I never, seriously ever, thought I’d make it to Tahiti. It just seemed like a pain in the ass to get to — a string of 118 islands designed for people with yachts, newlyweds, and the over-fifty, retired, and exclusively-Orthopedic-shoes-wearing crowd. Besides, Hawaii was more accessible — why not just go there?
In a sense, it seemed out of reach, and out of my domain. A far off place that I’d never actually see.
So when my editor told me I was going to take United Airlines’ inaugural direct flight from mainland U.S. to Tahiti, the first of its kind (Hawaiian Airlines flies direct from Honolulu), you can be sure I spent the next twenty minutes screaming “I’m going to make out with a dolphin!” before proceeding to wax the shit out of every inch of my body.
How is this relevant to you? If you’ve been dreaming of Glacier Freeze Gatorade-colored water, bungalows on stilts, and fresh pineapple juice, you now have much more convenient access to one of the world’s most Insta-worthy, dream-vacation destinations. I returned from my trip predicting 2019 is going to be the year of the South Pacific — the next Tulum, the next Iceland, the next Cartagena for young, hip travelers all over the world. That means you’ve got to get there before the package touring crowds arrive.
It’s become super accessible to get to.
I’m a young traveler, who presumably should be able to hang with the rigamarole of transit. But to know me is to know my inspirational ability to kvetch, or “complain,” as we Jews say. I mean, does anybody actually like long layovers and multiple flights? There’s only so many Shiseido counters and 5:00 AM Burger King sandwiches one woman can take!
Needless to say, I appreciate a good direct flight. On this route, I literally plopped my ass down, took a nap, did a Korean sheet mask like any good Chrissy Teigen disciple, ate a brownie, ate a second brownie, watched that Mr. Rogers documentary for the third time and cried about it to some guy named Mark, apologized to Mark for waking him up to talk about Mr. Rogers, and then landed to find a group of Tahitian dancers performing a ceremonial welcome. All in all, it was a very successful journey.
The implications for this new flight path reach more than just simpler air travel. Could you now, perhaps, weekend in Tahiti? *Takes a drag out of cartoonishly long CruellaDe Vil cigarette holder*
All jokes aside, spending a three or four day weekend in the South Pacific is no longer just for the Mariah Careys of the world (in fact, because the island is so expensive, a long weekend might be a budget traveler’s best option, but more on that later).