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Pacific Tropical island calling you artists for cheap living and gorgeous beaches! Newly forming IC.

 
Posts: 4
Location: Saipan CNMI
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Greetings and salutations!
My name is Teal Van and my partner is Sile Rose.  We are artists living in sunny Saipan, a United States island territory in the Pacific ocean.  It has been my lifes dream to start a tribe in the Pacific, made of like minded artists and happy people who are spiritually charged with island living and all the energy that comes from it.  

We moved here 9 months ago, and after a few months of searching we found the perfect property to rent.  We have been in this building about 5 months, and have come a long way in cleaning the place up from pulling over 50 bags of trash from the front yard and hacking down the 10ft tall swordgrass and making 3 huge compost piles.  We have been planting a variety of vegetables (tomatoes, herbs, leafy greens), medicinal herbs, melons, papayas and are working towards the eventual goal of an exotic citrus orchard. We have learned a lot of lessons since we arrived, having trialed many plant varieties that did not do well in the tropics, as well as weathered 2 typhoons.  Its all part of island life!

Tropical island life is a dozen gorgeous rock lined beaches, amazingly clean water and air (1000 miles from anywhere mainland), 79 inches of rain per year.  The main language is English and currency is the ‘Murican dollar.
The local Chamorros and Carolinians are laid back and friendly.  There are a lot of Chinese tourists but they mostly keep to themselves, and the beaches remain uncrowded.  Of course the government is corrupt as hell, but we dont pay federal taxes, and state taxes are 5%, most of which is given back at the end of the year. If you are member of the commonwealth and an artist or fisherman, you dont pay any taxes on your first 20 grand a year and then at only 1% past that.

Food can be expensive or cheap, depending on what you like.  There is a moderate selection of veggies grown by local Chinese farmers but otherwise most produce is shipped in.  The next island over is known for its free-range beef.  Gas tends to stay around $4.20/gallon.  The island is only 14 miles long and 5 miles wide, so there is rarely far to drive.  No poisonous creatures other than stonefish (which can be avoided by wearing reef boots), no snakes and no large predators.  There are all kinds of beautiful fish and corals to see while snorkelling in the protective reef that surrounds the whole island, and cute little lizards of several varieties on land.  The ocean temperature rarely gets lower than 80* and the air temperature rarely gets up to 90* (although the high humidity levels may make it feel hotter to some folks).  

We are currently renting a 2 bedroom section on the first floor of the large building on our property. There is plenty of room to expand if need be.  We have on-grid electric, fairly reliable and fast internet, and a 500 gallon water tank that we get filled for $25 about twice a month, which we are working on setting up to rain catchment (but no running water currently, also working on getting that set up.  Dishes, showers and toilet is all done by bucket).  

Flights are pretty reasonable from the mainland, with a layover in Hong Kong; booking a direct flight tends to run quite a bit more.  We paid about $700 per person, one way, from Chicago.

There are a lot of open opportunities for business here…there are not any glass artists, wire-wrappers, silversmiths, potters, metal forgers or stone carvers.  We hope to get our gemstone carving and metal forging studio set up here in the near future, and this building has the space for at least a few other art studios as well.  We look forward to starting Saipan’s first major arts center with artists from around the world!

We are hoping to find a couple of artists and/or permaculturalists to move in and help with rent.  Your share would be $250/ month plus one third share of the bills (at current rates this would be approx. $20/mo.electric, $30/mo water, and $26/mo internet, so $76 total). We currently have one room for rent with possibility for more.  Two people maximum per bedroom, and we unfortunately cannot host children or pets at this time.  We are clothing minimal but not nudists. We are opportunivores who enjoy eating whole, natural foods as much as possible but we aren’t too picky.  We dont smoke tobacco but others smoking it outside is fine with us, we drink but not to excess.  We keep drama and noise to a minimum.  The building is bordered on one side by jungle, and a main road on the other (which can get pretty busy, but does have the advantage of having a grocery store about 1 minute away).  

Any questions just ask!  
We cant wait to hear from you and maybe live, learn and grow with you as brothers and sisters....
Thanks for checking us out! See you at the beach!!

