So… readers… I don’t really know any better way to put this… buuut, in less than a week from now, I’ll be in La Reunion! I’m doing my happy dance right now as I type (I know, I’m talented, right?), so, clearly, I’m stoked. I hardly ever write blog posts about future travels, unless I’m truly beside myself with anticipation. And right now, I’m beside myself with anticipation.
“Why La Reunion?” You may be wondering. I know some of my friends were. Well, last month while I was cross-checking some facts in my LP for an article on BootsnAll, I got distracted and started reading this tiny section in the back about the Comoros. They’re a small, independent cluster of islands off the northern part of Madagascar and being so close already, visiting them seemed like a now or never travel opportunity. I hadn’t even begun thinking of the other little islands floating off the coast of Africa (Mauritius, Seychelles, La Reunion…) at that point. However, later that day I mentioned this what-if-I-went-to-the-Comoros-after-Peace-Corps idea to my friend Chip.
“Why not go now?” he said.
“Now??” I asked.
“Yeah, during spring break,” he said, then launched into one of his usual, rambling, soliloquies (Chip has a habit of thinking out loud) about how OK, Comoros makes sense and all, but Mauritius actually sounds more fascinating because of all the cultures mixed together but yeah, La Reunion would also be a great place to visit because it’s like France but tropical and…. On he went, mentioning factoids about the smaller islands surrounding Madagascar (because Chip is also a human encyclopedia) until eventually his facts led to questions, and questions led to him Google searching Mauritius, me Google searching La Reunion.
Within an hour, my pensive ‘what-if’ about the Comoros had turned into a very real debate on whether to go to Mauritius or La Reunion. La Reunion won out in the end because the flight was cheaper (About $300 USD round-trip), it has two rad looking volcanoes (one of which erupted in 2009), Chip could be snooty and practice his French, and it has a KFC. Okay, Mauritius has a KFC too, but if La Reunion didn’t have one, this may have been a deal breaker. I’m only kind of joking (remember, I’m a Peace Corps volunteer serving in probably the last frontier American fast food giants have yet to set foot on). A week later, we bought our tickets.
At the time, volcanoes and food was about all I knew of La Reunion. I hadn’t felt the need to really intensely research it. We figured, why not land, eat some fried chicken, and play things by ear? And honestly, I liked this idea. I’m all for spontaneity with travel and having a post-it note constitute as my itinerary. But then I started reading all these websites about how to be a better blogger/freelance writer and one thing stood out: research before you go. Since I plan on churning out at least an article or two from this vacation, I took their advice and began scouring the web. And you know what? I discovered some cool things about La Reunion that have been fueling my pre-trip excitement.
Like, you can go canyoneering:
It’s a UNESCO world heritage site thanks to its national park (which covers 40% of the island) and biodiversity.
There’s like, some actual good food.
And, oh yeah, did I mention I get to travel with this guy?
Google definitely just expanded my eat-good-food-and-climb-a-volcano itinerary (I may need a second post-it). Anyways, wish me bon voyage and I promise to take lots of photos for all of you trapped in what seems a relentlessly ongoing winter in the northern hemisphere!
Oh, and P.S. this site has some amazing photos of La Reunion, but since I can’t repost them here, that just means you’ll all have to click and see for yourselves.:)