The Good Life: Reflections During a Smoke

On a dreary August morning in Micronesia, storm clouds gathered ominously over Tumon Bay. As I gazed out from my balcony, contemplating the approaching tempest, it struck me that this idyllic day in the island paradise of Guam might be wasted. Restlessly, I wandered through my hotel, searching for purpose. With the early afternoon sun on the horizon and the sense that my day was slipping away, I made an impulsive decision to light a cigar.

From my travel humidor, I selected “The Good Life,” a creation by Brian Desind, the visionary behind Privada Cigar Club. I had been saving this cigar for a special occasion, and this stormy morning seemed like the perfect time to ponder life’s meaning and what “The Good Life” truly entails.

As I ignited the cigar, a profound sense of relaxation washed over me, and I uncorked a bottle of robust red wine. In that very moment, I felt like I was living the best life possible. It wasn’t the opulent hotel that sheltered me, the exceptional cigar I was savoring, or even the wine itself. It was the culmination of all these elements that brought me to this unique juncture, where I savored each aspect of my existence.

In our society, we frequently become ensnared by possessions. Our definition of success often becomes intertwined with flashy cars, boats, houses, and more. This obsession with material wealth occasionally blinds us to the simple pleasures that surround us daily. We overlook the fact that life’s everyday encounters, no matter how mundane they may seem, can be remarkably gratifying. We forget how to truly live.

As I puffed on the cigar, I contemplated an alternate path I might have chosen in life, a different collection of experiences. A path where, if I had pursued wealth, my life might have been devoid of hardships, and I’d be leading a far more comfortable existence. Yet, it dawned on me that I was wealthy, though not in the conventional sense. I realized I had lived life to the fullest, filling my memory banks with adventures from around the world. After all, I found myself in Micronesia—an opportunity few are fortunate enough to have.

To me, “The Good Life” is the pursuit of passion, whatever that passion may be for each individual. There’s no universal formula, but there is a universal truth, articulated by a sage long ago: “No one ever finds life worth living; one has to make it worth living.”

It’s fascinating how a cigar can provoke such deep introspection, imparting newfound wisdom. Perhaps this is why Mr. Desind chose this title. Every cigar session demands patience and offers a space for introspection in the absence of conversation.

As the sun began to pierce through the retreating storm clouds, casting its radiant reflection upon the tranquil blue waters, I settled deeper into my chair, continued to puff away, and couldn’t help but smile. In that moment, I was undeniably living my version of “The Good Life.”