Become A Castaway: Rent Your Own Island

Thursday, March 18, 2010

“Look what I have created. I have made fire!” I know, it’s cheesy, but I can’t help bursting out that line from “Castaway” every time I get a campfire going. At least, more often than not, I’m being a dork in front of more than just a volleyball (if that’s any consolation).

Regardless, so many stories like that ignite our fantasies, don’t they? None more so than our good friend Robinson Crusoe (hell, Gilligan even had a dedicated fan base, right?). Who wouldn’t want a tropical paradise? Let’s see . . . a white sand beach all to yourself as far as you can see, crystal blue waters at your toes, and no possibility of overhearing any late night shenanigans coming from the honeymoon bungalow next door. It seems dreamier every time I think about it.

That’s just it. The simple adventure, perfect isolation, and pure freedom have a real alluring sense of romance about them. The Sydney Morning Herald took a look at how possible becoming a modern-day Robinson Crusoe actually is. It turns out, this idea may be easier than we thought. So get your old volleyballs ready, we may be sipping piña coladas out of coconuts before we know it.

You can take your pick of islands all over the world — in the Mediterranean, Caribbean, off the coast of Canada and Africa. There is even a range of accommodations, from low-key beachside bungalows to pimped-out, five-star personal resorts.

Let’s start there. According to Private Islands magazine, The world’s most expensive island is Six Senses Soneva Gili Resort in the Maldives. For a cool $1 million bucks, 100 people can live for a week in their pick of one of 44 over-water bungalows, eating gourmet feasts and scheduling massages in the glass-floor spa.

Not your style (or price)? Me neither. How about Wilson Island on the Great Barrier Reef (how’s that for the Castaway theme?). 12 people can split the $4,134 per night price tag.

Still too much? Our own Luke Armstrong rented the little gem in the top picture. “On a boat tour on lake Nicaragua, the tour guide offered to rent my friend and me an island on the lake. We accepted. Then went to hostels and bars and got about a dozen people to come to ‘our’ island for $10 (we almost got the whole $200 bucks paid for) and everyone got really drunk. I don’t remember a whole lot, but I remember wondering if this guy without shoes really owns the island . . . and bug bites, I remember lots of bug bites.” Luke, I can only imagine what that invitation may have sounded like.

The bottom line is this: whether it’s a lighthouse island in Norway, eco-islands near Zanzibar, or even that island Richard Branson rents out in the Bahamas, just know that it’s possible — for the right price.

Before you jump at the chance, though, just a few words of advice may be in order: don’t forget the bug spray, practice some really annoying (but fitting) movie quotes before you go, and don’t ever forget that you’re on a deserted island (you’ll have to ask Luke about that one).

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