St. Croix Living
I am sure when you think of us living in the Caribbean, you envision us sitting on the beach day after day playing in the sun, building sand castles, and drinking non-alcoholic fruity drinks. The reality is we do go to the beach, but there is a lot more to St. Croix living than beaches and fruity drinks.
Air conditioning – it is just too expensive to run all the time, so we are slowly acclimating to our house being between 80 and 84 degrees. Most of the time, if you are not moving or working in your house, it is totally fine.
Curbside trash pickup – There is not a city provided garbage day or a garbage truck. You can pay to have it picked up – which happens to be Tuesdays at midnight – random. Incidentally, we take our trash to a convenience station every day or every couple of days and throw it in a bin. It is kind of like a cabin property where you have to haul your trash to a centralized location.
Drinking water from the tap – Most homes in the Caribbean aren’t connected to a constant source of water like city water on the mainland. We operate off of a cistern. Rainwater is channeled off of the roof and funneled down gutter spouts into two large cement cisterns under our living room and dining room floor. I suppose in a real bind you could drink this water, but I would boil it first. So, we fill 5 gallon water jugs at the grocery store and have a dispenser in the kitchen for filtered and purified drinking water.
Instant Gratification – Things don’t happen with haste here. It is known as island time and things are much slower than on the mainland. If you need your car fixed it will probably take a week to get the right part ordered and delivered to the island (we just went through this, and we are currently at 2 weeks without a car). We ordered new windows for our house in April and we they are installing them this week – Hurray! Amazon Prime is no longer 2 day delivery; it is closer to a week. So, we are learning to be patient, and slow down. We did want a slower pace of life!
Septic Tanks – Our home has a septic tank that is in our yard. We do not have a city sewer system. So far (knock on wood), we have not had any issues. Having never owned a home or cabin with a septic tank, this is a new experience. Thinking about everything that goes down our pipes. We have never had a dishwasher but we did have a garbage disposal in our old house – now we are just extra careful about sending anything down the kitchen sink. I’ve read a lot of things about how a septic tank works….although not specific to St. Croix and I still need to figure out ours.
Those are just a few of the changes that we have grown accustomed to in our new Caribbean life. Although they are different from our life in Utah, we look at it as part of the adventure of living in a new and different place. New adventures provide us with opportunities to learn and grow!
What comforts would be too hard for you to give up? Tell us in a comment below!