Samoa was the ideal place for a perfect family getaway for Samantha and her family from Wellington, New Zealand.
Dear Tourist met Samantha at the Saletoga Sands Resort relaxing by the poolside and enjoying Samoa’s sunshine.
We learned that she is here with her husband, Anthony, and two children, Darcie, 10, and Owen, 8.
They have only been in the country for 10 days so far but the family from the land of the long white cloud loves it.
“It’s our first time in Samoa and we’ve really enjoyed it, yes, we’ve really loved it,” Samantha said.
“This is also our first proper family vacation. We’ve travelled to families, but Samoa is our first family holiday destination.”
Samoa has somehow exceeded what she had expected before setting foot on our shores.
“This is the most welcoming, friendliest people ever and the weather is good, the sights, it’s very different from what I expected and yes, it exceeded what I expected,” she said.
“I didn’t really know what to expect, I didn’t really know a lot about Samoa, but we chose Samoa because we did not want to go anywhere too touristy for example in Fiji, we didn’t really want to go there because it is too touristy, so yeah, I’ve been really impressed with Samoa and I did not really know what to expect.”
Local food, for a start, is something she least expected to taste so good, especially oka.
“I’ve tasted the local food, oka is the best, we love Samoan oka, I love the sasalapa juice, it’s just amazing and the taro, I don’t think we’ll be able to get it at the store in N.Z. so we’re having as much as we can.”
She mentioned the friendliness of the Saletoga Sands Resort staff will be unforgettable.
“It has been really good and the staff members again have been really amazing, yes the food’s great, the kids are making friends left, right, and center,” Samantha said, indicating her son and husband have adapted too fast to the island vibe that they’ve wandered to the local shop.
Visiting the To Sua Ocean Trench, waterfall, Papaseea Sliding Rocks, Piula Cave Pools and Lalomanu beach are places she’s treasured in this visit.
Samantha said thoughts of them leaving Samoa’s shores have started to haunt her little daughter, who has grown to love the locals and everything that’s Samoa.
“My little girl’s really upset and she’s made up her mind to live in Samoa and the resort gives you a different sense of living and yes she’s definitely enjoying it.”
Samantha also gave her opinion on the importance of preserving the natural scenery.
“I would hate to see Samoa overrun, but I think it looks like the resorts are coming up and taking over the country, which I think is good with tourist dollars coming in, but I think there’s a fine line between getting the dollars in and become like Fiji, I mean I’m not putting down Fiji or anything but I think Samoa needs to maintain the way it is.”
But although the family has left Samoa’s shores, we can bet on seeing them again soon because they have unfinished business.
“I would really like to come again, definitely, I probably would like to go to Savai’i because we’ve done a lot of the attraction sites in Upolu, but there’s one thing we haven’t done and I would really like to do, trip to the giant clams, we haven’t really reached there, so maybe some nights in Upolu and some nights in Savai’i.”