You would think that spending a week in Fiji would involve frolicking in warm waters, getting a tan and enjoying the colours of the tropics. In most cases this is probably true, in particular during the dry season, but sometimes you can get really unlucky.
And in our case, we did get extremely unlucky – we had just one full day of sunshine out of eight. A drop in temperatures, gusty winds, and rain, rain, rain, as much as the heavens could spend.
So what do you do in situations like this? You focus on the good things, on the page-turner books you have in your luggage, on the time you can spend with your loved ones, on the sweet smells of the wet resort gardens. You take the opportunity to set new goals for weeks to come, to reflect on the weeks that just passed, to appreciate what you have and what you want.
The lesson I learnt from these eight days in a rainy tropical paradise is, that you sometimes have to plan for the unexpected and that you cannot let yourself down just because things that are out of your control turn against you.
Fiji was not the kind of holiday any of us, or anyone around us for that matter, had expected. Yet, we still managed to get out on two occasions, and I cannot wait to share with your the stories and photos from those trips which you hopefully find inspiring for your next trip to Fiji’s Coral Coast.
And then, just after we were starting our descend into Sydney after a pretty unspectacular four-hour flight, we were given the very best present you could get in the history of aviation: a first-row scenic flight above the city we love so much: Sydney. Bathed in golden colours of the setting sun we circled in our Jetstar plane from Botany Bay up the coast all the way to Dee Why, then made a turn into a western direction, past our own house (!), over the green hills of the Kuringai Chase and then Lane Cove National Parks. Past the tall towers of Chatswood CBD, looking oddly misplaced in a sea of tiny family homes that are dotting the green hills with their blue swimming pools.
And then, the highlight: the beautiful Sydney Harbour, the city’s most valuable asset, like a dark blue snake crawling all the way to the Pacific. In the far distance, the two harbour heads, even a Manly ferry. Tiny boats like freckles in the bays to the left and the right of the harbour. The Harbour Bridge, the Opera House.
Sydney’s ever growing CBD, the landmark skyscrapers, each one of them screaming for attention within such a small area of the over city landscape. Barangaroo, the Sydney Tower, Darling Harbour.
Down and down we go, the focus shifts to the houses underneath us. Rows or terraces, some dating back a hundred years. Cramped, with small trees in the backyards, traffic chaos. Suddenly a more industrial landscape, shipping containers, and then we touch down on the tarmac, the light of the setting orange sun glaring in our eyes.
Is there a better way of returning home? A more generous welcome?
Sometimes you do wonder why we are venturing out in the first place. But then, Sydney is just a part of the puzzle, and the world is so much more than just that. We continue to long for the adventures abroad, rain or shine. And the next one is already booked.
What is your highlight when returning home? Let me know in the comments below, I’ll be reading them all!