Tony Lane may have been born into a different family, but he is a Samoan at heart.
After so many stories he heard about Samoa, he finally gets to see the heart of the Pacific for the first time.
He grew up in Auckland, New Zealand and has so many Samoan friends who consider him family.
“I was brought up with Samoans all over the place in Mangere. It is not different for me since we have had this friendship for 20 years now and one of them who we came together with, we attended primary school together and have been friends ever since,” said Tony.
The 40-year-old shared he came with his friends who he considers family for their grandmother’s 100th birthday to be held today.
Such invitation for him is definitely special especially to be able to witness such milestone by one of his family members.
“It feels good to be here in Samoa, I am here for a birthday, my friend’s grandmother’s 100th birthday. I just tagged along on their trip.”
“Not every day I will be invited to such an event or even have met anyone who is a 100 years old already because I am not sure if I could.”
“It is pretty special for me to get asked to come along, to be invited,” he said.
Feeling the island breeze overwhelms him to be back for more and despite not having a clear understanding of the culture, he feels the connection to the Samoan people.
“With Samoan families they are just easy going, really friendly and welcoming. Back home in New Zealand I go to all their functions and singing.”
“There is something about the Samoan culture, really friendly. I have a couple of my friends, their father calls me their son, always open and generous, just really nice people.”
He has only been here for a day and he is ready to explore the beauty of Samoa and its scenery.
Tony described the island as a very beautiful and relaxing place.
“I will be here in the next seven days, but I just arrived last night (Monday), so we have not really gotten a chance to look around, but we will.”
“This is my first time in a Pacific Island and the weather is not too bad.”
The Dear Tourist team found him on the poolside of the Tanoa Tusitala Hotel enjoying his swim.
“Just relaxing and chilling out, I will definitely come back to Samoa.”
“The service provided by the staff of the Tanoa Tusitala Hotel has been really good, always saying hello and just being so nice,” he adds.