We started feeling the wanderlust about 5 years ago. 3 years ago, we began plans for a move to Scotland. You can read about our experience here. In September of 2016, we watched a show on Netflix that had originally aired on HGTV called “Half-Price Paradise.” That was when we asked ourselves…”Why are we doing what we are doing?” “Why are we working to live paycheck to paycheck doing the same thing day in and day out!?” Apparently, the wanderlust had not disappeared.
We wanted our children to have a more global mindset. To have experiences that would allow them to see the world from a broader perspective. We wanted to have more time to just be PRESENT with each other instead of feeling exhausted and stretched too thin.
We were feeling “froggy” and were ready to jump!
We brainstormed how we could achieve our desires and we were lead to Stewart teaching internationally. We joined a couple of organizations that would help us secure a job with an international school. The international school would pay for our transportation to the new school, our housing while teaching, a yearly salary, and benefits. It seemed like a great gig! When we began, my very wise sister asked “Will a change of location really change the feeling of discontent? Or is it the job?” We assured her that the change in environment would definitely change our feelings.
We progressed with writing resumes and vitae. We submitted applications to 24 different international schools. Stewart even had a Skype interview with a school in Qatar. We got a few rejections. Nothing was progressing. Stewart was either over-qualified or under-qualified- never the exact fit. It was very frustrating.
We determined we wanted to live a more simple life. We have become increasingly dissatisfied with the harried nature of the lives we currently lead. The demands that are placed on us – from all aspects of our lives – work, family, church, school, all of it. We longed for a slower pace – a more simplified and minimalist life.
We started to talk about how we could achieve a more simplified life. We wanted to have more time to raise our children. We wanted more time to be the people we want to be. We wanted to live debt free. That meant we needed to get out from under our mortgage. We would have to sell our house and move somewhere we could just out-and-out purchase a home.
We searched “Least Expensive Places to Live” and we were off! We started looking at homes in Temple, TX. We looked at homes in Augusta, GA. We looked at homes in Minneapolis, MN. None of them seemed right. Stewart was also not confident that he would be able to find a good job in any of those places.
We were lead to St. Croix, USVI.
How and why St. Croix?
Stewart had gone on a cruise in 2015. On the cruise, one of the stops was on St. Thomas, USVI. He said it was LOVELY! He said that he wished we could go back someday.
Stewart took a detour one day in his “Least Expensive Places to Live” search and decided to take a look at homes on St. Thomas. They were a bit pricey – especially since we were working with the equity that we had in our current home. St. Thomas was described as the more “touristy” of the 3 U.S. Virgin Islands. We contacted a realtor in St. Thomas to ask about some of the homes that we had looked at online. She was very helpful. We then decided that the homes on St. Thomas were a little out of our price range and decided to look on St. Croix. The island has several schools (public AND private) where he could apply. St. Croix also has some great resorts that Stewart felt confident that he could get a job doing…..
SOMETHING! If nothing else….they also have a Home Depot.
We looked at several different homes on St. Croix. We loved the idea that the USVI’s are categorized by many in the following way:
St. Thomas – like the big city
St. John – Wilderness
St. Croix – like the country
We loved the idea of a more rural existence.
We sold our house (more on that later). We are in the process of finding a home on St. Croix (stay tuned). We are making REAL changes!
This has been a big process and we have learned A LOT! We are excited to share what we have learned and hope that as we CREATE change in our life; it will inspire others to do the same.
The two questions “What else is possible?” and “How can it get better than this?” have fueled us and kept us going on this journey. We choose to seek out the joy, love, abundance, and success in our life rather than waiting for it to happen. We are MAKING it happen. Why not? Why not choose joy? If YOU are feeling “froggy” why NOT jump? Is it scary? ABSOLUTELY! We firmly believe that we are on this planet to have joy. We are going to be courageous and just GO FOR IT and trust that it will all work out.
Our journey is far from over. This is just the beginning.