Behind the Looking Glass: Nantucket Island

Some have visited there to vacation. Some have heard about it in “National Geographic.”  And some call it their home. The little island Nantucket, off the coast of Massachusetts, is home to nearly 12,000 people year round. “National Geographic” named it, “The best island in the world.”

Year after year, thousands of people from all over flock to this little island that many call their permanent home. Two out of the nearly 12,000 natives got a chance to speak with us about life on the number one island.

Thomas Murphy grew up on Nantucket Island. He was born in Boston and brought to the island when he was only three days old. “I wouldn’t say that living on an island is any different from living anywhere else. It may be small, but we have everything we need here,” he said.

Murphy recently graduated from Nantucket High School and is studying electrical engineering at Norwich University. Murphy is also a part of the ROTC program at Norwich.  He plans to join the Navy as soon as possible.

When you Google search “Nantucket Island,” you usually see pictures of sandy beaches and sunsets. During the summer season, the total population of the island changes from an average 12,000 people, to an overwhelming 60,000 people. The island’s main source of income is tourism. So over 75 percent of these people who are living on the island are tourists.

Linda Strachan has lived on the island ever since she moved there with her husband 22 years ago. “We moved to Nantucket to create calmer, more laidback lives for ourselves. Raising six kids in the city didn’t seem ideal to me at the time.” Strachan fell in love with the island at a young age and decided to raise her kids there.

To some, Nantucket may seem like just a place to vacation. But for many, it is a place called home.

Murphy explained the excitement and anticipation that comes with a summer on an island. “During the summer there are a lot more things to do, since all the people are here. You can actually get out of the house and do things,” he said. Summer activities include bike riding, boating, fishing and going to the beach.

Many students spend their summers working at local shops and businesses, learning skills and making some extra cash for college. “Everyone knows everyone here. It’s pretty easy to get a job and maintain it throughout your high school career,” Murphy said.

Life on Nantucket, according to the natives, is a lot different from what many outsiders might expect it to be. So buy your tickets, and see it for yourself.  Nantucket is definitely worth the visit.