Life has come to a standstill, at least life as we know it. We have the time to reflect, and to do something different. In the Cook Islands this is almost a daily ritual, having the time to reflect away from the hustle and bustle of city lives, we have all stopped and been able to share in what we in the Islands call ‘Island Time.’
It’s a watch without hands, a clock without dials, or simply a smart watch that isn’t so smart. It’s how we live, it’s what we live for and what we allow to rise to the surface and what makes us who we are. Human connection, and the ability to build that connection. Our ability to connect has taken precedence in the hearts of a globe now gripped in the palms of this pandemic. Maybe what we took for granted we now crave and long for; walks on the beach, coffee with friends or just catching up with loved ones. In the Cook Islands we are COVID free and for the most part life has continued, albeit with some social distancing much the same as it has always done; with people connecting to people. And it is this connection that many a traveller would leave with resonating above the Islands beauty, its culture and scenery or even its plush or simple resorts. The people, there is something about the people that draws visitors, honeymooners and holiday makers back again and again.
But things have changed, and for the Cook Islands there is also the opportunity to reflect and ask itself, was the balance, right? Were we protecting our environment from overuse, our lagoons and water ways, our culture from commodification well enough?
Those questions and so many others are in the minds of those in the Cook Islands and those globally as we all consider our role as guardians of what we were given to look after, be it ourselves, our bodies, our relationships, loved ones or the environment we find ourselves in. Because we are the guardians, and if there is anything COVID-19 has done it has been the need to strengthen those things that matter most and shed those that don’t. To give more, think of others more, be kinder, gentler and more caring of the world around us.
When that days comes, when we welcome Tourists back to our home Islands, it won’t be the same as before. There will be a shift in what we do and how we approach things, how we care for not only our guests but also the Island that sustains us, and if this is the good that has come from this pandemic then we can be thankful.
In fact we have so much more to be thankful for, as fish swim in the lagoons where they haven’t before, rivers are clearer, streams seem to have new life in them and the steep green Mountains of Maungatea and Maungaroa overlooking our blue lagoon, have sat back in their rocky cliff faced chairs and said, we will see you soon.
For more information visit https://cookislands.travel/nz