Day 1 (23-24/11/12): What have I gotten myself into?

I recently traveled alone to Fiji and New Zealand. The following posts are adaptations of the journal I kept while traveling. Sometimes I was able to write as things were happening, and at other times, I had to write afterwards.

An island in Western Samoa
Today is the first day of my trip to Fiji and New Zealand. There's a lot of mixed emotions right now. I should be more excited, but I'm pretty nervous. I've never traveled to a foreign country alone before (well, not a part of a group). I just hope that the flight goes well and everything with my shuttle to my resort works out. I got a little nervous at the airport about thing I need to pickup in Fiji, so I exchanged currency right away. It was kind of a rip-off so I think that I should just stick to ATMs instead. Tomorrow may be a day for rest and relaxation. It's so crazy, I'm heading to Apia, Western Samoa right now crossing the International Dateline. It's the same time as it is in Hawaii, but a day ahead. Weird. I wonder if people can still claim jet lag? The flight to Samoa was a bit turbulent, but we landed safely. I couldn't believe how beautiful Samoa was - the water was amazingly crystal green. I also forgot how much better it is to fly internationally than in the United States. They gave us a breakfast box (yogurt, granola bar, and a muffin), afternoon tea with biscuits (actually my first time eating biscuits - turns out that biscuits are mostly like shortbread cookies), and a chicken with cheese sandwich box (also had cheese/crackers, chips and orange juice). I had a nice chat with the woman sitting next to me from my Apia to Nadi (pronounced "Nahn-dee"), Fiji flight. She's Tongan, but married to a Samoan and the rest of her immediate family live in Australia and New Zealand. Seems so far away and scattered. She said that she hasn't seen her Tongan family since 2005. I couldn't think of not seeing my family for so long.

Don't know what happened to this bridge on the Sigatoka River
Whoa. What a day today has been. It was great seeing many of the Fijian islands before landing in Nadi. We had to walk outside of the airport to reach customs, and we were bombarded by thick, hot air. Once we were on our way to customs, we were greeted by a Fijian band serenading us. I probably had that deer-in-the-headlights look as I kept thinking of all the things I needed to do before I could safely relax at my resort on the Coral Coast. Customs went fast and some people directed me to my shuttle company that would take me to my resort. They put our luggage in a covered trailer behind the over-sized van. I didn't realize how far away the resort actually was - the ride was about 2 hours. It was also a bit on the wake up side... It seems that most Fijians live in poverty or very minimalistic. Almost every house we passed was either made out of steel roofing (for the whole structure) or wood and were falling apart. One house that I saw even had the trunk back of a van used to repair the side of the house and also act like a window. It just really make me sad and then made me feel bad that I'm spending all sorts of money on this holiday. This country is definitely more like a second world country. They have some modern conveniences of a first world country, but not quite there yet. Everything was also much father than what they looked like on the map. I thought that Sigatoka wouldn't be too far from my resort, but it ended up being at least 30 minutes away by car.

My Bure
All of the people here make you feel so special. When I checked in, I got serenaded by three band members and then a man helped me bring my luggage to my bure (cabin). The bure was nice - it had a queen bed, two twin beds, a mini fridge, and a bathroom. However, it did not have a telephone or television (probably a good thing on a holiday). It wasn't until I got settled that I realized I forgot the bottled water I bought at the airport and almost every store would be closed because of it being Sunday. I also forgot to buy a calling card and the resort's internet isn't working so I have no way of reaching anybody. I feel so disconnected, and also a bit homesick. It's like, what have I gotten myself into?

I ended up eating dinner at the resort restaurant because it appears that it's my only option. The dining area is a nice size, but there were only a few of us there while the band played music. It was nice - they even played Eric Clapton and Bob Marley songs. I ordered the Mahi Mahi that was served with veggies, mashed potatoes, and a sweet salsa on top. I'm not even sure what fruit was in the salsa, but it was good. The couple next to me ended up striking up a conversation with me; maybe because I'm alone? They're a couple from Alberta,Canada that's possibly retirement-aged. They just came from traveling in New Zealand for five weeks. They were so nice to talk to, I can't believe I didn't get their names. I'll most likely see them tomorrow because they're only two bures down from me. The wife even came over and gave me some of their water because I had told them about my fiasco and they agreed that the water was ridiculously-priced in the resort. These people are so nice. I'm always amazed by kindness.

This morning, I did my own good deed. When I was at the Honolulu airport, I saw a boarding pass on the ground. Everyone was walking by it, but I picked it up figuring that the person wouldn't know where they had dropped it. It turned out that the person was also on my flight. When I got to my gate, I gave it to the airline clerks and the man had just come back looking all frantic. He couldn't believe that I found it and brought it back.

I'm also thankful for the woman at this resort. She started talking to me and just was good company. Her name is a bit difficult to understand, so I'm going to have to ask her how to spell her name. I'm actually starting to feel a little better now that I've been writing. I was feeling very sad at dinner. I'm at a very quiet couples resort....alone. Alone and no way to get in touch with anyone. I feel like experiences are better when shared. Hopefully, tomorrow will be better when I can be more active. The nights will be hard. Although, I won't have to use the beach sounds app on my phone tonight to help put me to sleep because I can hear the waves crashing and only ocean breezes and this overhead fan tonight. Glad there's a breeze, or it would be hot. It feels better on this side of the island than in Nadi. Lets hope that I get some sleep so I'm not all's an adventure!!


Unknown said…
I love it Kara!!! This is a great way for us to hear/read about your adventures!! Keep writing!! Loving the pics!
Errol Copder said…
I have to say " It's like, what have I gotten myself into?" is exactly how I felt when I first got to Hawai'i. I went there for an adventure, but that was the first thing that crossed my mind. Love the photos so far :)

Popular posts from this blog

There's an elephant in the room and it's called, the Camino

Camino Memoirs: The Calm before the Storm and Over the Pyrenees

New Beginnings