Theresa Grace has a goal. She wants to explore the world to discover new horizons and experience life in different places.
Being in Samoa this week is part of that journey. Theresa has roots in Savai’i although she was born and raised in Australia.
She is here to celebrate her cousin’s wedding and this is her first time in Samoa.
“It feels really good to be here for the first time and for me personally, returning to a place that I have a strong connection to, even though I have never been here before,” she said.
Everything that Theresa knows about Samoa was taught by her grandparents who are native to Savai’i.
“My grandparents and dad would always teach us the way it is in Samoa. They always tell us of the struggles and how hard life is in Samoa and that we are so lucky to live in Australia and to have everything given unto us,” she told Dear Tourist yesterday.
Since arriving in Samoa, everything she has been told has taken on a new meaning and her appreciation for her Samoan heritage has grown.
“Being here cemented everything that they said about Samoa. It has really changed my perspective and people say that life is hard, but life here seems so free. It is different.
“Even though it is far away from home, we are still taught the ways of being a Samoan and I owe it to my dad and grandparents for always reminding us of our roots and the culture.”
Theresa has only been here for three days and she hopes to explore the island before she leaves. She looks forward to going to see some of the beaches, but admits that she wants to try everything. But above all Theresa is looking forward to meeting her cousins for the first time.
“I am excited that I am going to be meeting some of my cousins that I have never met before and I know that they will probably laugh at us of how we will be mainly on our phones. But it will be an eye-opening experience just to be able to see how they live life.”
The 18-year-old mentioned one of the highlights she expects from her trip is to see Leulumoega College which her grandmother attended
“The best part of our culture is how people love and how they look at us with just so much love and friendly smiles. Everyone is so warm hearted. Since there are so many cultures and people have their own way of doing things, here everyone has that spark within them which makes them the same and that is kindness.”