Exploring French Polynesia

One of our favorite photographers, Shannon Cummings & her friends went on a trip to the French Polynesia for an adventure of a lifetime. 21 days, countless hours in the crisp Polynesian ocean & great memories. We think that for you to feel what she experienced,  Shannon will have to tell you herself:

“Picture this: a palm tree or three swaying to the beat of the oceans waves. Mountains green and terrifyingly jagged. Sand so white and powdery that it makes you wonder how long it took to get that way. AND BLUE. Lots of blue. Turquoise blue. Dark blue. Light blue. I really like these blues. This is French Polynesia. This is Mo’orea. I live on Oahu and like to say I’m an expert in adventuring and going with the flow but that would be a lie. I like to plan all my adventures at least a few days in advance. There is something about the way the people live on Mo’orea. We did not plan. You move slow. It is hot so that could be why… Anyway, I did not know what was going to happen each and everyday and I loved it. My friends and I relied on the kindness of strangers. French Polynesians are extremely kind. They are so kind that they’ll go out of their way to take you to your destination if hitching a ride. We also relied on the kindness of fellow travelers. No one stole my camera equipment while staying in hostels or carelessly leaving it on the beach. We made an excellent friend who translated French for us and even saved our lives while snorkeling out to sharks – we had to worry about the killer boats and currents in this instance. My best advice for traveling to these islands is to know of a few things you’d like to do. I knew I wanted to swim with sharks and visit Teahupo’o. However, after learning from other travelers I realized that I did want to visit Rangiroa and scuba with the “Wall of Sharks,” and I did want to see Marlon Brando’s atoll called Tetiaroa. I didn’t even know this existed until talking with other travelers. I researched before my trip but there is so much information that it can be overwhelming. Talk to people while you’re here. Make friends. You’ll get a lot of great advice on what to do and what to avoid. Tag along and don’t be afraid to open up…unless you get a creepy vibe. Then of course you need to be careful and trust your gut. I was traveling with two other beautiful ladies so we had protection in numbers. Trust the advice of the islanders. It’s not like Oahu where everything is a warning for those who aren’t used swimming or hiking or being outdoors. When they say there is a strong current, there IS a strong current. When they say you need a guide for a hike, you do. This isn’t Disneyland or even Hawaii. You are going to sweat a lot. So much so that you’ll just want to go almost naked. I only wore my San Lorenzo bikini and a pareo I picked up from a street vendor and washed this every night with shampoo and hung it out to dry for the next day. I did this for almost three weeks. Gross? No. Practical. You really don’t need clothes here. It does get chilly at night though but that is my opinion. Most of the time you’re sweating. Eat poisson cru. I like to think of this as the poke of French Polynesia except that it has coconut sauce. SO ONO. Drink all their juices. Day and night. We didn’t stay in a swanky hotel but we were able to use their WiFi for free (thank you, Hilton Mo’orea)! Check out those places by walking through or going to their happy hour. If you are privileged enough to stay at one of these fine hotels, then I recommend for you to go out of your comfort zone and stay at a pension aka a hostel. You’ll meet more people that way. Traveling is about meeting people.                                                                                                                                                   Mo’orea and Tahiti, maruru roa. I’ll see you again very soon”

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Shop the looks: Deep V Monokini | Braided Hipster Strap | Fringe Ruched Brief 

Photography by Shannon Cummings | www.memoriesaquatic.com

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