Island Life – Paradigm Shifts – Part Two

subway stationRecently the blog Women Who Live on Rocks posted a list of odd ways islanders behave elsewhere.  It is certainly true that island life changes you, but the vast majority of those changes are positive. Life on St. Croix is a simple life, with a focus on relationships and an appreciation for the incredible environment around us.  Here a couple of the new roles people take on when they move to the U.S. Virgin Islands:

Agoraphobic

Okay, you won’t really develop a fear of crowds.  But it will feel shocking when you face one for the first time after living on St. Croix.  Now I’m not talking about a loosely put together group of people attending a concert or festival, because the island certainly has those crowds.  I’m talking a Black Friday madhouse at Walmart or a congested airport of frustrated, delayed travelers.  It simply doesn’t happen here with a population of approximately 52,000 (laid-back) people.

It will also seem those people speed walking past you in a stateside mall or subway station are moving in fast forward.  St. Croix offers a relaxed pace of life where you can slow down and smell the roses.  For example, Ridge to Reef Farm hosts slow-down dinners that are many hours and courses long.

Lastly, you will find yourself greeting strangers in the states with your standard “Good morning / afternoon / night!  How are you?” and awaiting a reply.  This has become your practice with friendly island folks.  Typical stateside residents however, will ignore you, give you a blank stare, or a quick “hi” or “fine.”

Beach Bum

Once you become a St. Croix resident, your body adjusts to open-air living and balmy island weather (around 88 degrees year-round).  The first time you travel off-island, you will be amazed how cold central air-conditioning feels.  Flying commercial requires a jacket and blanket when you’re an islander.

You also become accustomed (and spoiled) to having a constant sun tan.  Don’t get me wrong, St. Croix residents take their sun protection seriously.  But even the best block allows you a nice base tan when you’re outside often.  When you head stateside for the holidays, don’t be shocked when your family looks glowingly pale standing side-by-side with you in pictures.

When you live on a tropical island, there’s no need to own certain clothing items like long-sleeved tops, pants or closed-toed shoes.  Yes, keep a few pieces on-hand for business and travel, but the majority of your fall / winter wardrobe can be donated to charity.  Not to mention the island is super casual.

Ready to part ways with stuffy strangers and itchy sweaters for good?  Download our free guide the 10 Best Reasons for Living on St. Croix.

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