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Anyone ever live in or travel to the US Virgin Islands?

Anyone ever live in or travel to the US Virgin Islands?

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  #1  
Old 12-30-13, 07:38 AM
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Anyone ever live in or travel to the US Virgin Islands?

Wife is planning to move there for at least a year or so, maybe longer. Don't ask me why, she just needs a big change I guess. Anyone ever live there or travel them extensively? Tips, hints, recommendations?
 
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  #2  
Old 12-30-13, 08:01 AM
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Spent our honeymoon at the Water Isle Colony Club in 1970, St Thomas. Beautiful, but it never crossed my mind to live there. To be fair, 43 years ago attitudes have certainly changed I'm sure, but when we rented a car and drove around the island we were not as warmly received as in the city. Those in the city lived on tourism, those outside the city didn't seem to like tourists. Again, 43 years ago, but back then, it was a nice place to visit.

Bud
 
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Old 12-30-13, 08:29 AM
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I went to St. Thomas on my honeymoon, also. I loved it there, and would have loved to move there, but the only jobs were in the restaurant or hotel business, or things to do with the water. I would think she may possibly have to be a waitress, if she needs a job there.
Instead of renting a car, we rented a taxi driver. He took us everywhere and told us where to go and where not to go (for safety reasons), so we didn't have a problem with warm receptions. Everyone seemed nice. I'd suggest hiring a cab driver for the first week or two to show her the ropes, so to speak.
We only spent one day in the city part and it was really hot and humid. Most of the time we spent out of the city, and the weather was perfect round the clock.

Not being used to the strong sun, I burned up and looked like a lobster.
We also stayed in a haunted cabin, strange but true. So there are strange happenings there.
 
  #4  
Old 12-30-13, 08:49 AM
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Thanks to you both. She had a job at a motel here and they loved her, so I'm sure that would be an option unless they only hire locals. She's expecting to have to waitress or similar, but she is very smart and learns any job quickly. Bad at numbers, but very good at administrative stuff.

How do you "rent a taxi driver"? Just a standard daily rate? And how long ago was it? She lived in Japan and drove on the left, so that won't be a problem if she decides to get her own car.
 
  #5  
Old 12-30-13, 09:01 AM
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We didn't actually rent him, more like when we hooked up with him, he was our official taxi driver for the whole time we were there.
This was probably around 35 years ago, so I don't remember exactly how we got him. It may have been thru the place we were staying at. I would imagine that would still be true today, as they'd want the business of the tourists.
 
  #6  
Old 12-30-13, 09:03 AM
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I've spent a fair bit of time on St. Thomas, mostly in Charlotte Amalie and some time for fun on St. John. Your wife needs to get some local knowledge as to where and when she can safely travel and be out on the island, especially St. Thomas. By day it's a vacationer's wonderland but by night it can be a very different place. Many areas out of town are better but most of the entire island is well developed so there is good and bad almost everywhere. St. John is considerably better though expenses are higher and access is more difficult and with much more limited choices for regular shopping (groceries, clothes...). Any chance your wife could get a visa for the BVI? Or maybe just stay on a tourist visa with occasional trips back to the USVI as required. It's amazing the huge difference crossing the water to the BVI makes. It still has the wonderful island flavor but without the guns.

Some consideration must be given to the safety and securability of the home especially if in Charlotte Amalie. Locked gates, window bars and alarm systems are the norm. We stay up on top of a ridge next to the Governors mansion overlooking town. Beautiful view and breezes during the day and no windows have a direct line of fire from the streets below. It's pretty safe if you don't go out on a balcony to peer over the edge to see who's shooting.

I don't mean to sound negative about the USVI. I've been going there for over 20 years. I'm quite comfortable on the island and travel about quite safely but I have seen it change over the years as the population grew. Oddly I somehow enjoy the two faced, truly dangerous pirate nature of the place. It keeps it true to it's roots more than the daytime cruise ship tourists.
 
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Old 12-30-13, 09:16 AM
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After reading PD's reply, I now remember he told us not to venture out at night, so we didn't (except for the place we were staying), and I guess, in a way, he somewhat protected us during the day,even back then, but I don't think there were guns like today, but then again, guns are here, too. Beautiful place, but maybe not the best place to live.
Key West is a nice place. Maybe she should consider living there, altho pricey.
 
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Old 12-30-13, 09:22 AM
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Thanks PD, actually...she is planning on St Croix. She's in the process of getting her passport so she can travel if she can afford it.

It just doesn't fit me at all. I feel claustrophobic on islands after a short time for some reason, even though I could spend 4-5 months on a 600 ft long ship w/o touching land.
 
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Old 12-30-13, 09:23 AM
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Becky, I suggested she consider the Keys (though not KW specifically), but I think she's got the bit in her teeth.
 
  #10  
Old 12-30-13, 09:47 AM
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I have never been to St. Croix but I would pick it over St. Thomas just from having fewer tourists. I imagine it's an island where you could lead a more normal, non-tourist driven lifestyle. Is she going to be working?
 
  #11  
Old 12-30-13, 09:56 AM
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Yep, she's already been in contact with Temp Service agencies. She can do anything from waitressing to administration work. She could probably live on her military retirement alone, but it would be pretty austere.
 
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