Mona and Barry Rosenthal remember the precise moment they decided to move from Canton, Mass., south of Boston, to Martha's Vineyard, six miles off the southern tip of Cape Cod.
"Mona was staring out our kitchen window at a monstrous trophy house going up practically in our backyard," said Mr. Rosenthal, 57, who owns BR Creative, a boutique ad agency specializing in entertainment and consumer product branding. "She was crying. I said, 'You know what? Let's move to the Vineyard.'"
Six months later, in September 1995, they and their two pre-teenage children were unpacking in the three-bedroom Cape style house they had bought that year as their vacation home.
But like other islanders around the world, the Rosenthals found that their paradise came at a price. Island chambers of commerce and commissions estimate that the costs of products on islands can run from 25 percent to as much as 60 percent higher than those in nearby mainland cities, mostly because of added shipping expenses. And island services are often more expensive and sometimes exasperatingly slower in delivery than new islanders expect.
That's not all: salaries are generally lower, and then throw in the expense of taking a ferry or plane back to the rest of the world.