Image Source: Tongan Holiday
“Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones that you did do.” –Mark Twain
Earlier this summer, I was living in Los Angeles – having arrived in January. I took a 2 ½ day road trip alone from Southern Indiana, and fell in love with the desert/mountains/Pacific ocean. 3 days into arriving, I found an ad on Craigslist for an apartment/living room off of the 405 – Santa Monica Blvd (approx. 15 minutes from the beach) being rented out by an amazingly spirited and positive yoga studio owner (I love/miss you, Eva). 4 months later, my best friend paid my beautiful neck of the woods (or lack thereof) a visit. During his 10 day stay, we drove up to Mammoth Lakes (a ski town near Yosemite) and visited an old roommate of ours (soaked in a natural hot spring in the desert with beer and hookah), camped in Malibu, met Darien (my present boyfriend) and adventured/camped in the Angeles National Forest for multiple nights, unleashed our inner ‘Fear and Loathing’ and had a legendary weekend in Las Vegas, and ate at some of the most delicious places in the Southwest. I was having the time of my life.
Rather shortly after Zaccheo’s departure, things started to go south for me. I was in between jobs, moved out of my apartment and floated/camped in the mountains, and was eventually taken in by Darien’s grandparents. I slept on the floor in a sound proof, pitch black studio – but I was still feeling a high given from travel and adventure. After a few months spending my days and nights on the internet, I eventually found a job in Hollywood at the second-hand store Wasteland on Melrose Ave. This job opened my eyes to many things, such as the fact that 80% of people (regardless of where they were from) were uninhibitedly rude, celebrities are absolutely ridiculous in public places (and the fans are worse), customer service is essentially just a silent contest on employees to see who can bullshit the longest (customers acknowledge this and abuse it), and money is the root of all our problems, yet it is our main priority? These discoveries had me asking myself many tough questions, and were eventually the reasons why I stopped showing up for a job that I actually enjoyed.
Feeling like my life was representative of a slowly sinking ship, I turned to the internet to figure out my next move. After some time, a friend recommended taking a different approach to life, and suggested that I look into living on an island. I have to be honest; it hadn’t ever really occurred to me to be a realistic option, moving to an island at the early age of 21. It was never a dream of mine to relocate somewhere remote and tropical, nor to give up chasing a career and pushing to reach the top of the rat race, that is until I discovered the Kingdom of Tonga.
Image Source: Tongan Holiday
“Located in the grand South Pacific, Tonga is between Tahiti and Fiji. Tonga is a magnificently beautiful country and Vava’u is a large, reef protected,(no big waves can enter) water playground of about 60 beautiful islands, each with its own interesting character, white sand beaches and all. Here is where you will experience “real” freedom, virtually no crime and true peace of mind.
We don’t have traffic lights and even the Police have no guns. Tourist come to experience nature in Vava’u for this is perhaps the last place on earth to which you can readily fly that is still unspoiled by runaway commercialism. Life is as good as it gets in this land of emerald islands, crystal clear lagoons, azure seas and friendly people.” South Pacific Real Estate
If you follow the link provided above, it’ll take you to some very great lots for lease. These are either waterfront or above the water, and are between $3,500-6,000 down (depending on which lot and location) with an annual fee of $420. When first discovering this, I was in awe of the fact that I am actually able to get my small portion of paradise without selling my soul. In LA, I was instantly discouraged to find that a beach front apartment was approximately $4,000-$8,000 per month – don’t even get me started on how much it would be to buy beach front property to build on(98% not going to be already developed). This was just what I needed to get started building a realistic move plan (i.e. I am aware of the scams and am not signing a lease until I see the land in person and can negotiate rent).
In the present, Darien and I are in Southern Indiana. We are working full-time warehouse jobs to fund the move, attempting to reconnect with old friends with the very little free time we do have, and researching/documenting/preparing new plans for our life in Vava’u. It’s a subtle paradise being back home – huge lack of population, past adventure spots are free, and passing people who smile back at you. But as the winter wind creeps its way under my blankets, I embrace the warmth that my Tonga planning brings me.
Many concepts for living, construction, travel, and sustainability have been researched, but will be presented/discussed in future posts. Take your coat off and stay awhile ∇
I N T R O D U C T I O N , by Becca A.