Out of all tourist destinations, Catherine Marley finds joy in celebrating her 35th birthday in Samoa.
She is in Samoa for eight days and each day for her, is a good reason to be grateful for the people who surround her.
“It is amazing, I couldn’t think of a better way to spend my birthday. It is very lovely and I am grateful to be here and just being surrounded by so many beautiful people. I made the 100 percent decision of coming to Samoa.
“This is the best birthday I have ever had. I feel really happy, relaxed and just grateful. I guess that is what you would like for your birthday.”
Speaking to the Dear Tourist team, the Irish born, who now resides in Sydney, Australia, said the friendliness of the Samoan people takes her close to her motherland.
“Home for me is a very friendly place. It is a very green place and definitely not sunny but we get to have summer. The Irish people are fun, very friendly and very welcoming. I was teaching friends who we met here on how to say cheers in Irish. It has been really fun being here.
“The friendliness and family oriented atmosphere that happens around here definitely reminds me of home.
“I don’t really miss the place (Ireland) but I miss the people. I miss my family, my siblings and parents. It is hard and it never gets easier every time I get to go home it just gets harder and harder every time I leave,” she said.
Catherine has witnessed so much in Samoa.
“I think being friendly is a part of who you are and it will always be in you. It could also be a cultural thing with the Samoan people and the way they treat people as your own family member.
“The tiny things such as sharing food and looking after one another, I really admire that.”
The highlight of her trip was the natural beauty of the island and especially the people.
“I am a social worker and majority of the time I look after people such as the children and younger people to make sure that people will live a better life. I see that here in Samoa and the way they treat others.”
Coming to Samoa was the best decision that she made, said Catherine.
“We wanted to go somewhere different and we were looking at the Philippines, Fiji and Samoa. But since I had so many good friends in Sydney who are Samoans and they told me about here so I was like, definitely going to Samoa.
“I was just relaxing for the first few days when I arrived because it was Easter and maybe most of the people were spending that time with their families and going to church.
“We went to Apia then after that I got to see the island. I got to see the To Sua Ocean Trench and Lalomanu Beach, so it was really good.”