Time to leave El Nido …

by Dave from The Longest Way Home ~ November 28th, 2009. Published in: Travel blog » How to live overseas » Philippines.
Downtown street in El Nido, Palawan

Downtown street in El Nido, Palawan

I am becoming mind numbingly bored. Living on an island is appealing to most from the outside looking in. I knew this before trying this little experiment. For me this side project on my own path to finding home was sparked by friends who kept saying to try it. Strangers reading this blog also sent emails mentioning the lure of living on an island in some far off remote place.

In the back of my mind I thought, maybe the whole world is right and I am wrong. Maybe I should actually try it instead of brushing it off. I was in the Philippines, so what better place to try living on an island?!

Well, I’ve done it. You’ve read my journals on my life in Palawan. And I can categorically say I do not want to live on an island. At least not under the current circumstances.

During my time I wrote a lot and caught up on a lot of things. Which is good. But, I need more to do than just sit,write and photograph. Well, if I was paid to do those things then yes I would start to take on a different perspective. But I’m not paid to do either at the moment. And, as such have a different life on the island. I am but searching.

Kids from El Nido

Kids from El Nido

Here are the biggest problems I found with living on an island:

1) Social integration – longterm. Short term no problems. Long term I’ve already discussed here.

2) Work. Not just for money, but for a sense of purpose. Writing helps, but I do need something else. I spent 18 hour days working on my book, and this website. That’s unpaid work with purpose. It’s good. But doesn’t pay to live.

3) Food. Diet is varied. But the lack of refrigerator and electricity makes it time consuming. And, I’ve kinda been there and done that sort of living in Africa.

4) There’s only so much to do on an island. By nature they are small, you quickly get to see everything. Social integration would help this out more. But, for now this is how I feel.

5) Communication expenses. Without a permanent Internet connection, it’s expensive to get online to do what I really need to do. Though buying permanent connect would help, and it’s not expensive. But they do require a 1 year contract.

6) Similar to 1. Lack of people to talk with! It’s isolating to live on a small island.

7) I didn’t get that feeling that said “this is good.”

I know there are more points, but for now they are the main reasons.

Palawan is a very beautiful place, with some friendly people, good food, and lots to see. I’m glad to have tried this little side trip of an experiment. But island life is just not for me.

Glimmering sunset in El Nido Palawan (click to enlarge)

Glimmering sunset in El Nido Palawan (click to enlarge)

So where to next? I was going to take a boat trip from Coron to Manila. But again during my time in El Nido there seems something quite dubious about the boats going there. Sometimes yes, sometimes no. So it’s back to the Puerto Princesa … there are still some things I need to do before leaving Palawan. Maybe the islands capital can offer something else up …

Coming soon:

Back on the road … only moving slowly

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3 Great responses to Time to leave El Nido …

  1. Tim says:

    Hello again.
    I think a lot of people in the West have a fantasy about living on a tropical island. It may have something to do with certain stories, movies and/or TV shows that romanticize the lifestyle. The reality is very different. You had an idea going in and you have proved it, at least, to yourself. 20 years ago I had a similar fantasy. Many subsequent visits combined with living “Pinoy style” have taken care of that. Bugs, storms, floods, earthquakes, pollution and lack of conveniences are some. If you combine that with nothing to do and nobody to talk to you will likely be very unhappy. On the other hand, if you like the simple life, have friends and family available and a vocation or other work it can be very satisfying. Good luck on your journey. I wish you every success in the future.

  2. flipnomad says:

    if it doesn’t feels right for you, then maybe it’s not right…

    you will know when it’s the right time to move on…

    good luck on your journey…

    -flip from manila