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For years, residents of St. Helena and adventure-seeking tourists had very limited options for getting to and from one of the most remote islands in the world.

For many, a ship called the RMS St Helena was the only link to other communities, taking up to five days to reach another port of call. That changed in 2017, when a tiny new airport opened and the first flight launched, connecting South Africa to St Helena in “just” seven hours, through weekly service to Johannesburg.

That enabled globe trotters like Lee Abbamonte to visit the island, the focus of our Miles Away episode today. Lee has traveled to every country in the world, he’s a good friend of mine and one of the smartest travelers I know. If you don’t already follow him on Instagram, definitely give that a go, then come right back here to listen to Episode 3 of Miles Away.

You can play this episode of Miles Away above, or listen and subscribe wherever you get your podcasts, including:

Apple Podcasts
Google Podcasts

Lee visited so soon after the flight’s launch that travelers were still arriving by ship:

“I flew on the third flight out there and it coincided with the last RMS St. Helena ship, so I got to watch people literally crying that ship was being decommissioned because they had taken it their whole lives and spent so much time on it and I’m thinking to myself ‘wow.’ I did everything I could to possibly avoid it.”

For more on St. Helena, see:

If you have any questions, thoughts or topics you’d like us to cover, please email me at, tweet at me @zachhonig or find me on Instagram — I’m @zachhonig there as well. And please don’t forget to subscribe!

Featured image by Richard Kerr.

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