Everybody wants to hear about what happens in Fiji…today I wanted to talk about what happens when trying to get to Fiji.
For quite some time I have been wanting to start a travel blog or have a space on ‘kayteable’ to talk about my travels. I was super in my head about how I wanted to lay it out. I wanted to stress that half the fun of the adventure is getting there and not just enjoying the location…while also sharing the joy of the place itself…and then I realized…
Just do it my dude. So without further procrastination and anxiety about execution, here is a little story of my experience traveling to another country.
Journey to Savusavu, Fiji
My journey to another country started here. In my little, but rapidly growing town of Twin Falls, Idaho. Home of the Perrine Bridge and the mighty Shoshone Falls…and lots of desert.
I woke up on a frigid May 1st morning at 5 am preparing for my short walk to the gas station to board my 2 hour bus ride to Boise Idaho that departed at 6 am. I arrived at Boise Airport at around 8 am and my flight to Las Vegas didn’t leave until 2 pm. It was a wait. If you have never had the pleasure of visiting this particular airport…you’ll know that it is one of the most boring places in existence to spend 6 hours waiting for a flight.
Pro tip…pack light. The less you have…the easier it is to wrap yourself around your backpack on a rigid bench and fall asleep. I had a little elderly lady, Laurie, who so kindly was my guardian angel. She offered to make sure no one stole my things as she read on her own uncomfortable bench across from me.
Time came to board flight to Las Vegas. Sin City. I made two silent friends, as I was wedged between a deaf man and a small woman who didn’t speak English. We shared smiles and an hour long flight.
Las Vegas is as flashy in the airport as they are on the strip. Announcements over the scratchy intercom every 10 minutes reminding us to not leave our bags unattended and a remind that if someone stole our belongings…that it was not in fact their responsibility. Good to know. I had a shorter wait this time. Two hours, an order of fries, and a handful of YouTube videos later….I was on my way to Las Angeles. City of Angels.
It was nice to be back in LA. It was a bit closer to what my heart calls home (Oregon) than my desert city…but I was stuck on the inside of the airport, instead of on the sandy and crowded beaches. LAX is huge. It’s easy to get lost. My advice? Find where you are supposed to be…before you wander.
Makes life a little easier.
Thirty minutes of walking, an hour through customs, one round of tackling someone who stole my laptop, and a few conversations with the LAX security…I was at my terminal. I was reminded, less often, but still consistently over the intercom not to leave my backpack hanging around. This time with a mention of potential terrorism. Fun times in America’s airports.
When you are flying out of the country and are waiting in the international terminal, it’s like a thousand worlds colliding all around you. Your ears buzz with different languages being spoken, different cultures intermingling, people from all around the world with the same goal: travel. I couldn’t help but smile as I watched from my single spot at a table I had planted myself in while I waited for my flight. I felt a part of the world…even for just that moment.
During my three hour wait for my 11 hour flight, I found myself getting sucked into a little group that would be joining me on my flight to Nadi, Fiji. For two hours an odd, perhaps unexpected, and beautiful group of an middle aged Aussie man, two Muslim women, a Japanese couple, a gay couple from England, and myself…a 20 year old American girl…chatted about life.
Who we were, where we were going, and what was bringing us to Fiji. The world sometimes can be scary and judgmental. It was refreshing to be part of a moment where no one held stereotypes, religion, or race against each other. A moment where we were all just humans.
Two flights to go.
Soon, at 10:30 pm…I was boarding onto my flight to the other side of the world. I got an aisle seat next to a elderly woman who would turn out to have quite the personality. The next eleven hours were filled with uncomfortable sleep, two trays of vegan food, and some interesting conversations with strangers. I read 250 pages in a book and watched a movie I don’t even remember.
I think they made a wise decision by choosing to fly above the endless waters of the ocean at night. Because looking into the endless night was terrifying…but I could imagine looking out into endless sea would hit the gut a little harder.
After what seemed to be the longest 11 days rather than hours…we began to descend. I could see the sun beginning to peak on the horizon, shedding warm light on the lush greenery that laid below us. Little huts littered the the nooks in the hills and soon we approached a little runway that led to Nadi International Airport.
Let me tell you. Stepping into the airport in Fiji was a lot different than stepping into an airport in America. It was more relaxed, smelt like sunscreen and fresh, clean rain, and the smiles on everyone’s faces were warmer.
It was a quick coffee break later before I was boarding a little plain that I was sitting right behind the pilot with four other people to my final destination. Lift off was a little more intense. You could feel the air rattle the tiny plain as we rose above the beautiful islands.
We landed an hour later in Savusavu Airport…which was just a hut in the middle of a field essentially. Which would be my first impression of an experience that would change my life forever…but that is for another blog.
That is all for today’s blog! If you enjoyed it let me know! I will be uploading a blog all about my time IN Fiji here in the next few weeks. I hope you all have a wonderful rest of your Monday! If you want to know more travel tips, adventures, or anything travel related…drop a comment below!