Norfolk Island is a very interesting mix of cultures. There are people living here from all over the world and it is always incredibly fascinating to hear how they came to be here.
Norfolk Island is a tiny island (8km x 5km) in the South Pacific, approximately 1600KM east of Australia and 1120 km North of Auckland New Zealand. When you have a look on a map you will see the Island really does sit in the middle of nowhere, it seems.
With a transient population that ranges from about 1400 to 2000 at any given time, there is a mix of locals (Pitcairn descendants), New Zealanders, Australians and Pacific Islanders. But there is also a collection of Europeans, Americas, South Africans and the list goes on.
And so, one has to wonder when you travel here, how in the world do all these people end up in such an out-of-the way, often overlooked little Island?
Every one has their own story.
Mine is probably just as fascinating as the rest, and I often look back and shake my head. Never in my wildest dreams would I have ever thought I would be travelling here, let alone living here. People ask me “how did you come to be on Norfolk Island”. This is my answer:
I was living in Adelaide, South Australia and having quite a bad run at ‘life’. Nothing seemed to work and in essence I basically came to the end of my rope. I had been through some pretty traumatic life experiences including major health problems, and really needed a good fresh new start.
My brother, funnily enough, had lived here 10 years previously and still knew friends living here. When in a discussion with me about getting myself back on track, he suggested: “why don’t you just go to Norfolk Island for a while”.
There are moments in your life that define you. Ones where time seems to stop, everything becomes very clear and you know exactly what you need to do. This was one of those moments for me.
And so, 2 weeks later with very little money and nothing holding me back I got on a small plane and flew to this Island in the South Pacific that I knew nothing about.
My first impression was – Oh my god. Where in the world am I? I had arrived on an afternoon when everything was shut and the town seemed like a ghost town. Everyone was at the beach! My brother’s friends whom I stayed with were amazing hosts and showed me around.
My second impression was – Wow. This is the most beautiful, gentle and peaceful place I have ever experienced. I felt myself relaxing with every breath of fresh amazingly clean air.
And so, within days of being on the Island, my plan to stay for 6 months turned into a 12-month plan. I arrived in January 2009. In September of that same year I met a man who is now my husband. He is English and has been on Norfolk Island for close to 15 years now, with a story of his own.
And so, the rest is history. 7 years and 2 kids later we are still here living on this tiny little gem of an Island in the South Pacific called Norfolk Island. We may not remain here forever, but I am so thankful for the beautiful people and the amazing memories that will always stay with me.
How are you going at creating an amazing life story? Perhaps it’s time to visit Norfolk Island and make some new memories to write home about?
Let us help you create your own Norfolk Island story and give yourself some Room to Think, Create, and Be Inspired.
Guest post by Sharni-Marie Barney. Follow her on Twitter: @mariesharni