The Paradise Effect

Perception of time fades swiftly once you’ve settled in. Not knowing what day it is and not needing to know what day it is. Not having to change your clothes or brush your hair, not having to take care of yourself like they do in the ‘real world’. Just existing. Not much more than basic survival plus some beers, some friends, maybe a boat.

Getting relaxed turns to getting stuck. Just one more day turns into just one more week. Leaving when you originally planned rarely occurs, the scheduled ferry arrives and departs, you just can’t say goodbye. You can’t muster the courage to see and do new exciting things because they can’t possibly be better than this little paradise situation you’ve got going for yourself. For some strange reason, that desire – to always get after it – has fled your soul. Do you even need to get after it anymore? What could be better than this? What are you searching for when you’re hustling? The Paradise Effect has taken its toll, and you have become a creature of comfort. The worst possible existence you could have conceived in your past life. You think you are enjoying the same places over and over, but you’re just stuck and you can’t leave this comfort zone.

The sun makes you loopy. The beers you’ve been cracking all day strengthen the effects. Then you become even crazier when you don’t have the sun. Then you become even crazier when you don’t have the beers. What’s gotten into you?

Fleeting relationships develop for those who don’t succumb to the Paradise Effect. Forever relationships ensue for those who fall victim to it. Travelers are always coming on the islands, and going when their time is right. It could be 3 days, it could be 3 months, it could be 3 years, it could be 3 decades. It could be never.

Fast forward. You snap out of it. Something someone did or something someone said makes you realize that paradise has crippled your ambition because you showed up without a return ticket. It’s time to say goodbye. You learned a thing or two about yourself. You learned about the dangers of being content. You hop on the next ferry to the mainland. You remember that you need to keep getting after it.

-S

Photos: Koh Tao, Thailand

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