have a fairly positive attitude to most everything and am a dreamer (thankfully I was blessed with a partner that grounds me- and I free him, it's a pretty good combo) We know if we do not take this seriously and with careful planning life will shit on us and we will be back at square one.

You guys have for sure instilled the financial responsibility I have to getting this to go smoothly and for that I'm thankful--

Now onto positive stuff and more planning things through

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Topic starter Posted : June 3, 2016 5:02 pm
Alana33
(@Alana33)
Expert

I don't think anyone wants to shoot your dream down, just instill a bit of a reality check as we've all seen so many people (droves) move to the VI full of dreams and expectations only to realize, sometimes in very short order, that island living, even with the gorgeous views, just isn't going to float their boat.

Good luck on the move should you desire to make it.

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Posted : June 3, 2016 5:09 pm
LiquidFluoride
(@LiquidFluoride)
Trusted Member

I actually stumbled across Ridge to Reef and am really intrigued by their Farming and Agritourism Internships. Looks like a lot of hard work and dedication, but might be a great way for me to dive into St. Croix. Does anyone have any thoughts on this?

Save your self some disappointment and avoid Ridge to Reef all together...

I know the owner and his wife, he's got that "trust fund baby" attitude and feels like he's famous or something for his .... "farm".

Of course >Full disclosure< some of this is "island drama", at least slightly... they like a guy that I despise and am trying to push out of business, and act like children about it etc etc etc.... (remember those "other challenges" I spoke of?)

There's a surprising lack of emotionally mature people here & that can be annoying at times, but not much more than that (for me at least).

If you come to visit look me up, we run the only active horse rescue (not really a farm, don't grow anything but grass for horses) in the VI & don't mind showing people the island if you don't mind seeing where the good restaurants and bars are 😉

Well the fact that we live in a a city with over 300,000 people in it makes it hard sometimes to feel connected.Or are people going to be just as abrasive and in their own world?

Don't worry, in general even the grumpy VI residents are SUPER passive aggressive.. you won't even notice the abrasiveness unless you look for it 😉

I feel you though, I moved here from a town of 250,000 that felt way too big... this place feels perfect & is still big enough that when it comes to driving out east I usually say "nah, too far".

You guys have for sure instilled the financial responsibility I have to getting this to go smoothly and for that I'm thankful--

I sold everything when I moved here, which meant I had to buy everything again... and an "island beater" (which surprisingly costs 4k+ for something reliable... I spent $2,500 thinking I was smart... It ran for 3 months before the engine destroyed itself due to shadetree mechanic "fixes" that failed) I blew through money like crazy in the begging because we had nothing.. I have a wife and kids so 10k seems too low to me; but then I was buying household goods for a family of 6... so YMMV.

take your time, clarify your goals and plan, write it down (I have dry erase boards up in half the rooms of my house, some rooms have more than 3.. WRITE IT DOWN! surprising what you can do with this little tip.. or I guess, what we've done... haha)

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Posted : June 3, 2016 9:51 pm
AandA2VI
(@AandA2VI)
Trusted Member

Laughed and thought of this post this evening as I checked out at the grocery store(s) We've been on vacation for 3 and a half weeks and cleared the fridge when we left. $550 later in groceries today. I miss my .40 orange juice and mint tea and a table full of tapas for $12. 🙁

I think the cost of everything to START UP is the real shocker. Once you have what you need and a job, its pretty smooth sailing but I HIGHLY recommend a O-S**T fund, in case things go south.. enough to fly yourselves (and your pets) home if need be. We've managed to keep our monthly cost about the same as it was for us in Arizona which is a pretty cheap cost of living. Start up, we blew through 10K in 4 months. Thats with 2 cars, first last and security on a $1200 mo place and all the furnishings. Then when we got STX I sold most of it and bought new nicer stuff as I don't plan on leaving the VI anytime soon. First round of stuff was cheap stuff.

Just more to the point that 10K is a great number to bring, especially for a couple. I would double that for a family and 1/2 that for a single. There is always a way around it but it depends on what you can live without. Personally I need a place with a WD and a view and thats not in the 700 budget the OP needs to be in. I have a lot of young friends on STT that live super simply, just work and party and are perfectly happy. All of them are shacked up with several other like minded transplants. I don't do roommates either. I'm too old of that and way to OCD - I would drive them nuts.

I've seen a dozen of my close friends leave (STT). Several were money and the rest just island fever I guess. A couple of them come back to work in season and a couple really miss it but say that they couldn't move back - they just love modern amenities too much lol.

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Posted : June 4, 2016 12:32 am
St X
 St X
(@St_X)
Advanced Member

I actually stumbled across Ridge to Reef and am really intrigued by their Farming and Agritourism Internships. Looks like a lot of hard work and dedication, but might be a great way for me to dive into St. Croix. Does anyone have any thoughts on this?

Yes, I have thoughts on this. Do it.

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Posted : June 4, 2016 2:18 am
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