Living on an Island

swim suits and beachwear

Our Snowbird Stint

Living on an Island

They say if you love something, let it go. So adiós, North Haven. It’s time to seek out some sun.

The question I get asked the most about living on an island is what it’s like to live here in the winter. I’ve written about this before, but I haven’t been brutally honest with you — until now! My number-one tip for surviving out here in the winter is to leave.

At least for a little while.

No one gets cabin fever worse than my husband, Alex. Every year after the holidays wind down and the realization sets in that summer (his busy lobster-fishing season) is looming, he panics and says he needs a vacation. I tend to be a bit more reasonable and remind him that our finances and schedules don’t always allow for one. But by March — when I start imagining the island (below) abloom with leafy trees and wildflowers only to have my hopes dashed by reports of yet another snowstorm — I want out of here too.

So this year we cashed in five years’ worth of airline miles and booked flights to Mexico for a week. We’ve rented a small apartment directly on the beach, which should make it easy to prep meals for our nine month old, Austin and put him down for naps.

Of course, living in the middle of the sea, we can’t just get up and go. We usually tack on at least 24 hours at either end of our trips to allow for the ferry rides to and from Rockland, the car rides back and forth from the airport in Portland or Boston, and the inevitable delayed/missed flights, in which case we rely on the kindness of mainland family and friends who let us crash with them. Leaving behind a household of animals is another worry. Luckily, we have friends who are willing to take in our dog and plenty of family members who can check on the cats.

When we built our house, we knew that our long-term goal was to always get away in the winter. This is why we chose to install pipe-free direct-vent heaters instead of a furnace. The thought of heating pipes bursting in the cold weather would definitely put a damper on vacations.

Depending on how things go this time, we may consider leaving for a longer stretch next winter. I work remotely, Alex doesn’t fish in the winter, and Austin’s not yet in school, so why not take advantage? I just hope Austin doesn’t expect the ocean here to ever be as warm as it is in Mexico in March!