Where’s Your Paradise?

by Ant Stone on January 17, 2011

in England

Paradise. It’s 2011, and with travel being so inexpensive, most of us have found paradise already, right? Its streaks of blue and white; sandy in all the right places and desperately empty. Its daubs of warm and balmy; soft on your ears, yet tangy on the tastebuds

Walk with me, traveller.

Pad slowly through paradise and scoop up some momentary peace amid the crackle and dazzle of your day.

Now, forgive me for interrupting this blissful moment of yours; but I ask you to shake the sand from the shadows of your buttocks, to step into the shade and take a cold shower.

I’d like to know where paradise is.

I believe you know.

I do too.

Paradise, for me, is far away from the curtsy of crashing waves, or the respectful bow of a glowing palm tree.

Paradise

For a start, my paradise is found in the shallows of autumn, as appose to the height of summer. I feel autumn is full of spice and fragility: a season infused with blazing survival, while all around me, people are active. They’re doing things, before the onset of those dark months.

Of course, I’m generalising an autumn here in my home country, England. A few months ago while naively cascading through a tetris of Bangkok flights, I realised that I’ve travelled to many places around the world in autumn. Yet, in many ways, never been there at all.

My paradise also features the gentle flow of water, because I find my paradise on misty riverbanks.

Rivers are believable; plausible routes, silently guiding my wayward thoughts.

A bright autumn day, silently creeping along the riverbank. That’s my paradise.

Would you care to share you own?

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{ 51 comments… read them below or add one }

Turkey's For Life January 17, 2011 at 5:49 pm

As we’re English too (but choose to live in Turkey) our paradise is actually in England. Probably shouldn’t say that should I? Our paradise is sitting on top of one of the Lakeland fells on a crisp, clear January day, overlooking surrounding fells, valley and lake. Would love to be trekking around there right now and then sitting in front of a roaring fire in a pub with a pint of bitter. Maybe next year…
Julia

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Ant Stone January 17, 2011 at 6:03 pm

You’re free to say whatever you please :) A great suggestion, I’m hoping to explore more of the Lakes this coming year.

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Turkey's For Life January 25, 2011 at 4:15 pm

If you do any posts on the Lakes, we’ll be holding you responsible for making us jump on the next available flight back to Manchester, driving straight up the M6 and getting in amongst the Lakeland fells! :)

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Ant Stone January 26, 2011 at 12:23 pm

If I do, and I see you bounding over the fells… I’ll hold my hands up, “guilty as charged” and then we’ll go in search of that pub with the roaring fire.

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Siddhartha Joshi January 17, 2011 at 5:55 pm

Hmmm…such a difficult question to answer and before you asked I had not even thought of it!

My paradise is somewhere in the hills, any hills as long as there are forests and silence (with only sounds of the wind in the trees), when its chilly yet not cold, when am alone and with lots of beautiful thoughts in within. And of course with a notebook, where I could write my thoughts…

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Ant Stone January 17, 2011 at 6:04 pm

I’m glad I kicked your brain into thinking about paradise, Siddhartha. Yours sounds truly blissful. I hope I find it one day, it sounds like somewhere I’d like to be too.

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Jill - Jack and Jill Travel The World January 18, 2011 at 7:56 am

Our paradise is a mild Fall day in Tuoloumne Meadow, Yosemite. Little crowds, beautiful granite, pretty meadows, and hot coffee in our hands figuring out which route we’re going to climb that day. *sigh*

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Ant Stone January 18, 2011 at 11:01 am

Without even knowing the Meadow, I feel the allure of the landscape, Jill. Great comment, thanks for throwing your paradise into the pot.

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Zablon Mukuba January 18, 2011 at 5:49 pm

my paradise is sitting on a beach with a cold beer

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Ant Stone January 19, 2011 at 12:15 am

Sounds better than sitting on a cold beach with a warm beer.

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Rebecca January 19, 2011 at 11:58 am

I may be considered strange… but paradise for me – or perhaps where I just love to be? – is in a bustling, unfamiliar city, surrounded by a language I don’t know, by people who are just going about their daily business. Standing in the middle of this craziness with a smile on my face, completely clueless.

Of course, this needs to be followed by a breather on a beach somewhere, white sand, clear water. Just to get my sanity back!

I wish I could be in paradise more often! ;-)

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Siddhartha Joshi January 19, 2011 at 12:23 pm

This sounds awesome Rebecca to me as well :)

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Ant Stone January 19, 2011 at 12:51 pm

Not strange at all. I love cities for similar reasons to why I highlighted my love for quiet riverbanks.

The anonymity of big cities is a huge drawcard, and the people-watching, well… where do I start?

Go crazy in the city, recoup on the beach. A wonderful slice of paradise, Rebecca. Thanks for sharing it with me.

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Corinne @ Gourmantic January 20, 2011 at 12:45 pm

Paradise, right now, is reading your words. They transport me to a place that exists only in my mind, a place I don’t want to leave.

