Island life – Total Bliss or a Near Miss?

It’s now been over two weeks of living on Hayman Island, and I have come to learn that there are both pros and cons of living and working on an island.  And while some of the points below are specific to Hayman, I imagine that many other work/life scenarios in small isolated towns, islands or cruise ships would have similar advantages and disadvantages.  So before you pack your bags and head off to work in a mining community, or sign a 6 month contact with Princess cruises, here are a few things to consider:

Hayman Island, Australia
The amazing Hayman Island

Pros:

  1. Location – whether it’s the ability to see the world on a cruise ship, spend a winter on the ski slopes in Whistler or live on a tropical island in the Whitsundays, location is key. Being able to live in and experience different parts of the world is an amazing adventure on its own.
  2. Free leisure activities – this is by far and away the biggest attraction of coming to Hayman, and likely true of other tropical islands or cruise ships.  Having access to tons of great activities such as kayaking, water sports, windsurfing, snorkelling, scuba diving, hiking, tennis,  sports teams and more all for free or at a staff discount rate is one of the biggest draws of this place.  If nothing on that list appeals to you – you might want to look elsewhere for work.

    Working on Hayman Island
    Free catamaran us for staff, not a bad perk of the job!
  3. Meeting new people – maybe you’ve recently gone through a bad breakup, or are just looking for some new people to hang out with, moving to any location where you bunk with other staff you are bound to meet dozens of new people within a few days.  Even if you’re not a social butterfly you are likely to make a few friends out of the hundreds of staff around.
  4. No Chores – do you come home from work to find your fridge always empty, the bills still not paid and your laundry not done? Besides cleaning your room here on Hayman, (which isn’t that big to begin with), there isn’t much else for you to worry about.  Your uniform is washed for you each day and all your meals are provided for you.

Cons:

  1. Food – while not having to cook or do dishes everyday is wonderful, if you have dietary restrictions or are a picky eater, that staff diner is not your friend.  Mindful that the kitchen has to feed about 300-400 staff 3 meals a day; you see a lot of the same food options each week.  You can have food sent over from the mainland but it’s not going to be cheap, and there isn’t a kitchen for you to prepare anything in.
  2. The Buzz of City Life – love checking out the new blockbuster movie each week, or shopping all the spring sales? You will have to wait for your days off to head back to the mainland for any kind of city life activities.  On the pro side, it is a great way to save money when there isn’t much to spend it on.
  3. Dating Scene – while not completely a con, you will have to do your background research before hooking up with anyone on the island.  You never know who they were dating before, and you don’t want it to turn out to be your boss or roommate.  With the exception of “fresh meat Mondays” when the new staff arrive, you likely won’t run into any hotties at the bar that you haven’t already seen before.

    Working on a remote island
    The dating scene at Hayman – the same everyday!
  4. No separation – we’ve all had bad days at work, disagreements with co-workers and our bosses, now imagine seeing them after work when you have dinner, at the gym, and then at the bar later.  You’ll want to be taking the advice, that if you don’t have anything nice to say, then don’t say anything at all, because you never know who’ll be listening wherever you are on the island. And don’t even think of faking a sick day here – word gets around pretty fast if you spend the day at the beach when you called in sick for work.

If you have any other pros or cons for a similar working/living situation, be sure to share in the comments.  Overall, I am happy to say on most days the pros heavily outweigh the cons here on Hayman, after all, no job is perfect, but this comes pretty close.

Comments? I'd love to hear your feedback!

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