Two Letters Re: Thoughts on Overseas Retreat Destinations

I concur with David in Israel regarding overseas retreat destinations. Before any of this discussion was brought up for survival locations, I entertained the idea of relocating to New Zealand, but not for survival reasons. As much as I am attracted there, I rule it out now. I also served in the Middle East as a soldier and served in Moscow, in a different capacity. I spoke fluent Russian at that time. Residing in a foreign country is just that, foreign. Don’t kid yourself, in a real situation, you don’t have much of a chance, even with family. Your best bet is to stay here and circle the wagons. Plus, since you’re reading this blog, we ‘survivalists’ all need you here so that we can help each other. – Flhspete


Hi James,
I disagree with Tonga as a retreat location. I spent six weeks sailing through and visiting most of the islands from the Ha’apai group south including Lifuka, Oua, Nomuka, Kelfesia and Nuku Alofa. These islands are small, low lying and hit with tropical storms, including cyclones almost yearly. There is severe lack of fresh water on most islands to the point that the Tongan Navy has to supply some islanders with fresh water by boat. There is no way for most of the islands to be self sustaining for more than a few dozen people without resorting to “the other white meat”. Guns are heavily restricted, and there were recent riots. The place is ripe for a coup.

Sail or fly there for a visit. You will have fun as the people are very friendly and the water sports are very good. But don’t even consider it for a retreat location. A far better choice would be the Marquesas islands. Even though they are French controlled, the islands are very mountainous, sparsely populated and have rich soil. They are also out of most cyclone paths. Regards, – Bert W.

JWR Replies: Most of the islands in the Marquesas have unreliable rains, and hence are overall worse than Tonga, in terms of water availability. Like the rest of French Polynesia, residents of the Marquesas are subject to some draconian gun control laws, including universal registration. For that reason, I don’t recommend any of the French-administered islands. At least Tonga is an independent, sovereign nation. I included it on the list mainly because of its reputation as a tax haven.