I have arrived to what I can only describe as a place so beautiful that you will wonder if it is fake, St. Regis Bora Bora, Tahiti. I have never seen water so clear and felt weather so perfect. When I close my eyes and think of an island paradise, this is exactly what I picture to a T. I was filled with so much excitement as we landed in Bora Bora as this is what I had in mind when Bora Bora went on my bucket list a few years ago.
Even though paradise may make you want to chill and relax, this environment always requires a little effort on my part to actually slow down. I started my time in Bora Bora with a swim right outside our back door. Most bungaloos are overwater so we can treat ourselves to watching the fish swim under our feet in the living room and bathroom. AMAZING! But even better, I have a great swim right out our door in the crystal clear water. I have also made use of the water activities by paddle boarding (with some yoga on it as well) and riding while Garnett steered the hobie sailboat. I ended my first day in paradise by watching the sunset over Mt. Otemanu. This was just the day I arrived!
My first full day, I started by rising early to catch the sunrise over the ocean. I went on a great run on the island and snorkeled for 2 hours. I have become a big fan of snorkeling over the years. I got to see some of the most beautiful fish. I felt like I was swimming with Nemo and his friends. Then I took the boat over to the main island to see the shops and little of how the Tahitian people live. The people of Bora Bora truly live the island life. I can only compare it to what I saw in Fiji in 2010 when I visited a local Fijian community. The Fijian community did not have much and did not live very well. They were a happy people but you could tell that the money the tourists were spending in that country was not being properly handed down to the employees in the tourism industry and that who is made up most of this specific Fijian Island. Thus, it was a relief to see that the people of Bora Bora do live a rather modern island life with all the modern day conveniences. I loved seeing the fresh mangos, pineapples, and tomatos sitting outside of people’s home on a table with an honor code, pay as you take one, system as I have seen in New Zealand. I love that idea and think it is so welcoming!
I have enjoyed my time talking to the Tahitian people and find them very intelligent. They learn almost four languages as they grow up: French, English, Tahitian, and the language of whichever island they live on. As they are a french colony, French is expected. Also, since tourism is so big, English is a must. And they do their job to make sure their native tongue is spoken and preserved. I have also seen a lot of similarities between the Tahitians and Maori culture of New Zealand, the island people who were the original inhabitants of NZ. I have noticed some culture traditions to be similar such as the specific dress attire of the rituals and symbols. Also, some Tahitian words are similar to the Maori language, such as “hello.” I will have to research this more but it is neat to see how throughout the pacific island culture you can notice similarities that evolved as people migrated many years ago.
As you can see, I have had a tough time pressing the “stop” button in paradise. You can’t change who you are even when you are in paradise….good to know. Luckily, my husband is here to help with that and reminds me to chill out and enjoy. So this morning, I started at a slower pace with some yoga on my deck and then a swim in which I saw an eagle ray (looks like a sting ray and I freaked out like I saw one too). Thus, I continue my time in paradise…..at whatever pace that may be.