Editor’s Pick. Written by Jack Wheeler.
Edinburgh-of-the-Seven-Seas, Tristan da Cunha, South Atlantic Ocean. Welcome to the most isolated community on the planet, on the world’s remotest inhabited island.
Named after the Portuguese captain who discovered it in 1506, Tristão da Cunha, it is 1,736 miles from Africa, and 2,466 miles from South America. The nearest inhabited land is the island of St. Helena 1,343 miles to the north, itself so remote that the Brits exiled Napoleon there.
It’s not simply that Tristan is far away from anywhere else, it’s amazingly difficult to get here. You have to arrive by ship as there’s no airport – and there are no regular passenger ships, just the occasional fishing boat and an annual relief/supply ship from Cape Town. And when one does get here, it is rarely able to land as the weather doesn’t allow it. We are the first passenger ship to land here since March of 2012.
Why bother? Why brave often incredibly rough and dangerous seas for days or even weeks to come here on the off-chance that you can go ashore? Just to be able to tell your friends back home you set foot on the world’s remotest inhabited island?
Maybe for some. For me, it was the opportunity to meet perhaps the most extraordinarily unique people on earth. I came hoping to find a freedom paradise (more accurately, a conservative-libertarian paradise) – and I found it. But before you start packing your bags, be advised: there is, of course, a catch.