Last month on a travel forum I came across a post where multiple people wrote they had no desire to travel to exotic locales like the Seychelles or Fiji simply because there are beaches much closer to home (home being the continental United States). I was a little surprised by this because can one really compare the often overcrowded and rough and tumble feel of the beaches of the Jersey Shore with those in French Polynesia?
Although the 2009 film Couples Retreat is mildly entertaining at best, the cinematography is stunning. Primarily shot on location at the St. Regis Resort in Bora Bora, the breathtaking scenery is I’m sure what most people remember from the film, and not the jokes of Vince Vaughn or Jason Bateman. The scene when the characters first arrive at the hotel with nothing but the vast and serene South Pacific Ocean in the background, no, Ocean City, Maryland and Wildwood, New Jersey simply do not compare.
There’s no denying that most of these far-flung beach destinations don’t have much beyond the sand and surf, but that’s the point. One endures an entire day of travel for what greets their fatigued bodies-dream-like views, relatively unspoiled land, and most importantly, fewer people. The cost of airfare to one of these far flung destinations is more than what some people make in a month, so obviously, that helps in keeping the crowds down. Is it any surprise that Prince William of Britain honeymooned with his new bride, Princess Catherine in the Seychelles, a place many people would not be able to locate on a map, and for the small number that do know where to find it, a place many can only dream about visiting.
I’ve been to the Mexican resort area Cancun two times and while on each visit I’ve had a fantastic time, Cancun’s hotel zone is heavily developed. Unless one travels further south, deep into the heart of the Riviera Maya, you will be hard pressed to find undeveloped, secluded areas of beach in the Cancun area. But with it being relatively simple to get to, not too terribly far for many people in the South and East coast regions of the United States, and incredible deals offered year round, Cancun will always be a popular and crowded vacation spot.
On a similar note, I’ve also seen posts in which people ask whether the Hawaiian beaches are anything like those in the Caribbean. Having just been to Hawaii, and before to the Caribbean, the short answer is no. Caribbean beaches are famous for white sand and water so clear you can see yourself in it. Hawaiian beaches, while equally beautiful, are greatly different. The sand isn’t white (and not always yellow for that matter, as there are black sand and red sand beaches too); the water can be rougher, the waves sometimes terrifying (but a surfer’s paradise obviously). Hawaiian beaches have an exotic allure to them because in many areas, it was nothing but the coastline-no people, no high rises, just the sand and surf like it has looked for hundreds of years, the same views that ancient Polynesians saw when they first came to Hawaii, the same views Captain James Cook had when he first spotted them.
Some might say it seems stupid to fly 20+ hours to do nothing but lay on a beach, and yet one day, when time and money would allow, I would gladly endure an excruciatingly long flight if it meant seeing this: