When I was awarded the prestigious Next Jump Avengers Award, my wife, Liz, and I felt honored and humbled by the generosity of our Next Jump family. We couldn’t believe we were soon planning out our dream vacation, under the direction of previous Avenger Award winners, Gowri and Mike. This trip-of-a-lifetime couldn’t have come at a better time for us, as we were about to celebrate our 10 year wedding anniversary and had never taken a proper honeymoon.
From the moment we were picked up at our house by a private limo service, we knew we were going to be treated like celebrities for the duration of our ten day vacation. Gowri and Mike had taken care of everything; the plane flights, five star resort accommodations at the Four Seasons Resort in Bora Bora and the Intercontinental in Tahiti, healthy meals, and private excursions around the islands of French Polynesia. Everything went seamlessly, and we were treated to a luxurious once-in-a-lifetime trip.
Our time relaxing and enjoying each other’s company and the beauty of the resort at the Four Seasons was the best part of the trip. Having two young children and full-time jobs at home, it was the perfect chance to get away and catch some R&R. It had always been our dream to stay in an overwater bungalow over the crystal clear water of Bora Bora and that’s exactly what we did! The staff at the Four Seasons made sure that we had everything we needed, down to the tiny details of rose petals on the floor and bed on Valentine’s Day to a private dinner served on our balcony one night. We felt spoiled beyond belief. Next Jump had arranged for us to be taken by boat to a private island for a romantic Polynesian meal, and we kept commenting how this vacation felt like it was straight out of the reality show, “The Bachelor!”
All of the private excursions planned for us were amazing! Our favorite memory was a full day snorkeling tour with a private guide where we snorkeling with black-tailed sharks and rays and enjoyed a barbeque lunch on the guide’s private motu (island). We toasted our good fortune under an umbrella in the water with champagne and a delicious lunch. Learning about the culture of French Polynesia was an added bonus to the trip, because not only is it the most beautiful place we have ever visited, but the locals are friendly and proud to show off the beauty of their islands.
Other notable excursions we took were a private sailing catamaran ride around water off Bora Bora, a private half-day fishing trip, a couples’ massage at the Spa, a four-wheeler trip up and down the mountains of the island of Morea, paddleboard yoga, and a tour of Tahiti. We took jet ski rides and swam in the warm waters off the white sand beaches.
It was difficult to return to reality after such an amazing vacation in a place we thought we would only dream about going to. We took tons of pictures and returned home rested and bursting with stories to share with our friends and family. We want to thank Charlie and our Next Jump family for making this dream a reality for us. Ten years later, we were awarded with the opportunity to finally experience everything a honeymoon should be, thanks to Next Jump. It will be our honor to pay it forward and assist this year’s Avenger recipient in planning his or her vacation.