Shannon moved to St. Thomas in 2002, earning her BA at UVI and teaching at Charlotte Amalie High School before seizing an opportunity to travel and work with the YMCA. Despite state-hopping across the US, she returns every winter to her island home to spend time with family, enjoy some Cruzan, and dance to Soca. Today, she is a freelance content writer by day (contentbyburton.com), and a poet and fiction writer by night. Check out her creative work at shannonburtonwrites.com.
Kasandra moved to St. Thomas just a few short months after graduating from college in Virginia. The island life took some adjusting for this girl from the country, but once she got settled everything fell into place. With complete optimism and an open heart and mind, she grew ready to take on this new adventure. She fell in love with the community and the lifestyle down here. Kasandra has multiple jobs in social media and in the service industry around the island. But when she’s not working, you can most likely find her at a local beach enjoying all this beautiful island has to offer! Follow Kasandra on IG @ kasandra_noraas
Sara grew up in the suburbs north of New York City and always knew that city life wasn’t her calling. Instead, (to cap off her young adult life,) after graduating from Castleton University in Vermont with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Communication(s) along with a Minor in Studio Arts, she took a great leap of faith and moved to the U.S. Virgin Islands in 2016. Since then, she has been working in the hospitality and wedding businesses. (alike). You can also often find her in the great outdoors, usually with a camera in her hands. Follow Sara on IG @sara_soleil_
Aslin has lived or traveled all across North America but has somehow always come back to her roots. “I love to travel and I love different kinds of foods.” While stationed in Nebraska, she became a beer connoisseur and New Jersey introduced her to delicious Greek and Mediterranean foods. She fell in love with afternoon tea because of her yearly travels to British Colombia. The idea for a food tour on St. Thomas came from her experience on a food tour in Seattle.
St. Thomas is finally receiving recognition for its delicious and unique cuisine and Sauer’s goal is to highlight the island’s gastronomy. “The idea behind St. Thomas Food Tours came from my travels. I noticed other places offered food tours, and St. Thomas didn’t have one. I said why not? We have the history and we surely have the food. It’s the perfect recipe for a fantastic food tour.” St. Thomas Food Tours
Kelsey Klos is a resident of St. Thomas, Mama, Maker and Blogger. She specializes is social media marketing with a graphic design background and passion to write and create. You can shop her handmade items on Etsy (klosandco) and see more of her blog at Klosandco.com
A long time St. John resident and career journalist Bob currently writes for Relix Magazine, the St. Augustine Record and What To Do – VI. He is the author of the Hearts of Palm, Down Island and co-author of Code Word: Freedom. He lives in Cruz Bay.
Catherine Turner is a freelance writer and editor formerly based in the Virgin Islands. Her contributions have appeared in many publications including the St. John Tradewinds, Caribbean Travel and Life, Onboard Online Magazine, and the Elephant Journal. In a former incarnation, Catherine was a nightclub owner and a resort showgirl. A lifetime ago, she spent a decade chained to a desk as a computer programmer/data analyst. Catherine recently completed her first novel Carnival Carib. See more of her work at catherineturner.media
Gerard became a St. Thomas resident 13 years ago, after a decade of escaping Boston winters on chartered sailboats in the Virgin Islands. Back in the frozen north he published travel magazines, books and consulted on all types of media. “It was love at first sight”, says Gerard. “I came for the sailing but stayed for the weather, the culture and the genuine warmth of the people.” Once settled in, he augmented his media consultation with a professional photography business and various philanthropical efforts in the community including National Public Radio and the St. Thomas Human Society. He manages St. Thomas Food Tours, the original cultural food tour on the island where he shares his love and knowledge of “the rock” with visitors who want to leave with more than a suntan.
Sophie was born in St. Thomas, where she developed an intense appreciation for the ocean and a powerful aversion to close-toed shoes. Tragically, she was spirited away at a young age to the frigid northland of Long Island, New York where she lived for four years before moving around the east coast between New Jersey, Florida, and Maryland.
After Graduating from Loyola University of Maryland with a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration and French Language Studies, Sophie moved back to St. Thomas where she now works for GCI Management.
When she isn’t working Sophie spends as much time as possible outdoors, frolicking around the beach with her dapper canine and spirit animal, Ziggy.
Glenn Harman is a USCG and RYA licensed boat captain who has been sailing in the Caribbean for the past 15 years. He is now a resident of St John and the author of the book Captain Glenn’s Guide to the BVIs, available on Amazon.
I have a wide breadth of experience in all facets of the tourism industry. I’ve worked in the villa management business, the ferry business, the retail business and now for one of the biggest grocery store businesses on St. John. I’ve learned that in a second, it’s possible to meet the greatest people you will ever meet on the planet. Everyone has a story and I love hearing them all!
I hope to share my stories and experiences as a Virgin Islander and give you a glimpse of what it’s like to live and raise a family here.
I was born on the Caribbean island of Montserrat, grew up in Canada and moved back to Montserrat in 1994. Less than two years after my arrival, Montserrat’s volcano erupted killing 18 people, two major hurricanes (Luis & Marilyn) devastated much of the Caribbean, and I began my bittersweet exodus to the US Virgin Islands
I’ve had an extraordinary life in the VI, filled with adventure and mishap. I started developing the idea for this website in 2014 after I sold my interest in the St.John Map and Guidebook and The Island Treasure Maps (St.Thomas and St.John). What To Do-VI came out of the idea of sharing the collective stories and experiences of VI people. I started off interviewing those I was lucky enough to know and who inspired me in some way or another. Along the way, I met other storytellers and this blog evolved and continues to evolve into what you see today, a people-powered collection of voices. Every day I am grateful for the privilege of being the mother of 2 daughters and having the best job on the planet.
I have been going back and forth to this beloved rock since 2004. When my Dad bought a scuba diving charter business in 2005, I made my move from off-island-local to for-real-local. Just as everyone does down here, I dabble in many things.
Vernon Oliver Araujo
Vernon was born in Antigua and grew up on St. John and St. Thomas, USVI from the age of three. After graduating from Antilles School, Vernon earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Communication from Boston College in 2006, but returned home to St. Thomas that year. He started his career in marketing and human resources with Diamonds International, and worked for them for 4 years before turning his attention to non-profits. Mr. Araujo was the co-founder of the STT-STJ Chamber of Commerce Young Professionals Network, he sits on the Board of Directors for the V.I. Council on the Arts, is Director of Development for Family Resource Center, and Director of Island Vibes Summer Camp. In his remaining free time, Vernon does marketing and media consulting through 104.3FM The Buzz and Melee Media. When he isn’t working, Vernon enjoys playing sports, writing, gardening and water sports.
Alison Hastings left her home in the midwest in 2013 looking for a life of adventure, nature, culture and a different way of living. She began her career in the VI in marketing and helping to run an office for a leading real estate company (a big shift from the world of Psych and nonprofits). It was there that she realized her love for marketing and general work associated with building companies. For the next four years, Alison worked with a business management & consulting company and investment management company, where she had the unique opportunity to learn and embrace the process of building and operating many small to medium-sized local businesses. Since then Alison bought What To Do VI and spends her time running it and growing the brand. She also provides marketing services to businesses with Soleil Creative and in her spare time you can find her with her pup or learning something new. Contact Alison at Alison@WhatToDo-VI.com or Alison@SoleilCreative.com. To learn more about Soleil Creative, visit: www.soleilcreative.com