Great to have you back, Ant. You’ve been missed.

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Ant Stone January 20, 2011 at 2:30 pm

Thank you Corinne, sincerely.

For me, it’s comments like these that keep the ink wet.

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joshywashington January 20, 2011 at 10:00 pm

My paradise is the circle of light cast by a campfire surrounded by friends and family.

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Ant Stone January 21, 2011 at 6:56 pm

Perfect. Good call, Joshy. Just me and a campfire would have been nice enough, but you topped it off by inviting all my kith and kin. Bravo. Paradise indeed.

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Aly January 22, 2011 at 5:08 am

I had to think about this awhile. I’ve been to so many cool places – laid on the beach in Bora Bora, ate amazing food in Paris, grew up in the beautiful Arizona desert.

But I realized my paradise is actually Peru. Yea, it is hard. I won’t take a warm shower for months. I don’t always have electricity. I get awoken in the morning by a screaming monkey. But there is no where else where the food tastes so good after a hard day at work, or where I have laughed so hard with good friends. It is not for everyone, but I have an unshakable fondness for it.

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Ant Stone January 22, 2011 at 11:18 am

Thanks Aly, it sounds like a really good paradise to me. The laughter of good friends, and great food in a great place. Paradise indeeeeed.

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Victoria January 23, 2011 at 1:33 am

I thought my paradise was going to be a white sandy beach lined with palm trees, but after travelling for the last two years…(tacky cliche to follow)…my paradise turns out to be sitting on a beach on a cloudy day in the south of Devon. I spent every year there as a kid, and now I’ve got a great sense of appreciation for the place.

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Ant Stone February 1, 2011 at 5:09 pm

Not tacky at all, Victoria. It sounds like paradise to me (but maybe a little sunshine wouldn’t hurt!)

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Tijmen January 25, 2011 at 1:47 pm

Seen many spots in NZ that would qualify as paradise for me. They all involved a house on a hill between a forest close to the beach in some quiet town.

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Ant Stone January 26, 2011 at 12:15 pm

Peace and quiet in the New Zealand wilderness. I can think of worse places to live out the rest of my days.

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Akila January 25, 2011 at 6:45 pm

Paradise, for me, is in a cottage nestled in the mountains, surrounded by the rush of green trees and cherry blossoms, a wine glass in my hand, my dogs at my heels, and my husband at my side. But, perhaps I am just old fashioned.

Glad to have you back, Ant. Keep those posts coming.

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Ant Stone January 26, 2011 at 12:18 pm

Not at all old-fashioned, Akila; I can smell the sweet morning air, which swirls through the woodlands of your paradise.

I think you and Tijmen (the previous commenter) would make wonderful neighbours.

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Bea February 6, 2011 at 1:15 pm

Paradise is the silent, hot afternoon of the tropical summer. Where we in the tropics usually slow down, take a siesta– this is the “winter” of our daily lives– and wait until the sun is less fierce so we may carry on.

It is during these times that we look out and see a breeze shaking the leaves of trees, a bird landing on a tall blade of grass, or a baby stirring in a woven hammock. It is the moment of our childhood, and that of vacations– vacant, quiet, laying on each other’s laps, grooming ourselves.

Once we enter the world of the white collar, “educated” work force, we no longer experience this, and when we do (whether home sick, or while travelling), it is blissful.

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Ant Stone February 6, 2011 at 8:55 pm

A beautiful and heartfelt comment, Bea. Thank you for sharing your paradise with me and my readers. You painted a sublime picture of paradise; I was hypnotised by your words — so alluring, and honest.

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Nomadic Matt February 9, 2011 at 9:18 pm

My paradise is that month I spent on the island of Ko Lipe in Thailand. Nothing has ever been more perfect.

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Ant Stone February 11, 2011 at 3:08 pm

I’ve heard some wonderful things about Koh Lipe. If anyone wants to follow in Matt’s footsteps, I know he has some great posts on the region — and here’s a great site about Koh Lipe, Thailand: http://www.welovekohlipe.com/

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Madhu Nair March 7, 2011 at 11:12 am

My paradise was Cinque Terre, Italy – Fabulous views, Great food, and lovely people!
Can’t get any better !

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Sofia - As We Travel March 29, 2011 at 1:59 am

I’m not sure if my paradise even exists, since I want the best of both worlds! ;)

But I think I have found a place that comes close to it: San Sebastian.
They have warm sunny summers and great surfing, and only two hours away you can go skiing in the winter!

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Marco March 31, 2011 at 12:23 am

If there’s one place I’d consider to be paradise, it will have to be El Nido, in Palawan with so many deserted islands, beaches, coves and lagoon to choose from. Hire an outrigger boat and ask your boatman to take you to Cadlao Lagoon for the day. Or to the two lagoons.

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Ant Stone September 11, 2011 at 8:03 pm

Sounds like an incredibly beautiful paradise, Marco. Thanks for sharing it with me.

