My usual preference for travel is exploring cities with culture, history, art, and vibrant communities. I love learning from the places and the people I meet there. Being exposed to difference and diversity challenges me and provokes me, causing me to question some of the assumptions of my own life.
However, I am aware that for many people the idea of a holiday that is packed full of ‘educational activities’ just sounds like more work and lying on a beach somewhere doing nothing is eminently more appealing. And that challenges me as well. I’m not so good at slowing down, being still, taking time just to relax and ‘be’. So in the midst of a busy few weeks, and in the midst of some wintery days, today I’m thinking a visit to the Isle of Pines wouldn’t be a bad thing.
What did I love about the Isle of Pines?
The beauty of this true paradise.
Sparkling white sand, crystal blue water, lush green trees. #nofiltersneeded
I’m not sure there are too many places in the world more picturesque.
And that’s even without a camera that could capture the stunning beauty that lies beneath the water on the world’s second longest coral reef!
What did I learn from the Isle of Pines?
Isle of Pines was a great reminder to slow down. To just be for a while. There is really not much to do here other than enjoy the spectacular scenery – to swim, snorkel, and sunbathe.
A small island in the middle of a large ocean is always a good reminder of perspective. In particular, perspective on my own smallness in this big world.
The friendliness and slower paced life of the local people is a challenge to my own sense of what is ‘necessary’ and ‘important’.
These are things I need to remember in the busyness of my daily life.
And because I’m still me, I did enjoy learning a little bit about New Caledonia’s history and culture. I admit to entire ignorance before I arrived, and so visiting the Jean-Marie Tjibaou Cultural Centre in nearby Noumea was helpful and important for me to get a sense of the people of this place. And reading a bit more about the recent political history has left me intrigued to see where the future lies for this little collectivity.
For today, I’m hoping to find some moments to just be still and ‘be’ – even without the sun, sand and snorkelling – and to notice and appreciate the beauty in my own surroundings. It’s always a good day for that.