Forget The Beach or Lord of the Flies, these folks really do want to make life in Paradise happen.
In June 2010, 8 Westerners will go to leave civilisation behind and go to live on a tropical island. 6 are American, one English and one Spanish. It’s not a stunt, a cult or a fund-raising event for charity – they simply want to go and live by themselves in paradise.
Focaliser, Daniel Nash, spoke to Road Junky about the motives and practicalities of the Purposely Marooned Project.
RJ: Where and when are you going?
Nash: We are due to depart end of May to the beginning of June. This is because of the wet and dry seasons, it’s far better to go in between than during.
As far as where about let’s just keep it to inside the southern hemisphere.
RJ: Why would you want to maroon yourselves far from the modern world?
Nash: In my opinion there is so much more than working towards a house and possessions that you cant take with you when you die, the world’s a beautiful place and our time on it is short. The modern world is full of mindless distractions, after living in our ‘‘civilised’‘ society where shiny things are waved in front of our face with one hand and the other reaches around and robs your wallet I feel that its either now or never to try and make a change.
This takes a lot of stupidity and a small amount of bravery but if that is what is needed to reach a state of Ataraxia then so be it.
RJ: What will you live on?
Nash: So long as its possible to catch fish, grow fruit and vegetables, rear chickens and every now and again supplement our diet with a sack of rice then we can keep our diet varied and healthy.
There are so many plants that grow in the wild that are edible that we don’t know about, depending on where you are in the world. There’s sago, jack fruit trees, plantain, citrus fruits – the list goes on and on – don’t forget the coconut palm or tree of life as it’s known around the world.
RJ: Can 8 people really live together forever? Are there any couples among you?
All of us know it will be hard at times and that we will all want space from one another but life’s hard and we know living in close proximity in such a tough environment will be testing. If it wasn’t hard it wouldn’t be worth doing its only through difficulties that one truly knows ones self.
We are 6 men and 2 women and none of us are in a relationship. I did want a more even mix of sex but we are not going to meet a partner and the women I have spoke to see this trip as to much of a leap into the unknown. Strangely or not so strangely though most I spoke to said they would consider it once the first steps had been taken.
RJ: Will you have any kind of constitution or agenda worked out before you go? We’re guessing that there’s no boss or hierarchy…
Nash: We believe all to be equal no preference over sex, nationality or race we are all 61.8% water granted some personalities are stronger than others but all have an equal voice and all deserve to be heard.
RJ: What about medical emergencies? Childbirth? First aid?
Nash: This is obviously one of the main concerns and all we can do is learn as much as possible after all we are not going to be locking our selves off from the world merely distancing ourselves from it. So if something way beyond our meagre knowledge were to happen then obviously we would seek real medical help, all we can do is take precautions by getting our inoculations, learning what we can and being careful as far as pregnancy goes that decisions would be for the females of our group to decide. I certainly would not risk delivering a child in such a tough environment although it would be very interesting raising a child there it isn’t part of the plan.
RJ: What comforts/technology from the modern world will you take with you?
Nash: A few among us write and I believe that two people wish to bring tough notebooks with foldable solar chargers, I myself may take an Ipod or palm book and solar charger but it isn’t that important, We will be taking a GPS and some people have expressed interest in taking a BGAN Internet Anywhere Terminal which I think is a good idea as it would be great to keep a blog to show people something like this is possible. Lots of books, cards, kites, sports goods its all personal preference.
Call it Paradise if you like…
RJ: Will you receive visitors from friends and family or ‘tourists’ who want to check out your way of life?
We have discussed this and once we are setup and only if we think the location would handle it. We want to live in harmony with our surroundings and not act like a virus which is what our current existence basically come down to. We all love our friends and family but if seeing them has to be sacrificed during this adventure then it’s worth it and it isn’t as if there isn’t a way to return.
RJ: Do you all propose to cut yourself off to the maximum or will you take ‘time out’ every now and then to visit civilisation?
Nash: We plan to supplement our diet with rice and want to have chickens, maybe even a cow, so we will be returning to the world and, on these occasions, I think we will all clamber at the opportunity to be one of the people who goes – be it for a cold beer or even just to hear some different voices. Hell, it might even be to meet a member of the world for fun – who knows?
RJ: Do you really think you’ll never come back?
Nash: Nobody can ever say never its just unrealistic, some people wish to do this for a few years some have expressed that they wish to do it forever but no one can ever say for certain they can only speculate.
I would just like to add that the risks for this trip have been made very clear to the members of the group and we all understand it could go terribly wrong on so many levels. We have to be both bold and stupid to undertake this. So with this in consideration I would prefer people to say I told you so after. I have great faith or it could be stupidity but we wont know unless we try.
‘‘In man’s life his time is a mere instant, his existence a flux, his perception fogged, his whole bodily composition rotting, his mind a whirligig, his fortune unpredictable, his fame unclear. To put it shortly. All things of the body stream away like a river, all things of the mind are dreams and delusions; life is warfare, and a visit to a strange land; the only lasting fame is oblivion‘
(Marcus Aurelius- Mediations)
RJ: If you do have Internet access we’d be thrilled to get updates, too.
Nash: I like the idea of others knowing it is going well simply because I haven’t seen it anywhere else and I would love to show people its possible to do something extraordinary, inspire others to achieve something that is considered stupidity.
[Road Junky wishes Purposefully Marooned the best of luck on this intrepid adventure. If any road junkies out there have any advice, tips or suggestions to offer, then they can contact Daniel Nash at Purposefully Marooned
He’s also trying to set up a second group to live on another island elsewhere in the world if anyone feels the urge to go and leave it all behind.]