When people discover I plan to move to an island in just over two years, they always ask the same question.
As it turns out, that’s been the hardest question to answer.
No place is perfect, but you would think that with the entire planet at my fingertips, one’s options would be endless.
And that’s actually part of the problem.
It takes a lot of time and a lot of research to winnow that list down, and even then, there’s only so much you can tell about a place from the Internet. At some point, you have to go there and see it for yourself.
I’ve now visited three different islands without any luck. As someone who loves to travel, I don’t regret those journeys, but it’s a little disheartening each time I learn “good on paper” does not measure up to reality.
Currently, my chosen place is Palau. It meets all of my criteria.
- Low crime rates
- Reasonably low cost of living
- Gorgeous weather
- Strong environmental protection policies (trust me, this is important. If you don’t think it is, you haven’t seen the ocean used as a garbage dump yet)
- Out of the hurricane and typhoon belts
- Decent medical care is close by
But just because I’ve chosen Palau doesn’t mean that Palau has chosen me. For months now I’ve been trying to find out what I need to do to immigrate. I’ve tried consulates and the immigration department, bloggers and immigration lawyers, with the same result–dead silence. It’s beyond frustrating. Maybe they’re hoping Palau remains the world’s best kept secret.
The second most common question I’m asked is “Why?” Why on earth would I want to leave one of the best countries in the world?
Where I currently live, a lot of things are dictated by the weather. Unless you’re a polar bear, at least six months (and sometimes eight months) of the year is spent scurrying from heated structure to heated structure, trying not to freeze to death.
I love the ocean. I love the sun. I love the feeling of sand between my toes. And I decided long ago–too long ago, to be honest–that life was too short to live in paradise for only two or three weeks a year. Why not all year long?
I grew up in a small town with a lot of space, and I’m growing tired of the city. I want to look out my windows and see the beauty of nature, not my neighbour’s living room. I want to experience a slower, easier way of life, where people work to live instead of the other way around. Where no one cares what I do for a living, what I drive, or how many possessions I have.
Where the most common question asked is, “How are you doing today?”
What’s the biggest move you’ve ever made? Have you ever been tempted to run off to paradise? Would you ever do it–why or why not? And if you know anything about Palau, please please talk to me!
Thanks for reading!