I am seasoned traveller. I’ve been pretty much everywhere that I have wanted to go, as well as some places that I really haven’t. (The visa office, followed by the nearest local bank at the Lo Wu border between Hong Kong and mainland China? Not so much.) It’s been over ten years of living abroad for me, and yet for the most part the countries that I have been to, I have lived in.
Well Clare, you may think, you have been living an eternal holiday for the past ten years, have you not? The short answer to the most frustrating of questions that every long term expat gets at least once in their life? No. The long answer? Nope.
People assume that because you live abroad and teach English you are on a constant vacation where people drink, travel and generally do nothing for the entire time that they’re abroad. They think that your job is easy and that you are living the good life 24/7.
Well, for that I have one scenario for you: fifteen students, all aged five, one over-heated classroom, one boy lying on the floor for the first ten minutes of class in a petulant rage, no help from a native teacher & me, alone, at the blackboard for an hour and a half.
It takes a certain kind of soul to be able to deal with that, and a certain kind of person to deal with it for eight plus years, (in some form or another). So when the time came for me to finally quit teaching English for good I knew that I would eventually want a long, relaxing holiday with a drink, or ten, to make up for the years of stress that my job had afforded me.
(Disclaimer: I loved my job, really, I did, but the time had come for me to start taking control of my life and my dreams to the point that I was doing something I was truly passionate about, and which didn’t just pay the bills. That and the vomiting children, of course.)
Anyway, when we were planning our wedding (see post here for more details on that) I knew that I would much rather spend the money on the ‘Ultimate Vacation’ than a wedding dress and a fancy ceremony. And to me ‘ultimate’ means an overwater bungalow in some remote part of the world, with pools, the ocean and endless, glorious cocktails.
So we went to Bora Bora. Or, the St Regis in Bora Bora, to be more precise.
It was the ultimate of Ultimate Holidays. From the five star treatment to the crystal blue ocean, to our very own pool overlooking the main island in the distance, to the obviously cliché, but very necessary, pink flamingo.
We only stayed for a week, because, well, we’re not made of money, but that week was completely perfect. Water has always soothed me. From the sound of it, to the smell of it, to the sight and feel of it. So to have this as my morning view every day was not too shabby.
Tahiti is a place that I would absolutely love to go back to at some point in my life, but I’d think I would actually need to become the next J.K.Rowling or something to be able to afford it again. So in all honesty I don’t know if I will ever get to go back to Bora Bora again in my life, but if I don’t then I will be able to check one thing firmly off my bucket list, and be forever grateful for the short time that we spent there together.