Having just returned from visiting a friend on Martha’s Vineyard this past week, I started wondering what is it that attracts certain people to make an island their home. A good friend of mine purchased a townhouse in Vineyard Haven some time ago with the original intent for it to be an investment property. It’s evolved into a more permanent type of year-round residence and she’s loving it! There are drawbacks, of course, as anyone who had been to the Vineyard can attest that it’s not easy to get there. Hours in the car, a majority of that stuck in traffic. Waiting for the ferry. The inflated costs. The hordes of tourists during peak season….
The tourists invasion can be a bit overwhelming, particularly for local residents trying to get through the day-to-day. On the other end of the spectrum, when the tourist are gone, and the vacation-home owners have returned to their semi-permanent homes, the island can be a bit isolating. One can find the solitude just as overwhelming as the crowds…
Are the misconceptions, trials and tribulations of island living the same no matter what the island? On Plum Island, we don’t have some of the problems mentioned earlier. It is easily accessible by causeway. No ferries, (even though that was the only way to the island long ago…) just drive on over. As for the crowds, yes, we get our share of tourists, but not the tens of thousands that flock to the Cape and the Islands. Ability to navigate The small island is 2/3rds nature preserve, also further restrictive with its narrow and sometimes dead-end streets and limited public parking.
Beyond the tourist, beyond the vacation home renter, there are those individuals and families who choose to live ‘on-island’ year round. What is that makes people establish home and household on-island? What kind of persona does it take? Is it the draw of nature? The call of the sea? Or perhaps the fantasy of having a bohemian lifestyle?