Only Travel Tip: Forget every travel tip you've ever been
given, including this one.
I keep trying to sit down and describe this final stop
in the Pacific Ocean before sailing to Australia, but the
moment I try to write about it, I erase it all and try to
I'll start again.
Up until 5 months ago, I had never even heard of the country
of Vanuatu. I hadn't heard of the tiny island of Tanna in
its southern waters either until we set our course to it!
It became one of those very rare places while traveling
when you arrive with absolutely no expectations, no travel
advice, and not one single idea of what you might encounter.
moment, we were battling the fury of an angry ocean, surrounded
by nothing but frothing water and crashing waves, and the
next, sliding into a mysterious bay overlooked by frond
huts, on a tiny South Seas island dominated by tropical
jungle and a rumbling, smoking volcano.
I hesitate to write any more and just let the photos tell
the story. I hate the thought of building up another traveler's
expectations about the place.
want to describe drinking kava (a mild intoxicant made from
a native plant root) in the nakamal under a full moon, walking
barefoot along the jungle trails in the middle of the night
with our new friends while carrying smoldering sticks as
torches, entering primitive villages and exchanging gifts
with the chief (receiving namely feathers, vegetables and
piglets), or playing soccer with a bunch of shrieking kids
on a black volcanic sand beach.. but instead I'll just wait
til the stories pour out over a pint of beer back at home
said, describing the stories themselves is the easy part.
Describing the feeling you get when you think you've discovered
paradise on earth is another thing altogether, especially
where and when you never expected to find it.
We came for the BBQ... then let the adventure all unfold
before our eyes.
- Written while sailing west from Vanuatu
towards Australia, on this final 1000 mile stretch of the
Pacific Ocean. Photos by Cody Reed, except spider and volcano
photos (taken by yours truly)