Learning and experiencing life are two different things.
One can learn about something, but to live and understand it is a whole new level of experience.
This is how Jeremy Undershute from Canada describes his passion for culture and his interest in learning and understanding about people’s origins and cultural roots.
He was definitely on island time when he turned up for the cultural tour at the Samoa Tourism fale yesterday where Dear Tourist met and learned about the 37-year-old lad.
Jeremy is a yoga teacher and also specializes in cultural lessons back in his homeland and his coming to Samoa is driven by his passion of wanting to know more about our culture.
“I came here because of culture, the inner strength, learning about people’s roots,” Jeremy said.
Coming here was a spontaneous decision, so after a friend recommended Samoa, he decided to visit our homeland.
Jeremy was torn between Rarotonga and Samoa, but after researching about Samoa, he believed in his heart that our island nation had a deeper meaning of culture and tradition behind the idea of a tourist destination.
“I felt in my heart that there was something deep here in Samoa, but I wasn’t sure, so I just listened and so far just being part of this tour, what I felt in my heart is true.
“Today (yesterday), what I felt here is just different, it’s about tradition. Back at home I learn about the Native American culture and it’s something that’s deep inside my heart.
“You see that my skin is white, but inside me, my ancestry is different.”
Jeremy is in the country for 60 days and all he wants to do is learn, understand and experience the island life.
And a start for him is having a taste of the palusami, taro and the traditional ava.
“I’ve just tasted kava today (yesterday) and I would have a go at it again. It’s stimulating and I enjoy it.
“I have been to a village just outside of Apia and I have only been here three days so it’s just starting.”
The locals, he says, are so friendly and welcoming and asked if he would ever return, he said “definitely”.
Despite the more than 20 hour flight from Vancouver, his decision to visit our homeland will no doubt be a fun-filled and learning experience when he finally says adios.
So where to next for Jeremy, only time will tell.