How to Get a VIP Pass to the High Life

If there’s an adventure to be had, I want to go.

That’s why I began travel writing.

This year, I spent Easter in Tahiti—the largest island in French Polynesia—known for its palm-fringed beaches, fragrant tiare blossoms, and towering volcanic peaks.

I stayed at the best resort on the island where I lounged on their spectacular man-made, white sand beach with infinity pool, and shopped at Le Marché Municipale—the public market which covers a city block labyrinth of bargains.

I ate at the roulottes, the outdoor “food trucks” that roll out after sunset and create a carnival atmosphere along the waterfront, laden with delicious local fare like poison cru—a surprisingly tasty dish of raw fish marinated in coconut milk and lime juice, and tossed with tomatoes, cucumber, and scallions.

I ended the trip on a 4×4 safari expedition into remote sections of the island, exploring the hidden world of tropical forests, mountain lakes, rivers, cliffs, and waterfalls.

From Tahiti, I flew to the nearby island of Bora Bora. After all, it happened to be my birthday and called for celebration.

Dubbed by James Michener “the most beautiful island in the world,” Bora Bora did not disappoint. From my private, overwater bungalow I could descend a few steps to snorkel in the crystal aqua lagoon whenever I wanted.

For a little more excitement, I took a boat out to the outlying reef to swim with friendly stingrays and to feed the black-tip reef sharks. I enjoyed picnicking on one of the deserted motu islets ringing the main island.

At night, I gorged on an enormous buffet dinner with a traditional Polynesian dance show complete with fierce, painted warriors and grass-skirted locals. I was even chosen to participate in their hip-shaking tribal dance!

In June, I traveled to Japan…Tokyo, Narita, Osaka, Kyoto. I slept in the old-school, traditional ryokan hotels, traipsed through ancient shogun castles, and sampled a spectrum of foods from delectable authentic tempura to equally horrible sukiyaki and soy-drenched squid.

A three-hour geisha makeover complete with a head-turning walk through the Gion district and shrine was the most memorable part of the trip.

Those were the highlights for just the first half of this year.

Last year, I traveled extensively throughout Baja Mexico, snorkeling with sea lions, eating copious amounts of fresh fish and shrimp tacos, bargaining for local crafts, and meeting dozens of friendly expats.

“I want your life,” says everyone, all the time.

But you know what…? Anyone can do what I do.

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