“For those who dare to dream, there is a whole world to win…”
If you've ever dreamed of escaping to a private island, Michelle's story is sure to inspire you. In this blog post, we'll delve into Michelle's journey of leaving her life in Germany behind and starting a new adventure on Mannion Island, Ireland.
From her initial plans for a Tiny House in Germany to discovering the possibilities offered by island life, Michelle's story is one of embracing change, living simply, and pursuing one's dreams.
Join us as we explore the challenges, rewards, and unique experiences of living on a private island, and discover how Michelle's journey can inspire us all to stay open to life's endless possibilities.
Interview by Guillaume Hurbault
"Island living seems like an unachievable dream for many - so what made you seriously consider it as an option? What was the spark that ignited this adventure?"
While searching for houses and properties in Ireland, I stumbled upon an advertisement for Mannion Island. At that time, I hadn't planned on relocating to another country; I actually intended to build a Tiny House in Germany. However, I started to daydream about moving to Ireland someday with my dog and horse, the latter being born in Ireland. When I came across the ad for Mannion Island, I contacted Vladi Private Islands, and after a helpful phone call, I decided to book a ferry from France to Ireland, spend Christmas there, and visit Mannion Island.
That visit made me seriously consider it as an option, and I made my decision just two weeks later. I'm grateful to Vladi Private Islands for this opportunity; without them, I might have never considered this option.
“Searching for the perfect island can be a daunting task. How did you approach this challenge and what criteria were most important in your decision to purchase Mannion in particular?"
Finding the perfect island wasn't daunting for me because Mannion Island entered my life at the perfect time, and I never considered any other island. Mannion Island is in Ireland, has an ideal size of 4 acres, was financially achievable for me, and is located close enough to the mainland that I can easily reach it by kayak and swim there with my horse.
It was essential for me that the island had no existing house, as I wanted to build my dream Irish Shepherd's Hut. Additionally, the island has a nearby village, an existing shed with rainwater collection, a pier for easy kayak and boat access, and a landscape that is not overgrown by large plants. Ultimately, my intuition told me that Mannion Island was the right choice, and I couldn't be happier with Michelle, Milo, Molly, Mokka, and Mokki on Mannion.
“Obviously, a unique location comes with its own set of unique challenges. Can you share some of the difficulties you faced during this process, and what helped you overcome them eventually?"
Purchasing Mannion Island wasn't too complicated; I visited my solicitor three times, and everything was settled. It required some patience, but that's normal. The Irish weather can be challenging, but if it's too stormy to go to the mainland by kayak, I use the time for other activities.
For example, I'm currently sitting in my cozy hut with my dog on my lap, watching my horse and goats through the window while writing about my experiences. Swimming with my horse to bring her to Mannion Island was an adventure, and now we do it often during the summer, enjoying every moment. The delivery of my Irish Shepherd's Hut was challenging, but thanks to Mark, it arrived safely. Living a minimalist, vegan, and simple life has its challenges, but I'm used to it. I don't need a refrigerator, television, dishwasher, or washing machine. I wash my dishes in the ocean and my laundry by hand.
"Now that you've been island-living for a while, what do you appreciate most about this lifestyle change?"
I appreciate the tranquility and seclusion, even though my nearest neighbours aren't far away. I love the breathtaking views, sunrises, and sunsets, as well as the water, which can be calm or restless. I can swim whenever I want and enjoy the surrounding nature just by stepping out of my door. Island living isn't the only change in my lifestyle; I now live in a different country, don't work in an office, and reside in an Irish Shepherd's Hut.
My horse roams freely, I use rainwater, a composting toilet, and plan to produce my own electricity and grow vegetables. This feels like a second life, and I'm incredibly grateful for it. Whenever I face a challenge, I remind myself of this lifestyle change and can't help but smile with happiness.
"Looking ahead, what are your plans for the future of Mannion Island? How do you see it evolving and growing in the years to come?
I aim to become even more self-sufficient by installing solar panels, setting up a water pump, planting a vegetable garden, and growing fruit trees and poplar trees for firewood. I'll create compost from manure and seaweed. I'll approach everything with kindness and love for the environment and all the animals on and around Mannion Island. I'll continue to dream and remain open to the opportunities life presents. I believe I was meant to live here, and I trust that whatever is meant for my future will find its way into my life.
All Images © Johannes Eisele Photography (www.johanneseisele.com) except the image "The island landscape"