No Restaurants, Lawyers or... Loneliness: Life on the Remotest Island

The first multiple blind dates in the world are believed to have taken place in April 1827. The story goes that Thomas Swain, a 52 year old bachelor, had vowed to take the first woman to step ashore the world’s most remote island. Her name was Sarah Jacobs, a widow, and Thomas Swain took her hand as soon as she put her foot on the island. The four other women who had arrived with Sarah Jacobs married the four other bachelors on the island. 


From those beginnings, the island population at Tristan da Cunha grew exponentially. 

By 1832, just five years after the five women arrived, Tristan had a population of 34--22 of them children. 

The solitary outpost which had been a British garrison had become a community.


Today, it is still the most isolated island in the world where people live and Tristan da Cunha is located in the middle of the ocean between two continents.  The residents who live there, all 247 of them, understand a type of loneliness like no one else. But their isolation has, for hundreds of years, been a place that others have learned from: how to survive away from anyone else.


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