There is something about the ocean dew, the smooth sand, the perfect painted sky and the cool breeze that Lisa Mills just cannot seem to grasp.
“I don’t know but there is something that draws me to Samoa that is deep within me,” she said.
Being a nurse at a mental health institution in Auckland comes with many challenges.
Which makes Samoa her perfect escape; a time to breathe, a time to relax and a time to be refreshed.
Talking with Dear Tourist, the 46-year-old said she felt safe in Samoa and she would always choose to come back for many reasons.
One of the main reasons is to relax.
Being welcomed with open arms has left a mark on Lisa’s heart that she will always remember.
And that is the embrace of the Samoan people that has made Samoa her home away from home.
“Sometimes you drive through a village and we see people looking at us and they are probably thinking ‘oh look there’s a Palagi’.
“Even though I am a tourist, I feel like I am coming home. Every time I come here I feel embraced by the Samoans. I will absolutely come back again next year in June,” she said.
The mother of two says there is a Maori word known as the “awhi” which means to embrace somebody with love and this is how she feels whenever she comes to Samoa.
According to Lisa, it is more than the Samoan culture that she enjoys; it is the value of family that she has managed to be a part of every time she comes to visit.
“One of the things I enjoy the most about Samoa is deeper than the culture itself. Every time we come, we would usually stay in Lalomanu with the Taufua family and they always make us feel part of their aiga (family),” she said.
Lisa has been to Samoa four times now but she will definitely be back again and this time around she would bring both her kids to experience the hidden treasures of the Samoan culture and the warm embrace of its people.