Travel the South Pacific through thirty true stories.
What would you do if you were sentenced to 30 days abroad? We can't all be shipped off for a month but whether you have 30 days off or just a few, these true stories of other travelers will give you ideas of where to go, what to do, and what it's like to be there.
John M. Edwards from www.intentional-travel.com
Find Hawaii ho-hum? Bora Bora boring? Go then to the more remote regions of Oceania with a copy of 30 Days in the South Pacific tucked away in your luggage. As the modern world transforms the South Pacific of legend, immortalized by Herman Melville and Robert Louis Stevenson, "outboards replace outriggers" and
"Coca-Cola substitutes for coconuts." Yet the less visited islands (Samoa,
Fiji, Truk) still retain the "Bali Ha'i'" beauty and traditional culture of our
wildest dreams of paradise.
Travelers' Tales editors Sean O'Reilly, James O'Reilly, and Larry
Habegger, the arbiters of taste for narrative-driven travel essays, have
stuffed this tropical tome with the least faint of literary travel stars. There's veteran
writer Thurston Clarke unraveling the mysteries of Michener's Bali Ha'i,
Pagan Holiday author Tony Perrotet witnessing a weekly drag review in Samoa, and
seasoned wanderer Joe Yogerst searching for members of a not-so-ancient cult
in Vanuatu--the John Frum cargo cult that worships the "Stars and Stripes" (and
Spam), and waits for the "second coming" of the Americans.
One of the best stories, "Yap Magic," by Lawrence Millman, describes the
huge aragonite disks used as money, which "resembles the fossilized tires of
an eighteen-wheeler" on this "faraway planet." Throw in a dance class in
Tahiti (Laura Florand), a kava ceremony in Fiji (Bruce Northam), woman pummeling
each other in a Nauru ceremony (Cleo Paskal), scuba diving on post-nuclear
Bikini Atoll (Anthony Sommer), and "extreme" hospitality for former Escape editor
Jordan Rane on Tonga, and the traveler gets a taste of what it would be like
to be "sentenced" to a month abroad in these otherworldly demesnes.
These 30 tales of "escape to paradise" brushstoke a region as
paradisiacal as any paintings of Paul Gaugin (whose grave is visited on Hiva
Oa in one tale). The book whets our appetite for "Maugham-esque" ports and deserted
islets, as we dive into the bewildering ocean of Polynesian/Melanesian
culture. And, yes, at the same time we fear the impact Europeans--explorers, missionaries,
tourists--have had, for better or for worse, in a region now redolent of
Rogers and Hammerstein. But as a Tahitian proverb goes: "The palm shall
grow, the coral shall spread, but man shall cease."
So don't die without having first
seen the South Pacific--or read this book.
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