Before we embarked on our journey, my Mum had bought a journal for me to record my adventures. Over the course of the month I spent in Fiji, though, email correspondence would prove to outweigh my journal writing. I found myself writing more details and my experiences in email correspondence to my family than I did in my journal, and that rivaled in length, which tended to be simple writings of the day’s events and weren’t as nuanced as what I wrote in my emails. I write in a journal at home, at times, but it seems there was more personal motivation for correspondence than – as I put it – writing to myself. I still have lots of pages to fill in that journal.
Next to that, I recorded with photos; uploading and editing them at home. (Hover your cursor over the photos in the post for descriptions.)
It took me a while to figure out how to organize this post and, even before that, where to begin and where to start this post. When I started writing, it was in a mostly jumbled, non-linear fashion; vignettes. Interspersed throughout this post are excerpts of emails I wrote back to my family, as I felt suited to the post, as they replaced the majority of my journal writing.
Since I have a month’s worth of material to draw from and rather than have a very long post that you have to scroll through, I’ve also split it into pages. When you reach the bottom of the post, click the next page number below all the social media buttons or “continue”.
I still miss Fiji terribly. As the time to go back home neared, I made jokes about staying longer – a month wasn’t enough – up until the day we were going. (I think sometimes making gags – including making fun or light of situations – is a personal coping mechanism.) My jokes came to a head when I dropped my boarding pass while going through customs. It had slipped out of my passport. Thankfully, it was quickly found and I clutched it until we boarded the plane.
It was when I stepped outside into a cold, wet Vancouver that just how much I missed Fiji hit me and I cried. (I hadn’t slept much on the plane, so a factor of being overtired was also probably part of it. Ah, beautiful jet lag – or just a lack of sleep.)
When I’m feeling peckish or thinking about what food to make, my mind wanders to the food I ate in Fiji and it’s a downer to remember that sometimes a particular food isn’t here. Some I can probably try to recreate at home; others, like some fruits – some I’d never seen before or tried – I can only think of wistfully until I go back.
Coming back from Fiji, my eyes have been re-opened to the wonders of the world; the simple pleasures of life that, so often, are taken for granted. Some days, I felt myself seeing things – some familiar, some new – with a sense of rekindled childlike wonder; a feeling of appreciation and joy. It doesn’t matter if I’ve seen something countless times, it does not get old and never will.
In my emails that I wrote back to the family, I expressed my wonder and enthusiasm:
Sometimes it’s almost surreal, for example seeing banana trees and pineapples growing when one is only used to seeing them in a grocery store. (If I didn’t know better, I think I’d woken up in a fantasy world or a Hayao Miyazaki movie.)
For what seems so commonplace, it is also the fantastic.