The Travel Junkies Who Just Bought Their Own Island

Have you ever dreamed of starting your own country and escaping from everything? That's exactly what the founders and investors of Let's Buy an Island did. The group is made up of a bunch of travel enthusiasts and friends with the goal to buy an island and create their own micronation. They launched the Let's Buy an Island project and raised money through crowdfunding.

According to CNN, the group was able to raise $250,000 and buy an island in December of 2019, just a year after launching the project. The island itself is a 1.2 acre landmass in the Caribbean called Coffee Caye, and it cost $180,000. "But the next phase, where we go to next, we never had any plans because we didn't know we'd make it this far," said co-founder Marshall Mayer. The next phase ended up becoming an investment and financial project, including selling shares and developing a legitimate micronation.

The micronation in Coffee Caye

"The Principality of Islandia," as it has been named, "is a micronation experiment within the greater IBG project," notes the Let's Buy an Island webpage. Marshall Mayer, who has named himself a Prince Regent and head of state of the island, said he wants the island to be viewed as "tongue in cheek" but also a fun escapist experiment with integrity, per CNN. This fun experiment is noted to be in compliance with existing Caribbean laws.

The private island experiment does, however, have its own governance, citizenship, anthem, and flag. Mayer's full title is His Royal Highness Prince Regent Marshall Mayer. Other notable governing bodies include The Right Honorable Prime Minister Jodie Hill.

To become a citizen, be prepared to thin out your wallet, as it's on a pay-per-citizenship basis. Denizens of the island include "investors, customers, and supporters from around the globe," their site says. The goal of the island was originally a way for a bunch of well-traveled and financed friends to have fun, and is now a profit-driven enterprise. The micronation, per the New York Post, is able to claim independence without being recognized by world governments.