So a few months ago I wrote about my obsession with the South Pacific and while I’ve never visited, it remains a place I think of often. Well lately it seems as if the universe is conspiring against me and wants to only add fuel to this obsession of mine.
I love The Amazing Race, the game show that follows contestants around the world as they tackle new challenges. Well the first location they visited this season was Tahiti, Bora Bora to be exact, where they did everything I’ve always wanted to do. Stay in a hut hovering over the turquoise blue water, relaxing on the sandy beaches and even skydive over the atoll. Since then it’s only gone downhill.
Bali Hai keeps coming up on my iPod shuffle, friends have all seemed to visit and post an obnoxious number of photos of their trips on Facebook, I even consider seeing a coconut as a sign that the universe is giving me the proverbial middle finger saying “I know how much you want to go there, but I’m not going to let you, not quite yet.”
A few months ago I won a $2,000 hotel gift certificate and I thought I had finally found a way to visit my idea of paradise in Tahiti or Fiji. Then I looked at the hotel prices. Then the flight costs. Then my bank account. Not even that generous gift certificate could fulfill my dreams. And here’s the kicker, I don’t know why I’m even lusting after these places in the first place.
As best as I can figure it all stems from reading Michener’s Hawaii and Tales from the South Pacific when I was ten. Ever since then I’ve been obsessed with this seemingly idyllic part of the world. Then I read Tony Horwitz’s book Blue Latitudes, which details what it’s like to travel around French Polynesia today. The realities of the islands are a little stark but not even that dissuaded me. But I didn’t think about it every day either, it was just a nagging desire. Until lately.
I don’t know what it is, but I feel an almost primal need to visit the South Pacific. It’s not for want of a beach; I’ve been to some pretty nice ones lately. It’s not for warm water, palm trees or even a fancy hotel room – done, done and done. No, the obsession isn’t entirely rational, but it is there nonetheless. The last straw was last night when I actually dreamt of traveling to the island, the latest barrage in my internal war. So I decided to gush here and to seek your thoughts, what is it about certain places that they just grip onto our imaginations and absolutely refuse to let go? What place has done this to you?