Awesome Island Adventures

About Island Awe

About Us

We are over 50 years old and only met eight years ago. Traveling has always been a passion in both of our lives. In the years that we have been together, we have taken some significant steps towards pursuing our travel passions.

Before meeting each other, our lives were filled with traveling and discovery. Pietro traveled the world on business and always combined it with personal exploratory trips.

Eltje, on the other hand, spent all her holidays abroad, discovering cultures and places. This culminated in her taking a sabbatical to explore the depths of the South Pacific, including remote areas such as Papua New Guinea.

So, it came as no surprise when we gave up our executive careers to follow our dreams of being explorers of little-known places.

Our Passion For Island Adventures

We started Island Awe because we have a passion for island adventures, in particular the dreamy islands of the South Pacific.

We aim to explore as many as possible of these mostly untouched island worlds and share all the details with you.

Our first step took us into a South Pacific Island state. I guess we were not 100% ready to be full-time explorers and thought we would ease our way in by buying a Dive and Surf shop.

This afforded us a base in the Cook Islands from where we explored all the remote islands of the Cook Islands.

Showing You Little-Known Paradise Islands

We are keen to show you many of the yet undiscovered paradise islands, the little-known South Pacific Islands. The Cook Islands were our starting point, and the journey continues.

The South Pacific is an island adventurer’s dream come true. With unspoiled nature at every turn, fascinating cultures and cuisine, and above all, virtually no fellow tourists. Island Adventures at its very best.

On this website, we’ll give you firsthand information about the islands we’ve experienced.

This includes for each island:

  • Our island experiences, insights into the land, its people, and culture
  • Comprehensive travel information for you to enjoy and plan your next island adventure
  • Own Photos and videos in an attempt to capture the essence and beauty of each unique island. 
  • Handy infographics with all you need to know

Reliable Firsthand Information For You

We don’t think that you can provide others with accurate and reliable destination information with just a couple of island visits.

To live up to that, you need to become part of the South Pacific way of life. And this is how we do it.

We live everyday life on tropical islands and travel through the region to offer truly holistic and credible information.

IslandAwe - Aitutaki Motu Ee by Kayak, Pietro is Robinson Crusoe
Island Awe - Vanuatu Tanna Yakel Tribe

Where To Go Next

During our recon phase, looking for a base, we spent a fair amount of time discovering the islands of Fiji and Vanuatu. This is why we are already sharing some amazing island adventures in these island states. However, we will return and spend a lot more time there.

Our long-term plan is to check in Tonga, Samoa, the Solomon Islands, and Papua New Guinea.

But first next step:

Now that the Cook Islands have been visited, our next step is to settle in French Polynesia. From our base on the main island, Tahiti, we will explore the incredible island world of French Polynesia beyond its well-known tourist destinations such as Bora Bora and Moorea.

That was the plan…

But wait, we did not see this one coming – COVID – that put a bit of a spanner in the works.

Just a slight delay, or? 

How COVID Impacted Our Island Adventures

After four years in the Cook Islands, we sold our Dive and Surf shop to take the giant step -for us at least – into full-time travelers and explorers.

And to move to French Polynesia next, only a stone’s throw away (about 1,200 kilometers). So close but yet so far.

As could be expected, COVID did indeed impact our plans. For months we could not leave the Cook Islands. Then all ways of getting to French Polynesia were blocked due to border closures in the entire South Pacific. And most of them are still closed.

Eventually, we could move on, but that meant we could only get to Europe to visit family, and from there, continue our explorations.

What we planned to be a one-month visit to Europe turned out to be a four-month stay in Switzerland, Germany, and England. With so many travel restrictions and limited flights, we were hugely frustrated.

We were resolute to move on from Europe and soon found ourselves on our way to Cape Town, South Africa.

And here we are, exploring South(ern) Africa for the time being. With the aim of getting back to the islands soon…

More About the Team...

The Island Awe, Island Adventures Team

Etlje Bambenek

Eltje "Peanie"

Island Explorer

I love to discover new things and, above all else, the unknown dreamy South Seas paradises. At the same time, I like the challenge of planning and organizing trips to remote islands.

And afterward to exchange experiences and share stories with like-minded people. Every great island journey motivates and inspires me for the next destination.

You can make so many dreams come true if you just make a start! Living life to the full is why I also decided a few years ago to emigrate from Germany—leaving a hectic every day and work life behind. To live on an island, in the warmth and beauty of the South Pacific.

And with a partner who shares all of this with me. I am a lucky girl.
Pietro Pazzi

Pietro "Sweetie"

Island Adventurer

I spent decades being successful as an entrepreneur or executive having a job in multinational companies. These successes never gave me that sense of freedom that I was seeking.

My yearning for a slower pace is what drove me to leave Germany for the other end of the world. I started to see glimpses of the lightness I was seeking when traveling and living in the South Pacific.

I love to explore and discover the beauty of this untouched nature and little-known tribal cultures. While traveling, I do my best to authentically honor the places and people by capturing them in photos and videos.

I do all this with a like-minded partner. How fortunate I am.

We know travel.
We live to undertake island adventures.
These are the Places We've Been to.

The dark blue shaded countries and flagged places are where we’ve been.

Countries we have visited

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