Friday, 31 August 2007

Islands and me...

Since I was a teenager I have loved islands and island life. I think the movies "Blue Lagoon" and "Return to the Blue Lagoon" (which were filmed in Fiji) started it all for me. How wonderful to live on a deserted island with noone but your mate.. swimming in the aqua blue waters, catching and cooking fish, drinking and eating coconuts, swimming in waterfalls. Of course it is fully impractical and I would miss 'civilization' after a while and probably be very sunburnt and get billions of freckles... so I have to get back to reality.

My favourite flower is the 'bird of paradise' or strelitzia. I liked it since I was about 10 or 12 or so, I liked that the flower looked like a bird's head. I also loved the bright, fun colours. My favourite tree is a palm tree. I don't know why but I love how huge and tall they get and they can bear fruit like coconuts or dates. It wasn't till recently that I put it all together. That for some strange reason, unconsciously my fave flower AND tree are both tropical island species!! Coincidence?

When I was in Year 9 (age 14), my geography teacher showed us slides of her family trip to Hawaii. I think everyone was bored but I was very interested and intrigued. I never forgot all about the things she showed us - the volcanoes with bright red lava, the beaches, the beautiful scenery/landscape...

When I was 19 my father took my sister and I on a trip up the east coast of Australia from Sydney to the Great Barrier Reef. We saw a heck of a lot of places in a short time! My favourite was our last stop. We flew from Bundaberg? or somewhere around there to Lady Elliott island. It was a strange place. The small island was covered in dead coral instead of sand, which made walking rather painful. But I loved it there. Most of all I loved that aqua coloured water (and I think that was when I decided aqua was now my new favourite colour). I couldn't swim very well and stupidly did not bring my swimming costume and had to watch everyone else having fun. I was determined that next time I went to a place as beautiful as this I would be going snorkelling!

I was fortunate enough to go to Hawaii for our honeymoon. It was a bit of a freak occurence because we actually planned to go to Italy (somewhere I am still dreaming about going to!) when I discovered some cheap airfares because a new Australian budget airline (Jetstar - who incidentally just won 2007 budget airline of the year award by Skytrax). I quickly called up my husband at work and asked him what he thought. We both agreed it would be a good idea and far more relaxing and cheaper too. The return tickets from Sydney to Honolulu are normally around $1000-1100 at the lower end, but I got them for only $770 odd. Had I been a bit quicker, I could've gotten them for around $500. Not to worry. I was glad I got some at all! The website was a pain to get into because there were SO many people trying to access it simultaneously.

So anyway we did a LOT of snorkelling in Hawaii. I am so addicted, it's the most fun you could ever have and the beauty is you don't even need to know how to swim because you just float naturally and breathe through the mask. I am a totally hopeless swimmer (can barely manage 25m) and I have asthma so there is no way I could do diving, so snorkelling is the closest I'll ever come to seeing fish up close. I also have a waterproof case for my digital camera and love to take photos and videos underwater. The case is so cool, I always get people staring at my camera wherever I bring it out in its case. Hehe.

In Sydney I lived less than 10 mins drive to the beach. And now, I'm in Shanghai miles away from any decent beach or island and have a craving for beach, sand, sun again. OK we had an artificial beach at Dino Beach water park but it's hardly the same thing ;)

And so, where is this boring post headed? Well, we are not only going to Okinawa (where few non-Japanese have gone before) but we are going to a lesser known island called Miyako. It was a hard choice since there are so many beautiful islands, with different landscapes but I think Miyako is one of the most beautiful, so I'm/we're really looking forward to it. They say that Okinawa is the Hawaii of the Far East. Well they said that about Sanya too ;) so we shall see! (and yes I will be snorkelling till my whole body goes pruney! yay!) :D

1 comment:

Michele said...

I LOVE island vacations... and I think it started in 7th grade when I had to do a full travel brochure for an English project, and I picked FIJI (slip of paper in a hat)... so in the process of trying to entice readers, I enticed myself. I partly only remember this because I just recently returned from the US clearing out my storage. # 1 rule for any expats... NO STORAGE. Even if you think you'll return in 2 years... NO STORAGE.

If anyone ever needs to see a smile on my face, they just have to ask me what island I would like to go to.. instant images of crystal clear turquoise waters make me smile!