Island paradise a perfect escape from busy life

By Anina Kazaz ,

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PERFECT HOLIDAY CHOICE: Natalie Jessup and her partner Todd Painter found the right place for their escape.

PERFECT HOLIDAY CHOICE: Natalie Jessup and her partner Todd Painter found the right place for their escape. (Photo: Anina Kazaz)

Couple, Natalie Jessup and Todd Painter found Samoa a perfect escape from the busy and stressful work life. 

Not only that, the tropical climate seems to suit them at this time of the year because it is cold back at their home in Hamilton, New Zealand. 

 “It is very close to home, warm and since we have been here, I find the people very happy,” Natalie said.

Natalie visited Samoa 12 years ago, whereas for Todd it is his first time in Samoa. 

They have both been to Fiji.  

 “It seems Fiji is the place to go. But I am quite impressed actually,” Todd shared.

 “The fact that in Fiji there are a lot of resorts, it seemed to be easy, but it looks like there are quite a lot of people. This particular resort here is a lot smaller and totally relaxed.”

 “It is nice because you are more connected with nature, you can go snorkeling right out from here,” Natalie added.

 “On the way from the airport to here, it is really quite nice and tidy. The houses seem to be grounded on a family value,” Todd said.

Natalie noted some change since her last visit. 

 “It seems there is more money around, which is good actually, the cars are more modern, the roads are better and to have a resort like this proves it.”

 “We want to get out seeing more. We are going to rent scooters to go up the hill and see how people live,” she said.

So far, they have loved snorkeling and enjoying the sound of local music. 

 “What is really nice is that there are local Samoans coming to the resort as well. In Fiji, I think it is too expensive for locals to go there, where here it is not,” Natalie explained.

 “We went to the restaurant outside the resort. A Samoan lady and her husband run it. That was fun. She has been entertaining and lovely.”

 “We asked her about certain things and she talked about her life and her family, which was really cool to hear and we learned more,” Todd said.

 “We are definitely here to relax, but I think it is quite respectful to understand and to appreciate where you are.”

 “We almost feel like a part of the family anyway,” Todd added. 

 “I think the people are just so real and friendly. I haven’t met so many to say something, but compared to the people in the resorts of Fiji and here, the staff here seems to be a lot happier in general, it is not crushing over the real personality.”

Todd also suggested some improvements to Samoa’s tourism industry.  

 “Keep it quiet; keep it low, so we come back. Do not ruin it because you will spoil the culture and the relaxed atmosphere.”

Natalie said about the weather: “When I looked at the weather app, before we came, it said there was going to be thunder storms every day. I talked to my friend, who is Samoan and has families on the island, and they said the weather was fine.”

 “If there is some way that they could change that, even there is just a bit of a chance that it is going to rain, they put that in. The communication between the weather stations maybe could be improved.”

The couple leave for their homeland on Saturday.

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