St. Croix Expat Home

Not that I’m looking to move to a tropical island anytime soon, but when winter comes along…sometimes it’s nice to dream about becoming an expat in paradise. Instead of dreaming, this is what Nate Olive of Atlanta did. After a few life changes, he moved to the beautiful island of St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands, met an equally beautiful woman and opened up a sustainable farm and restaurant.

Nate and his wife, Shelly, also live in an interesting small home they’ve dubbed the Cozy Shack. In this episode of Ex-Pats by the Reserve Channel, the host mostly discusses Nate’s reason for becoming an expat, but the location and Nate’s home really caught my attention.

The Cozy Shack is made partly out of a shipping container and the bedroom with its elevated bed is outside. Nate and his wife sleep outside because he says that “nature makes the best bedroom.” The home’s electricity is provided by solar power.

Nate’s home, wife and life are beautiful, but be sure to watch the entire video, because his story is beautiful too.

Screen captures and video from  Reserve Video


By Christina Nellemann for the [Tiny House Blog]

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et - October 22, 2012 Reply

A Nate & Shelly build a new life – yet somehow it becomes “Nate’s home, wife and life”?

    Trish B - October 27, 2012 Reply

    Yeah, this post really creeped me out, she’s written about like she’s a beautiful object he acquired rather than a person.

TJ - October 22, 2012 Reply

Great video! Beautiful island. I think I might need another shipping container for a bedroom though. I wish the video talked more about living expenses, etc. on the island. Fresh water? Culture? Getting around? Thanks for turning me on to the Reserve Channel-interesting content. Thanks.

kay - October 22, 2012 Reply

My hubby and I loved the story of Nate and his life in St Croix. Loving the life style and the possibilities. We often think out side of the box, simplifying and becoming sustainable in our tiny home….I know we will try this type of life style some day soon and love to preview it, by checking out other successful people and their journeys. Thanks, I love Tiny House Blog very much!

TomLeeM - October 22, 2012 Reply

That is one cozy shack. 🙂

jipsi - October 23, 2012 Reply

Cute couple, cute ‘shack’! But like another remarked, I’d have to have another container for an adjacent bedroom! Because of the tropical nature of the island, I’m sure I’d want lots of openings/windows cut into it to let in cool breezes, but screened well, to keep out the bugs! A mosquito netted bed, OUTDOORS, just wouldn’t make me comfortable.
C’est la vie.
To each his/her own… 😉

Bob H - October 23, 2012 Reply

Isn’t St. Croix a U.S. Virgin Island ?

    MJ - October 25, 2012 Reply

    St. Croix is absolutely a US territory, but when you live there, you know it is not like anything in the US you would recognize, hence the ex-pat nomenclature. Americans are considered Continentals, like here, where I live on Culebra, another US holding, we’re called as Norte Americanos. As the saying goes, we’re all here because we’re not all there.

      Bob H - October 26, 2012 Reply

      That saying is about the most truthful thing I have ever heard, I LOVE IT.

Hawk's Nest Cabin - October 23, 2012 Reply

Very cool! Aw, would have been great to hear a little more from his wife.

Ronny Johnson - October 27, 2012 Reply

First, awesome he’s a Redhead! ~LOL~ I have been, till recently, a member of that exclusive club. Now, sniff sniff, gone Gray~… so it is always funny when I ask people to call me by my moniker~Red~ Second… I wish I had seen this many… years ago as it is just fabulous what they are doing. It strikes me as also something one could do as or late in life as well be of service to this sort of project and give of their time. Lastly, I wish them continued success though I doubt they need it. And Thank You for this Video.

Christine Ferguson - October 27, 2012 Reply

Quote from MJ : “We’re all here because we’re not all there!” Love it!

From C.F. A Scot in Andalucia, Spain. (Home of bandits and buccaneers). So enjoy Tiny House blog.xxxxx

Charlie - October 28, 2012 Reply

I agree with Bob H. It is US territory. It may be different than the “mainland” but so is Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Alaska, Guam and various sundry places all over the US. I live in Chamblee, GA as well and you don’t even have to leave the state if you want to live an alternative life style and that’s all this guy did. The entire southeast has coastal areas where this life style could be achieved. He is not living “abroad” even if he has that mindset. But then Americans are notoriously poor at geography. Besides he’s still in his honeymoon stage and everything is new and exciting. Let’s see how’s he’s doing in five to ten years. I’ve met a lot of “islanders” who had after a wonderful childhood in paradise but the reality on no jobs forced them to move to greater Atlanta where Chamblee is located. He’s living the “good life” until he gets sick and has no heath insurance.

John Fosselman - December 3, 2012 Reply

How do we arrange a visit to the farm?
Thank you.

Bakeware - January 8, 2013 Reply

Hello! I’ve been following your blog for a long time now and finally got the courage to go ahead and give you a shout out from Colorado. Just wanted to tell you keep up the great job!

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