Vacations have proven to make us more productive at work. After a vacation (or staycation), we are less likely to make mistakes and enjoy the company of our coworkers more.*
The Karsh Hagan team has been encouraged to take advantage of these vacation time-outs and we are excited to share our adventures with you over the next couple months. First up, Lauren Curler, Accounts Director, island-hops through Fiji.
Spring Escape to Fiji
It was time for a break and we didn’t care where – just a new-to-us, on the water destination.
So we landed in Fiji – southern hemisphere, on the 180 meridian where each new day starts. Here are some tips and pictures:
Find your place.
We found The Remote Resort on Tablet Hotels – a great site for unique places to stay. It had scuba diving from the dock, a locally sourced, custom menu created daily, 4 (total) modern-architecture villas. Ain’t nobody got time for research…we booked it.
Fly to Nadi (we connected through LA).
It’s on the larger of Fiji’s two main islands. If you want to stay on Nadi, you’re set. If you want to go to Vanua Levu, hop on a domestic flight and hope for some empty seats; it’s a small plane.
Say “bula” to everyone, all the time.
It means hello, good morning, good afternoon, good. Kids wave and yell it on hikes, when you’re driving by, every time you see anyone – especially the more remote places you go. Otherwise, you’ll be judged.
Drink the kava.
This dried, pounded-to-powder root mixed with water looks like mud water but everyone drinks it out of hand-carved wooden bowls and half coconut shells, one at a time as you go around the circle. It makes you a little light headed and numbs your tongue a bit. Pro tip: A “tsunami” pour is full to the brim. Extra pro tip: Clap 3x and say “bula” when someone finishes their pour.
Dive/snorkel the Rainbow Reef.
Located between Vanua Levu and Taveuni, the 20-mile Rainbow Reef has hundreds of spots, 1,198 species of fish, and gorgeous soft coral. We did four, two tank dive days, seeing sharks, turtles, barracuda, and tons of types of “clown” anemone fish. It’s honestly the best diving I’ve ever experienced and the amount of fish approaching is absurd.
And generally be one with nature.
Hiking the coastal trails, seeing the rainforest terrain, kayaking in the mangroves, swimming in the waterfalls, seeing pigs, cows, goats – there’s so much explore if you don’t want to just sit on a beach.
Hang with villagers.
In the remote places, most Fijians are subsistence farmers. They live off the fruit and the fish of the land. They don’t have electricity so they only gather what they need today. The majority of housework is laundry and picking up/sweeping/raking all the leaves off the sand. They are happy to have people know how they live. When we visited Nawi, they welcomed us on to the porch for some afternoon kava and fresh bananas. Such great people.
It’s the only option, actually; fresh fish, daily custom menus, coconut from the beachfront and pineapple from the garden. Chef Peni kept it fresh, local, and delicious. SO MUCH FRUIT. And BTW, the square bottle Fiji Water is local.
Watch the sunrise.
Island life means early to bed, early to rise – so I was always up for a quiet morning watching the sun come up over the water and just relaxing.
You think you’re going to a remote place and the baseline will be to just chill. But while there are so many things to do that are relaxing and cathartic, you might need to plan time to just SIT. Read. Sip. Nap. See what island doggie surprises you with a happy frolic.
And lastly, don’t forget your sunglasses, like I did.