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Australia, Hamilton Island
Magdalena Shaw   

Hamilton Island: why don’t I want the best job in the world?

I have seen a paradise. I am one of these irritating people who came back to reality from the exotic holidays and keep going on how it is to be on a dream island. And yes, it did look exactly as in a photo from a tourist brochure. Also, I have not paid for being there, so I have no idea how expensive it was. Hah.

The Hamilton Island is the second largest inhabited island of the Whitsunday Islands; we are talking about the east coast of Queensland, close to the Great Barrier Reef, Australia. If you ever get a chance, go there! They have everything there: luxurious apartments, classic hotel rooms, a swimming pool at every corner, the beach access from everywhere; mysterious, I mean Australian, flora and fauna, a small wildlife park, a sport centre, a golf driving range where you sink the balls into the swamp! There is a yachting marina, where you can park your yacht and the airport big enough to take not only your private jet, but also larger commercial aircrafts flying most probably straight from Japan. There is a list of activities you can take up if you manage to get bored with watching plasma TV in the living room or with sitting on the beach sipping your margarita. Yoga, aerobics, cooking class, dancing class, buggy racing, diving, snorkelling – the list is long, the leaflet file is thick.

It is made for tourists. It is so perfect that it is unreal. We came there by a ferry: the little trip gave us the pre-taste of what is about to come. Both in terms of weather (it was WINDY) and in terms of scenery (it was astonishing). We ended up in a house of our dreams with the view of green hilly little islands sinking into bluish-greyish ocean. And the palm trees were swaying in the wind in the front garden. We enjoyed our breakfast with kookaburras staring at our cornflakes. We would take our private buggy (real cars are prohibited on the island, so all the transport needs are served by a fleet of golf buggies, what fun!) and would go to the sandy beach to rest our lazy asses on the deck chair in the shade of palm trees. It must be even more ecstatic there … if its sunny! And it must be amazing to go snorkelling to the Great Barrier Reef, which is just round the corner.

Ehrm…we were there for a few days and we witnessed cyclone-driven rainfall. No single sunny day on the dream island! We still had a great fun racing buggies along the island and going clubbing and fighting monsoon with the best of people. To be clear: I had a lovely time there, sitting at the balcony, reading books, staring at the horizon with constant amazement and drinking my vodka and orange, eating cake and thinking that IS the life I would like to have. Who wouldn’t.

Than I had a closer look around. The extraordinary surroundings, amazing houses, to buy, as we were informed by a guy selling them, for $2 mln. The beautiful enclosed space where everything you need is accessible and luxurious. What is apparently unusual for the Whitsunday Islands: the Hamilton has been created for tourism exclusively. There are not many residents there. Apparently, the island is catering for a growing number of people who settle there, both employees of the various businesses and people choosing to retire and enjoy the lifestyle … but you cannot see them at all in the sea of happy holiday-makers. And you are content with everything anyway. Maybe apart from the building sites producing more and more infrastructure and the biggest cockroaches that smile at you when you happen to be in silly need to use the bathroom at night. Still, it is NOT enough to spoil anything there, I promise.

So yeah. I was lucky enough to receive one of the best times of my Australian holidays as a gift from my dear friends. But, one might say, there are people even more fortunate than I am. First I guess would be the Oatley family as the island is on long term lease from the government. They basically owe the place and the businesses there. Think about that! And secondly, it would be the lucky man or woman who will eventually win the chair of the governor of this island. The advert for “the best job in the world” appeared in the beginning of 2009 and the recruitment process is still going on. Apparently, thousands of people from all over the world applied, dreaming of a nice, managerial after all, well-paid job in the paradise. Personally, I would never settle there.

It is a tiny hand-made beautiful island and one cannot experience real space and real people there. It has no background, no “locality”, no identity. And the fact that you can buy a hand-painted boomerang and stroke a kangaroo does not change the feeling much.  It could be anywhere in the world geographically, one would not notice any difference. It is a gorgeous little world, made artificially for your enjoyment, yes. And if you ever had a chance, oh do go there! As I see it, I can have a holiday of my life in a place like that, but there is no way I could live or work on a dream island. A resident in the paradise … a governor of the paradise, how odd!

Suddenly I realised that a ‘paradise’ must be a temporary thing by definition. What makes it wonderful, is the real world one has to come back to. What Hamilton taught me is this: my ‘real world’ is not only bigger and lauder and uglier and more unpredictable … it is also much more exciting! Hell, yes!!

…at least at times. Yeah, it has got its fascinating moments, like … I can drive my car as far as I want! And there are so many places I want to go to, leaving the perfect little island behind with a big smile on my face. You know how it is: the best places are always those we have not seen yet.

          

         

 

The official website of Hamilton Island: http://www.hamiltonisland.com.au/

If you want to follow the race for the best job in the world: http://www.islandreefjob.com/

Komentarze (1)
wanting!
1 piątek, 17 kwietnia 2009 15:36
I want to go there!!!!

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