French Polynesia: A Conversation with Carey Driscoll
Tell us about yourself! What do you do when you’re not traveling the world? Where do you live? What made you decide to go to French Polynesia?
I’m a travel concierge with Beach Bum Vacation so when I’m not traveling the world, I’m helping my clients to travel the world! I live in Ohio with my husband and two kids. I recently visited the islands of Tahiti to learn more about them so I can help my clients experience French Polynesia to the fullest!
How long did you go for? How did you spend your time?
I spent 8 nights throughout the islands — Tahiti, Moorea, Raiatea, Bora Bora, Tikehau and Rangiroa. I shopped in the local marche (market) in Tahiti, took the scenic ferry ride to Moorea, toured the resorts, visited Belvedere Lookout and the Tiki Village in Moorea, and sampled the delicious local cuisine. I loved the fresh fish in traditional poisson cru and the authentic French croissants!
What were your most memorable experiences? What were the biggest disappointments?
Just before leaving Le Meridien Bora Bora, there was a pop up thunderstorm that resulted in the most spectacular rainbow above Mt. Otemanu. That was breathtaking and a sight I’ll never forget!
I also loved spending a day sailing off the coast of Raiatea with Tahiti Yacht Charters! The views were spectacular and the snorkeling was amazing!
The panoramic views of Cook and Opunohu Bays from Belvedere Lookout in Moorea are unbelievable, and when you descend you can make a stop at a “marae” – the ruins of an ancient temple where human sacrifices were once made. Despite the humidity, that was a little chilling.
I loved watching the sunset at Le Taha’a Island Resort & Spa with Bora Bora in the distance. Absolutely spectacular!
My only disappointment is not staying longer.
What do you wish you knew before you went?
That I should have brought an extra memory card with me for my camera! I ran out of space too quickly and it isn’t easy to find any memory cards to buy in the islands, unless you’re in the capital of Papeete.
Any favorite restaurants/hotels/hostels/sites you’d like to recommend? Tell us what made them great!
I cannot say I had one bad meal in French Polynesia. There are great dining options at most resorts but one of my favorite meals was an impromptu lunch at a local snack shack on Cook’s Bay in Moorea – Snack Rotui. It’s a great place to stop for a quick lunch and the guava pie is a must.
One of my favorite resorts is the secluded and unique Vahine Island Resort, which is a private island off the coast of Taha’a, with just nine bungalows on 23 acres, including a picturesque coconut grove. It is a great spot to escape the world and you must try their infused rums.
Is there anything that women specifically should know before they travel to your destination?
In my opinion, the islands of Tahiti are a very warm, welcoming and safe destination for all people regardless of their gender. The islands are also home to an accepted third gender of rae raes, people born as men who live happily as women.