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What to Expect When Moving to the Island

Moving anywhere -even somewhere that seems very similar to your home- can be a bit of a culture shock. Moving to the island amplifies this effect, since small islands tend to have their own take on life.

Vancouver IslandDifferent Lifestyle

The first thing islanders will tell you when asked what is unique about living there, is that the lifestyle is different. Islands tend to foster small towns and cities grouped together, and remote rural areas. They are also separated physically from life on the mainland. This isolation creates an interesting small community feel, and those who call islands their home are often friendly and highly involved in local culture.

There are likely a whole new range of activities and amenities open to you. Pick up a few guidebooks or tourist information books, and check local business websites.


Most people know when they relocate long distance that they should expect the weather to be a little different. But moving to an island brings a larger weather change than many might expect, considering geographic distance. Islands are almost always rainier and wetter, and tend towards overcast much of the time. This is very true of Vancouver Island, which also has milder year-round temperatures than surrounding areas.

Before you move, you should investigate current and upcoming temperatures and conditions at your new home, and be prepared appropriate clothes. It is also advisable to research possible weather extremes like storms and flooding, as well as earthquakes. Speak to your insurance professional about advised precautions.


Due to the highly isolates nature of islands, you should be prepared for some adjustments to your travel. Trips to other cities off the island can involve bridges, ferries, tolls, and long waits. And a ferry missed or delayed by weather is always a possibility. If you wish to avoid these trips, you should investigate local places to do anything you might otherwise travel for.This can be hard, especially in rural areas where locals may rely more on shopping trips to large cities. If you commute off the island or travel is otherwise necessary, careful trip planning will help you make the best use of your time.


Although most of the services on the island will be similar to those on the mainland, there may be some things you need to be aware of if you will be living in a rural area. Some areas not near city services have poor coverage for cell phones and slow internet services. And you should find out ahead of time whether you will need to adjust to a well instead of city water.


Sometimes, it’s the small things that cause the most trouble. Islanders often complain that their addresses are misunderstood by those less familiar with the island, and it is often written incorrectly. Be clear when filing your mail forwarding or change of address forms. Islanders also sometimes experience delays when awaiting mail, as shipping can take longer to remote spots.

Other Considerations

  • Expect increased costs for items and services on islands.
  • There is often waits for doctors on islands, so be sure to contact family doctors well before your move.
  • New flora and fauna that will delight nature lovers can also cause new and unexpected allergies.
  • It is always best to visit the area you would like to move to and not rely on internet research.

For the smoothest move, choose a moving company that has experience with island moves and the ferries or bridges involved. Be sure you are clear about your chosen locale when you get a quote.

Map of Vancouver Island

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