One of the great pleasures of walking the beaches of Oceania lies in the finding of shells washed up by the tides. Keeping a keen eye open as you stroll the sand, your feet being washed by the occasional surge of sea, the sounds of waves and seabirds, the feel of a gentle sea breeze caressing your skin, in short, being in paradise! For just a short time you are a beachcomber, a drifter, lost in your thoughts with nothing more arduous to do, except find a few small shell treasures that might travel home with you, that might become a tangible reminder of the simple pleasures that your escape to a tropical idyll gave you.
Shells have this somewhat romantic notion for us, the visitors to the region, but for the people of Oceania, shells serve many diverse and unique purposes, some of which our future blog posts will explore. We have named our Oceania Expeditions blog travel journals after one of the most iconic shells to be found and used in the region, the conch shell. This beautiful, colourful, large shell has universal symbolism across the Pacific and is still used in traditional ceremonies, including weddings and funerals.
The haunting sound as a wind instrument, the conch, or conque, also known as a “seashell horn” or “shell trumpet”, can carry over long distances to signal and call people to come together. We think it an ideal symbol for us to use as we hope our journals will communicate across the global network the fascinating, entertaining and inspiring stories of the people and places that we travel to in this vast and unique part of our planet.