You know when you look at a place in a magazine or travel brochure, and it looks like the kind of tropical paradise that only rich people with private helicopters can afford to visit? And then you get there and it’s beautiful, but it does look a bit less idyllic than the photographs you saw, and you think maybe you should have married a millionaire and chartered that private flight after all?
Fiji’s Yasawa Islands actually do look like their photographs.
White sand? Check.
Coral reefs? Check.
Blue skies? Check.
Palm trees? Check.
Beach-side bures with mosquito nets that make it feel as if you’re sleeping in a princess bed? Check.
It’s definitely a place for relaxing, for kicking back in a hammock with a good book, or just watching the waves washing up shells and coral on the shore. It’s hard to feel stressed here, and nobody ever really feels as though they’re in a rush. That’s the beauty of a tropical island, I suppose.
You’ll hear the phrase ‘Fiji time’ quite a bit. ‘Fiji time’ basically means: it happens when it happens. Things are late, and it doesn’t matter. Because while you’re waiting, you can carry on soaking up the sun on that beautiful sandy beach. (NB: although Fiji Time is definitely a thing, don’t start to rely on it. That one time you rely on it is the one time you’ll miss your lift to the ferry port and have to get involved in a high speed taxi chase to make sure you don’t miss your boat. Apparently…)
You’ll also hear the word ‘Bula!’ ‘Bula!’ means ‘welcome’. Or more accurately: welcome! I don’t think I’ve ever seen it written without an exclamation mark, because Fijian people just seem to be perpetually excited to see you. It’s one of the most welcoming places I’ve ever visited – except maybe Canada. Maybe.
So here are some of my favourite views of Fiji’s Yasawa Islands. I say ‘some of’ because I didn’t have an underwater camera with me, so I couldnt’ capture the brightly coloured gallery of sea life under the waves. Next time!