The second question people ask is "How's the cost of living."
The answer to the first is, "Work at it." The second is, "Very".
Chris Dunphy and Cherie Ve Ard spent about six months living on the island while they plied their trade as software developers. They call themselves Technomads and delight in seeing the world while logging on and building their business wherever they are. They have published a successful iPhone app showing cell phone coverage around the USA.
While on the island, they rented an efficiency apartment for $700/month. That included electricity. They had to buy propane for their stove.
Staying connected cost about $240 a month. That covered Hughesnet for Internet (via DishandDat Choice WiFi), two iPhones and a Sprint data card. "Connectivity is what makes our digitally nomadic lifestyle possible."
But man does not live by bits alone. He also needs bites. Food! What about food prices, you ask?
"On St. John, groceries cost roughly 1.5x – 3X stateside prices,” they found.
“This markup comes from a combination of everything having to be shipped in, lack of economies of scale, and it being high tourist season on a destination resort island."
- Can of black beans $.95
- Bag of tortilla chips $7.99
- Iceberg lettuce $3.09
- Box of cereal $6.99
- Bananas $.99 a pound
- 1.75 liters of rum $8.49
The Technomads said they expected high food costs, but were not prepared for that they found. "We spent the first couple of weeks in sticker shock. The only good deal was the rum."
In talking to a lot of St. Johnians, Chris and Cherie said they found it seems folks lose weight after moving to the island. "The St. John diet plan," they called it.
- Read the complete post about the cost of living on St. John here.
- Read the Technomad's blog about their winter on St. John