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Relocation to Cook Islands: LA WEEKLY article

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LAWEEKLY(.com) has an interesting article about a couple with two young children who decided to relocate to Rangaroa, Easter Island to live for a year.

I am cheering for them because they have actually exchanged the dream of living on a tropical island (or atleast subtropical), being able to watch the sunset every night and working on the beach in exchange for the "work all day just to be able to afford the car payment and an occasional dinner out" lifestyle. I, too, would much rather spend my time researching tiki history and catching the sunset over the water than sweating it out in the office.

The article discusses their disappointment that the island at first wasn't as much as a tropical dream as they had hoped, although the article had a happy ending with their ability to walk to the beach.

Noticeably absent was any reference to the large moai by the airport or the ability to traipse amongst the moai any day of the week (a life's dream for some tiki fans or at least myself).

The couple's occupation is that they are both freelance writers, so there should be regular updates (or maybe they actually will start the production of the Easter Island reality show previously discussed on this board).

(Sorry I'm not computer-literate enough to post the direct hyperlink).

[ Edited by: christiki295 on 2003-07-29 01:18 ]


Actually, they're on Rarotonga in the Cook Islands, not Easter Island, hence the absence of Moai.

My bad.

I confused Rarotonga of the Cook Islands with Hanga Roa of Easter Island (and didn't read the artilcle closely enough.)

However, the article does mention the presence of Tahitian style tikis.


When I was visiting the Papua New Guinea collector last weekend, he asked if we had been to Polynesia. I said 'no' and he was flabberghasted. He flat told me to stop buying this stuff and use the money to go. He said it is a life changing experience, as it obviously was for him 40 years ago. He said if he didn't have the wife and kids he'd be living there. But we discussed where to go and he said to go to the Cook Islands. The original culture is still there. The people speak English, and he says that the beauty of the islands is like Tahitit redone by Disney. Over the top. Lots of little islands to visit. The people are as happy to see you as you are to be there. And he says you'll be there and think, "Why am I going back? Why do I want to leave." Maybe that's not a good thing...


Here's their web address where you can read more about it:

I've been following this for a month or so. Its been both interesting & inspiring to read about their new adventure (they've got a photo journal posted, & have been posting pics almost daily). There's also some interesting information on the Cook Islands. Its enough to make me want to pack my bags & go!


I have to agree, the South pacific is a life changing experience. My wife and first ventured to Fiji 15 years ago, we both new right away this would be where we would live someday. We drink our Mai Tai's out of plastic cups and our Tiki collection is from our trips to the SP since our original trip. We own an acre of land on a small island in Fiji now and in 10 more years we will live there permanently. The Cook Islands and French Polynesia are both incredible as well, but it's much more difficult to get a temporary residency permit in either one.

If you have never been to the south pacific, one trip and you will understand how the Tiki culture started with all the servicemen returning from tours there! :wink:

Carla Sinclair is a honey.


With the Cook Islands owned by New Zealand, you can bet anything about the government is very screwed up and difficult.


I am one of those people who has been fortunate to travel to Bali for a vacation, spending just under two weeks there and the neighboring island of Lompoc about 4 years ago. It was surprisingly affordable, and my guess is that my total cost, including airfare, for my two week vacation there will be much less than my total bill for my recent Florida Hukilau trip.

Although I had a great time, and would not hesitate to return for another vacation, I never ever once really considered relocating there full time. Although the beaches, climate, food, and people were all great, I think that there is too much Wisconsin native blood in me, and I would miss the changing seasons and the colder winter air, along with many other things I've come to love here.

It comes down to the answer to the question "If you like Polynesian things so much, then why don't you relocate there full time," to which I reply "it isn't the authentic Polynesian culture I enjoy, but the fantasy reproduction of it back here in the U.S."

This is similar to 'I don't want to live in prehistoric times, but I like to be within driving distance of a place that has giant fiberglass reproductions of dinosaurs.'

I guess this means that I'm probably more often interested in pop culture than authentic Polynesian culture.


Bali is in Indonesia

great website- it takes alot of guts to do a move like that. Especially with a 3month old baby.

I know what they mean about the petrol tanks and warehouses as they left the airport- "Polynesian Paradise" isnt always postcard perfect when you actually get there. Having been to French Polynesia myself, I am both jealous, excited, and fearful for them at the same time. This should be quite the experience- they are actually doing IT.

As awesome as it would be to live in the Cooks or French Polynesia, etc- culture shock, loneliness and general feelings of isolation can creep up on you anywhere- it will be interesting to see how that works its way in as the experiment goes on. I'm captivated already!

[ Edited by: fatuhiva on 2003-07-30 00:58 ]

True Bali is in Indonesia; however, I would also represent that Bali is also in Polynesia and that there is no longitudinal boundary to Polynesia.

The Night of the Tiki catalogue depicts tikis from the Phillipines next to tikis from Easter Island and the Cook Islands.

Also current Balinese culture is characterized by archetypal polynesian traits:

Bali has a strong religious belief which is closesly tied to the land and to ancestors, which is similar to native Hawiian traditions;

Bali has the Legong and Kecak dances whereas Hawaii has the hula;

Balinese build awe inspiring religious temples to obtain mana, just as the Easter Islanders built moai for mana for their clans; and

historical similarities also exist. Bail was controlled by the Dutch until the late 1940s and the US (Sanford Dole) took over Hawaii and imprisoned Queen Lili'uokalani in the early 1900s.


Here http://members.shaw.ca/tvds01/tom_neale/IslandOneself.htm is the story of Tom Neale, a New Zealander, who at age 50 left Rarotonga for a solitary existance on one of Cook's deserted islands in 1952-54 and 1960-63. It's a cool read!

[ Edited by: Scotty on 2003-07-31 14:33 ]

I highly recommend any of the islands, Tahiti, the Cooks and Fiji - Bali is very cool but not as polynesian as you would think. It is also very very far. I first went to Tahiti in 1976 as a child and it got me hooked. Its unbelievable!, but to live there is another thing. I have stayed for long periods of time but you do get island fever. I would compare the islands to how Hawaii must have been 50 to 60 years ago. Very local and everyone know each other. Great stories and great characters. Its very cool.

Now don't be getting any ideas about spoiling paradise ......yeah, yeah, there are lots of komodo's over there, you wouldn't want to be eaten by one would you? Well that's what happens to innocent little tourists that go there. uh huh...one guy disappeared while looking for peace and solitude......he found it in the belly of a komodo dragon, heh, heh. They got poison saliva ya' know....don't even think about going....


On 2003-07-31 18:35, jungletrader wrote:
Now don't be getting any ideas about spoiling paradise ......yeah, yeah, there are lots of komodo's over there, you wouldn't want to be eaten by one would you? Well that's what happens to innocent little tourists that go there. uh huh...one guy disappeared while looking for peace and solitude......he found it in the belly of a komodo dragon, heh, heh. They got poison saliva ya' know....don't even think about going....

And don't even think about going to Easter Island, either.

I know this guy who got bit by a black widow there.


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