Samoa has lessons worth learning from – German tourist
Reading a book and seated overlooking the crystal blue waters of Taufua Beach is the ideal spot activity for German tourist, Daniel Jeede.
Visiting Samoa with partner Victoria Makarov, they moved to New Zealand from Germany a year and three months ago. They recently got engaged in February, and for Daniel said the visit to Samoa is their kind of honeymoon getaway.
They will be in Samoa for 10 days, spending two days on Apia and the next five days in the rural areas. The couple said they are amazed with the way people lived here.
"It was a whole different world to come over here because when I see the fales and how people live in the villages with open homes, everything is welcomed, and people can just walk through the houses with nothing happening and no one is locking doors, and we're not used to something like this from Europe you know," he said.
"In Germany, where I come from, I couldn’t leave my house open you know in five minutes everything would be gone that’s the main problem we have in Europe I would say."
Daniel said there's more to the beauty of Samoa that meets the naked eye.
"On the other side of course I see that it’s not everything beautiful over here; for the people who are living here it’s a big thing to stay alive, I would say, and to not get away from here.
"But on the other hand as well, I know that Samoan people and island people in total; if everything would go wrong in Europe and the world would goes down, you could live for the next thousands of years.
"You can go fishing, you have your fruits over here, you could live somehow, and that’s what I believe, what I see also," he said.
Five years ago, Daniel would have never thought of coming to a Pacific Island nation so far away from home, as he said that initially, both his and Victoria's parents migrated to Germany from Russia, except he was born in Germany and Victoria was born in Russia and moved six years later.
"What’s really fascinating for me and I really really appreciate being here I would never think of something like this five years ago and I think I also had the opportunity for me to come here because I was in New Zealand.
"This is nearly impossible for someone my age. But now that I came over, I really really appreciate this and see how you people live and how happy you guys are," he said.
Daniel was fascinated with the amount of joy that Samoans he works with back home have even during a rough day at work.
"I work with a lot of Samoan people on pack houses and on farms in New Zealand and they were always happy.
"At two o’clock at night when we have our night shifts, they would sing around and keep shouting around and just always happy people, and that was the final decision for us to come over here," he added.
Samoa seemed to have been on Daniel's list for some time, as he said coming to Samoa was originally his older brother's dream – who had moved to New Zealand nine years before he did – and said Samoa was recommended by a friend who identified the country as one of his top favourite Pacific countries.
"He’s (brother) seen quite a bit of the islands and he said Samoa and Rarotonga are like his favourite places, and that this spot here is the place to be if you are in Samoa, so I wanted to give it a go and I am not disappointed," he said, smiling.
"In total for me, its amazing, it’s really really nice. It’s quite similar to New Zealand but New Zealand is bigger and more people living there and more touristy and more backpacker and everything but for me, Samoa is a more untouched beauty of the world," he added.
When asked what he will remember Samoa for, he said it's the fact that money is not a priority for Samoans.
"For me I’ve never seen happy people like this, even if I can say, you’re not the richest island but for you I would say money is the second priority for you – the priority is family and faith in God you know.
"And I see if I go to villages, always a beautiful church; you believe in God and you respect the religions and so it’s really beautiful to see," he added.
Daniel said Germans have a lot to learn from Samoa by experiencing what it's like "living on the edge".
"This is my first visit to the Pacific and I would really love to see some more Germans here, so that they can get more positive vibes and positivity from you guys.
"Because if they could come over here and see how you guys lived and still have this energy and [maybe] they will rethink, why always everything is bad from where they come from.
"In Germany, everyone, even the poorest guy can get a car or whatever they don’t have to worry for their whole lives because they have insurance and doctors for free and not worry about anything.
"And if they would come over here and see how you guys live over here with those mindsets, it would be something different and maybe something good for them and that’s why I would love to see more people come in to see this," he added.