Allow me to reiterate a fact about myself that I have mentioned before and will likely hit upon again throughout the year. That is, the further I get from the city the closer I feel to myself. Quite simply, I am not a big city boy. I am not even a city boy. I find the commotion and confusion of urban life to be extremely distracting. The barrage on my senses every time I step out of the door is sometimes too much. Traffic. Pollution. City Stench. Cement. Advertisements. The constant chatter of development. It all becomes a jumble that sits like lead in my belly.
I just want to feel at ease. Give me the mountains, rivers and beaches over malls, movieplexes, and coffee shops. Give me a small barbecue, a cut of meat and some fresh produce over the fine cuisine of any five star restaurant. Give me the freedom of open air so I can move around and stretch my limbs over the claustrophobic confinement of crowded sidewalks and streets. Give me paradise. And really, is that too much to ask for?
Rachel and I certainly hope not, as that is what we plan to achieve in about twenty years. Retirement for us will be on an island located somewhere in East Asia (or the South Pacific) away from the hustle and bustle of city life. We don’t want anything huge or fancy. A small island bungalow with an extra hut on the beach will do fine. The bungalow will be for the stormy nights when we need to get away from the sea. The hut, however, will likely be where we spend most of our days and evenings. We will have a bar stocked with single malts, rums, fresh fruit and a blender. We’ll have a couple of hammocks outside for our afternoon siestas. Music will always permeate the fresh sea air. And of course we will have each other. If someone wants to come for a drink and enjoy some conversation, that will be great. If not. That will be great too. Either way, it will be our little piece of paradise.
One More Time, by Daft Punk, brings me back to one such island, Boracay, in the Philippians. The first time Rachel and I stepped into the rapture of its talcum white beaches, crystal blue waters, and soothing sea breeze was with the owner of Nepal and a few other staff members. We all gorged ourselves on food, drink and relaxation. This song was played at every beach bar in which we partied and became the theme of our week-long immersion into indulgence. No matter what we ate, drank or did we made sure to do it one more time.
I am sure that by the time Rachel and I retire, we will have mastered the art of moderation. Our days and nights will likely lack the decadence of our youth. But then again, as my father always told me, “Everything in moderation, including moderation.” I am sure we will always find it in ourselves to self-indulge one more time.
Daft Punk youtube link