What is “island life”? We asked three of our travel writer friends who call islands “home” to share their perspectives.
Perspectives of Island Life
Linda Wainwright – Tenerife, Canary Islands
The island on which I’ve been living for a good few years now, Tenerife, in the Canary Islands, is famous for its resorts, and is gaining a reputation, at last as great place to walk, dive, trail run, cycle and enjoy a myriad of other sports. There is another side to the island, and that is the agricultural community, often overlooked by tourists. The terraces of hundreds of small farms cover the hillsides, mainly in the north, they sell in farmer’s markets and to co-operatives. For some of them life hasn’t changed an awful lot in the last 50 years or so. I thought this photo, a chance encounter, and shot from my car, represented the old and the new modes of island transport!
Marcia Mayne – Jamaica
Island life / iLan lif / noun.
• It’s food, it’s an attitude, it’s a lifestyle.
• It’s the sun on your face, sand between your toes, it’s a dream of unhurried days lazing by a pool, your fingers wrapped around a tall, cold drink.
• It’s eating fruits in season, just picked from the backyard.
• It’s getting freshly caught fish and seafood, bringing it home and enjoying it with friends.
• It’s catching a vibe, a wave, a smile.
• It’s living, really living and enjoying the moment.
Linda Fairbairn – an island off the coast of Australia
There’s ‘something’ about living on an island – A romantic notion of getting away from it all – Escaping the rat race – A bit like living in a castle surrounded by a moat where you can haul up the drawbridge and shut out the world safe, from fire-breathing dragons.
Island-dwellers enjoy the geographical isolation from the mainland, with that precious band of water, happily keeping the hustle and bustle of the ‘real’ world at bay “over there”.
I love this separation; being out of the main stream. But it’s not for everyone. Some mainlanders have told me they feel as though they’re on Alcatraz – Trapped, by not having all the trappings of a modern world, with no access to the café scene, the shopping plazas and the buzz of humanity – they suffer cabin-fever!
On our island, I live close to nature – Beautiful bird life, stunning sea creatures and a boat for buzzing about the Bay.
Yet, with today’s technology no one lives a truly island existence. We have the privilege of enjoying the physicality of solitude, whilst remaining connected via this world wide web of words.
Dear Linda & Linda,
There’s nothing like living on an island and though we’re on different islands in different parts of the world, I see similarities.
We have donkeys here too. They still are used for transporting produce and farmers, especially in the hilly areas where cars or trucks can’t travel, the areas most visitors never see. Your timing on that donkey shot was perfect.
I used to get that sense of isolation, Linda, the sense that everything’s passing me by. No more, and it’s precisely because technology brings the world right to our doorsteps, or our boats or donkeys. I love being surrounded by nature and being able to control how much and when I let the world in.
Thanks for giving me a glimpse into your island lives, and thanks, Cathy, for putting this together.
Every island is different, unique unto itself, a contained universe… and yet the people who inhabit them, those who know what it is to live “the island life”, will always find common ground in this.
Lovely theme for these ladies to muse on.
The Jamaican phonetics made me smile. 🙂
With warm regards from Isla Palenque, Panama…
Like people, islands come in all shapes and sizes –
Some are big and some, like ours, are fairly small with limited mod cons!
Not to mention the variety of climatic regions – although I think tropical island living is what tends to be envisioned when one thinks of islands?
Lovely to ‘meet’ you other island living ladies 🙂
Well, I live on the BIGGEST island in the world, in fact it’s the only island continent. Come on dowununder 🙂