Talofa ma Afio Mai!
Hello and Welcome!
About Our Past
In the Spring of 2017, we accepted a job offer and decided to move our family to the small South Pacific island of American Samoa.
Nate lived in Los Angeles as a kid and I don’t know if you knew this, but there’s a pretty substantial Polynesian community in the Long Beach area. His family made friends with some families in that community and he developed a great love for the people and their cultures.
When we decided it was time for us to uproot our family from our comfortable home in the States, we thought an adventure in the South Pacific sounded like the exact type of change we were looking for. The love Nate had felt as a kid resurfaced and we quickly accepted the job offer.
But moving to our island home proved harder than we thought it would be. Not so much the actual moving, but finding ANY information about what our lives would be like. Sure we could Google the climate, the history, even the National Park, but there wasn’t much about daily life.
We moved across the ocean, not knowing what to expect.
About Our Island Life
As soon as we landed, we knew that we were going to have an adventure!
Even though American Samoa is a territory of the United States, it could feel very foreign at times. The lush jungle-covered island was about as different from the dry, high desert landscape of our Idaho home.
And the humidity was killer!
The people were great. They were friendly and welcoming and ready to lend a helping hand.
But there were parts of our new life that were HARD to figure out, even with our helpful new friends. When life got hard, all we wanted was to get out and explore our new home, but even that was hard. American Samoa is full of incredible places, just waiting to be discovered, but you have to know where to look for them.
I quickly realized that we were just going to have to figure this all out for ourselves.
I began sharing our experiences and adventures on my other blog, Traveling Outside-the-Box. After a while, I was getting emails from people telling me that they were thinking of moving or visiting here and asking if I could answer some questions.
You’ll soon find out that I LOVE talking about American Samoa! So I was happy to answer any and all of the questions. But I also noticed that I was getting the same questions over and over.
This is where the idea for Am Sam Fam came from. American Samoa Family – that’s us and this is where we share everything that we’ve learned and are continuing to learn about life on our island.
Who Is AmSamFam?
Nate is the reason we’re here. He works hard so that we can live the island lifestyle that we love. When he’s not working, he’s in the ocean- snorkeling, spearfishing, or just playing with the kids. He doesn’t like fish, but always tries to eat it anyway, hoping one day he’ll develop a taste for it.
Melinda is the voice of AmSamFam. She loves being outside, whether that means hiking through a rainforest, swimming in the ocean, or clearing her head while out for a run. She is passionate about travel and can’t imagine ever getting her fill of seeing new places and experiencing new things.
Hadley is the big sister. Need I say more? lol She’s a natural leader, kind, and usually up for an adventure. As she tests the waters of growing up, she likes to stretch her muscles of independence, with the comfort of knowing she has the support of her parents and brothers. She loves hanging out with friends and she’s working on videos for her own YouTube channel.
Holden is sunshine and laughter. He’s happiest when he’s making other people laugh. He spends his days planning future inventions and trying to convince his mom and dad to let him build a robot with any bits of rubbish he finds. He’s sweet and silly and sometimes frustrated when others don’t share his sense of humor.
Kip is our island boy. Nothing would make him happier than to spend the rest of his life outside, playing and getting dirty. Having spent half of his life in American Samoa, he doesn’t remember much from our life on mainland US. He can be stubborn and mischievous, but he gives the greatest hugs and kisses and has a smile that lights up our world.
What You’ll Find on AmSamFam
We’ve divided the website into two sections: Island Life and Explore AmSam.
Island Life is all you need to know about moving and living here.
Explore AmSam is for anyone who wants to find all of our island’s hidden and not-so-hidden gems. Whether you’re visiting for a weekend or you’ve lived here all your life, there are places that you can’t miss!
And yes, I had a man who was American Samoan born and raised ask me for directions to a beach he had seen on my blog. I’m sure we all have places in our own back yards, just waiting for us to find them.
AmSamFam Is On YouTube
We recently started a YouTube channel where we use video to show you our experiences and adventures. Sometimes words and pictures just aren’t enough.
Head over and make sure to subscribe so you don’t miss a single episode.
So, now that you know a little more about us and why we’re here, leave a comment below or send us an email introducing yourself and how you came across AmSamFam. Let me know if you have any questions or any recommendations of information to include. Together we can make this a fully comprehensive guide to American Samoa.