Monday, September 13, 2010

My favourite place in the whole world

If I had all the money in the world, I would live on Tanna. Tanna is an island in Vanuatu. It has black-sand beaches courtesy of the volcano, Yasur. Last year, when I stayed on Tanna, this was the view from my bungalow:

Living on Tanna would be quite cheap, but I would still need all the money in the world because I would have to buy a generator to run my fridge and computer. These are the two modern conveniences I could not live without. I would have to buy a large metal locker of some sort, to keep the rats out of my supplies of sweet potato chips and peanuts. I would also need an internet connection to have instant notification of impending cyclones, tsunamis, and celebrity break-ups.

I probably would not live in a bungalow, actually. I would probably live on an old boat. That way I would not have to rat-proof my supplies, but given that I have no idea about navigation, boat repairs or basic seaworthiness, it might not be worth the trade-off.

I say that I need all the money in the world, but of course I don't. The Ni-Vanuatu people are among the poorest in the world, but, according to the Happy Planet Index, also the happiest. After a few years of living on Tanna I will also know the secret. When people ask me how I like living there, I will tell them I am very happy, thanks. Except by then I'll say it in fluent Bislama: Mi glad tumas, tangkyu. 

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