J House: From Kansas City to Puerto Rico

The Johnston family of J House Vlogs shares ordinary family life in Puerto Rico on their YouTube channel. Losing a drone in the rain forest, paddling into a bioluminescent bay, or hiking in a cave full of bats are adventures interspersed with grocery trips, kids’ games, and cooking.

They describe themselves as “an imperfect family working together towards a happy home filled with love and meaningful connections.” An LDS family, the Johnstons partnered with Heart to Heart International to raise money for hygiene kits for Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria.

With over 1.8 million subscribers, J House is a very popular family vlog. Dad Jeremy is a remote-working lawyer and mom Kendra is a stay-at-home mom and homeschooler. They have five children: Isaac, Elise, Caleb, Laura, and Janae. They left Kansas City for Puerto Rico at the beginning of 2019.

The J House vlogs are low-key visits with the family and the neighborhood. They include plenty of footage of beautiful scenery and delicious local food, along with ordinary family interactions.

Kendra talks about meal planning, shopping, kids’ illnesses, and domestic mishaps. Their vlog posts from Puerto Rico are very similar to their posts from Kansas City: the daily reality of family life.

Families like to watch videos like these to get ideas, support, and social connections. Stay at home moms often turn to lifestyle blogs and vlogs like JHouse Vlogs to learn from other moms and to seek inspiration for their own homes and families. Subscribers feel they get to know one another in the comments and community building is a part of the job for successful YouTubers. They have much the same appeal as reality shows, with a higher level of authenticity.

A few more stories from people who’ve made the move from a State to the Island:

The Center for Puerto Rican Studies estimates that Puerto Rico may have lost as many residents in the months since Hurricane Maria as were lost during the preceding decade. Already, the number of Puerto Ricans living in the States is larger than the number living in Puerto Rico.

We don’t hear as much about people leaving the States to live in Puerto Rico. GQ reported that more than 1,500 people have moved from States to Puerto Rico since 2012. While GQ was writing about Puerto Rico’s tax haven status, plenty of ordinary people also make the move. One much loved example is the Johnston family.

One Comment

Duane

If PR becomes a state, more Mainlanders would feel more comfortable to relocate there, especially Veterans, who would be willing to retire there, as their benefits would no longer be reduced. It’s expected, too, that PR’s economy would experience a boom similar to Hawaii’s, after they gained statehood.

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