I have lived on several islands and visited man in my days, and each was very provincial. You really had to be BOI - born on the island - to be considered a true "islander." Up north, some islanders can trace their local genealogy back 340 years, the families named Dodge, Littlefield, and Rose. Same for parts of the Bahamas where the Loyalists fled during the Revolutionary War - there were five settlements in the Abacos populated by families with names such as Albury, Lowe, Malone, Pinder, and so forth.
Here on South Padre, being an Islander doesn't mean a long genealogy or even being born here. It simply a state of mind, something that appeals to me. The truth is, most babies were hatched elsewhere anyway, Brownsville or Harlingen at best. But when I come to think of my friends, and what an islander is, I have the same positive thoughts. Not only do I know folks who live here year round, but I know a bunch of those folks who return like lemmings every so often, so great to see them after a long absence. We have out weekend neighbors and folks from Minnesota, Nova Scotia, Colorado (of course), Mexico, the Dallas area, and ... well all over the place, even a sand sculptor from Singapore.
In fact some folks ask if I am related to the Wells family on SPI - which I readily deny (actually there were two long-time Wells clans before we even got here). I just like the island, don't care for the mainland, and really love it here. That's what an islander is here. Short-timer, part-timer, or living here every day, it makes absolutely no difference. You can tell by the smiles.
I won't go into whether anybody else even would consider me an islander in their estimation, and frankly I don't care. But here's a kink: some people who have lived here for years ... well, they really just make it seem like they're not islanders. I don't know any personally, to be honest, although they seem to multiply like rabbits on the Internet forums. They claim to be "smart" but are negative, down, criticizing, dogmatic, and always in a black mood. Who are these strange people and why are they here?
Well they certainly are a minority and for now I am 100 percent blessed with all the good kinds of islanders. Spoiled rotten, more like. But for you newbies, if somebody looks troubled we always head to the beach, listen good, make eye contact, and say "I don't think it's all that bad." It works, never failed yet!