(or Why Not To Make Vacation Plans Based On A Facebook Link)
My Facebook page these days is a lot less about what my friends are up to, and a lot more about tedious clickbait links like ’59 Facts About Children And Monkeys That Will Blow Your Mind – #34 Made My Ovaries Explode!’ and so on. Exactly the sort of thing I’d be writing if I wasn’t currently gainfully employed making fun of Justin Bieber for television.
This morning I was admittedly distracted by Distractify’s ’40 Incredible Secret Places Most Travelers Don’t Know About. The Last One Blew Me Away…’ page, compiled by one Mella Noha, which was full of beautiful photos of pretty places. (The last one was Monument Valley in Utah, which didn’t blow me away because I knew about it.)
Congratulations to Australia’s tiny neighbour, Nauru, for being third on the page! Click the image to appreciate the image and relish the write-up.
What the article doesn’t tell you is: you can get to this “island paradise” with “miles of untouched beaches and forests” FOR FREE!
How? Simply take a boat to Australia and exercise your right under the UN Refugee Convention to apply for asylum!
Nauru is one of the islands to which the Australian Government sends asylum seekers who arrive in its territorial waters – although usually it just gives them a better boat and turns them back out to sea. (At least, we think that’s what’s happening. Australian citizens aren’t allowed to know what their government is doing, because its leaders seem to believe a run-of-the-mill issue of border administration is a “war”.)
Why Nauru? The answer is a complicated mix of politics, racism, sociology, pragmatism, people-smuggling, and international law. It amounts to the Australian Government declaring that those found to be genuine refugees will never be settled in Australia, and better get used to their new homes, which are third-world countries, dependent on Australian aid, and even less keen on absorbing the new arrivals than Australia.
That doesn’t matter right now. The important thing is that you can get to the tropical island paradise of Nauru FOR FREE!
Just one thing you should know. That’s not Nauru in the photo. The scene in the photo is the Adaaran Club in the Maldives. It’s the fifth photo in the resort’s homepage slideshow.
The real Nauru is a wasteland resulting from the strip-mining of its natural phosphate resources. Here’s a satellite image. Have fun looking for the untouched bits.
If you’re still interested in visiting this island paradise and would like to beat the hoards of tourists lured there by Distractify, click here to peruse your accommodation options.
So, Nauru or the Maldives this winter? It’s true the Republic of Maldives has a few lingering human rights issues, though it’s been drifting in the right direction of late. But at least the Adaaran Club will let you in, which is something I can’t guarantee will happen in Nauru.
But it’s not all bad news. If the Australian Government doesn’t turn your boat back out to sea, and you end up on Nauru, you’ve won the lottery. Because the alternative is Manus Island in Papua New Guinea, where recently a detainee was killed after guards attacked asylum seekers.
You can find Manus Island on Distractify’s list of ’40 Incredibly Secret Places The Australian Government Doesn’t Want Travellers To Know About!’