Originally Posted by kcowan
Compared to that, Island Fever is a walk in the park.
The worst was St Lucia because even the 21-mile road from Castries to Vieux Forte was a 3-hour drive on a plantation road! Jamaica was the best island (not that I recommend it for anything else).
LOL. I guess you might indeed experience Island Fever here as Saipan (12.5 miles x 5.5 miles; 46sq miles)  is a lot smaller even than Jamaica (4,411 square miles) where I grew up, and which I could recommend for a whole lot more! :-)
But I guess it really boils down to what you're accustomed to. I recall friends in the states asking me if sunshine year-round growing up didn't get boring after a while. Being from an island where warm weather is the 365-24-7 norm (except for the occasional hurricane), you accept it as just the way it is. One's "excitement" doesn't hinge on the appearance of falling leaves, snow flakes or radical fluctuations in temperature.  And "isolation" isn't a function of the size or the seasons, but something entirely different.
While living in Manhattan, I guess you could say I suffered from "City Fever", which I would define as "the desire to step out my door and interact in more socially meaningful, spiritually uplifting and physically nourishing ways with people and nature."
Living in the big city, I felt more isolated in my 5 story apartment where I could live for years and never meet my next-door neighbor, where I could leave my apartment at the same time each day but never see the same person twice, where I could stand in a subway car, wedged body-to-body against another human being and never make eye contact, or acknowledge their existence, and where the interactions I did have were typically hurried, stress-laden, and perfunctory in nature.
But that's not to disparage New York, or any big city. There is a reality of human interaction that occurs in any environment where people are forced to reside in unnatural numbers. I recall reading an article that talked about the psychological necessity of shutting down after a while when one encounters so many people every second of the day. Acting on your natural impulse to smile, acknowledge or greet every single person you encounter would drive you crazy, or simply brand you as such.
So the emotional distance and detachment that often attends life in a million-man metropolis is a survival mechanism.
Here on Saipan, however, you can't pass another human without some acknowledgment that a life form is in your presence. It would be considered rude. People smile, say hello, and some will even call and wave to you from across the street! (Not everyone, of course....you can usually tell the tourists or the newbies on the island, as they're the ones who often don't, retaining as they do their mode of social interaction from whence they cometh... until they warm up a bit.) Even after being here a while, it still makes me smile inside and out when it happens!  I hear it's even friendlier on neighboring islands where outside influence is even less.
The ability to connect with others is what defines MY sense of isolation. And although I too love a good  long early morning drive on a long highway, (I used to head from Maryland to Atlanta and do the whole 10 hour drive in one sitting), given the choice, I'll opt for
short dirt roads and friendly smiles,
over frowns and streets that run for miles....