Destination Is More Than Stereotype

Ever since I can remember, I have spent my summers in Martha’s Vineyard. My fondest memories have been made during my time on the small island, and in many ways, my time on the Vineyard has shaped the person I am today.

After spending almost 18 summers on the Vineyard, it has become my happy place. Due to my emotional connection to my summer home, I was unaware of the stereotypes associated with Martha’s Vineyard and the people who vacation there.

When people hear Martha’s Vineyard, an image of privilege pops into their mind. People associate the island with an elite society and atmosphere, which I can’t blame them for. There are definitely wealthy vacationers who come to Edgartown and drop thousands of dollars on clothes, go to the nicest golf clubs and flaunt their money. But, this is not why I fell in love with this place.

I fell in with the Chilmark Flea Market, where I got to interact with several small, local business owners. I formed a friendship with the woman who owns a clothing store that makes clothes completely from deadstock materials. I also became friends with the mother-daughter duo that designs and sews all of their clothing on island. I fell in love with hidden trails and hikes that appear as you escape the vicinity of downtown Edgartown. Every 10 minutes up the road, little signs pop out to signal a new adventure awaiting.

Even after 18 years, I still have not seen them all. I fell in love with Martha’s Vineyard because of its passion for agriculture. Not many people know how many farms there are throughout the island, and all of the islanders have made it their mission to make sure these farms continue to thrive and offer fresh produce. Multiple farm stands are scattered throughout Chilmark and West Tisbury with an honor system: take what you want and leave the money in the basket.

One of my favorite traditions is going to the quaint farmers market before work, the islanders rushing in to support their local farmers, who are also their friends.

Lastly, I fell in love with the people. Look beyond the summer vacationers who may taint the image of Martha’s Vineyard, and you will find a close-knit community of locals who support one another. I have been lucky enough to have been welcomed by this island family over the years. By working at Morning Glory Farm, I have gotten to talk and work with some of Martha’s Vineyard’s finest, humble and honest people who have shown me so much love. The flea market introduced me to hard-working entrepreneurs who care so deeply about their praoducts. The farmers market allowed to me to talk with locals and foster new relationships. By spontaneously stopping on the side of the road to explore a new trail, I grew a love for the island’s beauty and environment. Martha’s Vineyard is truly a place like no other, and after years of spending time with its amazing community, every summer, it’s like I am going home.