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Old 09-27-2004, 01:36 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Location: Mansion by day/Secret Lair by night
Ya mon, Island living?

I know this is unusual, but I would be very interested in the opinions of the wide variety of folks here. I am currently sitting on 2 different job offers, and they offer very different lifestyles. The first job is here in downtown Chicago which I know well and love, taking a step up professionally to run a sales force for a software company. I am comfortable with the job and know I would do well with it. Easy choice.

The second job is in the British Virgin Islands running a recruiting firm for a London based company. This is what I did in my previous professional life. They want me to sign a 2 year contract if I come on board because of the cost of relocating me, etc. At first I was all about leaving the Chicago winter behind, throwing a little Bob Marley on the stereo and chasing adventure. But between the hurricanes and the idea of going a bit stir crazy, "island fever" if you will, living on a small island with not a whole lot of modern ammenities I am starting to fall back towards the safe choice.

If anyone has ever lived anywhere like that or had a similar decision to make I would love to hear about it - and just get your ideas to make sure I'm not missing something as I try to work this through in my head. Thanks!

btw - as luck would have it this hits at a time that I am single and don't have any children or family responsibilities I have to consider.
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Old 09-27-2004, 07:09 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Awww man, the BVI's are fantastic. Island living at it's best. The only advice that I can offer is what I would do in your spot, and that is to go to the BVI's for 2 years and enjoy. If you get the itch for a more frantic pace while there you can always catch a ferry over to the USVI's there's a lot of big city stuff there from what I gather.

Hit up the islands, the slow pace of life and amazing scenery will do you good.
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Old 09-27-2004, 07:11 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Location: I'm workin' on it
Take the island job!


As you said, youre young, single with no children, when will you ever have this opportunity again? Do it up!
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Old 09-27-2004, 07:13 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I would also go the island route. Chicago will still be there and, more than likely, a job will be there as well. A job in the BVIs with paid relocation isn't something that happens quite as often.

Regrets typically come from not taking a risk.
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Old 09-27-2004, 07:31 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Only a month or so ago, I moved to Bermuda after a having gone through very similar dilemma as the one you describe. So far? It's been great. There are things I can do here at the weekend, or even just after work that would have been unthinkable working back in London. The lifestyle is more relaxed, the weather is nicer, the girls friendlier, the drinks are stronger and so-far, it's all been pretty good.

There are downsides - I miss the refreshing anonymity of the city. Shopping (but who needs anything when you've got the sun, the sea and the sand here anyway?) and I hate the feeling of not quite belonging (which I suppose is normal whenever you move to a new country for the first few months) - anyway, I hope you make the right choice for you, and good luck.

Last edited by zen_tom; 09-27-2004 at 07:32 AM.. Reason: spellcheck
 
Old 09-28-2004, 12:52 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I think it's an opportunity not to be missed: go to the islands! It sounds like you're in the ideal phase of your life for this.

Of course, it might turn out not be fun, but why would you assume that? How would you ever know? Also, what possible amenities are you not willing to give up? Last time I checked, those islands seemed pretty civilized. Or is that where they ate Captain Cook? :-)
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Old 09-28-2004, 02:20 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I lived in the USVI for a year and a half - island fever is definitely something to be concerned about. If the job has any travel, you should be ok though.

I definitely recommend the experience, even though the USVI was actually a horrible place (mainly due to the total seperation of races), but I believe the BVI is less polarized in that regard.

I would caution that the fantasy you might have that you're going to live in paradise is just that - a fantasy. You'll still have to work and pay the bills - it's not a vacation. So time-off is time-off - i.e. the weekends. But think of all the fun you can have there which you might pine for living in the cold city of Chicago? SCUBA, margarita's on the beach, sailing, wind-surfing, the water that is so clear you can see a grain of sand on your toe while standing to the neck in refreshing bliss.

Hurricanes aren't as bad as people think. Sure, your house might get the roof blown off, but it's much more rare than you would expect on an island. I survived 4 of them on St. Thomas - it's mainly some wind and a lot of rain. The tornado strikes are what take out the buildings.

