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For the First Time, Again: Settling Back Into Life on Star Island

Two views from Star Island, one with the ocean and another with a gazebo in the distance.
Courtesy of Nadia Reguig
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Some safety precautions remain in place, but Star Island is back open to the public for the first time since 2019.

Nadia Reguig first found her way to Star Island in 2013, when she spent the summer working as a snack bar attendant and making friends with fellow employees. She quickly fell in love with the place and has returned nearly every year. 

A photo of Nadia Reguig
Nadia Reguig

But last year, the pandemic kept her and lots of other loyal friends of Star Island away. Now that the island has reopened to the public, Reguig is settling back in to spend another summer exploring and working there for the first time, again.

We want to hear from you: What are you excited to do for the first time, again? Let us know at voices@nhpr.org.

“I wasn’t expecting to come out this summer, and it all kind of worked in my favor,” Reguig said, settling into her employee lodging at the Oceanic Hotel shortly after her ferry docked. “A lot of beautiful things brought me back here to my favorite place.”

Now that she’s back, she’s grateful to be surrounded by so many idyllic views. One of her favorite spots is on the back of the island. "You can see water for what feels like thousands of miles,” she said. But she also doesn't have to travel at all for a look at the ocean. She has a beautiful view of the water from her bedroom window.

"I feel really grateful to be able to look outside and see the ocean.” she said. 

She also can’t wait to settle into another one of her favorite spots, a rock in the middle of the island that’s perfectly situated for people watching. But most of all, she’s thankful to return to a place that helps her feel more in tune with nature, with others and with herself. 

“You’re able to disconnect in a way that you aren’t able to on the mainland,” she said. “You don’t have really great service, you’re in the middle of the ocean on a rock. So you’re not really rushing off to do anything in particular, and it’s just really meaningful — the connections that you make — because you can be present. You can be aware of your surroundings. You can really, simply be in it.”

If you're planning to do something for the first time again, we'd love to help share your story. Send an email about your plans to voices@nhpr.org, or leave us a voicemail at 603-513-7790. Click here for more details on how to participate.

Casey McDermott is an editor and reporter at New Hampshire Public Radio, where she works with colleagues across the newsroom to deepen the station’s accountability coverage, data journalism and audience engagement across platforms.

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