Kent St. John Left Us with a Legacy of Travel Writing and Heart

Welcome to Samoa
Welcome to Samoa. Kent St. John photos

One of the joys of publishing is to look back on stories from long ago that still resonate with me as a traveler, and bring me back memories of the writer who wrote the story. One of my fondest friends I met along my GoNOMAD road was our Senior Travel Editor Kent St. John, who passed away in November 2012.

I had a chance to review and update one of his stories, and as I read the story, I could just hear him describing how much he loved his travels and this particular part of the world–Samoa.

As Kent explained, this isn’t American Samoa, it’s Samoa, located nearby, but its own country.  Here is some of his story…

“I felt like a Lilliputian upon arrival in Apia on Samoa, a little man in a world of giants. Some of the world’s best rugby players and football players are Samoan.

During my exploration I found that giant warm hearts beat in the Samoans; hospitality and family rule, and have for centuries. Samoa always plays things its own way, perhaps the reason that it was where Polynesians first established independence from European colonization.”

Later on Kent meets a local man and they explore the island.

“He reeks of hooch but is a happy guy. Soon we reach the top and below the island spreads. Craterman’s signs are posted along the way, done in his pidgin English, saluting visitors from 110 countries. After the climb I headed to the freshwater spring pools just a few feet from the ocean, refreshing.”

“Eventually I reached the Alofaaga Blowholes, an amazing display of nature’s power. As the waves crash to shore water is sent through some lava tubes and sprays at least 100 feet in the air.

In a display of island playfulness, a local villager began dropping coconuts at just the right time into the holes sending them sky high. Hours could be spent watching the spray of water and crashing of waves but an afternoon dip at Afu-a-Au Falls beckoned. Spending the end of the day in tropical seclusion ideal, the spring fed water smooth and silky, perfect.”