In mid-August of 2015, Kerryl and I made the leap to work and live in St. John, Virgin Islands. It may be no surprise to you that one of the most alluring features of our move was to escape the cold weather and snow. After both growing up in New Jersey, living in New York and retreating to Maine, we decided we had enough of snow and ice.
Last year, as our swan song, we spent a Valley Forge winter in Maine, where we counted fifteen snow storms (this tally came about putting together our snow plow bills). Around Christmas, both of us had cabin fever, suffered from lack of exercise, were sunlight deprived and, having become so batty, were singing, dancing and (fighting) to a Hawaiian Christmas song, "Mele Kalikimaka," at home and on Emden Pond, a nearby lake.
Not long after, sometime in March, while I was shoveling snow yet again, I got a phone call to interview for a teaching position in the Virgin Islands, which had been in process for a year and a half. The rest is history. Our dream would materialize and we would get the opportunity to live somewhere warmer, finally boarding a plane, with our two dogs, to St. John.
Why St. John, of all places? Kerryl had been here 4 times prior, having fallen in love with its natural beauty, minimal commercial development, colors and purity of the healing waters, and its perennial sunshine.
She said, "When I first came here, I immediately fell in love. I came here originally for one week and stayed 3, looking for a job and a place to live. That was a recurring theme each time I returned. I didn't want to leave and wanted to move here."
After exploring it on my own, I was persuaded to try something new. Thus we made a plan and stuck to it, using our powers of intention and a book, which Kerryl brought back from St. John in one of her earlier trips, called A New Beginning: A Handbook for Joyous Survival, written by Jerry and Esther Hicks.
She said, "I always felt I was going to find a treasure here. This book is a treasure I was looking for. It has changed my life and helped get us to St. John."
Much has happened along the way. We found a place to live and are settling in. The island is beautiful. The weather glorious. We've enjoyed the food, beaches, activities, our new lifestyle, the exotic animals, caribbean people, new friends, challenging work...
Are there downsides? Of course, of which we will fill you in later.
So where do we start to tell our stories? Through the St. John Connection, which came about as we thought about expanding our publication, Warwick Valley Living, desiring to connect with all our friends, family and readers and share our journey, pleasures, and perspectives from this special island.
Join us to get a taste of what it's like to live this dream.
Follow us as we share more adventures and stories from the virgin island of St. John. This is the beginning of our journey.
Kerryl Ann Ebneter and George L. Nitti, publishers of Warwick Valley Living, working and enjoying life from the Virgin Islands.