I’d be on an island in the Pacific Northwest, somewhere where it gets chilly and drizzly and foggy and damp but doesn’t snow very much and people on the nearby islands and the mainland know what good coffee and Internet access is like. You can have your sunburnt sandtraps in the monsoon zones; I’ve got a neater, sweeter setup in a cleaner, greener land.
I currently live on a big island, bigger than Iceland or Cuba. Your deal would still be an awesome trade-up for me. No job, better weather, more vacations, MORE time off-island, and frankly, better island.
In an odd coincidence someone at work asked what place on the earth’s surface is opposite Sydney. It’s some spot off the coast of North Africa in the North Atlantic. And the nearest land is the Archipelago of the Azores and we all want to go vist there now.
Not saying it’s my final choice, but Martha’s Vineyard or Nantucket would be on the list – beautiful in the summer, I don’t mind the cold in the winter, and plenty of culture/food/shopping in season at least. Then you get some peace and quiet all winter.
(For that matter, do you count Cape Cod as an island, since there is a canal separating it from the mainland?)
Dammit, that’s the answer I wanted. You could spend half your time on Staten Island or Long Island if you wanted.
I’d go for Cyprus, myself; big enough that there’s a reasonable amount of stuff to do, and the Turkish-Greek thing seems to be stable and headed (very slowly) towards reconciliation. Plus my parents live there.
I’ve been to Tahiti, and found Papeete crowded and dirty, though you can get to rural areas within a short drive. Spent a few days on Moorea, that was much better, more rural. The best was Bora Bora, fabulous scenery, very nice people, good food, very relaxing.
You can easily take a ferry to Moorea. We flew to Bora Bora, it was about an hour if I recall.
You should probably make explicit that islands connected by bridges or tunnels don’t count. So Bainbridge, Mercer, or Whidbey don’t count, but Vashon and the San Juans would. This criteria also keeps out rubbish like Manhattan.