Living on an Island: A Guide to Sun, Sand, and Seclusion
Are you done with the big city life? Do you constantly find yourself dreaming of turquoise waters, drinking mango juice at breakfast, and walking around barefoot? Well, maybe it’s time that you move to an island.
So many people fantasize about abandoning their lives and settling on an island. Magnificent lagoons, boat trips, beach sunsets… Without a doubt, there are numerous benefits to living on an island, but there are also drawbacks!
In this article, we’re going to go through the pros and cons of living on an island. We’ve also added some tips to make your island life easier.
Pros of Living on an Island
You’re Close to Nature
This is one of the biggest highlights of island life. Most islands, especially the tropical ones, offer great beaches, lagoons, waterfalls, and many other hidden gems. If nothing else, you’ll have the chance to rest under a big palm tree after completing all your Zoom meetings. This is a great way to recharge and create a perfect work-life balance.
Think you’re on the beach and sipping your cocktail at 6 p.m…
Time Moves Slowly
Once you start living on an island, you’ll realize that time moves slower on an island than it does in a big city. Thanks to your slow-paced life, you’ll be able to keep with your deadlines and spare time for exploring the island and meeting the locals.
The Weather Is Great
If you don’t like winter and are always on the hunt for sunshine, the island life is for you! In most islands, the year-round temperature is around 20°, and even the winter months might feel like spring. You can swim even in January because the water will still be warm.
You’ll Live a Minimalist Lifestyle
On an island, you’ll have the basics as most locals do: A couch, a table, two chairs, maybe a television, just a pair of sandals, and two tees. Food will be simple too, with fresh and local ingredients. But you’ll realize that you’re fine even with so little stuff. Island life will show you that a minimal life is possible.
Islands Offer Residence Permits to Digital Nomads
Another benefit of relocation to an island as a digital nomad is that most islands — especially those in the Caribbean, offer digital nomad visas. Once you meet the criteria, you can easily plan your relocation without much hassle.
Cons of Living on an Island
Be Prepared To Pay More
Living on a beautiful island comes with some drawbacks. Expensiveness is one of these. As most stuff is imported, you’ll probably pay more than you’d in your home country. Rents are usually high too. This is why before setting your eyes on a specific island, make a thorough search on the cost of living there. Numbeo is a great website for this kind of search.
However, note that this is usually valid for very remote islands. Many popular islands in Thailand, for example, are known to be cheap when compared to the Caribbean.
Infrastructure May Be a Problem
Although this is rapidly changing in most islands, you’d better be prepared for slow internet connection, frequent energy cuts, or poor phone signals. As a digital nomad who depends on the internet connection, this might cause problems.
Healthcare Services May Be Poor
This again depends on the island you’ve chosen to live on but in general, you’ll not be able to get the medical attention you’re used to in big cities. For serious operations, you might need to travel out of the island. If you have a health issue that needs to be dealt with frequently, search for healthcare options before you move to an island.
The Weather Is Unpredictable
Although you’ll have sunshine most of the time, tropical islands have rainy seasons that might lock you in your home. Morning showers, even in the summer, are possible too. This is why you’ll need to plan your day carefully if you want to spend time outdoors.
Insects Will Be Around
Living on an island can also mean living around with ants, bees, bugs, or any other insects you’ve never heard of before. Mosquitoes are usually an issue too. Some of these can be even poisonous so beware!
You Might Get Bored
When you live on an island, you’ll be eager to visit every area at first, but after a few weeks, you’ll have seen almost everything. If you’ve always lived in big cities, you’ll also miss spending time in cafes, pubs, or shopping centers. On an island, you’ll probably eat in the same restaurant every day.
Lack of Digital Nomad Community
Unless you’re heading to Bali, one of the most popular digital nomad places, you might find it difficult to meet fellow digital nomads on an island. Yes, there are exceptions but if you’re looking for a community, an island won’t offer you one.
Tips on Living on an Island
Living on an island is not the same as visiting one for a vacation. We’ve put together some tips that help you plan your relocation and make your stay a memorable one.
How to make most of your time on an island
- Organize your day carefully and make sure your online meetings don’t overweigh you.
- Check if there are any charities and consider volunteering. If you can’t find anything, help the locals to clean the beach.
- Get used to having beach hair or not wearing makeup. Embrace the natural “you”.
- Learn to go with the flow and take things easy.
- Try to learn the language.
- Read local papers so you’ll be familiar with what is going on.
- Don’t refrain from exploring the island. Maybe you’ll discover a new beach…
- Go and see the sports matches. This will make you feel closer to the locals.
- Don’t let social media keep you busy all day. Go outside and enjoy the island.
Tips for Island Living
🏖️ Embrace the island pace - life moves a little slower here, so take the time to relax and enjoy the natural beauty around you.
🐚 Learn to love seafood - it's usually fresher and cheaper than other options, plus it's a staple of island cuisine.
🌞 Always wear sunscreen - the sun can be intense on the islands, so protect your skin and stay healthy.
🌴 Get involved in the local community - island living is all about the people and the culture, so make an effort to get to know your neighbors and participate in local events.
👨👩👧👦 Build a support network - living on an island can be isolating at times, so make sure you have friends and family who can offer support and encouragement.
⚡ Prepare for power outages - island living often means relying on generators and solar power, so be ready for occasional power outages.
💰 Budget wisely - living on an island can be expensive, so make sure you have a solid financial plan in place.
👀 Keep an open mind - island living can be unpredictable, but it's also full of surprises and opportunities. Stay flexible and be ready for anything!
🛥️ Learn to sail - island living often involves being on or near the water, so why not learn a new skill and enjoy the ocean breeze?
🌊 Respect the environment - island ecosystems are delicate and unique, so be sure to do your part to protect them.
Conclusion on Living on an Island as a Digital Nomad
There you have it. We’ve tried to give you an introduction to island life. Many members of our community have been living on remote islands while we have members who are big city people. As long as you know what you’re looking for, an island life might be perfect for you. Nevertheless, we believe it’s worth the try!
Have you ever lived on an island? Let us know how it was…