Ever since I first saw my first image of a Paul Gauguin painting, Tahiti has been calling my name. Thin coconut palms listing over impossibly vivid ocean, with thatch huts in the background? Truly my fantasy of an ideal Island Runaway.
(Photo by Jon Rawlinson, Flickr)
What do I know about Tahiti? It is part of France's "outre mer" or overseas territories. The island's capital is Pape'ete, a town which might surprise you and me with its bustling activity. Unlike my (Laura's) home state of Florida, Tahiti is volcanic and mountainous. Although French may be the language on the books, you'll also hear Tahitian or "Reo Maohi" spoken here.
(Tahiti from space; photo by Nasa Goddard Space flight)
How do you reach Tahiti? From the United States, there's an 8 hour, direct flight from Los Angeles. To put it in a different perspective, the island is 2734 miles south of Hawai'i.
(An exquisite view from the Intercontinental Resort; photo by Michael R Perry, Flickr)
Or, if you can't manage to get there by airplane, then like me, you can explore Tahiti -- for now -- in photographs. And in our dreams.