During our time in the wonderful island paradise of Aitutaki, Cook Islands, we were lucky enough to end up booking a room at the Matriki Beach Huts. Here we met Lisa and Paul, and it was not only their great hospitality, but also their personal story that deeply impressed us. Both of them met in Perth, Australia and came across the Cook Islands in 2011, when they were looking for a destination wedding. As soon as they saw pictures of Aitutaki lagoon, they immediately knew they had found their perfect destination. And once they got the opportunity to move to this perfect place, they did not hesitate long. At the moment they are looking to see what Management opportunities present themselves on the island. They are not ready to return to Perth just yet.
Want to hang out with Lisa and Paul as well? Make sure to visit the wonderful paradise of Aitutaki during your next holiday.
What comes to your mind when you think of “home”?
When I (Lisa) think of home (Perth) I think of my two (adult) children and how much I miss being in their daily lives, although, thank goodness for MSN – we still chat as often as we can.
What do you associate with "traveling"
We believe traveling is learning a wealth of knowledge, creating memories and new adventures, understanding different cultures, meeting people from all walks of life and expanding your everyday ideas on the how the world is made up.
Which place or destination blows your mind?
Aitutaki. 100%. For Sure. No question. We’d love to visit Maldives and French Polynesia – but only to compare and know that we have actually chosen the best location overall. We just love the clear blue skies, white sand and crystal clear waters and the friendly, unassuming people.
Is there anyone you met who deeply impressed you?
The people of Aitutaki have deeply impressed us, which is one of the reasons we chose to come here. Although they live in paradise, they live in very humble accommodation and lead a relatively humble existence, they always have a kind word, a huge smile and welcome so many travellers/visitors into their home land and lives. They live staunchly by their religion and from the land. They fiercely protect their cultures and values.
What does food mean to you?
I (Lisa) love food but I hate cooking. I can’t cook. Paul is the cook and he is very good at it. I sometimes miss coming home from work on an evening in Perth and he has a delicious meal waiting for me because he finished work earlier than me. Nowadays we are too tired after a long day to even cook so we tend to eat out a lot although after 15 months of doing so, we know each menu for each restaurant and tend to eat the same foods every time.
What is your favorite dish?
My (Lisa) favourite dish is mince and dumplings, with Yorkshire Puddings – very North Eastern English.
Name the weirdest/funniest thing you experienced in the Cook Islands!
We think the weirdest/strangest/funniest (although it wasn’t at all funny at the time) was when we had 2 Chinese guests, part of a group of 5 who took upon themselves to take the old broken rowing boat which had been stood up against the fence for several years, out into the lagoon. They stuffed the bung hole with a stick and took a length of bamboo and a palm frond as paddles. Luckily we got home in time to see that they were ankle deep in water and heading towards the reef. We had to launch our boat out front and go rescue them.
What is your biggest challenge at the moment?
We only manage Matriki Beach Huts, we are not the owners of the business. The biggest challenges faced are really the remoteness when it comes to receiving items/produce that we need. I desperately miss fresh green vegetable and cold fresh dairy cows milk. Also the humidity at the moment is a huge factor in working in a place without air conditioning.
Want to get to know more about Lisa and Paul, the Matriki Beach Huts and how your holiday in Aitutaki could be? Make sure to check out their website.