Fiji - The Journey Begins

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My initial thoughts before arriving in Fiji included island breezes, a large orange sun to bake my skin, and blue waters that I can only ever dream of. Were my preconceived notions met? Absolutely.

As we arrived to Fiji it didn’t take long for the group to learn about their fellow travelers and become a tight knit group! Something I learned from this group as a traveler is to be an open book. All it took was a simple introduction like, “Hello, my name is _____ and I am from _______, where are you from?” to strike up a conversation. I think that’s what alleviated my stress the most, knowing that everyone was going into this experience eager to meet new people and ready for an adventure.

As we boarded our boat in Port Denarau to the South Sea Islands, it was kind of cloudy, but it was also really early in the morning, and it began to drizzle as well. However, as we soon as we landed to the South Sea Islands, as if it were out of a movie, the sun came out blazing and the waters turned from a brooding blue to a cool teal. As we came off the boat, the islanders in song greeted us, and I must have had the cheesiest grin on my face. I had 16 new friends and together we were about to experience an amazing couple days.  

South Sea Island

Although most of Fiji was spent on the island, we did  go on a Sea Spray cruise, which was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. I have gone to Hawaii before and experienced island life, but Fiji is no comparison. Not only were the people incredibly and genuinely nice, but you can sense the feeling of national pride on a Fijian’s face when they are speaking about or showing you their country. It was overwhelming how happy this place was. During a visit to one of the islands to do a Kava Ceremony (Fijian cultural ceremony), the amount of warm welcomes were never ending. The warm, welcoming feeling made this experience so special and unforgettable.   

While in Fiji I tried snorkeling for the first time and had a bit of a struggle. I found it difficult to stay in one place to admire the sea life while combating the waves. No matter, it was a new experience, and if this trip has taught me anything, it is to push yourself to do things out of your comfort zone. 

Sun-kissed skin and lightened hair aplenty, I began to slip into Fijian time, which also kind of felt like “losing track of time.” Tuesday quickly became Friday, but the experiences in between were so large and fruitful, it all just became a blurred segment of memory. 

We had the chance to kayak, do a mini-submarine tour, and also eat like a true Fijian, which was the heartiest I have ever felt eating a meal (sorry Mom). Fijians enjoy their food and making it, and you can tell through their different meats and rice and an abundance of fruit, with a side of tea to help it all go down smoothly, I never felt more whole in my life. Finally, Sunday came and I had to say goodbye to all the friends I made in Fiji, which was quite sad, but we promised to keep in touch and I was able to meet up with a few Group Flight'ers while visiting Australia and New Zealand. 

Group Flight'ers

Fiji was an amazing humbling experience and taught me that traveling is never done alone. Experiences like this attract like-minded, adventurous types and a simple smile or "hello" can start a friendship that will last a lifetime. 

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