One of the most frequent questions our friends ask us regarding our travels is “Where is your favorite place you’ve been?”
The answer to this question has always been difficult because it requires a little more clarity. For example, my favorite European country is Italy. Favorite place to see history is Rome. My favorite cultural destination is Paris. Our favorite tropical place is Mauritius.
But, after our week-long holiday at the end of June 2018, we now have a definitive answer to this question for both of us… Bora Bora in French Polynesia.
I’ve said this before in past blog posts; pictures do not do justice to the scenery of some actual destinations. Regarding Bora Bora, this is 1000% true. No picture or video can even come close to create the sense of awe and wonder at the magnificent scenery around you! NO PICTURE! And, those pictures or videos you watch and you think to yourself; wow, it looks so beautiful… multiply the picture by 1000 to equal the reality.
Bora Bora is one of those destinations that always makes the Top 10 Places to Travel lists whether it’s a Top 10 list of beaches, islands, or places to see before you die.
Bora Bora is a 12-square-mile island in the western part of the Society Islands of French Polynesia. The main island (in the center) is 143 miles northwest of the town of Papeete, Tahiti. A lagoon surrounds the main island with a barrier reef encircling the island. Bora Bora was formed millions of years ago from an extinct volcano with two remaining peaks (Mount Otemanu is the highest point at 2,385 feet). Locals live on the main island in the village of Vaitape with most of the resorts located on the barrier islands. The local population is 10,605 people.
Earlier inhabitants called the land “Pora Pora mai te pora” meaning “created by the Gods”. Over time, this was shortened to “Pora Pora” meaning “first born”. With the first European explorers to reach the land in 1722, this had turned into “Bora Bora”.
Bora Bora became popular because of World War II as the United States chose the island as a South Pacific military supply base. Up to 7,000 soldiers were stationed here at a time. The island saw no combat (the base was closed in 1946), and the soldiers returned home with pictures and stories of paradise (average temperatures during the entire year because of its location near the Equator and trade winds: 87-degree highs & 78-degree lows, the water is 75-degrees with monthly rainfall averaging 4 to 11 inches).
In 2014, Amanda and I joked about someday going to Bora Bora after watching a travel show about the South Pacific. Then, the following year, our last living in Germany, we developed our plan to travel there as part of our 15th Wedding Anniversary on July 5th, 2018.
If you Google any of the resorts there, you realize it ain’t a cheap place to visit, especially if we wanted to stay in one of the over-water bungalows. But, with the beauty of three-years of planning, we took advantage of travel deals and accumulated travel reward points (thank you, business travel) to help.
The bottom line with this post is that if there is a true destination trip you would like to travel to, then give yourself enough time to plan, save money, and investigate ways to get there taking advantage of deals along the way. And, if you are undecided… our favorite place in the world we have traveled so far is Bora Bora.