We anticipated wild animals or at least poisonous critters; there were only slightly famished mosquitoes. We were prepared for long drop squat toilets; we sat on flushing porcelain thrones. And we assumed we’d make many a cultural blunder within our first days, but honestly, living in the Fijian Highlands for a week was only culturally shocking in one sense: it’s so friggin beautiful. Idyllic. Lush. Vibrant.
And to think a place so lovely is not only that but open to outsiders such as ourselves and able to make us feel comfortable beyond our expectations.
What we as travelers often worry about is the possibility of experiencing the new and/or shocking and not knowing how to deal the right way. And being prepared for the new causes us to step in the unknown as we would put a timid toe into frigid waters.
Will this sweet old lady be offended if I forget to say jilo when I walk behind her? Will a snake cross my path or hang near my head on this mountain hike? What if I wear a hat as I walk across the village, will the children howl in shock? Aw gee, look at my leg! I’m bound to have malaria by now!
The reality in Nakavika is that there’s a greater chance of forgiveness for making mistakes than disrespect for what you didn’t know. Plus, the Namosi Highlands were blessed with both hands in that all those things that make jungle life so unappealing are not there in Fiji. It’s safe. It’s perfect. We were living in simple, gorgeous, welcoming luxury.
Makes it easy for wayward nomads like ourselves to dive into a culture so utterly stunning. Hesitate no more, readers, Fiji wants you, and trust us…you want Fiji.