Video Recipes – DIY's – Island Life – Travel – Natural Living – Minimalism

Why You Shouldn’t Move To St. Croix

You shouldn’t move to St. Croix {or the Caribbean} if…

If you need all the modern conveniences that stateside living has to offer

There are no ubers, postmates, amazon prime and the like.  Chain restaurants (we have maybe 3 or 4) are rare and free shipping doesn’t seem to apply.  The one “mall” we had got destroyed in Maria.  It consisted of just a handful of stores, no food court to speak of, deserted, unlit corners with a bottom floor that was largely abandoned minus the college that was operating out of it.  Currently, there are plans to revamp it to offer a more “mall experience.”  However, I will be shocked if it is anything like in the states, still.  Here, everyone shops at Kmart when back in the states, we didn’t even have one in a 100 mile radius anymore.  One of my Crucian friends once told me,  “It doesn’t matter who you are, you’re still shopping at the Kmart just like everybody else.”  The prices are high and there isn’t a great selection and I find myself wistfully yearning for Trader Joe’s (kidding, not kidding).

Hurricanes

Living through Hurricane Maria was one of the top 10 life defining experiences of my life.

The large transient population

I can’t tell you how many times we developed close relationships with people only to have them move away.  Island life is not for everyone.  Life is definitely more difficult here and since living here, we’ve probably lost a dozen or so amazing people back to the states.  It’s a known fact here that it takes people awhile to warm up to you because this happens so often.

Island time

Most times, it’s refreshing and affords the opportunity to “stop and smell the roses,” but other times, it goes at an excruciatingly snail pace and it feels like it takes days to weeks to get done what would take only hours in the states.  It took us almost a year to get our business license when we first arrived and the same went for getting electricity and internet back after Maria but hey, there’s virtually never any traffic anywhere you go and beaches you get all to yourself can be a regular thing.

Bugs or wildlife

This was particularly bad post-Maria as all the bugs seemed to move in all at once but even on a regular day, there are bugs galore.  One of the first things I do every morning is sweep up dead millipedes and jack spaniards from our kitchen floor.  Along with them are the regular suspects like mosquitoes, the ever annoying ‘no see-ums’, roaches, wasps, lizards, moths, you name it.  We have a dozen little lizards running around our house at any given time.  We welcome them and even give them names.  My favorite one is Penelope who is the littlest one of all not being more than an inch or so long.  J also guides bees out to a dedicated watering hole outside as well.  I never really mind any of the bugs really until it’s the dreaded centipede!  Nala has gotten really good at warning us about them now –an occupational hazard of being an island pup, I suppose.

 

Expense

There’s not much to say about that except you can subsidize your costs by being extra resourceful, maintain a DIY attitude and grow your own food.  These are the ways we thrive in abundance here.

Schooling

I can’t personally attest to the schooling here but my friends present me with a mixed bag.  However, most of them send their kids to private school {there are also pockets that home school} as the general overall opinion of the public education here is not positive.  Private school is said to run something like $15k a year.

No individual health insurance

Also {no personal experience}, but we also hear that the health care system here isn’t the best.

Potholes galore 

We ditched the idea of having a pretty car way before we even moved here as it was never a priority for us.  It was a good thing we did because the potholes are no joke here.  Our trip in Kenya proved they have better roads than most on our island.  A lot of the roads here aren’t paved or if they are, haven’t been kept up with in a very long time.  At our last place, it took 15 minutes up a very rocky, never-been-paved road where a storm washed out part of said road.  Last I checked, it still hadn’t been filled in.

With all that said, if you’re still here reading on and still feeling the call of island life, here’s what I love about living in the Caribbean.

Year round sunshine

It never drastically veers from 85 degrees and I find it warm enough to swim 365 days a year.  Rainy season gifts us beautiful rainbows and you can still wiggle in beach days.  Oh, and the Christmas winds that blow through to cool you down throughout the year?  It’s absolutely delicious bliss.

Island family

After Irma, St. Croix united in our efforts to help our devastated sister islands.  After Maria, we helped each other.

The best beaches

Turtle Beach on Buck Island was rated one of the most beautiful by Travel and Leisure and National Geographic.  Sandy Point is a local favorite and there are dozens upon dozens of beaches no more than 10 minutes away no matter where you are on the island.

A natural life

Since moving here, I’ve spent more time hiking, swimming and overall ‘earthing’ more than I have ever before.  The nice year round weather makes this possible and when you’re surrounded by striking cacti dotted mountains to the east and lush rainforest to the west with a postcard beach just minutes away at every turn, it also makes it easy.  My husband regularly spears supper and has joined many groups on island that particularly combat the invasive lion fish.  He’s managed to fuse a hobby and his passion for environmentalism.  For me, meditating on the top of a jaw dropping peak, snorkeling amidst the brilliance of a mermaid world or kissing beneath some of the most intense tropical sunsets all sums up for me what feels like the most natural way to live my life.

Rich culture and fantastic food

There is history everywhere on this island from the broken shards of chaney and old coins that can still be unearthed today to the sugar mills sprinkled throughout the island.  The colorful tapestry of food can be seen through offerings of Indian or Trinidadian bites, Caribbean pot fish to fine dining and food trucks or Ital cuisine.  We make our own rum, host our own food festivals and celebrate every day with local farmers producing exotic fruits or regular festivals that boast Johnny cakes and Mocko Jumbies.  Mango season alone instantly seduced me.  I am currently working my way through the 15 varieties (there are 100’s more!) that my friend has growing on his property and it’s tough to say which I like best because they’re all so good.  Before moving here, I had no idea how different each kind of mango could taste with some growing as big as my head!

If the pros seem to outweigh the cons for you like it does for us, check out my ebook, Moving to Paradise.  In it, I carefully detail what it takes to make the move including the before, during, and after process with fun stuff mixed in like the best happy hours, cheap eats and local digs.

 

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