Those are certainly larger events drawing crowd, but a week ago, I attended a smaller event too, with no less pomp and pageantry. It was a procession of 1,500 locals donned in ancient island costumes, a tradition going back hundreds of years. Take a look at the gorgeous colors and textures of this parade… Continue reading
In my last post, I mentioned that I saved money in Tahiti by buying groceries and eating at local restaurants in town.
So, did I miss those overpriced resort meals?
Not a chance. I was more than satisfied with the delectable island cuisine, which melded French and Polynesian flavors. Continue reading
After a few days in Tahiti, I boarded a boat for nearby Moorea. Some people fly, but the ferry ride is only 30 minutes long, and it’s beautiful. I don’t doubt the view from a plane is nice, but for me, it’s a bit detached from the splendor. I want to be enveloped in the scenery at ground level. In my view, it’s the best way to meet Moorea.
While Tahiti (with funny inflatable Santas and the Marche Municipale) is the administrative capital of French Polynesia, Moorea is its wellness retreat. Continue reading
This post is part of an ongoing series of all time favorite trips.
I’ve been to a few nice beach destinations in my life, but oh my goodness… Tahiti. What can I say? Don’t you want to dive in?
French Polynesia is the tropical paradise of your dreams. Consider the most magical color saturated island destination of your imagination, and let me assure you, Tahiti is it. I never knew the ocean could take on so many hues of crystalline blue… turquoise, azure, cobalt, and aquamarine. Continue reading
Zamami Island is 40 km from Okinawa in the East China Sea. With a population of only 500, it is a secluded home to crystalline waters, colorful coral beds, and island tranquility.
What stands out the most, however, when I consider Zamami, is Kazu’s family.
My husband and I visited Zamami a few months ago, and we randomly chose the Patio Reef Guesthouse upon arrival at the ferry port. At the guesthouse, we were greeted by a rowdy group.
“Today is my birthday!” Kazu announced, “Please join us!”
Flattered by the invitation to spend time with them, we sat down and shared celebratory glasses of awamori, the local rice wine. The rest of the night full of laughing, conversation, and revelry passed in a flash.
We teased Kazu about his love life and gave him advice for finding Miss Right. The family told us the legend of a dog who swam weekly from a nearby island to Zamami to rendezvous with its canine “girlfriend.” And at one special moment, the group spontaneously broke out in traditional song as one member played the sanshin.
When they brought out the birthday cake, Kazu said to us, “Your timing is very lucky. Now we eat cake.”
I can’t agree more… we were lucky that night.
The next morning, Kazu’s entire family drove us to the ferry terminal. Waving and smiling, they bid us farewell.
What happened on Zamami Island with Kazu and his family is exactly why I love travel.
This post has been entered in the Grantourismo HomeAway Holiday travel blogging competition.
Where have you found locals to be wonderful and unforgettable? Do you have any special memories of time spent with locals during your travels? Do share!
This past weekend with 25,000 of my closest friends, I participated in the Naha Tug of War. This is my favorite cultural festival, mainly because it is a bonding event open to the entire community of young, old, local, and expat.
Each year, the crowds face off in a test of ultimate strength. The goal is basic. Pull as hard as you can and bring your side to victory. Continue reading
On a blazing hot Sunday, the spectacular 10,000 Eisa Parade took place on Kokusai Street in Okinawa. The lively festival was in honor of Obon, a time when the community bids farewell to their ancestor’s spirits. I saw the most amazing beautiful faces. Come and take a peek… Continue reading
Boom. Boom. Boom.
Silence comes over us as we hear the first dramatic sounds of drums in the distance. We stand waiting. Continue reading