Over the summer, I visited Gotland in the Baltic Sea and St. Thomas in the Caribbean. Ever since, I’ve pondered the allure of the small island. In one sense, on a small island, the planet seems tiny, like an entire world and everything you need and want in it could be contained in a few square miles. In another sense, when surrounded by water, sky, and endless horizon, the world feels immense. Because of their intimacy and isolation, small islands seem to develop such unique cultures.
In this list, we visit ten of the planet’s most interesting small, inhabited islands, from the Arctic to the near-Antarctic to the Caribbean to the South Seas. What did we leave off? What other islands do you want to visit? Let me know in the comments.