Well, I suppose technically we’re islanders ourselves, coming from the British Isles and all that, but by no means can it be said with any conviction that living in the UK is exactly the same as say living in the Seychelles, Bahamas, Cayman Islands, Jamaica, British Virgin Islands, etc. Some villages in the UK are big enough to have their very own farmer’s unions and between all the countrywide industrial, commercial and financial activities, along with our connection to the European mainland, I think I’m justified in referring to islanders from “real” islands as well, islanders.

Right, now that that’s all cleared up, on a recent prolonged three week stay at the B.V.I’s Virgin Gorda Island, it wasn’t holiday business as usual because it just doesn’t make good financial sense to spend all of three weeks staying at an expensive hotel. We had to effectively live like locals for a little while, doing some grocery shopping along with taking care of some of the housekeeping required of staying in longer-term rental type of accommodation. Getting around was momentarily achieved in local style as well, along with everything else really and that’s how the reality of living on an island really hit home.

Island life is indeed quite a bit more challenging than the short-stay leisure tourist may think, perhaps by virtue of the isolated nature of a typical island. Things are expensive because most of them have to be imported, so you might find yourself wondering just how chicken feet cost as much as drumsticks back home, oh and the cost of fuel is insane. It’s even challenging just getting to the island and if you do indeed enjoy visiting some of the remotest island gems, prepare for a lot of switching between different modes of transport, some of which would probably raise a few eyebrows with the Department of Transport back home. A light aircraft and a couple of boat rides will likely get you to your destination, serving as a very effective lesson in patience, I tell you.

I mean take Ibiza as well for example, which isn’t even an island in the sense that it is its own country. Getting to Ibiza, Spain requires special transport arrangements, but even if you scoured the web or watched interactive travel programmes for competitions in which you could win a trip to Ibiza, the competition isn’t as straight forward as simply answering an obvious question to get entered into a lucky draw. No. It’s definitely achievable and can make for a lot of constructive fun, but if you want to win a trip to an island like Ibiza, you’d have to take part in a fitness goal challenge.

Getting to Ibiza by winning this competition is wickedly symbolic of the type of effort it would take to get to an island proper, like Virgin Gorda, especially if you intend to dive all the way in and live the life of an islander. With all its challenges though, I truly feel that what island life offers in the grand scheme of things, is all worth the sacrifices one would have to make in order to live the life of an islander.