Sunday, May 23, 2010

Tropical Island Getaway

posted by Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy

Ever wish you could just run away and have a brand new start on life? I'll admit, the thought has crossed my mind, or at least figured in my day dreams.

Back in the days of my DDJ (dreaded day job) my best friend and I liked to joke about running away to some tropical island where we'd lie about on the beach with native boys bringing us fruity drinks with little umbrellas.

Matter of fact, those shared day dreams eventually led us to make our very first trip to Hawaii back in 1992 (yes, I still have the T-shirt, old and faded in the rag pile)! However we were so busy sight seeing on that brief vacation (I think we were only gone 5 days because we both had kids at home) we only managed one brief afternoon on the beach. That was at Hanauma Bay, and alas there were no native boys. Also, our drink of choice was diet Pepsi. Still, that little jaunt whetted my appetite for lovely far off islands, and my BFF and I still joke about those native boys and umbrella drinks.

My recent trip to the Caribbean made me day dream once more about running away from it all. Take a peek at this photo I took on beautiful St. Lucia (yes, the water really IS that color) and tell me the idea of running off didn't enter your mind. Maybe for a half-second?

Whenever I think about running away from it all and starting a new life, I always think of the most famous of those who did -- the artist Paul Gauguin.

Like so many "starving artists" throughout history, Gauguin was unknown and unappreciated during his lifetime. At one point in the late 1880's he actually worked on the French attempt at the Panama Canal, and wound up on the French Caribbean island of Martinique. Apparently, that wasn't quite far enough away for him, because in 1891 he set sail for what was then called French Polynesia, abandoning his wife and five children.

He lived first in Tahiti and then on the Marquesas Islands, where he died in 1903. His most famous paintings were done during those years. Here's a self-portrait he did in 1893, and that's a copy of another of his paintings hanging over his shoulder. His life inspired lots of books (including Somerset Maugham's The Moon and Sixpence), and at least two operas. So I guess I'm not the only one who liked the idea of running away to a tropical island.

Sounds great in theory, but would I really be able to leave all my friends and family behind like Gauguin did? Do I even want to? Even if I knew my writing would become as celebrated and influential as the art Gauguin produced in Polynesia (he's been called the first Post-Impressionist and the father of modern art), I still don't think I could run away as completely and irrevocably as he did.

True, he had plenty of beach time, and lots of natives, but NO FRUITY DRINKS with umbrellas! OH NOOOO!

What about you? Ever thought about running away to a tropical island? Or maybe someplace else? Or are you holding out for the fruity drinks with Aunty?

20 comments:

  1. Oh, boy, have I ever thought about running away to anywhere but here with a screaming baby, dirty diapers, and NO SLEEP! Oh, and a book deadline. But I could never leave my family, and the baby does eventually stop crying, diapers get changed...

    Love the post about Gaugin. I didn't know any of that. I think he was a bit of a coward for running away.

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  2. I'm hoping one of my werewolves--a hunky Highlander type--finds romance in the islands. :) But he's not running away--he's on a mission--only the woman he tangles with wasn't part of the plan. :)

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  3. Great post, Aunty.

    I have often wanted to run away--to just abandon all the things that tether me in one place and experience somewhere exotic, interesting, and hopefully, easier. When watching the Wizard of Oz, I often say to Dorothy (in my mind), "You have successfully gotten away and to a way cool place and all you can think about is getting back home? Girl, what is the matter with you?"

    Of course we know why she has to go back. Aunty Em will worry. Dorothy moves from a teenager's self-absorption to concern for another's feelings. And thus takes the first step to maturity.

    Because I understand the need to run away, I'm never offended when someone calls my books "escapist." Reading a romance is a mature, considerate way to leave everything behind, and costs less than a ticket to Tahiti.

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  4. Oh yeah! Running away from it all! Indeed. Although usually when I feel that way it is more a desire to hide in the bedroom for a good long while and just veg. LOL! Guess I need to broaden my imagination! Of course I haven't been to as many exotic places as you, Cindy, so that makes it hard for me to envision lying on beaches with cute cabana boys and umbrella drinks!

