Short Story
Paradise Found
Scott A. Gese


He was a popular travel writer. His parents began to worry when his writing stopped and they couldn’t get in touch with him.

paradise foundCliford Mervil/Pexels

Nathan Orland was a confirmed bachelor. He answered to no one and he liked it that way.

Earlier in life he thought he would follow in the footsteps of his family and friends. They all found the loves of their lives, got married and settled down.

Many of these “forever loves” ended in divorce.

Nathan had a change of heart as he watched the train wrecks pile up. He would rather not make the commitment. He did have his share of romances, but he was never willing to slip on the ring and settle down. He loved his life the way it was. For now, he had no plans to change a thing.

In his late twenties, Nathan got the itch to travel. He spent hours on his computer reading and watching video’s of other world travelers. Both men and women who were spending their lives in what each of them considered paradise.

The more videos he watched, the more he wanted to find his piece of paradise.

He was a decent writer and like his father, a good photographer. His father was an amateur astronomer. He could tell you everything you ever wanted to know about any of the constellations or planets as they moved around in the night sky. He had once sailed from the California coast to the Figi Islands using nothing but a sexton and the stars to set his coarse. He specialized in night sky photos.

Nathan enjoyed landscapes. He knew he could earn what money he needed to survive by blogging and photographing his travels. He figured if others could do it, so could he.

In October of 2010, Nathan sold all of his belongings, said his good-by’s to family and friends, then boarded a plane to Costa Rica.

He started blogging from day one. Anyone who wanted to know what Nathan Orland was up to could check his blog, see some recent photo’s and read the latest news. Over a two year period, Nathan had developed quite a following. Thousands of people were reading his blog and purchasing the books he had written about his adventures.

One day, without notice, the writing stopped. No more blog posts. No more photos. His followers were disappointed. His family was worried.

Nathan’s parents had always been able to get in touch with him by phone. Now there was only a prerecorded message that said “Don’t worry, I’m fine.” It’s as if Nathan had fallen off the face of the earth. They were worried.

His father traveled to his last known whereabouts. He had no luck locating his son and eventually returned home.

One month later his family received a photograph. Hand delivered by an employee of a company called Anonymous Whereabouts. They specialized in delivering information for people who don’t want their whereabouts to be known. Apparently Nathan didn’t want to be found.

The photograph was of the night sky. On the back was a note. “I’ve found my paradise. I’m happy. I’ll contact you soon.” It was signed Nathan.

Two weeks later, Nathan’s father knocked on the door of a room at a Buddhist monastery in New Zealand. Nathan answered. He was surprised when he saw his father. The surprise quickly turned to joy. Nathan invited him in. He made them tea and they talked for hours. Nathan went about convincing him he had found his piece of paradise. His father wasn’t so sure. After trying his best to persuade him to come home, Nathans father reluctantly accepted his sons choice to stay where he was.

The following day, as his father was leaving, Nathan asked, “How did you find me?”

“The photo of the night sky,” replied his father. “I questioned why you would send it. Then it dawned on me, maybe you were reaching out. I recognized the area of the sky and had someone run the photo through a computer program that could determine the ground coordinates according to the stars in the photo. It’s precise and it led me to the courtyard outside your room.”

“I guess maybe I was reaching out. I am glad you found me. Sorry I didn’t tell you where I was. I knew you would be worried but I needed the time alone. Tell mom I love her.”

“No, you tell her.” his father replied. “I called her last night but you need to talk to her. She’s been worried sick about you.”

“I promise to call as soon as you leave,” replied Nathan.

As promised, as soon as Nathan’s father left he located his phone and charged it. Back home the phone rang. Nathan’s mom answered it.

“Hi mom, it’s Nathan. I’m sorry I worried you… ”

~~~~~

The lost had been found. Tears of joy were shed. Apologies given and accepted.

After several years in the monastery Nathan returned home with new skills. He still travels but on a much higher level. His meditations and out of body experiences take him to places most people can’t even comprehend.

He began to write travel stories again. Only this time the places he traveled were beyond the confines of this world. His new travel blog is unlike any other. It’s called “Paradise Found.”

© Copyright 2024 by Scott A. Gese All Rights Reserved.


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