It’s been a long winter for Georgia Dowling from Hawkes Bay, New Zealand.
Dear Tourist meets her three days in to her stay in Samoa. She tells us that while it has been the longest, coldest winter in New Zealand, she still wasn’t expecting it to be this hot here.
“Hawkes Bay can get up to 25 degrees and sometimes 30 degrees in summer, but yeah, it’s a bit of a jump coming here,” she laughs.
Georgia is a seasoned traveller, having travelled all around South East Asia, so she was somewhat prepared for coming to Samoa.
Still, there were some things that were an eye opener for her.
“I’ve never been to the Pacific before,” she said. “I’ve been to South East Asia but not to the Pacific. It’s kind of similar to what I was expecting -- the villages are on the edges of the road -- everything is smaller, but once I got in to Apia central, it’s a little bit more like what I expected, but it’s nice that it’s still really local; it’s not like everything is catered to tourists. It’s still catering to locals and that’s really nice.”
Georgia is really enjoying her stay at the Tanoa Tusitala Hotel.
“It’s beautiful here and it’s really nice. Inside the hotel area it’s tropical which is really lovely to be in the middle of.
“Even though it’s, like, two minutes to the centre where all the markets are -- it doesn’t feel too busy, it’s been really good. The breakfasts are absolutely lovely and it’s nice to have fresh fruit and not a completely western breakfast, which sometimes you get. ”
Dear Tourist queries Georgia on how she came to choose Samoa as a destination.
“I wanted to go somewhere I hadn’t been before, somewhere different because I had done a lot of travelling in Asia Pacific and my aunt had been here a couple of months ago, in July, and she really loved it, so I thought why not?
“It’s somewhere close and I’ve got another aunt that I visit regularly in Rarotonga, so I thought I may as well try something new and somewhere with sun.”
Well, she certainly got new and she definitely got sun.
Georgia spent the first couple of her days here in Samoa trying to acclimatise to the weather, which meant not using the air conditioner.
She told us that she learnt her lesson while travelling around Asia to limit the use of air conditioning, otherwise she might never leave the hotel room.
“I’m used to travelling in hot climates but I think it’s the humidity here, it’s stifling and much more humid than I expected,” she said.
Coming from a hectic work life in Hawkes Bay, which involves a lot of heat, Georgia spent a lot of time in the hotel and meeting Dear Tourist marked her first day out and about.
“The first couple of days I’ve just been relaxing, I did a really long week at work before I came away so I just needed to catch up on some sleep.
“I work at Resene, which is a paint shop, so there’s lots of heavy lifting. Today, I went and got some information about things I can do.
“I knew about the To Sua trench on the other side of the island and some of the beautiful waterfalls and nature walks that I was looking at doing.
“So now that I’ve got the information, I’m going to spend the day organising my next couple of days.”
Now that Georgia was relaxed and ready to take on Samoa, she told us about what she was looking forward to.
“Definitely looking forward to the ocean trenches because I’ve heard they are really beautiful and going swimming at some of the coral reefs, doing a bit of snorkelling and that kind of thing.
“I’ve also read about beautiful bush walks around the native parks and I’m really looking forward to doing that, just going and seeing the beautiful tropical landscapes that Samoa has to offer.”
Her advice to others thinking about visiting Samoa?
“I’d probably come back with friends next time, it’s a bit more fun travelling with friends. It’s beautiful and it’s very hot here so I would tell people to wear their lightest clothes, but still be covered though to be polite, because it’s still a conservative Christian society.”