#1. THE OFFICIAL LANGUAGE IS FRENCH
While this may seem like an obvious thing since it is called the French Polynesia, I expected there to be more people speaking the native language of Tahitian! Most of the Tahitian people speak French and I was also surprised at how many actual French people lived on the islands! We met tons of people who picked up and left Europe for this perfect paradise. I would recommend having Google Translator downloaded on your phone as the language barrier can be real!
#2. BAGUETTES ARE A FOOD GROUP THERE!
Morning, noon or night- you can expect baguettes to be on the menu! It is an island staple and we often would see locals riding their bikes while juggling loads of baguettes in the front basket! We saw one man at the grocery store with over 5 in hand and we asked him “Are you having a big family feast tonight?”. He laughed and replied that the baguettes were actually for his dogs!! haha. Another time at a breakfast restaurant we ordered “toast”. Sure enough we were served a whole baguette! You also can expect Steak and Frites, Crepes and Croissants! Basically, it is worth travelling to for the food alone
#3. IT IS VERY UNDERDEVELOPED!
Given that the French Polynesia is one of the most tropical, romantic and luxurious places in the world, it is still incredibly untouched! Which is honestly amazing. Other tropical places like Thailand or destinations in the Carribean where tourists flock to, have been victim of chains like Starbucks or Taco Bell buying up real estate! You will not find this here. It feels like it has only been discovered a few years ago and that you are really, really out there!
#4. IT IS NOT JUST FOR HONEYMOONERS
Since we were venturing there with our family, we expected to be the odd ones out! We figured our plane would be filled with girls wearing hats that said “Just Married” and couples who had that newlywed glow! While there was some people like this, we were surprised at how many other families we met…some of which were on their 2nd or 3rd trips to the islands! We also met some backpackers and some retired friends who decided to do a trip of a lifetime! The people of Tahiti were SO SO incredibly accomodating to Chloe and were always willing to lend a hand
#5. THERE IS OVER 115 ISLANDS TO DISCOVER
Before coming to Tahiti, I naively thought there was Bora Bora, Tahiti and Mo’orea. Once I researched a little more, I started to see how many different islands there are to visit. 115 to be exact. I also was surprised to see that a lot of them require getting on a plane! We had the oppourtunity to visit the lesser known island of Tahaa and we are SO glad we did!