By Sam Keller - November 15, 2020
Unlike in Hawaii, the indigenous population is preponderant in Tahiti. Apparently some native Hawaiians cry when they visit Tahiti because they see what Hawaii could have been like.
Tahiti is a melting pot of people from the five archipelagos that make up French Polynesia. From throughout a region the size of Western Europe, Polynesians come to Tahiti for work, medical care, university, and the international airport.
Meanwhile, people from France make up roughly 20% of the populace, adding to the island's cultural complexity and enabling one to experience the best of both worlds.
Yet it's abundantly clear that Tahiti isn't just for homo sapiens. Whereas in America we euthanize stray dogs and cats, here they peacefully co-exist. They look well-fed, like pets. The island is also shared with countless roosters, hens and chicks. While driving, I constantly have to slow down for all of these animals (in fact, on some coastal roads at night, I also swerve to avoid crushing giant crabs).
For those of us with biophilia, Tahiti is a mecca. Since the island is mostly forested and surrounded by coral reefs, it's obvious you're part of a social and ecological system. There's something comforting in knowing that all these colorful fish, rays, dolphins, whales, etc are living alongside us.
It is often said that, in life, you cannot avoid death and taxes. Well, you also cannot avoid trade-offs. In pretty much every moment of our life, we are making trade-offs. I am glad my family incurred the trade-offs associated with tasting the sublime reality of living amidst the fabled islands of French Polynesia.
Maybe it's time for you to update the trade-offs you're willing to make!