    Love the fabulous photos and wonderful history you place into your blogs. Thanks for sharing!

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  5. I'm not a sun person. When I dream of running away, it's to the mountains with crystal clear rivers and lakes, plenty of shade from trees, a cosy cabin with big fireplace to curl up next to with my DH during the cold evenings (both in summer and winter) and being miles away from the closest human. Of course I'd still need internet to keep in touch with my casababes from a great distance. Though a 100 foot sailboat wouldn't be bad either as long as I can sit in the shade of a sail with mega amounts of sunscreen.

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  6. I actually did run away from home - to Montana, and from there to Wyoming. It worked out great, but I sometimes wonder why I didn't pick a place with better weather. Last week Cheyenne saw 8 inches of snow, and several days later, two tornadoes. Those tropical islands are looking better and better! They don't have cowboys there, though, so I'd have to write books like "Cabana Boy Trouble" and "One Fine Cabana Boy." Hmmm...

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  7. Hi Shana!
    Crying baby, dirty nappies and No sleep. Been there, done that and DEFINITELY wanted to run away!

    Yup, I think Gauguin was a MAJOR JERK for leaving his wife and kids, but he was a genius when it came to art. Gotta give the man that much. :-P

    AC

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  8. Terry,
    A hunky Highlander on a mission to a tropical island sounds GREAT! YOU GO GIRL!

    AC

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  9. LOL, MM! I'm with you on wondering WHY Dorothy wanted to go back to Kansas. I grew up in a farming community and couldn't WAIT to get away!

    And I can't agree with you more on a book being a great 'escape' along with $7--14 being a LOT more manageable than a ticket to Tahiti or even Hawaii.

    AC

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  10. Now Sharon,
    Considering how fully you imagine and write about Regency England, I don't think you'd have any problem imagining an escape to a tropical island, if you just try!

    Glad you enjoy my little jaunts into history, but then I'm a big history buff same as you so I'm afraid it's inevitable. ;-)

    AC

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  11. Hey Robin,
    Funny you should mention the mountains to get away from it all. I'm sitting in a coffee house in a small Colorado town RIGHT NOW! This is my first real sightseeing trip to the Rockies and I'm having a FABULOUS time! I could totally run away here for a month or two, except I'm not much for snow, hence my preference for tropical. :-)

    AC

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  12. ROFLOL Joanne over "Cabana Boy Trouble" and "One Fine Cabana Boy!" Those sound like GREAT books to me!

    AC

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  13. I'll be right there with you, AC, fruity, umbrella-ed drink in hand!

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  14. A friend and I mentally bought our very own island years ago.

    I love Hawaii there several times and never tire of returning.

    I've got to say when National was there in '95 I didn't attend many workshops. Was too busy showing my friend around.

    Our first trip was my surprise for hubby and how fun to find my book in the hotel gift shop!

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  15. Aunty Cindy

    I have often thought about just getting up and running away but it is more from my day job than the family I honestly could never up and leave my family. But think about the time I would have to read lying on a beach in the shade with a nice drink in my hand and of course some chocolate even if it is melting Whoo Hoo that really is a good thought LOL.
    Maybe one day I will get that even for a week or two

    Have Fun
    Helen

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  16. thought about it? Never more than I did this weekend. :)

    Beautiful pictures, Cindy. I went to Hanauma Bay and fed the fish - until I saw the resident moray eel and got out of the water faster than you can say Jaws.

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  17. What a beautiful photo! It seems like you really had a great time. Caribbean is such a wonderful place to have a perfect island getaway.
    -Home business

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  18. The photo speaks it all. What a wonderful shot. It's perfect!Thank you for taking us with you on your wonderful getaway.
    -we buy houses

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  19. Fabulous photos, Cindy! And of course, I think everyone thinks about running away from it all. In fact, I'm planning on just staying in Disney World after RWA... :)

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  20. I do dream of getting away sometimes. Though honestly I dream more about just being about to relax and maybe get some uninterupted sleep. Oh sleep, how I miss thee...

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