Bora Bora, French Polynesia--From now on, I'm going to have to be very careful how I use the word paradise. After spending time in Bora Bora (pop. about 9,000) I cannot imagine finding a more stunning place on the planet, although I'm looking forward to trying. In the meantime, I'll have to be content with visiting “The #1 Island in the World,” according to U.S. News & World Report, which ranked their top ten island destinations in September 2012, with this Tahitian gem at the top of the list.
It's easy to see how they made their choice, asking “What is it about an island that immediately invokes a daydream?” Bora Bora is indeed the stuff of dreams: Days filled with sunshine, impossibly white sand, and lush, brilliant foliage everywhere; nights alive with the drumbeat of a Polynesian show, the aroma of a tiare flower lei, and the sound of waves gently lapping against the stilts of your overwater bungalow as you drift off to sleep.
If a picture is worth a thousand words, images of Bora Bora speak volumes. I am by no means a professional photographer, but I couldn't stop clicking away – at flowers, food, sand, fish, palm trees, boats, bugs, people, and anything else that stood still long enough and a few that didn't. And that lagoon. That incredible, spectacular, indescribable lagoon that looks like liquid turquoise, especially from the air. As our plane approached the oasis they call “The Pearl of the Pacific,” I couldn't help but blink hard, and then harder, to make sure that I was really seeing what I was really seeing.
As a travel journalist and business travel blogger, I was invited by Tahiti Tourisme and Air Tahiti Nui to explore some of the fabulous resorts and attractions of Tahiti, Moorea, and Bora Bora. Since I can't possibly write about them in one post, I will be doing a series of articles over the next few months. I'll try to convey the sights, sounds, and aromas of my trip through heaven on earth, in the hopes that you too will someday journey there and share your experiences with me.
Until then, enjoy a brief glimpse of paradise on this eve of a New Year. (The headline, by the way, is Happy New Year in Tahitian.) Thank you for reading my column, and in the coming year I wish you safe travels and many sweet Tahitian dreams.