“Surviving Paradise!” Living A Year On A South Pacific Island! Blue Lagoons! Swaying Coconut Trees – And Millions Of Flies!

Time For A South Seas Adventure!

Imagine that this was your view of home – a south seas island paradise – thousands of miles from anywhere…well, for one adventurous young Teacher, it was home – and he wrote a book about his adventure!

“Surviving Paradise” by Peter Rudiak-Gould!

I am a huge fan of “wanderlust” memoirs – books that capture a unqiue life experience, like teaching English on an island that is going underwater!

For this young Teacher, it’s his story of living in paradise – with all of the wild adventures that you can imagine! First, let’s give you an idea of where he was:

Welcome To Ujae, One Of The Marshall Islands!

Literally in the middle of nowhere, here is how wikipedia describes it:

“Ujae Atoll is a coral atoll of 15 islands in the Pacific Ocean, and forms a legislative district of the Ralik Chain of the Marshall Islands. Its total land area is only 1.86 square kilometres (0.72 sq mi), but it encloses a lagoon of 185.94 square kilometres (71.79 sq mi). It is located about 122 kilometres (76 mi) west of Kwajalein Atoll.

In folklore, the Marshallese people have long considered the island to be home to timon (demons).

In 1998, the population of Ujae Atoll was 448.”

Yep, 448 people, most of whom are considered to be demons! Here is a short excerpt from Peter’s first day on the island:

“I stepped onto the beach and embarked on a bold one-man expedition: to circle the entirety of the island’s shore.

Forty-five minutes later, I wondered what else I could do for the rest of the year.”

Yes, he found himself teaching on an island that was a third of a square mile TOTAL!

The book is a terrific look at living in one of the most isolated places on earth, and one young man’s incredible adventure there…in what does, indeed, look like paradise…

It’s a great memoir that is funny, frightening, and enlightening in equal measure.

Of course, this entire part of the world is being impacted in a devastating way from the rise in the oceans…in fact, many of these islands will be underwater within a few decades!

I also shared a series of great memoirs about Kiribati, hilariously told by a Writer who lived on the islands:

J. Maarten Troost wrote several great travel books about this area, including his latest, sobering look at how the islands are disappearing:

You can see more about this powerful book here:

And speaking of powerful memoirs, one of my all-time favorites is from Writer Lucy Irvine:

Irvine’s first memoir, “Castaway”, told of her year on an island, and the sequel “Faraway” is even better – she tells a fascinating story ab out a family who lived in the South Seas – click here to read more:

Of course, island living might not be for everyone – unless it’s only a part-time island!

That’s right: Sicily’s Isola Bella is an island twice a day – at high tide!

Click here for video of this gorgeous getaway!

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Let me know what you think of these amazing, and topical, adventures!

Categories: Books / Media, Exotic Travel, Italy, Memoirs, nature, Real Estate, Travel, Travel Adventures, Travel Memoir

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9 replies

  1. This sounds like a really interesting book, John. Thanks for adding it to my Friday Review Share.


  2. I think I’d love these, love anything of this type of adventure –


  3. Fascinating! A year must have seemed like eternity.


  4. The description of flies reminds me of this paragraph from A Passage to India: “Look at those flies, brother;” and he pointed to the horrible mass that hung from the ceiling. The nucleus was a wire which had been inserted as a homage to electricity. Electricity had paid no attention, and a colony of eye-flies had come instead and blackened the coils with their bodies. This sounds like a most interesting book, John.


  5. I think he did well to survive the boredom. I wouldn’t be able to stand those ‘millions of flies’!
    Best wishes, Pete.


  6. I love books like this as well.

    Liked by 1 person


  1. Lisa Marie’s Week In Review: 8/22/22 — 8/28/22 | Through the Shattered Lens
  2. Could You Live “Faraway?” Lucy Irvine’s South Seas Adventures As A “Castaway!” – johnrieber

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