French Polynesia

The first international destination

This was my first time really traveling outside of the country and outside of North America. I had taken very brief trips across into Canada and into Mexico but only day trips and an overnight in Mexico.

January 18, 1998, after taking the California Zephyr Amtrak train across country to San Francisco where I visited friends from when I lived there, I headed down to Los Angeles for my flight to French Polynesia.

On the flight I was reading Kon-Tiki by Thor Hederayl. As our plane approached the island of Tahiti, Thor was approaching the island on his raft. Looking out the window, seeing the lights of the city, I was struck by emotion. The little girl looking out her bedroom window across the corn and soybean fields had passport in hand, backpack and a ticket that would take her to far flung lands she could not imagine she would really one day visit.

Let the life changing adventure begin!

Excerpt from journal dated January 19, 1998:
Caught the 10 am ferry to Moorea. Soon after the ferry took off I went to the rail. I was greeted to the most beautiful shade of blue, on that only nature could produce. We passed lagoon areas with their turquoise waters. As Tahiti lay behind us, the shade of the ocean and the total realization of being in the South Pacific seized me. My throat constricted and ached and my eyes filled so that I could not see. It was an incredible experience.