Meet Deborah and Peter Burke from Victoria, Australia, and you might recognise their faces because they have made about nine trips to Samoa since 1999.
Peter says he continues to come back because in his opinion, compared with other islands – Samoa is not as commercialised and that he genuinely likes to come back to check on how it’s improved and expanded.
“People are lovely and friendly and everyone smiles and says hello,” said Peter.
“As long as the people don’t change, I think that’s good. I just think that the difference with Samoa is that it’s not too commercialised,” said Peter who revealed that he has come to Samoa to celebrate some pretty big milestones.
“I’ve celebrated my 50th and 60th birthdays here and I may even have my 70th birthday here,” he chuckled.
“We like to keep coming back to see how it’s changed because things have been rebuilt and expanded. There are new restaurants and I like to see what’s improved. It’s really nice to see the progress. We went to Roko’s last night, it’s really beautiful. We had lobster and it was pretty nice. Service was really excellent. One thing I’ve noticed over the years is that the customer service has improved. “
Here in Samoa, retiree Peter gets to indulge in his favorite past times.
“My favorite things to do are snorkeling, swimming and scuba diving. The snorkeling is beautiful. I actually went scuba diving for the first time here and that was fantastic, I dived about 0-12 meters deep.”
Deborah tells Dear Tourist that they like to come often to see their friends who have been living here for many years and that they have grown fond of the way of life here saying that as retirees, they are all about living that laid back lifestyle as well.
“I get a real sense that it’s a lot more innocent and down to earth here in Samoa which I like. You come here and you have no expectations. Things will happen the way Samoans do them and it won’t be the way you might expect them to be done at home.
So I tell my friends don’t have any expectations – things will get done. So if a cleaner from the room leaves a sheet in your room, don’t worry about it – they’ll pick it up the next day. It’s not a big deal,” she laughs.
Both Deborah and Peter are practical people who have stayed at many different types of accommodations in Samoa over the years and they have learnt to narrow their preferences through a process of trial and error.
Peter added, “When we choose our accommodation we always look for a breeze. We look for clean and hopefully quiet (but you can’t guarantee that) and also a nice pool. The pool is quite nice there at the Millennia.”
Peter is big on promoting Samoa to his friends which have seen many of them make the trip here to see what the big fuss was about.
“I certainly do recommend Samoa to many people. I’ve got friends coming over in 2 weeks for their honeymoon. They asked us, where should we go and I said come to Samoa! It’s a lovely place.”