Here I am, drawing an island while working on the island. One of my many passions in turquoise paradise was guiding boats. On our way to wherever we were heading that day, I would draw each dive site briefing on a little chalk board while the fellow ocean enthusiasts I was guiding would watch my drawing progress with sparkling eyes and eager anticipation…
Happiness in a puff of chalk and a splash of water.
However, life on the island wasn’t all pirouetting dolphins, sunshine and margaritas. Even in the most magnificent of places, life can be tough when you are confined to a tiny pile of sand with a whole bunch of individuals, all of them (including you) experiencing bouts of island fever on a regular basis…
I wouldn’t want to miss any of it. It is so worth it (at least for me) to go out there, take risks, leave materialistic values and a safe existence behind. It’s invaluable to meet a whole bunch of people from all over the world and all kinds of backgrounds; to live and work with them, laugh with them, be annoyed by them, and experience cultures from the inside (not just as a visiting tourist in two-week-wonderland).
Throwing myself into all kinds of challenging life and work experiences abroad was one of the best things I ever did. I can’t even count how many times I was ready to rip my hair out or hijack a plane to get the hell out of there… but, I always persevered and never regretted it.
When I wrote my book, my four years as a diving instructor and hyperbaric chamber operator in the Maldives spanned four chapters. The life lessons I took away from these adventures were infinite. On the other hand, the very secure, comfortable job I held in Switzerland before heading out into the unknown barely added up to half a chapter in ‘Paralian’.
So I wonder about the wisdom of amassing materialistic wealth and security. I’d rather let go and explore the world together with my soul mate with wide-eyed curiosity and an open mind.