How far would you dare to get from the rest of the world?
What would you say if I told you that there’s an island so distant from any other place that it can only be reached by a week-long boat ride?
I present to you the ultimate residential challenge in the world. And no, I’m not trying to sell you into an exotic spot around Europe, South America, or any of those places that you most probably know already. This is much more than that. If by any chance, you have a very open and curious mind, this is definitely made for you. Even if you’re not so sure about letting yourself go into the unknown, maybe this place will change your mind.
I’m talking about Tristan da Cunha, the most remote island in the world. It is so far away from anywhere else, that when you finally get there, a friendly sign welcomes you to the island, reminding you of how far you are from everywhere else. The island is 1243 miles far from Saint Helena, 1491 miles from South Africa and 2088 miles from South America. So take a pick.
If by this point you’re not cringing or feeling homesick already, then you’re probably ready to jump into this alternate reality, where you’ll get to share your everyday life with only 300 people. It doesn’t look so big or too explorable. So, what’s the deal with Tristan da Cunha? This island is only seven miles long. It has only one official “city”, Edinburgh of the Seven Seas, which was later renamed The Settlement by its locals. It has some interesting touristic spots but it’s much more than that. As I told you before, it’s a residential challenge. Planning a trip here is already a complex task, sure, but living here? That’s a whole different story. Because the lifestyle in Tristan is so different from your typical routine, it can definitely change some of your old habits for good.
Well, being that medical supplies and groceries are provided only by ships that take several days to arrive, you’ll probably have to plan ahead. If you run out of food for that midday snack, bummer. You’ll have to wait or look for something else to eat. What if you get sick? In Tristan, they rely on a very basic hospital for minor injuries and health issues. But let’s say you develop a very rare disease, or the wild life decides to attack you. Well, good luck. You’ll have to be immediately transferred to South Africa or even London, if needed.
The fact that Tristan da Cunha is so far away makes up for any doubts you can have of adventure potential. Because that comfort zone we love so much, goes away. Being there is like pushing “rewind” on the technology and luxury we're used to. Clearly there’s no Airbnb, restaurants, hotels, or usable beaches. Credit cards are beyond a bad joke. As a matter of fact, they even have a backup plan in case money runs out or stops being useful. Conrad Glass, the island’s chief constable explained during an interview with National Geographic: “Tristanians consider potatoes as insurance. If suddenly the world went crazy and money had no value, we’d still have our staple vegetable.”
So, at this point I’m pretty sure you already realized that living in Tristan da Cunha is a life-changing experience like no other. That’s how attractive this place can be. I think that, if you feel brave enough for the challenge (considering the risks and sacrifices), there’s room for you in this island. As a matter of fact, I recently read about two job opportunities here so, why not?