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October 1, 2020 32 min
This interview is a real standout. You’ll meet Karen Burns, who moved to Vinalhaven Island in Maine, US, at the age of 23 and loved it so much she couldn’t leave. Karen works with people living on islands up and down the Maine coast, in her role as Chief Talent Officer at Maine's Island Institute, a global leader in connecting island communities.

Our conversation ranges widely and I loved it. We talk about the intergenerational friendships that develop in small island communities; the adaptability, resilience and innovation of people living on small islands; the push/pull between year round communities and tourism/visitors and newbies; managing expectations about what living on an island with a busy working port involves - and the wonderful joys and how we manage the challenges of island life. Yes, it was a wonderfully rich discussion!

We also loved our shared sense of 'islandness': despite our islands being so different, and our lives as women are quite different, there were substantial similarities in how we experience 'islandness'. And, we talk about what the term 'islandness', coined by an Island Institute academic, means, to us. This interview is rich in insight. Don't miss it!

To learn more about Karen Burns, go to

To connect with the Island Institute, go to

Information about Vinalhaven Island can be found here

Join our global community of island lovers – each Friday join Rachael Krinks and guests from Australia and around the world who have started new lives on islands. We talk to ordinary folk who decided to start new lives living on islands, as well as bloggers, academics and other experts on all things island … we’ll help you figure out if island life is for you and how to make the shift successful. If you want to start a new life living on an island, this is the podcast for you.

Redland City Council is proud to provide funding for the Start a New Life Living on an Island Podcast as part of the COVID-19 Relief and Recovery Grants Program to assist the Redlands Coast Community.

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