Deb Sarah Wants to Go Back to Tahiti … to Read!

I’m going to tell you something personal. I have never read more voraciously than on my honeymoon. No, I did not neglect my husband, thankyouverymuch, but those 10 days we spent in 2001 in French Polynesia—on Tahiti and the nearby island, Moorea—turned out to be perfect for reading. We stayed in a beach bungalow for a week, then in a tres chic overwater bungalow, and I read so many books that week, it was pure heaven. Every morning we’d start our day with coffee in our bungalow (instant Nescafe coffee found at a local market that was really, really good, surprisingly) before setting out in the tropic heat for a walk into town for pastries and miniature bananas and pineapple. Then we’d head back and finish the afternoon with a swim and spend the rest of the day reading in lounge chairs on the beach or on the porch of our bungalow—drinking more coffee, of course.

I always think back fondly to this time—to the weather, the warm-and-fuzzy new-married feeling, and all those books. I can’t remember every book I read, but I do recall devouring The Thornbirds. When I ran out of books, I grabbed a few random titles stacked up in the hotel’s open-air lobby.

If you read my debut novel, The Violets of March, you’ll see a few nods to my time in Tahiti. And my next novel, The Bungalow, is set in Bora Bora. The title is inspired, in part, by my time in French Polynesia.

I’d love to go back—with a stack of books—but somehow I don’t think the experience would be as relaxing now that we have three boys (4, 2 and newborn). Someday.

xo, Sarah

13 Replies to “Deb Sarah Wants to Go Back to Tahiti … to Read!”

  1. We went to Hawaii on our honeymoon and mixed downtime with more active stuff — hiking, helicopter hours, horseback riding, all that. The next time we went back, we just sat on a hill overlooking the beach and read for 5 days. Both trips were good, but the second one is the one I think of when someone asks for my ultimate vacation experience. Reading in a beautiful place, with nothing more urgent to do? Bliss.

  2. I agree with Jael – “reading in a beautiful place, with nothing more urgent to do” is an ideal vacation. When my husband and I went to Italy, the place we stayed had a beautiful rooftop terrace and after full days of exploring (and eating!), we’d settle in up there and read for awhile.

    (I’m happy to see that we’re not alone in doing that!)

  3. I pride myself on being a really light packer (I never check baggage) and can spend an entire month traveling with only a backpack. However, inside that backpack you will almost always find at least 6 books. I also tend to accumulate them as I go (depending on whether I’m in an English-speaking country or how tough it is to pick up books in English). I loooooooove reading while traveling

    My 10-day trip to Kauai recently was the first time I’d done any traveling since I got my Kindle, and I couldn’t figure out why my bag seemed so empty. It was because all the books were jammed onto that handy little device. Love it!


  4. It sounds gorgeous! What a pleasure.

    I didn’t read Thornbirds until fairly recently, and couldn’t believe I hadn’t discovered it before. Amazing!

  5. I’m heading to Hawaii on Sunday, and I have a CRAZY-ASS OPEN WOUND on my leg — box jump injury from an awesome Boot Camp… which I finished after the bloody disaster, cause I’m that big a stud. 🙂 Went to the doc today and he prohibited me from going in ocean or pool while it’s still oozing nastiness… and I secretly celebrated b/c it gives me the perfect excuse to sit out with drinks and books while hubby and daughter jump the waves. BLISS!!!!

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