Paradise is everywhere and nowhere.  It sounds a little controversial and perhaps it is.  Where is paradise? First, we would have to define what paradise is to even come close to answering that question, and good luck with that one. Paradise is not tangible.  We can’t touch it or hold it.  Heck, most of the time we can’t even explain it.  Could it be that paradise is just an illusion?

liveaboard life

Paradise is everywhere

rocky mountain horseback riding

Paradise is everywhere

The thing is, paradise means something different to everyone.  My paradise probably won’t be yours and your version of paradise may not be mine. Now remember, this is just my opinion and you know what we compare opinions to.  And yes, everyone has one.

Paradise is everywhere and nowhere

 

I think most of us would agree that when someone talks of paradise, or when it is written about, it usually has something to do with white sandy beaches, crystal clear blue water, some palm trees scattered about and the ever popular, magnificent sunrise or sunset. That is what I thought paradise meant to me, and on some level I suppose it still does.

maui waterfalls

Paradise is everywhere

rocky mountain horses

Paradise is everywhere

Bottom line is, those white sandy beaches don’t pay your astronomical rent every month and those palm trees won’t put food on your table and those sunsets, well the sunsets won’t guarantee you will find a job or even a home. Your beautiful paradise could quickly turn into your worst nightmare. Let’s face it, we are talking about islands here. Some islands are bigger than others, but just like you and me, many people want to live, and have a taste of the “paradise” lifestyle at whatever cost.

Supply and demand at what cost?

 

It boils down to simple economics. They call it economics 101, supply and demand, with a little dash of greed thrown in because human behavior is involved. But isn’t human behavior always involved? It may look like a lot of jobs and overpriced housing available on craigslist but there are also many, many people applying for those jobs and housing situations. There is only so much housing and employment available, but the “paradise” seeking folks just keep coming and coming.

sailing in key west

Paradise is everywhere

florida sailing

Paradise is everywhere

I know several people that were born and raised on islands, have higher education and are still finding it difficult to survive without the help from family.  Imagine that, calling a place home your whole life and still finding it difficult if not impossible to sustain a life there. It is inevitable that many of the middle class transplants will witness “paradise” crumble right before their eyes. But don’t fret, you will find an abundance of people willing to escort you to the nearest airport because the motto is thank you for visiting, now please leave.

Johnny and I were fortunate that we found enjoyable, unique jobs on Maui.  We made several new, lifelong friends and we were able to have a healthy balance between work and play, but we also shared a house with someone. Not super ideal for a married couple, but we couldn’t afford it otherwise. Not unless we wanted to live in a real s… hole. Even though we shared a home with someone, had decent paying jobs, limited our entertainment spending, we were not able to save much money.

If it was that simple

 

So why do so many people flock to these places of “paradise” just to have to work two and three jobs, struggle with putting a roof over their heads and hope and pray that their landlords aren’t being foreclosed upon?  It certainly isn’t for the incredible school systems or the lack of drugs, theft, homeless and pollutants. For some, it may be bragging rights that they live on an island in “paradise” or maybe they are running from something or to something.  Or maybe they just want to enjoy the beautiful sunsets.

florida sunsets

Paradise is everywhere

For me personally, it was hard to sleep at night knowing how we were living paycheck to paycheck. If one of us got sick or hurt and was off work for a time, we would have suffered. For us, mostly for me, that involves a little anxiety, worry and stress and my idea of living in “paradise”, well not so much anymore. That is not paradise to me.

Johnny and I have found, that for us “paradise” means a combination of things. A healthy dose of  adventure, enjoyable jobs, time to play, saving money, making new friends and reuniting with the old ones and of course a beautiful sunset or sunrise, a horseback ride in the mountains, sailing aboard our tiny house on the water and being with each other as much as possible. That is why paradise is everywhere and nowhere.

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