Savoring Tahiti


Treading water in Moorea, Tahiti December 2019

The quiet stillness of late afternoon, soft billowing clouds, the lapping hug of the South Pacific, dogs barking from afar, seabird caws, children’s laughter, lush green forest, and the smell of brine. Christmas in Tahiti.

Positive psychology, the brainchild of the brilliant Martin Seligman, asks the field of psychology to study those things that make us happy instead of why we’re not. Savoring, or remembering good memories, gives us the opportunity to practice happiness. We have all savored our favorite dish, a great book, and cherished memories. As snowy February wraps up and graduate school gets more intense and the layers of life pile on, I thought it would be a good idea to savor some moments from my solo jaunt to Tahiti.

Sunset at my own private beach December 2019

Twenty years ago, reading Melville’s sensual Typee had me running to the bookstore to buy a map of Tahiti so I could dream and wonder and envision. Maugham’s The Moon and Sixpence, the story of a flawed dreamer who fled to Tahiti, sealed it. I would go. Some day.

Reading nook on my front porch Christmas Day 2019

I spent hours on Christmas Day reading Thor Heyerdahl’s Kon Tiki, his account of how he and five of his adventurous friends sailed from Peru to Tahiti with no modern navigational tools to support his theory that the Polynesians had settled East to West. His tale included riveting stories about the crab they befriended, the sharks they avoided, the playful dolphins, and the terrible storms they endured while wearing fast ropes. The climax includes their getting stranded on a reef and the primitive ship that endured thousands of nautical miles being torn asunder. The isles of Tahiti and its atoll brethren are surrounded by reefs, which means Moorea, where I was staying, was an island, surrounded by a lagoon, flanked on all sides by reefs.

Fresh pineapple papaya juice at the Moorea Tropical Gardens overlooking Opunohu Bay

My new Franco-German friend and I started out early one morning to explore the calm, reef-filled waters on the southwest part of the island of Moorea. We crossed the channel, in some small way fearing for our lives, but soon entered a seascape with coral clustered into boulders.

Reefy coral goodness

During those two hours of kayaking, I savored easy paddling, the mid-morning calm, the windless scape, the companionship of a new friend and kindred spirit, the bright colors of living coral, the flitting fish, and the sense of freedom that being on vacation and having no itinerary can bring.

Kayaking out to the reef December 2019
Feeling deliciously exhausted after an afternoon swim

 

Surfing Baja on Christmas


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After a three-year hiatus from Mexico and surfing, it was time to get back on the ocean-horse and see if I can still paddle. We spent three hours at Zippers, a fast, mushy point break between Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo.

Above is the highlight of the day, a full ride into shore on a 10-footer. Excellent day.

Read more about SheSpoke’s surfing adventures.

Alternative to a Season Pass


Although I’ve lived in Colorado for 15 years and love snowsports, I can point to only a small handful of years where I actually went out and bought a pass.¬†Plopping down $400 for the promise of 10 trips to the mountains just isn’t a good enough deal for me.

Ski resorts know folks like me exist, folks who value quantity over quality, folks who like diversity in their skiing.

I am always on the lookout for great skiing deals, and what I found is being featured on the front page of The Denver Examiner

Merry Christmas!

Hitting the Slopes on Christmas Day


Santa is on his way, which means the ski resorts will be under-crowded on Christmas Eve day and Christmas Day. I love to take advantage of the wide-open runs while carving through Colorado’s finest, all with that Christmas magic in the air.

My latest as the Denver Snowboarding Examiner looks at why you should consider skiing or boarding on the holiest of holies. I’ve got some great memories from Christmases past at Loveland, Eldora, and Wolf Creek. I’m hoping to duplicate that this year.

Take a read at myfive reasons to hit the slopes on Christmas Day over at the Denver Examiner.