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Ish August 28, 2011 at 5:31 pm

Paradise for me would be peace of mind, and I found my perfect spot a little over a year ago. It was on a tiny island called Batanes, which is at the northernmost tip of my home country. It’s known for its harsh weather, but also for its unspoilt beauty. The rolling hills stretch on for miles, and on the edge of one meadow, there is a patch of green on a bluff that’s safe enough to sit upon. I could imagine riding my bike daily to that spot to just sit there all day, watching the waves kiss the rocky shore below, book at hand and journal in tow. The serenity of something so simple yet so inspiring seems to unknot any tension. I have a picture here (https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-VJBXcBP3epk/TIUY5EX53II/AAAAAAAAEfw/gUdtMklMwRM/s640/IMG_0421.jpg) and a video here (http://vimeo.com/user4883788) if you’d like to see; hopefully one day you guys can witness what I’m talking about for yourself as well.

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Directline Holidays October 7, 2011 at 5:26 pm

Trekking after hours to see a high mountain lake and see the stunning views of South Island, now that is paradise but then I love the early mornings in Peacehaven along the clifftops, a chill in the air with a sunrise and peaceful. Hmm..

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Directline Holidays October 7, 2011 at 5:27 pm

South Island as in New Zealand, missed that detail out!

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Joel Tillman October 18, 2011 at 2:19 pm

My paradise is watching the sun set on top of a South Korean mountain I spent the whole day hiking.

You should give it a try sometime. There really is nowhere else like it in the world. That is, if you are a fan of hiking.

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Marky Mark December 31, 2011 at 6:43 am

My paradise is a rather strange one…
It is a completely flat stretch if land that goes on forever, it is filled with green grass, a perfect shade of green. The grass is tall, not like HUGE tall, but the size that when you put your feet on it, it feels like walking on pillows
The sky is a perfect blue, with a few perfectly white clouds to accessorize it.
And the sun is at 12:00.
But the most Important part of this paradise…….

In the middle of this endless stretch of land, is an equally endless road
The road is 1 lane, it’s pavement docent look old, but docent look new ethier. And this road goes on forever, and ever, and ever.

And last but not least, on this road is me, with a 1933 BMW R4 motorcycle, with my long hair hanging out, and a 50′s style Lether jacket with the same style boots and jeans,
I hear my favorite music playing, not from an iPod, or anything really, it just starts to play, and I hear it

And I drive on this road, no worries, no nothing, forever…..

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Ant Stone June 13, 2012 at 2:21 pm

Sensational paradise, Mark! I was thinking it was a shame they built a highway through the middle of it, but you soon made me realise why. I hope you can find a small version of paradise sometime soon.

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Uganda Safaris April 17, 2012 at 9:17 am

The Bwindi Impenetrable forest is my paradise. Walking through the virgin forest tracking mountain gorillas and the feeling of fresh air with minimal human interference in this region makes me go here often

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Kieran Chapman June 29, 2012 at 12:02 pm

What is my paradise? A big question indeed! How often we must all think of our little paradises, and how difficult it is to actually put it into words when asked. I think as cliche as it sounds my paradise resides on a pristine white beach, bathing in the sun and watching the gentle roll of the sea. Staring at the sea never fails to lift my spirits and remind me everything will work out just fine – what more is there to paradise than that feeling?

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Sneakers June 30, 2012 at 2:31 am

My paradise changes. Sometimes it is a sandy beach, and other times it is a fishing trip in the fall. As long as we get away from the same old monotony it doesn’t take much to turn a day into paradise.

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Stuart September 19, 2012 at 7:11 pm

I think my idea of paradise has changed over the years. It used to be on the beaches and in warm waters of the Carribbean. As I have got a bit older and have a family my paradise is now on the Atlantic Coast of France where we can go bodyboarding as a family. The happiest of happy days.

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Katie December 5, 2012 at 3:40 pm

I think my paradise is in Hawaii. It’s such a beautiful state. If I had to narrow it down I would say in either Maui or Lanai.

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Rambo from Romancing The Planet May 19, 2013 at 9:10 am

I have been to Bhutan couple of times. It’s a place that could have existed only in my dreams. The calmness, its medieval age lifestyle, the amazing culture, the festivals, everything in Bhutan attracted me. No, doubt Bhutan is a paradise for me.

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solo adventurist April 7, 2014 at 5:21 pm

My paradise is composed of separate pieces – like a puzzle put together. You mentioned tetris… well, it’s kind-of like that :)
Many different locations, different experiences all put together.

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Star Seréna May 3, 2014 at 6:31 pm

My paradise is at nightime in the little town of Lourdes, France. Covered by a star lit sky, mountains peaked with snow lining it, wandering warm vibrant streets with good friends. Theres something magical about walking down to the grotto at midnight and watching the thousands of people walking in unison singing with their candles lit; locals, travellers, believers, the sick, volunteers wheeling the sick, people from all over the world. You can feel the love, friendship, belief, and hope in the air. Truly a vision of the human spirit at it’s best.

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