Traveling with me is a bit like taking a very frail, weak stomached, gangly child out of the recovery room and into the world for the first time.
That is why packing my suitcase to visit an island on the other side of the earth entailed me filling my suitcase with the following items.
That is 2 bottles of SPF 50, 2 bottles of Bug Spray, a bottle of Aloe, a bottle of Pepto, a jar of gummy vitamins, travel toilet seat covers and toilet paper, individual Neosporin packets, and a box of Anti Diarrhea medicine.
Me. The answer is me.
After an amazing first stop in Los Angeles for a day, Lauren and I hopped on an overnight flight to Fiji. We landed at 5 am and hopped a bus to our boat, which would take us to our first resort.
Here’s a tip for all you folks out there. Some things are good in chewable form Dramamine is NOT one of them.
So anyway we travelled away from the mainland up past an island group called the Mamanucas up to the Yasawas. There were tiny islands everywhere you looked.
Some islands were only big enough to hold a palm tree; some were big enough to hold a mountain. And there were some that were just big enough to hold a hotel. It was like a perfect fit.
Now there are a lot of things I can tell you about Fiji. I can tell you how perfect it was. I can tell you that that the sun, sand, and ocean were so perfect I would regularly scream out curse words from my beach chair because it was so amazing. I can tell you that travelling by ferry between the dozens of islands of all shapes and sizes made me feel like a pirate explorer at sea, except for the fact that I didn’t have a peg leg, a parrot, or scurvy.
But after a while that would just get annoying. And plus the goal of this is not just to make you jealous (cough cough).
I would rather tell you about how my favorite part of the trip was getting to indulge in things I never get the opportunity to living in New York. Things like…
When we first got there, we met an older gentleman named Jim who was semi retired. He told us that he spent half his year working in the states and half his year living in Fiji.
Internally I judged him. Wondering, how could somebody spend all his or her time doing nothing?
Well, I figured it out pretty quickly.
Every day we woke up when the sun came in our room, threw on our bathing suits and went down to an amazing breakfast of fresh fruit and omelets. Then we went down to the beach. When we heard the conch shell blow that meant it was time for lunch. We’d eat lunch, then go back and nap in our beach chairs. Or swim. Or just lay in the ocean and float. (Not me personally, because apparently I can’t float) Or just sit in the sand.
When cake suddenly appeared on the bar, that meant it was 5 o’clock. When the sun went down, that meant it was time for dinner. And when mosquitoes bit you, which meant it was time for bed.
That was pretty much the schedule every single day. I was so disgustingly happy the entire time.
Some places you look at and think, oh wow, that place almost looks fake it’s so surreal. Fiji was the complete opposite. It was like I was a part of the landscape (and I honestly moved so little I pretty much was). But everything was so vivid, so real, to just incredibly beautiful. It was like being a part of the most beautiful painting.
But even though we were docile and relaxed the local wildlife was not. Like one night when Lauren was out on balcony of our hotel room and turned to me and said:
Are there monkeys in Fiji?
I felt a slight panic, as at the time both of our doors were wide open. And knowing monkeys’ penchant for leaping on to things, I fully expected to be drop kicked as a chimp came flying through our room.
But alas know it was just a gigantic bird the size of a monkey weighing down a branch. And I would have given no further though to it, had I not woken up in the middle of the night to birds screaming at each other over money they owed each other.
I’m guessing. I can’t imagine what else would require birds to scream like that at 2 in the morning.
The most terrifying experience though happened our first night in the second hotel. Listening to the breeze is a great way to fall asleep but in the dead of night I heard a sound that I immediately thought was the earth trying to swallow a cheetah.
It sounded like this first 10 seconds of this video.
I sat up in bed terrified. “What was that?” I asked. Lauren barely stirred, turned over and said:
Of course now that I was up, I had to go to the bathroom but was so freaked out from the Sea Cat that I thought one of our suitcases was a cat and almost peed myself.
But not all of the critters were terrifying, some were just hilarious, like the hermit crabs.
I had never seen so many in my life. They were everywhere, always moving, always with someplace to go.
On our last night at the Octopus Resort, we participated in International Crab Racing. Basically what happens is the staff collects 100 hermit crabs from the beach into a bucket, and then dumps that bucket out in the sand. Guests can then pick crabs to enter into the race. It costs like 3 bucks to enter a crab into the race.
Having known about this race the whole time we were there we studied many of the crabs on the beach. We even followed some of the quicker ones and considered training them to enter the race. But we quickly realized we’d have nowhere to keep said crab until the race started. So we just picked our crabs when everyone else did.
However, I made sure I got one of the quicker crabs out of the bucket. In fact, I got 2. They were quick sleek little crabs, and I liked their style. Lauren picked 1.
There are 3 heats. If your crab isn’t in the top group to make it through to the next round you can yell out bribe afterward, and for 3 more bucks you can send them into the next round.
The first heat happened and my 2 guys made it through, but Lauren’s didn’t.
The second heat happened and again, both of my guys made it through. Lauren’s didn’t.
Then it was the final round and in a nail biting finish my crab finished second place which meant we got 2 free drinks. Woohoo!
And that night was the peak of my physical excitement, exertion, and bliss. I’ve never been so excited to retire!
For a complete recap, check out this video!