How 'bout this - if you don't take the job - give 'em my number!
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Old 09-28-2004, 03:12 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Location: Australia
I'd go the island route, as well. We moved to a remote tourist town on the west coast of Tasmania here in Oz for work once (hours from anywhere, middle of nowhere....you get the picture). Moving there from a major capital city was a real culture shock, but it was actually a great experience.

Just do it....
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Old 09-28-2004, 04:43 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Cripes man, if nothing else, take the job in the islands just for the experience... You are lucky to get an opportunity like that, take it! You can always move back to Chicago...
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Old 09-28-2004, 04:55 PM   #10 (permalink)
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My advice fwiw is take the job in the islands! You are young, single and probably won't get this opportunity again. The thought of wanting a lobster for dinner and being able to snorkle out and get your own.... man, it couldn't be any sweeter. Get out of your comfort zone, you will be alot more well rounded and have alot more fun.

GAWD, I am jealous!! Congrats either way you decide.
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Old 09-28-2004, 10:24 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Everyone - just want to thank everybody for the opinions. So far it seems rather unanimous as to what I should do. I am currently doing some cost and tax studies to make sure I don't get into a cost of living dilema down there. Of course the Chicago opportunity has sweetened the offer just to keep it more difficult.

Anyway - just want you all to know that I really appreciate the ideas. It really has helped me out!
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Old 09-29-2004, 04:24 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Tell the Island people about the Chicago offer... You might get a nice bidding war on your hands Get them to sweeten their deal!
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Old 09-29-2004, 04:36 AM   #13 (permalink)
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nice to be wanted like that... Congrats....

The thought of being able to go diving after work, or whenever I wanted would be too sweet a deal to turn down.
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Old 09-29-2004, 06:29 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Minor thread hijack incoming!

Quick background: I'm an 18 year old kid, currently in my first semester of college. I skipped out on the 2nd semester of my Senior year of high school to spend five months living on a kibbutz in Israel. I was able to take some college credit language tests before I left, but I still have some credits I need to fulfill. Thus, a semester of community college. At the end of the semester I'll have the credits I need to graduate high school. I also have a strong desire to leave home again, living independently like I did last year.

I'd really like to spend a few months (4-5 maybe) in the BV islands or a similar tropical locale. I thought maybe I could get a bartending license at home, then use it down in the islands. Any suggestions for other work to do, and does anyone have a familiarity with the housing situation down there? I'm not looking for a career or a job that pays lots of money (since it isn't very often that unskilled workers, like myself, get those sort of jobs), only enough to support myself over the time I'm there and pay for a ticket back. Other wild ideas are cool, too.

Right. Sorry again for the hijack, but this seemed like a pretty appropriate thread.
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Old 10-07-2004, 06:30 AM   #15 (permalink)
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I think you need to assess your real underlying reluctance to take the BVI job? If its fear of taking a risk--then take the risk. If its the job itself or the feeling of being tied down--go to Chicago. The "island fever" thing is ultimately something you make up in your own head and it needs not to be a malady you suffer. Now that I think about it, you have already made it up and are likely to suffer from your own creation unless you have the ability to change your mind.
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Old 10-10-2004, 11:34 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Take the plunge- go for the island offer! Though I do see the island fever dilemma. Also, where the hell ya gonna retire to, a tropical island? That's my dream (St. John, USVI), but I'm not sure how it'd be changed by doing the daily grind in the VI. It's like Tiger Woods, what the hell's he gonna do when he retires- play basketball?
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Old 10-11-2004, 02:01 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Life is short and relative to living in the islands Chicago sucks. When you are old and grey do you want to be able to tell stories to your grandchildren about walking through blizzards or deepsea fishing and sandy beaches?
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Old 10-15-2004, 10:20 AM   #18 (permalink)
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I have the islands in my blood. Have a house in Key West and would be there 24/7/365 if the career in Atlanta didn't pay so well. If you have a chance to be in BVI and don't take it, you'll always wonder how good it could have been. Do it!
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