Mie Kanstrup of Denmark has been in Samoa for the last week.
The 24-year-old spends her days working with the community, helping to improve the nutritional health of the country as part of a volunteering scheme.
She has a further four weeks left on the island, and is eager to make the most of the weekends and start exploring the islands.
“I’m going to Savai’i this weekend, so hopefully I will see lots of different sights.”
Mie has made many friends since she arrived in Samoa, and plans to travel as a group to the lava fields of Savai’i in particular, “the pictures of the fields are definitely something that drew me to Samoa.”
Having spent the last month travelling around New Zealand, Mie is used to meeting new people and gaining new experiences, but she remarked that her time in Samoa already stands out, because of the hospitality. Staying in local accommodation, she has been embraced whole-heartedly as the newest member of the family.
One of the first things Mie noticed on her arrival in Samoa was the general happiness of the local people.
“People are friendlier than back home, and they’re always smiling.”
Having originally found the slow pace of life a challenge, Mie has been learning to embrace the change of pace. She explains, “I did find the laidback culture initially quite difficult to adapt to as things aren’t very structured, but it’s also nice to be so relaxed.”
Arriving from New Zealand, where it is the depths of winter, the warmer climate has been welcomed by the Danish traveller.
The Samoa Observer caught up with Mie after her trip to Savai’i. She stayed at Bay View Resort, on the North Coast road. The chalets are situated on the most northerly point of the island, it’s the perfect spot to watch the sun go down.
Mie drove around the entire island, dodging an array of wildlife on her way. The island has an abundance of wildlife from pigs, dogs, horses, chickens, and as Mie added, “The occasional stray cow”.
Having seen both islands, Mie shared her insight that Savai’i and Upolu are equally beautiful, but the low population and lack of noise makes Savai’i something really special. For any traveller searching for that unspoilt paradise experience, Samoa’s larger island awaits.