6 Reasons Why You Should Experience Island Life

After visiting New Zealand, I'm convinced everyone should travel off of mainland.

By: Amanda Sanchez

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There's a reason that many of our planet's islands are popular destinations. Hawaii, the Caribbean, Tahiti, Ibiza and my personal favorite, New Zealand, all draw tourists like there's no tomorrow (because who knows, why not go now?) In my experience, New Zealand offered a unique opportunity as an island destination to learn a lot about our big world. Here are some reasons why you should also visit the some of those floating dots on the map:

1. The culture 

You're sure to have a cultural experience when you travel to an island. People live life differently, they've adjusted to their land and climate and often thrive in their isolation from other societies.

2. They are peaceful 

Islands, due to their size and location generally have smaller populations than large landmasses, making the escape from society a little easier. 

3. They have active landscapes 

For those who seek an adventure, you'll probably find more the farther you go from home. From the famous Milford Sound to geothermal activity, nothing in New Zealand was like what I could find at home. If you've heard of island hot spots or plate tectonics, then you know there's science to support that islands are exciting places.

4. The wildlife 

Isolation often allows plant and animal species to evolve very differently than they would on large land masses. For many island nations, endemic species are a proud reminder that they stand out! New Zealanders have even named themselves after their famous flightless bird. (Hint: it is also a fruit!) Traveling to an island is an opportunity to experience a new piece of our planet's wildlife.

5. The history 

Some islands have been fought over by world powers, others were discovered unintentionally by sailors. For those who are interested in human history, islands each have unique stories to offer. New Zealand even has a mysterious history yet to be confirmed, as there are different theories as to where the first colonizers came from.

6. Environmental Awareness 

On an island, nearly everyone has an awareness and care for their environment because they have have restricted resources, especially land. The city of Kaikoura on New Zealand's South Island is a great example of this. These people understand that they are limited and often live closer to their land. We can learn a lot from lifestyles like this! 

Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph.