Last week Shayla and I embarked on our first journey to the pacific islands. We spent loads of time on google researching what we could do while on our holiday. We had this picture in our minds that reflected paradise.
After a month planning we flew three hours to reach our destination.
There is something about looking out a small oval window above the trees and clouds that is so exciting. It is as if you have never seen anything like it before. Well I guess we hadn’t.
Our first 24hours in Tonga – let me get creative here. We drove through living nightmares to reach the so called paradise.
Don’t get me wrong the sun was out, the heat was definitely in our face but this was no lively city. Imagine driving from the airport in the dark passing street markets, dogs and passing poverty. We drove on a back road in a small rental car with at 10kms over endless potholes and no street lights – good one google maps. We reached our accommodation one hour later – it should have taken you 30mins.
Our accommodation was right on the beach shore – the evident crashing of waves made the situation a little better. We could not wait to wake up in the morning to watch the sunset whilst lying on the beach.
We woke at 2pm, 4pm and 6am- the heat was not our cup of tea. Our baked beans and cold fried eggs awaits us on our official wake at 9am. What a fantastic start to our paradise.
The next few days were much the same. We were hot. We were hungry. We were tired.
We drove for a hour a day passing houses with no windows and sheets for doors. We had only just missed some street dogs that own the roads- there were some that would not move and the way they engage eye contact with you truly speaks a desire for death. Many people stand at markets looking to get food at a reasonable price.
Now I could journal all the exciting things we did while in Tonga and believe me we saw some beautiful beaches, travelled to some beautiful islands and swam in caves but I will stop there. Tonga, like many of the cook islands and other countries around the world open your eyes to reality beyond our own. This year I have bought a new phone, laptop and Ipad so I can be up with new technology and in the know. What was going to happen if I did not get any of those new gadgets, probably nothing. Why did I? Because I know no different. The media tell us too. Our friends tell us to. Most importantly we tell ourselves we have to. My highest moments this year revolve around new toys such as the above. My lowest was realising that the people I saw in Tonga were never going to know how wealthy we live in countries like New Zealand. They live each day with what they have and in the conditions they are.
No one is equal. No one is ever always happy. We are who we can be.