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Blog PostChristmas IslandIslandsWestern Australia

Reflections on Relocating to a tropical island & Staying on

By July 7, 2023August 17th, 2023No Comments
There are not many temples with a view this good.

What makes you live where you do? Have you ever visited a place, hoping to enjoy a specific experience? Only to be captivated by something you were not expecting to find?

It’s written in a song, that from little things big things grow. This quote could come to pass on many of life’s scenarios yet perfectly encapsulates my Christmas Island journey to date.

Relocating to Christmas Island; was intended to be for one year, an adventure to the islands, let’s go see and see what happens kind of thing.

Robber/Coconut Crabs wander out of the rainforest & onto the beaches.

Visions of tropical remoteness engulf your mind, beaches, rainforests and coconut trees, not to mention crabs. Prehistoric, medieval and big, furthermore Red Crabs, who famously migrate to the sea but can’t swim. Are you curious? I was.

Just waiting to be explored, secluded Christmas Island beaches. 

The itch to explore was all-consuming for every new experience, I wanted to encounter.

Lurking, in the back of your mind thoughts reverberate, will a year be enough time? Will I experience everything once, and the fun things twice? Will I go stir-crazy and just need to get off? So many unknowns.

Factoring in, the Christmas Island Red Crab Migration would be twelve months away from my arrival date, and a year to completely explore the island seemed a fabulous investment of time. In addition what a crescendo to my stay, the crab migration would make. After all, it’s all I wanted to see, and in all truth would have been happy to see it on a visit.

Simply extraordinary, The Red Crab Migration will fascinate you.

On reflection, I was thinking about what was going to happen at the end of our stay, when the reality was I had barely started. Therefore, I’d not given a moment of thought to any of the possibilities that may eventuate in the preceding time.

I still don’t understand what I was thinking. It goes against everything I believe, to be true of travel and new experiences.

Often the exact path one is walking is not revealed until the first steps are taken. The more steps you take, the more that is unveiled.

Preconceived ideas and notions of a location are the locks on your mind. Robbing you of the open-mindedness that spawns wonder and excitement of exploration of a place to which you have never been.

To convince yourself, like I had that the only reason to go to a place was for one particular experience that happens once a year, is to be blind to everything else you are yet to realise is there.

It becomes apparent very quickly, the enjoyment of freediving in Flying Fish Cove, the rainforest walks and the uniqueness of the island’s wildlife are all aspects you start to enjoy daily.

Freediving the tropical waters of Christmas Island.

Despite this, as time passes you find yourself exploring notions of thought, what is the genuine sentiment about this place that is growing on you?

There is no doubting Christmas Island‘s beauty, it’s land and seascapes are divine, very pleasing to the eye they inspire the mind.

However, this could be said for many other places I have lived and travelled to throughout Australia and the world.

Nevertheless, it’s something more that makes you contemplate thoughts of staying on longer. It has taken me twelve months to put my finger on it, people.

With a generosity of spirit that is contagious, it’s the community and the island’s people that win your heart. Christmas Island is a marvellously tolerant, respectful and friendly community.

Christmas Island is an eclectic mix of people, religions, cultures and beliefs with heartwarming tolerance and respect for each other.

The island’s Mosque in Kampong overlooks Flying Fish Cove.

Malay, Chinese, European and Indian people happily coexist each believing in their path. Each is happy to mark their celebrations each open and inclusive to everyone to share the moment with them.

Festivals celebrated by many acknowledged with respect by everyone and open to all include Chinese New Year, Vesak Day (Buddha’s Birthday), Hari Raya, Ramadan, Christmas Day, Easter, Chinese Mooncake Festival and Maulad Nabi (Prophit Mohammed’s Birthday).

Chinese dragons have been celebrating festivals on Christmas Island for a long time.

Festivals engage the whole community, events involve food, story and meaning for everyone to enjoy and most importantly learn from.

Within the Christmas Island community, everybody crosses paths at some point, through employment, the school, supermarket, post office or down the beach.

The school is wonderfully inclusive and diverse.

Often it’s the friendliness of a wave, a general happiness that becomes unmistakable and eventually grows on you, like moss on a tree.

We came to Christmas Island for a year, currently, we have been here 18 months and are exploring all avenues to find a way to extend our stay to become permanent.

Places grow on you for different reasons and in different ways.

No matter how open or closed-minded you may be. Or how frequently you remind yourself, you’re here for a good time not a long time. The universe often knows long before you, what you are looking for.

Christmas Island is a small spec in a vast ocean, it’s ascetically beautiful with many unique and fascinating features. Despite this everyday existence can be challenging.

Communications are often problematic and the internet is hardly high-speed. Delayed or cancelled flights, and the high cost of groceries all force you to become creative and frugal. Travelling can be laborious at times and always expensive.

Nevertheless, ¬†take it for what it is not for what you think you’re missing out on. Embrace it, and become invested, this island community provides you with much more than you could ever imagine.

Everyday services are indeed better elsewhere, which you know you are missing out on. However, occasionally you are more affected by what you feel than what you see or consume.

In conclusion, it’s the friendliness and inclusiveness of the people within the community that you find yourself that determines your sense of place and allows you to identify.

I’m starting to wonder if Christmas Island found me rather than me finding it.

Often things will find you, even when you’re not looking for them.

When perfect opportunities come along. Seize the moment.

 

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