Not until I visited French Polynesia did I understand the meaning of true inner peace. The moment I arrived to Tahiti and heard the calming sound of gentle waves, I felt as if I had entered a completely different world. Whether because of the remoteness or the unspoiled beauty of this heaven on Earth, I truly felt at peace, and the only feeling I could describe was the excitement about what lay ahead.
It All Started in Papeete
My journey started in Papeete, the capital city of French Polynesia that abounds in vibrant energy of metropolises, as well as in the authentic vibe of the Tahitian culture. Being known for its famous rare black pearls, getting one of them seemed as the perfect way to begin my trip. My first stop was the Black Pearl Museum where I silently admired the world’s largest pearl and the vibrant colours of these gems, each of them being unique. Every time I lay my eyes on my own pearl with dark greenish overtone, I still have the same tingling sensation.
Once I went to Vai’ete Square, the waterfront promenade, after sunset, I experienced the true local atmosphere. After mingling with welcoming locals, I saw food trucks, known as roulettes, serving the authentic Tahitian dishes. I had a bite of poisson cru, a serving of fish cooked in lime juice and coconut milk. Afterwards, I sat by the water and observed the calm sea and the horizon – never had I felt such serenity before, and the Tahitian “aita pea pea” or “not to worry” philosophy consumed me.
The Spiritual Journey to Mount Aorai
Although the journey I was to embark upon was far from easy, I knew the experience would be more than rewarding. The hike to Mount Aorai, the second highest peak on Tahiti, was one of the greatest challenges in my life, but the moment I arrived to the top, I felt blissfully happy and quietly proud. Along the way, I had the opportunity to admire the natural wonders of Tahiti – lush valleys and green hills, impressive waterfalls and breathtaking views or the rising and setting Sun. Although faced with slippery paths and sharp ridges, I felt peaceful and I was able to truly enjoy nature and its wonders. Once I made it to the top and set my eyes on the awe-inspiring scenery, I was trembling with excitement. The blue sea was stretching as far as I could see and the island of Moorea was right in front of me – I will always remember the view and the feelings of happiness and peacefulness that overwhelmed me while I was sitting in silence.
The Idyll of Moorea
The heart-shaped island of Moorea enjoys far less popularity than it deserves, but perhaps this is what makes it so special. Since Moorea is located in a lagoon near Tahiti, I couldn’t but devote a few days to this idyllic island. After a short ferry ride, I could feel the same spirit of French Polynesia, but a different, more relaxed vibe, probably because Moorea was less crowded. My days on Moorea were filled with calm walks on white, sandy beaches and hikes through pristine valleys. What I particularly enjoyed was the Dive Centre at InterContinental Moorea Resort where I had the opportunity to explore the wonders of the marine world. Once I saw the diverse aquatic species, I understood why Moorea is snorkelers’ and divers’ paradise. I was simply mesmerised by the underwater life and its many wonders that left me speechless. Before my departure, I visited the most beautiful beach on Moorea, Tiahura, where I peacefully contemplated over my inspiring journey.