~~Teal and Sile
Blue Dragon Green House
Blue Dragon Lapidary Studio
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Dragon souls need love too!
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Best tomatoes from around the planet....
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Locals are cool....
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Banyon trees are awesome!
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Our black pearls....
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chaparitas
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The building waiting for you....
 
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Hi there,
Intrigued by your post, I am a permaculture teacher and my husband is a master multimedia artist, we are currently in Ecuador working on writing permaculture curriculum for Bio-remediation. we are looking to expatriate from the chaos of the United states but are struggling to get residency as we don't make a living in a legible by governments manor.    It is my understanding that at a US citizen I don't need any paper to live in work in the US commonwealth.  Is that true?
Ultimately i would love to know more about how you decided on saipan and if you are happy about your decision to move there...
 
pollinator
Posts: 8897
Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
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I have also chosen island life. We are only searching the Eastern visayas region of the Philippines, where my wife is from. I'm saying goodbye to winter, and getting into the production of dried leaf and spices for the export market.

The major challenge will be to fit into a society where I have far more wealth than the average person. We will offer free educational opportunities to those around us, and help others sell export products, but I won't be running a charity. Nobody will be given money.
 
Teal Van Vlymen
Posts: 4
Location: Saipan CNMI
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Megan Carlisle wrote:Hi there,
Intrigued by your post, I am a permaculture teacher and my husband is a master multimedia artist, we are currently in Ecuador working on writing permaculture curriculum for Bio-remediation. we are looking to expatriate from the chaos of the United states but are struggling to get residency as we don't make a living in a legible by governments manor.    It is my understanding that at a US citizen I don't need any paper to live in work in the US commonwealth.  Is that true?
Ultimately i would love to know more about how you decided on saipan and if you are happy about your decision to move there...


Yes you are correct, US citizens do not need any papers or visas to live in the Northern Marianas!  I learned about Saipan back in the 2000's when the Military was talking about using Pagan island (one of the Northern islands in the chain, about 200 miles north of Saipan, beautiful and mostly uninhabited except for 2 permanent residents and visitors) for bombing practice.  The local residents here are very opposed to it and so far it has not gone through.  Saipan has its ups and downs, but overall we are happy living here.  No winter is a huge bonus!!
 
Teal Van Vlymen
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Location: Saipan CNMI
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Dale Hodgins wrote:I have also chosen island life. We are only searching the Eastern visayas region of the Philippines, where my wife is from. I'm saying goodbye to winter, and getting into the production of dried leaf and spices for the export market.

The major challenge will be to fit into a society where I have far more wealth than the average person. We will offer free educational opportunities to those around us, and help others sell export products, but I won't be running a charity. Nobody will be given money.


I've been following your story with great interest!  I learned a lot about the Philippines from what you've wrote.  Very interested to hear how things work out for you there.  We are right next door but haven't visited yet; it look like an amazingly beautiful place.  Saying goodbye to winter is always a relief, especially when you're originally from the frozen North haha!
I saw you mentioned growing Moringa/Malungay leaf for sale.  Those trees also grow like crazy here as well, but we weren't sure how much of a market there was for the dried leaves or if we'd be able to compete with lower cost of living places producing them like the Philippines.  We have been using them ourselves by adding to soups and smoothies.
 
Dale Hodgins
pollinator
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It is a very quick process to harvest Moringa leaf, so even if it's not worth selling on the international market, I could see it being well worth supplying your local market.

Workers who cut and dry the stuff in the Philippines, make about $6 a day. Wages are lower in India. So that's something important to keep in mind. I have bought many bunches of moringa in fresh form at the local market. Once you have it going, you should be able to harvest a minimum of $100 worth, in a day, provided you have that much growing. It's the hanging and drying and shipping that probably aren't worth it from your location.

I think it might be wise to start with 10 trees, which could easily be harvested in 10 minutes. See if your market can absorb that much, and if it can double and triple Etc.
 
Teal Van Vlymen
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Our Moringa trees are over 8 foot high at this point, providing us with way too much to use ourselves. The local market has a few Filipeno gardeners who supply the island with large bunches of moringa leaf for 1$ each. The plants also grow wild all over the island, where they are basically ignored by the local population. We have so much available that we have considered offering it for sale to the mainland, but at an extreme discount.
 
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