I wouldn't change a thing: our family holiday in Fiji (warts and all)
Ahh the yearly family holiday… the holiday that you look forward to all year. The holiday where you will finally get to read a book and have that long awaited massage. The holiday where you and your partner will reset passion back into your love life. The holiday where you’ve told all your friends and family about for the last 6 months like it’s a big project you are working on.
The excitement starts to build up around 2 weeks before you go. Mainly because if you told your children any sooner than that, you are in for weeks on end of the “Are we there yet” questions. We planned our holiday to Fiji because we wanted to join the cult that everyone seems to be in on with the motto “Fiji is best place on earth for a family holiday”.
Bula Fiji! After packing everything except for the kitchen sink and convincing my 3 year old that she doesn’t need to take 5 dolly’s with her, we arrive into Fiji. The flight was short and easy and we are welcomed by instant heat to our faces and Fijian music to our ears. I myself was starting to chant the motto “Fiji is the best place on earth” and was the newest cult member. We were met by the friendly staff of Six Senses Fiji who quickly whisked us away to our car and then followed by a boat transfer. It was the most seamless transition from the plane to the resort that I have ever experienced. We were asked what we would like for dinner on the boat so they could pre-order our food for us to eat when we arrived. I am floating in heaven knowing that I don’t need to cook or clean tonight.
Once we ate our beautiful two course meals, we quickly bathed and kissed our kids goodnight. My hubby and I then spent the next 20 mins getting excited about the time difference between Fiji and Sydney. If google was correct, we should be able to get an extra 2 hours sleep in the morning. Our excitement level is at an all-time high right now. If only google also incorporated how children’s sleeping patterns work. Our kids were up at their usual time of 6am Fijian time because apparently, their little bodies adapt very quickly to the change in time difference. Ugh.
After keeping them entertained with a few technological devices and headphones, we got maybe another extra half an hour of sleep and then it was time to get dressed for our first day in Fiji. We were greeted by happy faces and lots of BULA (in case you didn’t know, that means Hello in Fiji) from all the staff at the resort. Children are treated like gods in Fiji. Everyone knew our kid’s names and would often stop to give our children a kiss or a hug.
Breakfast was abundant so we all ate around 5 courses over a one hour sitting. Usually at home, my hubby and I would quickly shovel whatever we could find and just get out the door with the kids to avoid any tantrums. The kids could run around without raised glances from our neighboring tables about our kid’s behaviors and lack of clothes. We spent the morning playing and swimming by the beach and the main pool. We were instantly relaxed. All I had to do was to keep my kids fed and entertained, no other stress of work or home life was interrupting my happy bubble. Our first day was like a movie and “can’t stop the feeling!” from the movie Happy Feet is the theme song.
That happiness continued a few more days with a bonus of Miss Vanessa (nanny) joining our family for the remainder of our stay. She helped look after our son when he fell ill, she would take our daughter to kid’s club so we could catch up on sleep and would entertain our kids so we could have some peaceful dinners. She also ensured that my hubby and I got two date nights in and one day on our own to go out on the boat. Everyone needs a Miss Vanessa on holidays!
And then the unpredictable happened. Our kids got sick and the weather turned cold and windy. Our beautiful one hour breakfasts turned into our youngest projectile vomiting through the restaurant as other customers looked on sipping on their morning coffee. Yum.
Our beautiful sunny days by the pool turned into a game between my husband and I on who was going in with our kids. Apparently, kids don’t feel the cold and they would swim in ice if they could. Luckily I am much better at playing the I’m scared of being cold card better than my husband or maybe he gave in because he didn’t want to hear me whine about being cold for the next hour. Our kids didn’t sleep through the night once in our 10 days away on holidays so we were on morning coffees, midday cocktails and nightly red wines to survive.
I was recently asked by a friend if there was anything I’d do differently. My answer is no because although there were moments of chaos, tantrums and tiredness, there were also moments of joy, laughter and love. Joy of watching my children embrace new experience, new people and new foods. Laughter over watching my husband attempt wakeboarding. Love for the Fijian people for their warm welcome, friendly nature and for the genuineness of that love we felt was beyond anything we ever experienced through our travels.
Our next holiday is already booked for Christmas and I am looking forward to all the craziness that will come with it! Aren’t you?