The first week of May is always one of my most highly anticipated times of the year. This time last year, I was just returning from Cabo San Lucas with my husband Kenneth and unbeknownst to us at the time, was soon to be expecting our rainbow baby!
This year, our annual “honeymoon” was in full effect as we ventured to one of my bucket list destinations, the French Polynesian island of Tahiti.
Preparation for our trip was very organized and well planned. I started packing a week in advance. I’d made packing lists for myself, my child, and even my dog. lol We were to drop “the kids” off at my parents house on the opposite side of town the day before take off and everything seemed to be going smooth. My outfits were POPPIN! I’d packed some sponsored product to enjoy and share with you while I was on my trip. I was so proud of my packing job. I’d managed to remain stress free and even get enough sleep before our red-eye flight traveling from Houston to Denver, Denver to San Francisco then finally, San Fran to Tahiti.
Our original flight to San Fran was canceled leaving our only option to San Fran a flight that had later been delayed 5 hours! Both flights effected by mechanical issues with Southwest Airlines planes (call out)! We frantically had to book a flight from Denver to San Fran on United to be sure we made it for our international flight. Only one flight was going to Tahiti that day! We had to be on it. Our bags did not make it on that flight. They’d be flown to San Fran on that super delayed Southwest flight and the rightful hand off to United was never able to happen. We tried to have Southwest ship our bags via UPS or FedEx but they messed that up as well. I could go into so much more detail, but long story short… we spent nearly a week in the French Polynesia with no bags.
Fending for ourselves without our belongs almost 5,000 miles from home was an adventure in and of itself. We’d gotten by with the clothes we’d worn to the airport and a couple of sarongs that I was fortunate enough to get my hands on that next day. Shoutout to Mari (from California)… my new friend and United Airline stewardess who learned of our situation and give me her brand new black sarong that I later used as a skirt, a waist belt AND a head wrap! Yass!! You can really multi-purpose those things to no end.
Our second day in Tahiti was actually a national holiday… so all the local stores were closed. We utilized the hotels essentials and extremely overpriced hotel gift shop in the mean time before finally on our second full day there, going to the local store to get everything else we needed. You better believe Southwest reimbursed us for EVERYTHING.
We definitely enjoyed ourselves regardless!!! Though I was so excited about my ‘LEWKS’, I was more excited to be in such a beautiful place with the love of my life, doing what I love the MOST! That is adventuring, seeing new places, experiencing new things and new cultures. In a way, not having our bags made the trip more memorable and was a valuable lesson in how little we truly need.
The hotel was nothing short of exquisite. We stayed at the Intercontinental Tahiti with our first couple of nights in a standard room and their deluxe bungalow for our actual anniversary and for the remainder of our vacation. The experience of living in a bungalow in the ocean was a dream come true. Sleeping there felt like I was in another time or dimension. So very magical!
Early on, the trip was off to an adventurous start. Navigating our way with nothing and ‘living off the land’ lol! The the adventure just kept coming… and in the most incredible ways.
I rode a jet ski for the first time. It was nuts! Felt like a roller-coaster in the Pacific Ocean and I was smitten with the dolphins that greeted us so warmly.
We swam with “friendly” sting rays and nearby sharks during our Lagoon Tour at Mo’orea.
We also bonded with locals and attended a local barbecue. Have you ever tasted grilled marlin? OMG so good!
We met other married couples from one married for 1 day to another married for 50 years! Most importantly, we spent some priceless quality time together.
We ate ate and drank like royalty, enjoyed a world class spa, couples massage and facials. The entertainment was off the chain! The views were simply BREATH-TAKING!
This was definitely a very memorable vacation and well worth it trip! I’m in love with the island of Tahiti which helped me to realize I don’t need a bunch of stuff to have the TIME OF MY LIFE!!!
We are so grateful to celebrate each other and 5 years of marriage and we are looking forward to celebrating for years to come!! God is sooo good! All the time!!! More detailed view (and fun videos) in my IG Tahiti Highlight stories: Watch Here!
5 Quick Tips You Should Know Should You Ever Travel to Tahiti
- It’s very remote. Especially if you stay on one of the smaller surrounding islands of the French Polynesia like Mo’orea (which is gorgeous and you can also do a day tour here arriving by ferry). There aren’t a ton of people here. You will be in a very remote and overwhelmingly beautiful natural landscape.
- Monetary goods are expensive in the French Polynesia… on and off your resort. With our bags being left behind, we quickly learned that prices for even the most basic necessities are 3-4 times what you’d pay in the states. On top of that, the conversion looks flat out crazy. lol For example, $30 USD for a plain cotton t-shirt translates to $3,202 Francs. The conversion rate is approximately .0094 USD to 1 Franc.
- These Polynesians speak a sort of Polynesian French. Many are bi/tri-lingual but it’s best to brush up on a few of the most commonly spoken phrases such as “hello!”/ “la ora na!”, “thank you!”/ “mauruuru!” and “where is the restroom?” which is simply “toilette?”
- As far as food, the local favorite is a fresh fish marinated in lime juice and coconut milk with fresh veggies served over rice and is served everywhere! It is called poisson cru. I’d describe it as a Tahitian Ceviche. It’s wonderful. What we’d consider a traditional breakfast is popular there as well. A good plate of bacon, eggs and potatoes isn’t hard to come by. French classics such a chocolate croissant with espresso are also easy to come by.
- You really don’t need a lot. Make sure to have your basic necessities in a carry on bag, but other than that plan to wear very little (it’s perfectly warm here). Men and women live by the sarong. One sarong will yield 10 different looks.
What places are on your travel bucket list? Leave me a comment below. Thanks for reading! See you next time!
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