Saturday, July 31, 2010

To Tonga! For Sunny Warm Weather

Up until now I typically avoid the topic of Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD.  That's because I'm much more from the "Harden Up" camp.  I mean, seriously?! Even the acronym makes me think it's a joke.  However, I like my Vitamin D as much as the next person, so I know that a lack of sun can have an affect on someone.  For me, I got some of my best work done in the Fall and Winter because I had so little desire to go outside in the frigid temperatures of Chicago.  In other words, I was a hibernator, but I didn't get depressed.

That was until I had two winters in a row...I'm starting to see the effects of my hibernating.  I've even seen the light (figuratively speaking) because without a reprieve from the shorter days, I can even accept that people may catch a case of  "SADness" during the winter months... I know I have (granted it took nearly 9 in a row).

My solution:  go someplace warm, sunny and tropical.  I ran a search online and found reasonable tickets to the Kingdom of Tonga...haven't heard of it, but what the Hell, I booked it.  Whether I had someone to go with or not wasn't important, I needed some reprieve from the darkness and chilly weather.  But I had nothing to worry about - I wasn't alone with my desire to see some sun.  Three and maybe four other women will be joining me on my holiday in Tonga for five days near the end of August.

Tonga is a small island nation in the South Pacific, it is one of the few that was never taken over by foreign rulers, because of that they still have their own monarchy within the islands.  This also means that it was never over populated by tourists, which is a positive and negative.  It means that I will get a very island experience, without dealing with all of the touristy shops and large complexes that cater to that crowd....but sometimes I am in that crowd so we'll see how the "island experience" is for someone that has come to appreciate four walls and a comfortable bed.

Here's what I have to look forward to:
- Beaches:  Like many in the South Pacific, the islands of Tonga have gorgeous beaches and great snorkeling. Without all the tourists around things aren't overpopulated and crowded so I should even have some space to spread out.

- Whale watching:  The Southern Humpback whales go to mate near the Tongan islands every winter (July - September) making it one of the best places in the world to see the whales.  On most tour boats you can even put on snorkel equipment and jump in to swim with them.  Their calls can be heard for miles around as the sound travels so well under water.

- Snorkeling and Kayaking:  Sunken ships, reefs, and other underwater marvels are all to be explored on kayak trips and snorkeling excursions around the area.

- The sun:  Did I mention that I could use some Vitamin D??  Although I still don't plan to spend much time in the sun, after all, I enjoy my pale white color, I am definitely looking forward to the longer days and sunny weather.


  1. I wanna go!!! not that i lack sun in you in Australia?

  2. Actually I think Sydney has been really nice this winter (at least that's what I hear) but in New Zealand we have had a lot of rain and short days. I'm definitely looking forward to the change.