Guam, beautiful island…a paradise under the sun.
Not everyone knows about my home. Guam is a U.S. territory. It is where “America’s day begins.” We are located in the North Pacific Ocean and considered the most populous island with roughly 190,000 people. I wanted to give you a little insight on the island and hope that when you plan your next vacation destination or adventure…you think of Guam. Here is an article I wrote for a Sydney publication a while back. Enjoy =)
They say there are more snakes than people per square mile and angry drill sergeants tell soldiers that if they aren’t careful, they will be sent to Guam. I even recall one comedian who said we wear grass skirts. Perhaps, maybe back in the day. Some people say that Guam is behind in time, when, to be honest, we are where America’s day begins. How this little corner of the world got such a joke-filled reputation, is beyond me, but allow me to enlighten you about a wonderful place I call home.
Guam, is a tropical island and a U.S. territory, that was formed through the union of two extinct volcanoes joined by a limestone plateau connecting its northern and southern sections. The largest among the Micronesian islands, Guam is four to eight miles wide and 32 miles long. It has an area of 212 square miles, the official languages of the island is English and Chamorro, and it is the southernmost in the Mariana Islands chain with a population of around 170,000.
But I am sure, you are not reading this article for a history or geography lesson or an introduction to Guam: 101- no, you are curious to find out more about an island that has had it’s share of the spotlight, usually as the butt of a joke or part of a humorous zinger. Allow me to enlighten you because Guam is a mesmerizing paradise and not a tacky punch line.
The island is an ideal vacation destination. For someone, with an itch to travel, a trip to Guam becomes a tangible incarnation of paradise. With a rich cultural heritage, postcard picture beaches, seven world-class golf courses, scenic spots, tax-free shopping, an incredible array of food and fun- Guam provides a leisurely laid back haven for tourists and locals alike. With a warm and relaxed atmosphere, it is easy to immediately feel at home here. The island is lush with grass, jungle, and beautiful palm trees. Now, I am not the type to brag but Guam has the most breathtaking sunrises and the most beautiful sunsets that paint beautiful portraits across the sky every single day.
Ironically, there are a lot of things to do in Guam, despite its relatively small size. Of course, there are still some places that have nothing to do with shopping. A visit to the Two Lovers Point, no matter how touristy, is worthwhile- a good spot to get some fresh air and couples who wish to prove their commitment to one another- they do so by sealing their love with a lock or a bag tag. Locks and bag tags from different lovers around the globe are placed there, as signs of devotion and eternal love. Guam “boonies” include the large areas of undeveloped jungle and virgin beaches that cover a large part of the island. “Boonie stomping,” or hiking through these natural wonders is a popular, though demanding pastime for many residents and visitors. For those with a thirst for history- Guam offers plenty of places like the War in the Pacific National Historical Park and the T. Stell Newman Center, which tell the story of Guam long ago. And yes, for those adventurous types, we have things like the Sling Shot, sky-diving, and a zipline to provide that adrenaline rush with the island’s landscape as its background. Being surrounded by water, you can bet the snorkeling and scuba diving here is incredible and will provide an exciting underwater adventure. I am almost certain you will fall in love with the warm, clear and calm turquoise waters.
(Underwater images provided by my wonderful friend- Jessie Alaniz Snyder)
If you are lucky to be here on a Wednesday, the place you need to be is the Chamorro Village Night Market, which is the one-stop hub for everything Guam- from food, clothing, jewelry, entertainment and more. Speaking of night, when the sun goes down, the island turns into a music mecca- with a plethora of talented musicians. Oh, and we can’t forget the island fiestas. You will definitely enjoy the delicious local cuisine. The buffet-style spread will leave you leaving with a full tummy and a satisfied soul.
There is so much more I can tell you about Guam and all it has to offer but really, you just have to experience it for yourself. You will not be disappointed. The island is about 3200 miles away from Sydney, which equates to about a 7-hour flight. From a fellow Guam resident, I invite you to explore my home- this hidden paradise gem. The locals are some of the friendliest people you will ever encounter. The food is some of the best cuisine you will ever taste. It is an island that is rich in history, culture and beauty that is truly well worth the experience and the memories.