One of my old classmates went on a trip to the South Pacific. When he was in the eighth grade, he had a teacher that had served in the South Pacific during World War II. The teacher had fallen in love with the South Pacific region. Every summer he would book a cruise ship and travel back to the area. He started carrying students. Twenty students would get to travel to California and board a cruise ship and head off to the South Pacific. They would study Polynesian culture, World War II history and enjoy the beautiful and unmatched scenery of the area.
The teacher had made many friends and they always lined up special trips to atolls, secluded islands, and special parties. There was so much to learn and in an enjoyable way.
The students even got two history credits. It was the highlight of summer vacation. The guy I knew even got an added benefit that few people could ever hope to have. He actually got an answer to a message he sent in a bottle. They had finished their tour of several islands and had boarded the cruise ship headed back to the United States. He got a wine bottle and wrote a message. He corked the bottle sealed it with wax and when they were about five days out at sea he threw the bottle over the side.
His note told about coming to the South Pacific on a school tour and where he was from. Six months after returning home, he got a letter from a man that had found the bottle on the beach. He opened it, read the letter and sent a reply about where he had found the bottle and when. He told about his island and talked about the ocean currents that brought the bottle to his island. That was the highlight of his trip.
For many years after, whenever I talked with my friend he mentioned the bottle and how he wanted to move to the South Pacific. He wanted to have the dream that people only think about. He was going to move to a tropical island and live the life. He would get up at dawn, walk the beach and enjoy the solitude of quiet island life. After the early morning walk would be breakfast and time for a quick nap before the midmorning swim. Lunch would be fish salad and coconut milk. Beach lounging or fishing in the afternoon would be the perfect activity before the nap before supper. A beach barbecue and some cold beer would round out the day. A little bit of stargazing and a quiet walk on the beach would end the day and tomorrow would be the same.
He hadn’t worked out all the details of this idyllic life. How would he fund it, what island would have a small population and still have all the amenities and beer. He had spent the past 50 years of his life thinking about how he could do this.
Probably everybody has had a dream like this. I know I have, a beautiful island with only a few people to bother you and enough amenities and infrastructure to keep you happy with food, beer and other modern day stuff.
I had the dream about it the other night. I was on a sparsely populated island with everything you could want. I walked along the beach and there was a sealed bottle with a message in it. I picked up the bottle and inside was the message that my extended warranty was about to run out.