my island home
We lost Leonard Cohen and Princess Leia, David Bowie and Alan Rickman. 2016 was one extraordinary year, filled with sadness for so many. But also my beautiful son Jack was born, and so on a personal level it was a year that brought immense joy and changed my life forever and for the better. It was a big year, anyway, and it took its toll on me physically and mentally. I know they say you won't believe the exhaustion until you feel it, and my husband and I felt it.
An amazing way to wrap up the year then was our trip to Tahiti, a beautiful intertwine of holiday and travel, with baby. I can’t remember ever being this desperate for a holiday because I have always loved working as much as I can and always felt guilty taking tome off. But baby Jack brought this holiday out of us. He has made us appreciate dedicating a few weeks to ourselves for your well-being to focus on having balance for the months ahead, and being the best parents we can be. For me, that means working out, doing pilates and running, reading books, swimming in the ocean, brainstorming new ideas, no heels.
We stayed away from the main island of Papeete and took the 40 minute ferry ride to Moorea, an incredible almost untouched paradise of a place, where the water looked like a glass of gin. We took a bungalow over the water at the Hilton, and every morning jumped into the ocean, snorkelled over the coral reefs surrounding our room. We'd take turns keeping an eye out for Jack while the other explored the underwater world. We'd rinse off, order room service at night (the burger!), or wander down the decked over-water promenade to an in-hotel creperie while wild sharks swam beneath us, drawn in from the reef by a couple of bright light shafts cleverly placed under the deck.
The hotel rooms are simple and chic, a little grass weaving, dark wood, a pretty low-hanging thatched roof around the deck to shield us on hot days. We hired a car and found a sweet little side-of-the-road lunch spot shaded entirely by an enormous tree, a would-be tropical fiddle leaf with large dark green leaves. We sat at white plastic tables by the ocean and ordered poisson en cru, a local ceviche-style dish involving cubes of raw tuna, shredded carrot and cucumber, a bright coconut milk and lime dressing. We paid almost nothing for a bowl of this aromatic and perfect dish, some frites, a beer or two. We made our way around the almost one-circular-road island and to the top of one of its peaks, where we looked out to sea and a volcanic mountain that creates the island's impressive silhouette.
What does a holiday mean to you and how did you unwind from 2016? Would love to hear from you and with this new site I'm feeling more connected than ever.