What I learned about myself while walking on the beach I my last visit to Cook
Islands.

Do you live on the coast or inland?  Do you live in the mountains or on a plain?

I’ve always lived near the coast and I find that I feel more like me as spend
more time near the beach.

So in day 6 of a recent trip to the Cook Islands, I could feel myself
blossoming, really exploding from my shell!

It felt like I had been suffocating the real me for years.

I was buried in the muck, dirt and grime of decisions, expectations, family
names, skin color, ranks, levels and all of the daily crap.

Each splash of the surf, erased that muck.

Until there was only me left.

What is the real me?

The real me is connected to the rest of the world, not sitting in front of my
computer.
The real me loves to read and listen, not perform or rant.
I really enjoy figuring it out, but once deciphered, I get bored.
I want to know the answers but not do the deed.
I love the puppies and the babies, for they have little real will.
I love to accomplish more, climb higher, ride faster.
I love grass, but not sand.
It is remarkable that I love the beach as much as I do because I so hate sand
because of all the places that sand can go.
I love quiet.  I need quiet.  I thrive in quiet.
Noise makes me angry.  No, not even lowercase angry.  Big, bold, uppercase ANGRY!

Noise 13753276_s

Other people are noise.
The first marriage is noise.
Crappy products are noise.
Clutter is noise.
Expectations are noise.
Demands are noise.
Wanting is noise.
Frustration is noise.
Unfairness and racism is noise.
War is noise.
Hatred is noise.
Fake friends are noise.
People out for themselves are noise.
Aren’t we all noise.
Lies are noise.

So as I walked on the beach, I became truth and love and light and quiet and
peace and knowing.

I became the real me.

There’s more to do  here…

Cook Islands are an island country with only about 92 square miles of land spread over 15 small islands.
The Cook Islands’ exclusive Economic Zone covers more than 690,000 square miles, mostly ocean.
About 14,000 islanders live on the main island of Rarotonga.
And even more Cook islanders, about 60,000, live in New Zealand.
The islands were formed by volcanic eruptions and as such, the terrain is quite rough and uneven.
But it also what makes the islands particularly beautiful.
This exquisite beauty and tropical climate drives the largest industry – tourism.
Over 100,000 tourists visit the island in any given year.  This makes it the largest industry over the exportation of pearls and fruits.
Cook Islands’ is also making quite a name for itself in the offshore banking world and mostly US investors seek to protect their epic wealth for heavy taxation in their home country.
The laws make it a friendly place to locate your wealth.
So as you can tell, the transportation here is impacted by:
1.  The size of the islands.  They are small and very spread out across a sometimes tumultuous ocean.  This lends itself to boating. Cars and boats are also used to get around the island.
2. The vast amount of ocean that must be covered.  This also means boats are a sure necessity.
3. The weather is typically mild and tropical.  From time to time, the Islands are impacted by tropical storms.
4. The terrain of the islands is rough and mountainous.  Bicycling will work around towns but certain parts of the islands require automobiles.
5. The large tourism industry is a key part of the inventory.  Tourists want comfort and ease while on vacation.  Automobiles and boating are their top choices while visiting the islands.
6. A haven for offshore wealth.  The level of wealth of the visiting investors who are seeking to hide their enormous wealth in offshore accounts.
So as you plan your trip to tropical locations or even major cities in well developed countries, factor in your needs as well as the common trends in the location.
They might have a tremendous impact on what you are able to do during your visit.

 

So I’m the type of person who likes to take a vacation and actually chill.
My husband on the other hands, likes to get the blood pumping.  I think he is actually worn out when he gets back to work.  He thinks of it as blissful exhaustion.
I don’t get it.
The great thing is that cook island has something for both of us.

1. Lounging

Lovely beaches made for lounging.  Bring the traditional gear like, chairs and coolers, tents and towels, and beers and brats for the grill.
Don’t forget the bug spray as it can get kid of buggy from time to time.
And the sunblock.  Your 65 year old self will thank your 35 year old for being so considerate.

2.  Parasailing for plenty of fun.

 There are several vendors to choose from.  They all seem to have the same set up and basically the same rates.  The question that I asked was “will his red boat look best in my pictures with my swimsuit or will the blue boat look the best?”
Shallow, huh? I now but in the world of scrapbooking color coordination is key for a great vacation layout.
I probably should have spent some time thinking about the safety record or reading the YELP reviews but I didn’t.

3. Eating.

 This is something that my husband and I agree on tremendously.  There is no such thing as an excellent vacation to a place with crappy food.
I have been known to plan my tourism day around the best breakfast, lunch and dinner places.  I might eve book a hotel close to a highly recommended restaurant.
Cook island has some great dining choices.  I could recommend a few here but what I will tell you is to scope out the ones with the longest lines.  Then get there 30 minutes before everyone else at the next meal.  This works like a charm.  The staff is still fresh and pleasant.  The kitchen isn’t behind on orders and you can get in and out right around the time that the latecomers get cranky.

4. Hiking

You can probably guess that this is where my husband and I part ways from time to time.  Literally and figuratively.  He likes a strenuous, sweaty, clawing you way to the top hike. I do not.  I like a leisurely stroll through a grassy meadow, along a river bank or ocean with a few picturesque shots sprinkled in and maybe even a bench or two.  Sweaty, dirty hiking pictures do not make great scrapbook pages…but Putt-Putt golf might. Especially when your little one is as cute as this little guy!
So we compromise.  He goes on the sweaty climbs with some tour guides or local experts and I lounge on the beach.  Then later we take my lazy stroll and he gets lucky.
Putt-Putt on Cook Island

5. Sightseeing and driving

We agree that when you go to a place, you have to check off the biggies.  We also agree that it doesn’t always require a full on white-glove inspection of the place.  Some times we’ll just drive by a few popular spots.  How many old buildings do your really have to check out from the inside.  A few snapshots and maybe a browse through the gift shop and we’re out.
Saves time and energy and gets us back to the best cheeseburger in town 30 minutes ahead of the poor saps trudging through the exhibit.
What would make it really cool is if you took a limo tour instead of the regular crowded tour bus thing…