By Sam Keller  -  September 9, 2020

Imagine if you could combine Paris with Hawaii. That gives you a sense of what Tahiti is like: French people, boulangeries, hip restaurants, amidst a lush, mountainous setting, with shimmering turquoise waters, and a warm, laidback local culture. 

Actually, it's better than that. Because unlike Hawaii, French Polynesian islands are surrounded by barrier reefs, creating stunning, calm lagoons. And unlike Paris, the style in French Polynesia is casual; even the fanciest places are what I'd call "flip-flop chic".   

You can get here via direct flight from San Francisco or Los Angeles that takes less than 8 hours (several less than going to Europe). Depart at lunchtime and arrive at dinner (due to the 3-hour time difference, which for much of the year is only 2). 

You don't need to speak French or Polynesian. And there are great schools (like the one our kids attend, where on Monday morning we swam with humpback whales right out front, just beyond the world-class surf break).  

Henry David Thoreau once said, "If the day and the night are such that you greet them with joy, and life emits a fragrance like flowers and sweet-scented herbs, is more elastic, more starry, more immortal - that is your success. All nature is your congratulation, and you have cause momentarily to bless yourself."  

Many of you can experience this for yourself, while cutting your cost of living. Maybe now is the time to take action. After all, bold is the new prudent.