Back in the early days, travelers island hoped. It allowed ships to refuel, crews to rest and get supplies and begin the next stage of travel. Only on particular long hauls did it become dangerous, whether from St. Louis to Portland or from Los Angeles to Hawaii. But it allowed people to travel all over the globe.
We need to do that in space.
I read this morning that the dunes of Saturn's moon Titan are puzzling scientists. Some are several hundred feet high but are made contrary to Titan's wind patterns, against the wind if you will. It defies conventional logic. They are presently theorizing that the dunes are created by short bursts of powerful wind.
Maybe. Maybe they are created by large worms that come to the surface and shift the sands about. We don't know. And we won't know until we go there. But its a long journey.
So we need to island hop. We need to build stations in space, place them in orbit around the sun so that we can access them when traveling to distant locales. They don't have to be manned, they only have to be supplied and able to except a docking ship that can resupply. The rest is automated. We resupply the island through robot ships, allowing our own travelers to wander the solar system much like our ancestors roamed the forests and oceans of the world.