Hello, hello! Korri and I are back from our week-long trip to the Cook Islands to celebrate my 30th birthday. It was the first time south of the equator for both of us, and it felt extra special to spend time together exploring a new country. We are already planning on going back! The internet on the islands is very limited and expensive, so I went without it (save for the 30 free minutes and spotty connection we got at the airport)—and I must say, it was liberating to be free from social media and email for a week.
We stayed on Rarotonga, the main island; it has the most infrastructure and highest population (around 12,000 people). Our accommodation was on the southeast side of the island along Muri Beach, a popular destination thanks to its beautiful, wide, and shallow lagoon and four motu (small islands within the lagoon) dotting the horizon. We walked up and down the beach early one morning and only saw a handful of people and as many dogs. One of the dogs followed us down the beach and was interested in being a part of the photoshoot without any encouragement from us! The Raro dogs are so cheeky.
Our trip got off to a rainy start; it rained most of the day on the first day we were there, and there were scattered light showers throughout the rest of the week. We enjoyed the few sunny moments we got, though we quickly realized that we were much more comfortable when the sun was hiding behind the clouds. It felt hot without them! You probably noticed that my chest got burnt…and I think it happened on this morning just before we took photos, ha. This was one of the couple of sunny mornings we had.
This caftan was my favorite thing to wear on the beach! The fabric is luxe and the perfect weight to shield the sun and also provide a little warmth when the trade winds really pick up. It’s a little long on me so the back hem got a little dirty from the wet sand/my feet. I absolutely love this caftan and am so glad I splurged on it. It gives me all the beach feels, and it’ll come along with me on every future beach trip. This was my first time wearing my Summersalt one-piece suit; I didn’t swim in it but it was still comfortable to wear for a quick splash in the lagoon.
I was surprised by how chilly the water felt. I’ve been to Hawaii and to the Florida Keys, and the water is way warmer in those locations (even though Hawaii is at a similar latitude away from the equator to the north). This was primarily why I didn’t do any swimming or snorkeling in the lagoon! I’m sure it would have been fine once I was in the water but that’s the hardest part—getting in the water!
The Cook Islanders are some of the nicest people I’ve met! Seriously. They love to share their culture and their beautiful island home. The majority of the Cook Islanders know English in addition to Cook Islands Maori, but we did learn a couple of Maori phrases. Meitaki means good (as a response to “How are you?”), and it also means thank you. Kia Orana is their general greeting, and it translates to “may you live a long and fulfilling life.” In New Zealand Maori, a very similar greeting is Kia Ora (“be well”).
More to come on our trip! :)