Escape To Bora Bora
When our children were small, life at home was at times quite chaotic, not surprisingly. After a long day when my wife had been driven to distraction, and had reached her tether point, she would say to our children, “That’s it! I have had it. I am going to Bora Bora”. While our children knew that this was somewhat of an idle threat, still the destination to them seemed like the place to leave one’s troubles behind and to relax in an idyllic setting. Being aware of this exotic locale for over 30 years, I promised my wife that we would go to Bora Bora together one day. We just needed the right moment and occasion to celebrate. This occurred when I stepped down as Chair of Neurosurgery in 2010. Although it took a while to organize this trip, we finally journeyed to Bora Bora this past summer.
Bora Bora is one of 118 islands and atolls found within the five archipelagoes of the French Polynesia. It is a coral atoll comprised of a ring-shaped coral rim that partially encircles a lagoon. In Bora Bora there is a central volcanic crater, now extinct, which has been subsiding slowly into the ocean. It takes the appearance today of a beautiful mountain known as Mount Otemanu, and is visible from most of the island’s resorts.
Upon our arrival, we were immediately struck by the incredible topaz-coloured water as far as the eye can see within the atoll. We were fortunate to stay in one of the newly-renovated tropical huts on stilts within the lagoon that had a glass bottom floor to observe the sea life swimming around us, and a private balcony and staircase leading to the water for swimming and snorkeling. By day, we read books on the beach on topics we had been reserving for this special time. By night, it was more than enough for us to watch the sunset over Mount Otemanu while we enjoyed the warm, tropical evening breeze on our shoulders. In addition, we enjoyed the French-accented culture of Bora Bora that included both the language and the cuisine. But perhaps most importantly for us, it was a time to switch off all electronic devices for a week, to become disconnected from the, at times, frenzied pace of our lives back home, and to enjoy each other’s company exclusively now that our children have grown and are living away from us. If there ever was a “dream vacation” for us, this was it. While we have been very fortunate to have visited numerous wonderful countries and destinations around the world, we will always remember our escape to Bora Bora!