Journal #5 – When there is no path, you make one

In this entry: a little story about blazing your own trail and why an adventure can never be planned.

Normally, I imagine people traveling to this chunk of paradise we call French Polynesia because they want to unwind on a crisp, white sandy beach, sipping on a piña colada beneath the scorching sun, while the waves of the fluorescent turquoise water tingle at their feet. Normally, that is what you get when you visit. Just not if you’ve visited this past month.

Now, picture this: strong winds, torrential rain, a sky that could make Eeyore seem cheerful. Welcome to September in French Polynesia, where the brochures lie and the sun plays hooky. It’s the first time since arriving in December that I’ve found myself wearing anything long-sleeved or slept with a blanket. Me? I’ve loved it. Our guests? Not so much. They were expecting tropical bliss and got trapped on a humid boat playing crappy games or watching shitty movies to pass time. Even the sea creatures, on our otherwise preferred diving spots, decided to ghost us. Can’t blame ’em, really.

Are you enjoying my content? Please consider supporting me by buying me a cup of coffee, a pizza, or maybe a yacht on PayPal?

Journal #5 – When there is no path, you make one: Hiking trail in Huahine, French Polynesia
Journal #5 – When there is no path, you make one: Hiking trail in Huahine, French Polynesia
Journal #5 – When there is no path, you make one: Hiking trail in Huahine, French Polynesia, Sara Fondo scrambling through the forest

Into The Wild

I took matters into my own hands when a semi-decent day showed up on the forecast in Huahine. I suggested a hike, but the only trail I could find was miles away. And hitchhiking a dozen folks on a not-so-populated island to get there? Yeah nah, that’s not going to work. But looking on the map, I could tell that there was a faint trail nearby, beckoning us into the wild. So, off we went.

It started off well. A muddy, wide road led us further and further into the thick greenery of Huahine. One thing, I’ve noticed that’s different about this island than the rest of the Society islands, are the pine trees climbing up the mountainsides. I haven’t seen them anywhere else, and I find myself mesmerized by the stark contrast between the lanky palm trees set against the dense pine trees.

We walked to the sound of a trickling stream, the road now morphing into a narrow path, wilder than before. It looked like we’d already transcended the path on the map, and were now walking in seemingly nothingness, so we decided to follow the stream. Eventually we stumbled at a little cascade, where the water from the stream made a descent into a pool of light, cool blue. Too small to go for a swim, but I don’t think any of us wanted to practice the Wim Hoff method on this day anyway.

Journal #5 – When there is no path, you make one: Hiking trail and cascade in Huahine, French Polynesia
Journal #5 – When there is no path, you make one: Hiking trail in Huahine, French Polynesia, Sara Fondo climbing a tree
Journal #5 – When there is no path, you make one: Hiking trail in Huahine, French Polynesia

Adventure-FOMO

Most of the guests bailed at this point, and I said I would too. After all, I had only planned for a chill walk. But as I stood looking up the muddy ascent next to the cascade, something in me wouldn’t let me turn around. I have a bad case of FOMO when it comes to adventure, and a little further wouldn’t hurt, right?

So, three brave souls and I scrambled up slippery slopes, embracing the unknown. We stumbled upon more cascades, waded through thickets, and battled relentless mosquitoes that seemed to only live this deep into the wild. At this moment, I definitely wished for a different blood type that didn’t make the suckers go crazy.

It was messy and unpredictable. But that’s the magic, isn’t it? Who needs a path when you can blaze your own trail? I loved not knowing where I was going. When I come to think about it, this seems to be a greater theme in my life.

Journal #5 – When there is no path, you make one: Hiking trail in Huahine, French Polynesia
Journal #5 – When there is no path, you make one: Hiking trail in Huahine, French Polynesia
Journal #5 – When there is no path, you make one: Hiking trail in Huahine, French Polynesia

Though we tried finding somewhat of a top in this green enigma, hoping to be rewarded by a postcard-worthy view, we came by nothing of that sort. But I was once again reminded why an adventure can never be planned, why adventure – even a small one – is simply exploring the unknown, whether that is your physical surroundings or within yourself.

So, for all you adventure seekers, if you’re in Huahine, grab a machete and carve your own path. Adventure awaits where you least expect it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *