Living in on an island – El Nido, Palawan
El Nido is beautiful, of that there is no doubt. I will take that back once the developers arrive. And from what I hear, they are on the way.
I continue to write, and I get a lot done. But, I am feeling pressured. The weight of 4 + years of searching is bearing down, or is it that there is so little distraction around me. It’s not home. Then why am I staying here? Ah, to prove a point about living on an island.
Point proved yet?
Daily expenses for living on an island in The Philippines:
Accommodation – $-4 (it keeps going down)
Food – $1.50-2 (yes really, and I eat meat)
Keep in mind the above is not a ‘travel budget’ but a living on an island budget.
That’s it. But, there are hidden costs. Visas. Travel to Puerto to get visas. Internet costs and the occasional soft drink, coffee to stay in touch with today’s world at a local cafe.
Blissful life if you work a 9-5 job in another country and come for a 1-2 week holiday. But for any longer and …
The reality of living on an island in The Philippines
Occasionally I look up and out of my window to see a miracle. A man walking on water. He is actually walking on water. But one inch below the water is a coral and rock plateau. He’s not just doing this to impress the strange foreigner who keeps pointing a camera at him every evening. Throughout the whole area are small sea urchins and other shell-fish that the man is searching for.
He’s living off the sea. A nightly walk can bring back some side dishes to break the monotony of rice. Or quite simply to feed his family.
This man walks on water every night. I don’t know what he does during the day. But as dusk approaches he is always there. It was when I was watching him one night that two worlds collided.
Is living on an island a fantasy? or can it be a reality?
I remembered back to my 48 hour Pakistan train journey with the good Colonel. We stopped over the Hindus river and he pontificated that the local man serving curry at the station knew no more than to make curry and serve it. Therefore he was a happy man. And it was a good life. I disagreed at the time. If the man knew about the outside world, maybe he’d fight tooth and nail to get to it. Africa taught me that.
But maybe I’d missed the keywords in the Colonel’s point. “He doesn’t know anything else.”
It’s a hard concept for someone bombarded with internet, TV, media and a deluge of culturally diverse people to understand. There are some people out there who’ve never been in that environment. The words 24, Beyonce, Oscars, interest rates, economic collapse mean nothing to them.
“It’s a simple life that brings peace to your life,” the colonel said.
Not knowing is sometimes a good thing
I didn’t get it at the time. And even now, I know that I don’t actually want it.
But, I do feel it. Perhaps I understand it now.
I decided one evening to try this walking on water thing myself. It gets strange the further out you get.
Turn around, and the shore is really quite far away. Just sea separating you from all sides. I didn’t go looking for shellfish. But, I did walk on water; and I knew what it meant.
Cliff climbing anyone?