Though I'd never visited before and had only seen pictures and heard some of the legends, the 7-year-old boy adventurer still alive and well in me had sights firmly set on the final destination of the voyage: French Polynesia. And these spectacular islands, archipelagos and coral-reef fringed islets ("motu") in the beautiful South Pacific did not disappoint; instead, they were the culmination of all that I had dreamed about and hoped for, for the voyage: a bluetrue dream, awake.
We started our French Polynesian adventure as almost everyone does: in Tahiti. And, though Tahiti is the largest and most urbanized of the Society Islands -- indelible, unique images of French Polynesian life and culture were already, everywhere evident. Women, young and old, really do wear flowers in their hair; hibiscus and other blossoms are abundant; the island's interior mountains are deep green, covered in tall palms and ferns; and beautiful black sand beaches, and the blue Pacific beyond, seem to encircle everything.
The Tahitian people we met were extraordinarily kind, and proud of their paradise; and seemed, at least to us, to live their lives more closely focused on the natural beauty that surrounds them. So I thought: why can't I find ways of more regularly seeking out and savouring the beauty in my corner of the world, even if I don't live in beautiful Tahiti?
You've not seen greens and blues like this before/A canopy of palms, a riot of greens/splay upwards, faces open to the sun and blue blue sky beyond/Above them, a frothy white meringue of clouds spiral lazily upwards/The endless blue day. Here's to seeking out and appreciating the world's beauty, wherever we can find it; and to finding, and savouring, the endless blue day.