Thursday, February 24, 2005

An Island To Oneself

Who hasn't romanticized about living on a deserted tropical island? I have thought about this notion for more years than I can count and have spent hours at a time dreaming about how I would spend all my spare time. Mostly in my dreams I spend hours in a shaded hammock reading from an endless supply of books, building some crafty thing out of bamboo and palm leaves, or writing some literary masterpiece.

Then one day I stumbled across a book entitled, "An Island to Oneself" written by Tom Neale who did exactly what I had been dreaming about. He spent a total of five years by himself on a deserted tropical island. An excerpt from the book says it all:

"I was fifty when I went to live alone on Suvarov, after thirty years of roaming the Pacific, and in this story I will try to describe my feelings, try to put into words what was, for me, the most remarkable and worthwhile experience of my whole life. I chose to live in the Pacific Islands because life there moves at the sort f pace which you feel God must have had in mind originally when He made the sun to keep us warm and provided the fruits of the earth for the taking..."

Unfortunately, upon completion of the book, my desires to live on a deserted island left me or at least were modified. You don't fully realize how much time needs to go into just surviving until you hear it straight from a horse's mouth. In this case, Tom Neale was my horse and I learned that if I wanted to do something like that I would want some sort of support. I would want regular food drops as well as a way to call in the cavalry if I were to need medical treatment.

Since reading the book, the reality show "Survivor" has become popular and no doubt has renewed dreams among many, of living alone on some tropical island. Although they show some of the hardships, they still make it look easy compared to the real thing. To those of you who have similar thoughts or dreams, I highly recommend you read this book. You won't regret it.

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