Monday, December 29, 2008

I'm a little smitten.

I saw a story on Reddit yesterday that was entitled something like "Who the hell lives here?" with a link to this map. Click on it and zoom way out.

Holy cow!

That small island in the middle of nowhere is called Tristan da Cunha and is the home to 270 people and one volcano. They live more than 1500 miles from the next closest piece of inhabited land (Santa Helena, which still only contains a few thousand people). People living in Antarctica are closer to big cities than the residents of Tristan da Cunha.

They've got electricity on 24 hours a day and a new Internet cafe. There's one doctor, one channel on TV, and zero airports. They fish, they farm and two of their three main exports are Tristan da Cunha stamps and coins. When the island was evacuated in the early sixties due to volcanic activity, and the residents were moved to another British territory for a few years, nearly every single person chose to return to the island as soon as possoble

I don't know why an island so remote and so devoid of convenience and modern technology appeals to me, but it truly does. Maybe one day, perhaps when I'm far off the east coast of South America, or the south west of coast Africa, I'll get to visit. Maybe it'll be after they get around to building a hotel or a restaurant. Maybe not.

Hold on, Tristan da Cunha. I'm coming. Slowly.


meg said...

Key words that I see as red flags here:
-- 270 people
-- one volcano
-- in the middle of nowhere
-- one doctor
-- one channel on TV
-- main exports stamps and coins
-- island was evacuated
-- zero airports

Uh really Mike? Are you overwhelmed with SF and going for a WHOLE new direction?

May I suggest you take an intermediary step like say Kansas. Or even Micronesia. See how it goes for you and your girls. Live in a tent in the back yard for a year. See how it goes. Going from SF to Bakersfield would be a shock. THIS would be more. Just friendly advice...

We want to retire to Santa Barbara for many of the same reasons, but we could still drive or fly to see the kids, yk?

How did those residents get in and out -- boat??? Ack.

Mike said...

I'm not saying that I'm prepared to uproot the family and move there, but I find the whole concept of the place very compelling. I'd love to visit. And yes, you can only get on and off the island via boat. They get all their deliveries from passing fishing boats.

meg said...

I think you need a vacation my friend... :)

Anonymous said...

Will there be booze there?

Sign me up.

Mike said...

Meg, I sure do.

Mox, I figure there's GOT to be booze there. At the very least, someone has got to be making moonshine.

meg said...

BevMo. Everclear. Enough said.

Mike said...

Meg, I know they won't let me carry Everclear on the airplane as a carry on (unless it's only a couple ounces), but I guess I could check a suitcase full of it.