“Another perfect day in paradise,” was the reply I got to a simple how are you. I couldn’t help but look around me. The weather truly was beautiful, which wasn’t surprising as we were close to the tropics in Australia – blue skies and roasting sunshine – but I was in a place that was very far from paradise in my eyes. I had been there for close to five months and was on the brink of leaving, something I was very excited about.
Fast forward a couple of days, and I left my home in the red desert – a mild exaggeration – with the windows down and Galantis pumping from the stereo. ‘Runaway’ seemed rather appropriate. It wasn’t that I hated where I had lived – for I had met some great people – but I really didn’t like it. The reasons why I felt like this are obsolete, but for other individuals – such as the gentleman who referred to the place as paradise – they felt very strongly the other way. Another man, in his seventies, told me that since adulthood, he had never lived in a single place for more than two years… until he arrived in the above mentioned place and has remained there for the past fifteen years. “There must be something about this place…” he said open endedly. I nodded, mumbling a vague yes.
What is paradise? It depends on perspective. One man’s (or woman’s) paradise may be another man’s hell. Would you like to walk across Iceland, beaten by the wind, eating uncooked noodles and frozen chocolate bars for two weeks? Would you like to hitchhike alone with little money and hide in the bushes to sleep at night, not showering for days at a time? Most probably, you will say no (quite understandably). But for me, these experiences and many others have been driving me over the past few years. They are what I love.
After leaving the small Australia town, I begun road tripping up the west coast of Australia. I have been sleeping in the back of my car, drinking warm water, but the scenery has been epic. It is truly beautiful and very green, far closer to my image of paradise.
What is paradise? There is no such thing – we are all different. Paradise is very much in the eye of the perceiver and I am happy to now be exploring more of what I enjoy.