Leaving French Polynesia

Departing Bora Bora, Society Islands, French Polynesia

Leaving Bora Bora spelled the end of our journeys in French Polynesia.

The feeling was…mixed.  We had seen so much and at the same time had only scratched the surface of this complex colony were West meets South and Islanders mingle with Frenchmen.  We saw about 14 different islands in “the blue continent.”  We didn’t visit about 103 islands and 2 of the five island chains didn’t even get a passing glace from us.  Because of our limited time here we didn’t even spend much more than a week in a given place.

It would be like saying you understand America after spending a week in New York, Huston and San Francisco.  Granted, you’d know a great deal and there’d be a whole lot you missed too.

The decision to leave is pretty easy.  The French government will make us vacate the country in about a week and being deported is rarely good for one’s continued welcome at other South Pacific countries.  Also, French Polynesia is only the second country we’ve managed to visit in our grand tour of the Pacific; the first being Mexico.  Though, arguably, you could say each island chain is a unique culture and you’d be right and while we’ve managed to travel thousands of miles by sea, we’re still on country #2.

We have traveled though French Polynesia under a simple philosophy “we may not pass this way again.”  Because, odds are, we will not.  Not that we couldn’t, just that now that we have been here there are a lot of other places both of us want to see before we come around for a second pass to our favorite parts of the world.  There is a lot of planet out there and the more we see, the bigger it gets.  The world is really a small place, right up until the point it becomes huge.

Greg never thought he would see Tahiti.  It’s not that he didn’t think he could, he just never wanted to see it badly enough to put in the considerable effort it would require to make it out here.  Travelling to Australia was in the plan when we departed on this journey but the opportunity to sail there was certainly not something we expected.  Since it wasn’t guaranteed from the beginning, our trip through The French Polynesian islands was taken by us as a special gift to be appreciated.  We had nothing we had to see because we never actually expected to be here in the first place.  This turned out to be a major advantage to us as travelers because since there was never anything we “had” to do, we just went out every day and saw what was there with the eyes of people who knew that they were being given a gift that they may never get again.  Simply put, we did our best to enjoy these islands just for what they were, instead of what we needed them to be to meet our expectations.

So thank-you, French Polynesia.  We didn’t know what we would get but what we got, we will never forget.

Next stop, the Cook Islands!


Like this article?  Then check out our final thoughts on departing Mexico or take a look at “Swimming With Eels and Island Travelfor more on the culture and islands of French Polynesia.

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One Response to Leaving French Polynesia

  1. Mike B says:

    Very well said, makes me want to write better.

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