Cheap Flight to American Samoa?

One of the most common questions that I hear is about cheap flights to American Samoa. After looking online, people want to know if they even exist and if there is a way to get to American Samoa on a backpackers budget. The simple answer is not really. The complex answer is maybe. Read more

How Puerto Rico statehood movement could change American Samoa

It is official, Puerto Rico has voted to become a state of the United States. It has been talked about forever but it has finally been voted. American Samoa has many of the same challenges and the political status has been a topic of discussion there as well.

First of all, the vote was close to a half a million (they are still counting) and only 7,500 for free association (like Marshall Islands has) and about the same for completely independence. In reality, the question was statehood or status quo.


There are many things that are left unanswered such as how Puertro Ricans will deal with the language barrier (was a problem in the past) and how taxation will work but the bottom line is the people have made a point of self-determination that they are better with America than they are without.

What does this mean for American Samoa?

It could mean nothing or it could force the political status issue again. I was on island when the former governor tried to force the people to support independence. The end result of that was over 80% flying the middle finger to the governor.

The current governor has send mixed signals about where he stands on political status. He has said that he is for closer ties to the Union but he has given other signals that he is not interested in statehood due to “cultural issues.”


It is important to state that just a few years ago that the U.S. Supreme Court ruled against giving American Samoans citizenship unless they became part of the United States. Many people, including myself, feel that American Samoans should be full citizens like the people of Puerto Rico are.

What could it mean for people travel to American Samoa?

I would say nothing to really speak of. The islanders will debate it and there will be the yearly rally at the football stadium crying about the political status in April.

It will be an open discussion in the political circles (called Fono) and it will be openly talked about over coffee at McDonalds by veterans. In most other cases, it will be business as usual.


While you travel there, you will still have all the benefits of being in America. You will still have free access to the island as long as you want. You will still pay with your right kidney for the flight to Hawaii.

As I said, business as usual for us but it will be interesting if it sparks a political movement to right a 120 year old wrong.

LBJ Medical Center: America’s worst hospital!

When I came to American Samoa, I had a medical emergency. That means a trip to LBJ Medical Center. It is not what you want but when you have a seizure disorder, it happens. I was looking forward to be on US soil to see an American doctor, at least. Read more

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Open letter to Hawaiian Airlines

Hawaiian Airlines logo. (PRNewsFoto)

The following is an “open letter” to Hawaiian Airlines about how I think about their philosophy concerning American Samoa, namely the fares.  Read more

Football culture of American Samoa

The NFL is full of American Samoans. A few of them are from American Samoa and the rest are American Samoans raised in the United States. Junior Seau and Troy Polamalu are names that everyone would know. Both are American Samoans. Read more

Fagatogo Market in American Samoa

The Fagatogo Market is a brand new market that was built with government funds under President George W. Bush. It was officially opened a few years ago but has never really been used for some reason. It is also a point of frustration for some local American Samoans. It was over budget and scaled way down from the original plans. Read more

National Park of American Samoa

One of the best things to do while in the territory is to visit the National Park of American Samoa. The National Parks Service has a presence on island and they manage the only rainforest in America! Read more

American Samoa Immigration: Staying legal in Paradise

A common question about American Samoa is from people visiting and people considering a move to the island. What is American Samoa Immigration like? As you may notice, there is not much information online about what is and is not the rules. Read more

Taking the bus in American Samoa

 

If you are visiting American Samoa, the reality is you will probably need to take the local bus while on island. It is not as bad as it sounds to be honest. Riding the bus in American Samoa is different is every way. It just is not like we think of public transportation in America. Read more

Travel America : American Samoa – A Backpackers guide

Alot of Americans dream about doing a tour of travel America. It is a goal for many to visit their own country. One place that very few actually make it is American Samoa in the South Pacific. There is reasons for this. One of them being the distance (it is closer to Australia than California) and another is the cost of flights from the mainland. Read more