The Other Side of Crazy: Relocating to an Island

IMG_4990So, you want to drop everything and move to an island? Let me guess: your friends, privately or otherwise, think you are nuts contemplating something that only ever works out in the movies. At this point, what you do have is a really good job right where you are and what you don’t have is a clue how to pull it off. And since you don’t personally know another soul who’s done it and there’s no Island Relocation for Dummies, you don’t have a great source of information on how to, in fact, do it.

Been there, done that, my friends.

And it’s a crazy, sometimes lonely place to be, there’s no doubt. But I can tell you this: that time you spend in that crazy, lonely place, wondering if you’ve been struck mad, that time makes this place all the sweeter, all the more precious, once you land on the island that does in fact exist on the other side of crazy.

In fact, I have a confession to make. Some of you have read my Island Prequel series and probably are wondering why in the world I haven’t, after eleven posts, just gone ahead and written the ending. LCB has even started calling me out on it, and he’s right. But the truth is, I’ve drafted the ending both in my head and on paper several times. Yet there’s this small part of me that doesn’t want to finalize my draft and post it, because then it will be the end of that sweet, sweet time when that girl who grew up in a small raised ranch on the outskirts of a corn field, that girl who dreamed of an island life never thinking she’d actually get it, actually, in the end, got it. Once I post the end, the tale will have been told, and I’ll be shutting the book on the telling of it.

I just don’t really want to stop living in the land where the tale is still being told, I guess.

What is the point of my confession? The point is that’s how precious that time is to me, those years spent both moving and sometimes standing still, but headed toward the dream nonetheless.

So where am I headed now with this post? It’s simple, really. Since I began An Island Mom two years ago, many people have inquired about how to go about moving to an island. Turns out, there’s a whole slew of you out there who’ve spread the map out on the kitchen table like we did those many years ago, but you are stuck on the first paragraph of chapter two of your book, the chapter I’ll hereby title, “Getting Up from the Table and Doing Something.” We sat at the table for years, deep in the quagmire of chapter two’s first paragraph, so I know the place well, well enough to know it’s a quagmire, not a vortex. That means it’s possible that some of you who hope to will someday reach the island’s shore.

I would be remiss not to tell you, however, that we have been extremely blessed, and that for us, several details fell into place that allowed us to do what we otherwise may not have been able to do. Chief among these was the fact that LCB was, at a crucial time for us, able to begin working for himself, thus allowing us a great deal of flexibility in where we lived. And, while I wish I could offer you a three-step or five-step or eighty-step program guaranteed to give you the same results, I can’t.

What I can share with you, however, are some of the things we learned along the way that made the move a little easier and some of the things that helped us find the right island for us. So, over the next few weeks, months, or years, depending on how the spirit moves, I’ll be posting largely practical tips on things to consider when contemplating an island move, things that might, for some, make the dream seem just a wee bit less unobtainable.


beach hut pic #1Also, don’t forget to like An Island Mom on Facebook, follow me on Twitter, or comment on this post for a chance to win this 4” x 5” beach hut canvas by Jann Tayloe.  


2 Replies to “The Other Side of Crazy: Relocating to an Island”

  1. We were crazy and moved to our island in December of 2001, living our “retirement by the beach dream” 30 years earlier than planned. We lived in that delicious place for 10 years. It was a place that I’d dreamed of living in since I was 13. After it became apparent that we would have to leave, we promised ourselves we’d find another island. We may have to wait until retirement this time, but we’ll get back. For some of us, it just gets under your skin and won’t leave. Since this is the first time I’ve had the guts to talk about it, I’d better go put “moving to another island” on my permanent to-do list on my calendar.

    1. Well, as they say around here, even when people leave for a while, they always eventually come back. And it sure seems like it’s true for a lot of people. So hopefully that will be true for you as well, and hopefully sooner rather than later. LCB and I always say that if work ever moves us away for some reason, we’ll still plan on retiring here. There’s just nothing quite like it, being this close to the sea and the coastal marshes and everything that comes with them.

      Best wishes in your journey home again.

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