A Ticket to Paradise

Idyllic. That;s what I wanted. Thoughts of paradise. The sandy beaches and turquoise waters populated with bttlenose dolphins and flying fish. Riding catamarans pressed forward by the trade winds or riding the immense power of the seas to the beach on relentless waves that let a surfboard go downhill seemingly forever. Thatched roof cottages with a view to the horizon where the sun would rise and set amidst explosions of indescribable colors. Sand on the floor making whispering noises gently with every footstep. Sleep and waken with the sun, to the concert of birdsong and on the air the scent of flowering trees. Idyllic.

But the truth of those places were the humid searing heat of the day, the jostle and impersonal crush of endess tourists, desperatge to wring every last essence and nuance of the dollars they spent to come and stay and then go home to lackluster lives. The smell of their sweat mingling with the odors of suntan oils, coconut mostly. Their hurried rushing despoiling the gentle slow nature of paradise, salting the bar streets with the sweet smell of vomit, at night a brash cacophony of local music and imported rock. The smells of alcohol and hops oozing from the doorways and huffing air conditioners that erased the truth of heat with the artificial arctic blasts of air. Bumper to bumper cars, the sides of the streets packed bumper to bumper, never offering space for one more. The restaurants, one anfter the other, the uneaten portions of expensive dishes festering in dumpsters and thickening the air to unbreathable in the alleys behund them. Soaring hotels where the thousands of tourists roosted at night like migrating birds, except bringing disease instead of seeds to replensish the flora. Luggage and shoes which track in unwanted flora, the seeds of invasive species that wreck havoc upon the once balanced environment, along with pets escaped or abandoned to become feral and problematic to the life that belonged there.

The Virgin Islands, Bermuda, the Keys and southern Florida. Hawaii and its islands, some welcoming and some forbidding. The Seychelles, Rivieras, coastal South America. Australia and her Barrier Reef, town like Cairns –they all print and distribute their beckoning brochures, promising happiness and sex, fine dining and exoitc drinks if only people would come.