Several times a month, I get e-mails from people asking advice about moving to the island. Do you know of any jobs? How about renting an apartment? Is the cost of living high? Often, the writers have vacationed on the island more than once and have decided they'd like to make St. John their permanent address.
At first their's was a 10-year-plan to make the move from New England. Then it became five years, then three, then … they were gone.
"All that planning wasn't necessary," they said. "You can just do it."
The Schlesingers' story has just been featured by Islands magazine as part of a Best Islands to Live On section. It ranks the Virgin islands 5th best. Each island is highlighted in a story about some new residents who made a move.
"Freed of their old careers and those bitter-cold Nor'easter winters, the couple can enjoy an afternoon on St. John by sipping Bailey's Banana Coladas with friends, listening to classical music or joining their wine club for tasting and grazing at an alfresco restaurant," the magazine said.
Schlesinger says the article's author was certainly looking at the world through rose colored glasses. Living and working on the island is hardly on-stop party time. He says the magazine seemed to have a point of view it wanted the story to have, and so it did.
But the Schlesingers have no intention of leaving. "You just have to have faith and confidence in yourself," he said. Islands asked, "What don't you need on St. John?" The answer: a snow shovel.