Exploring the World: French Polynesia

Exploring the World: French Polynesia

There is nothing better in this world than traveling the globe. When I travel I feel alive, I feel free, and most of all I feel happy. I live the boring college life nine moths out of the year so, to escape to the beautiful parts of the world on breaks is the best part of my year. When I escaped to the beautiful Oceanic country of French Polynesia. If you don’t know the country by this name, it’s the country that encloses Tahiti and Bora Bora. In addition it is home to the island of Mo’orea which is said to be the backdrop to the new Disney movie MOANA.

While I was on my cruise I went to many different islands, but my favorites were Bora Bora and Mo’orea. 

In many places outside of the United States markets are not how we think of markets. In the US when we say “I’ll be back I’m off to the market” we mean going to a store that is cold and houses food that we don’t have to grow or raise ourselves, where let’s be honest is quite simply a magnificent invention for a modern society. But in Tahiti the market there is a two store NON AIR-CONDITIONED open aired market. It’s hot and it’s buggy, but it gives people the opportunity to immerse themselves in the culture. For me I enjoyed walking around the market on an early Sunday morning when the shops weren’t open and the only accessible drink was a fresh coconut filled with the sweetest coconut water I have ever had. This market will be much more lively on a Monday through a Saturday. But it is a must see if you want to see something a little different and really cool. 

Next stop on this virtual tour around French Polynesia is Mo’orea. This island is rooted in the history and folklore that goes along with the indigenous Polynesian people. There is a center on the island that does corporate parties and school trips to really get people to understand the culture. In addition to the cultural center there is a research facility funded by UC Berkley that does all kinds of research, but the biggest is for marine biology. The goal is to start a bigger program than what they have now, that is why the director and his wife got the honor of helping fill in the historical accuracy in the new Disney movie Moana. With all this cool stuff going on the world can not forget to look at the amazing old ruin churches and the stunning views up in the mountains.

We had the best time taking in the views of these magical places. The greenery and lush forests was an awesome experience to take in from the back seat of a van going up and down windy roads with five other women. I saw many other people traveling around on quads. This island is a great vacation spot for an adventurer.

There are no words in the English language that can help me describe my feelings towards the island of Bora Bora. This is the scenic location that you see in the movies with the huts built out over the water, also the place where that infamous Justin Bieber photo was taken, we all know the one. While seeing a celebrity here is highly unlikely, they do frequent this piece of heaven on earth. Bora Bora is what I think of when I think about where my peaceful place is. The sandy beaches, with the wind whistling through the palm trees, looking out at the most crystal clear water a person has ever seen, this is a once in a lifetime experience. Average people like me, never get to see locations like this. To experience a moment like that is truly life changing. My family went on this trip because my grandmother had a dream of seeing the waters on Tahiti and Bora Bora for almost forty years of her life, she made her dream a reality and I am truly honored that I was able to share in this experience with her. If you have a dream to travel save your money, a little from every paycheck, and you will get there one day!

Activities that I have experienced on this island mostly consist of swimming and laying on the beach. For my family we went on a boat trip to go snorkeling and swimming with sharks and sting rays. I wish I could talk about how much fun I had doing this, but when the doctor thinks you have a torn rotator cuff you’re not allowed to go swimming. My mom on the other hand, has never been so happy in her life. She was being circled by four sharks and was smiling form ear to ear because she was having so much fun. So a go to activity other than swimming from your over water hut, which I fully intend on renting one day, try this activity as soon as you get to the island. There are trips that leave all the time to go out for five or so hours a day, a great tip is to go by where the cruise ships come in. These trips are going to be much cheaper than those the concierge could arrange.

Walking the streets and immersing myself into the culture of a country is my favorite part of travel. When I’m walking the streets I want to be casual and cute with a side of comfy.

When I know I’m going to be in a hot location I make sure that I pack clothes that are light and will keep me cool. I chose a white top for this outfit to hep reflect the sun away to help keep it cool. Shorts were an obvious choice, a skirt in a climate where there are large gusts of wind is not ideal and a tight skirt sounded uncomfortable to walk around all day. Pair the outfit with flats for easy walking all day. I’m not a fan of jewelry when it’s hot and humid, so I went with small dainty jewelry.

Hiking while it makes me happy after it is over is something that I loath. I will walk for hours on completely flat surfaces but whatever you do please do not make me walk on an incline. But when in rome, we hike. In addition to hiking this day would have been more fun if we got to ride quads, so take this outfit and ride!

So for hiking, or off roading, you gotta wear clothes that are comfortable and cute, not necessarily high fashion, but if Lea Michele can wear active wear that is cute so can you. So for this day outing go with a flowy tee, the cutest yoga pants you can find, and a pair of your favorite athletic shoes. For me that is Nike’s. The wicking properties in athletic wear are the best for exploring the outdoors in heat, you would really hate for ugly sweat stains to be seen right?

A day spent in Bora Bora snorkeling and swimming with sharks and sting rays can only happen if there is a swimsuit involved. In the winter months while in a warm sunny place its dreary and cold back home means that a swimsuit that is bright and colorful really is something to brighten up a vacation. While it is socially unacceptable to walk around in just a swimsuit, the cover up adds to the whole ensemble. Plus no one can go wrong with a super cute sandal.

Wearing a swimsuit is something that I always struggle with. I feel like no matter what kind I purchase, I am never going to be attractive. Everyone has trouble buying a swimsuit, not just big girls, so we need to show support for everyone. #BeautyBeyondSize

My favorite part about going on vacation is the couple of nights that you get to get dressed up for a nice dinner. I love to put on a full face of make up and beachwave my hair, lets just say a lot of selfies are taken on those nights. When packing nice clothes the best solution if you are not one to bring a hanging bag is to roll the clothes.

When I think about being on a tropical vacation and what I would wear to look nice the first thing that comes to mind is white. Then when I want to look nice I always go for a skirt, and in the heat the shorter the better. With white you can wear any color shoes you want, so my favorite color is pink so obviously I went for the pink shoes. Sandals with a chunky heel are the best for stability, so whether, where you are going to be is on the beach or a moving boat the stability is something you might want.

Originally posted on June 29, 2016.