There is something to be said for inserting thoughtfulness into all actions.
My first moment on the beach in Fiji I opened a book that was left at my house months prior, which I had never opened until then. I decided to start somewhere in the middle. Leaving it up to fate. In reading a chapter titled “Life without principle” in a 1947 book by Thoreau, a few sentences not only sumed up my exact professional perspective, but also solidified I was exactly where I needed to be. For that moment. I share this with you.
“Let us consider the way in which we spend our lives. It would be glorious to see mankind at leisure for once. There is a coarse and boisterous money-making fellow in the outskirts of our town, who is going to build a bank-wall. The result will be that he will perhaps get some more money to hoard, and leave for his heirs to spend foolishly. If I do this, most will commend me as an industrious and hard working man, but I choose to devote myself to certain labors which yield more real profit, though little money, they may be inclined to look on me as an idler. I prefer to finish my education in a different school. If the laborer gets no more than the wage which his employer pays him, he is cheated, he cheats himself. It would be economy for a town to pay its laborers so well that they would not feel that they were working for low ends, as for a livelihood merely, but for scientific or even moral ends. Do not hire a man who does your work for money, but him who does it for the love of it.” – Thoreau
Fiji is so much more than expensive resorts and picture perfect sunsets. What I find to be the most attractive part of Fiji is the people. It’s a third world country lacking many basic comforts most of the world is used to. They live simple lives that revolve around the tide.
In the morning when the tide is in, most people are going for a surf, paddle board, or doing some fishing. When the tide is out it’s time to eat a snack, have some tea, and take a nap. When your resources are limited to only a few options your life naturally becomes more sustainable. The Fijian people have a never-ending supply of fresh fish at their fingertips, so this is what you eat. There is one main road that stretches the span of the main island, so this is how you travel. Most people hitchhike or ride the bus, locals and travelers alike. It’s very efficient to ride together in Fiji. Why not, it saves money and the environment.
When traveling in Fiji the most common and affordable accommodations I suggest are bag packers hostels, they are beautiful. The beach is lined with them. While the most obvious benefit of a hostel is price, some as low as $19 / USD a night, what is most appealing to me is the connection between strangers from different countries with a beach backdrop. Pack only your essential clothing items. This is a tropical place, so your clothes will not dry in a timely manner, and lets face it, you will spend a majority of your time on the beach or in the water.