Fiji in December: Just Go!

I often hear people (including travel agents) say “don’t go to Fiji in December – it’s cyclone season!” But if you’re considering Fiji for this year’s Christmas/School Holiday break, just go for it.
Yes, it does rain sometimes. As it does pretty much everywhere else in the world. Fiji is in the tropics should be expected to be higher than here in Mediterranean climes. The bottom line is, it’s always warm and if it rains, it’s usually in the afternoon. I’m yet to experience a day of torrential downpours; they certainly happen, but they’re rarer than people think.
I got married on 7th December in Fiji, on a day where there was some scattered rain and I had to be driven through the garden to the chapel on a golf cart, but it was beautiful. They say it’s good luck to have raindrops on your wedding dress – so yay for me!
The thing is, in my job I see so many people hesitate to take a holiday, whether it’s the trip of a lifetime or a short getaway, because of weather concerns. In the end, if they don’t go they miss out on all the amazing experiences they would have had by travelling to a new place. We can never control the weather and these days it’s getting harder and harder to predict, so rather than stressing about something we can’t control, just go! It’ll be worth it.
And if you’re heading somewhere tropical like the beautiful fijian islands, remember this: if it’s raining, you can still go for a swim. You’re going to get wet either way!
These photos were taken by Kama Catch Me, our incredible wedding photographers. I thought I’d add them here to show you how beautiful an overcast day is in Fiji. 

 

the countdown is on

So we have just over four months to go until we jet off to Fiji to get married… it’s an exciting yet daunting thought!
It’s stressful putting the whole thing together… Ceremony, reception, decorations, dress, travel arrangements etc, but what has really blown us away is the reaction we’ve had from our friends and family.
We kind of thought no one would really come other than our parents because it’s a bit of a hassle, especially in early December, but the support we’ve had for our decision to marry overseas has been overwhelming. So many of our friends and family are coming over to share this with us and I think this is what makes it so special for us. As well as a wedding, it’s going to be a reunion too!
Most of Fiancé’s family are in New Zealand so he doesn’t get to see them much, and so many of our friends are now living interstate or overseas (everyone’s growing up and getting careers!). Some of our parents’ close friends are coming too, which is not only very exciting for us but also a testament to the effect close friendships have on our lives and a reminder of how important these friendships are.
The Sofitel Resort and Spa in Denarau is the perfect venue and the ceremony and reception are nearly all organised. We have the amazing photographers at Kama Catch Me and the beautiful Liza Emanuele has nearly finished my dress… I feel like a princess. Sarah at Simplethings Press has designed some stunning invitations for us and we can’t wait to send them out in the next few weeks.
I’ve lost 10kg so far – “wedding photos are forever”! If possible I would like to head over with a new bikini for every day and wear them with pride… but of course I need to make sure I’m not burnt to a crisp on the day. Fiancé is looking pretty fine too but hey, he always does (don’t tell him, but that’s why I’m marrying him).

Other than that all I can say is… This really is going to be the best week of our lives.

                                  

Kava Ceremonny and Port Denarau. Images from Sofitel Fiji.

wedding bells

A while ago, I wrote that I was planning on taking Boyfriend to Fiji sometime. Well, there have been some developments since then!

Firstly, I am very happy to announce that Boyfriend is Boyfriend no longer… He is Fiancé! As much as I should stay calm about it, I have to admit I’m at a pinch-myself-is-this-real level of excited right now, particularly for the next bit…

We’re getting married in Fiji! We wanted something relatively low-key that gave us an opportunity to be “us” and Fiji is perfect. Our little white chapel on the beach also gives us the perfect compromise between the church wedding I want and the beach wedding Fiancé wants.

Planning it is sometimes hard, confusing, frustrating and all the rest… All I want is to stand in front of the people who matter most to me and tell everyone how much I love him, and for them to be there with us as we promise our lives to each other. I don’t care about the details!

I know it will be magic, and the countdown is on. I can’t wait!

here it is – where we will be getting married!

how flygirl got her groove back

Fiji is a popular destination for my clients. Whether it be a honeymoon, quick getaway, quality time with the kids or cruise stop, it usually gets rave reviews. It is also a popular destination for backpackers.

Occasionally, however, if I happen to suggest it to a client I may get a reaction such as “BORING!”, “but there’s nothing to do there” or “but it has no real culture” etc… I have also, on many occasions, caught my colleagues referring to Fiji as a ‘flop and drop’ kind of destination (see my feelings on this term here) and reinforcing these myths that really couldn’t be further from the truth.

Every country has culture and Fiji is no exception – it just isn’t what we busy westerners think of when we consider what may define one. I believe that this magnificent country and it’s beautiful people deserve to be known for more than just pretty stretches of sand.

My love of Fiji goes back to my 21st birthday. I had had a rough year: two close family members passed away in an accident, I broke up with my boyfriend of four years, and some strong friendships ended. It was pretty tough. For my birthday, my parents gave me a whole bunch of money (oversized novelty cheque to boot!) to go away. I was thinking Egypt but my parents laid down some conditions: it had to be a “real holiday”. Read: sun, beaches and boys. Fiji it was.

I ended up at Beachcomber Island (above), and then Octopus Resort on Waya Island. Sure, I partied – a lot – but then I settled into the island life routine. The true magic of this place lies in the resounding “bula!” you get everytime you walk past someone – like everyone is truly happy to see you, like it’s a big deal you’re there – and the way everyone makes you feel like you’re just meant to be there. They don’t ‘dumb down’ their way of life for you, instead they show you how to embrace it and in turn, they embrace you.

I have since been lucky enough to go back to Fiji for work, and I plan to take Boyfriend sometime soon. I will also one day take my children as it’s a place little ones can learn a lot from – they can explore, relax, and learn about the world in a vibrant, friendly and safe setting.
flygirl’s top experiences:
  • The Nadi Faces and Places tour. It includes the Hindu Temple, a local vllage and a delicious lunch.
  • Island hopping: if you’re staying on the mainland (Viti Levu), head out to South Sea or Beachcomber Island for a day.
  • A Sunday church service – Fiji Style: even if you’re not religious, it really is awe-inspiring.
  • A river and waterfall tour: there are several variations but it’s a great way to see the interior of the country rather than just the beaches.
flygirl’s top places to stay:
  • Denarau: Sofitel, Radisson (this one’s for the kids)
  • Mamanucas: Beachcomber, South Sea, Mana, Liku Liku
  • Yasawas: Manta Ray, Octopus, Viwa
  • Coral Coast: Mango Bay (a ‘flashpackers’!), Outrigger, Shangri-La, Warwick or Intercontinental

In the words of a song played on the ferry to Beachcomber: “Where the girls are easy and the boys are hard to get – that’s the Fiji Island way!” (Disclaimer: I saw none of that.)
                              
Local church, Viti Levu
Local village, Viti Levu

Fun on Beachcomber Island