‘So what’s your first impression of Fiji?’
‘Everyone is so smiley. Why are people so happy?’
‘Because we live in paradise. What more could a person want in life?’
Sat in the back of a taxi driving from Nadi International Airport, my first exchange with a local in Fiji is one of my most memorable.
Staring out of the window I didn’t fully comprehend what the taxi driver had just said to me. Sure I had heard about how beautiful Fiji was but in my ignorance I thought, but Fiji is a poor country, they don’t have much, how can they be so happy?
Little did I know at the time that this trip to Fiji, a small, developing island country in the South Pacific Ocean, would be the beginning of a profound realisation for me about what it really means to have nothing but at the same time have everything you could ever need.
More than just an idyllic honey-moon destination
Once thought of as just the perfect honey-moon destination with its 5-star rated hotels and resorts, in recent years Fiji has become increasingly popular with backpackers, in particular those travelling in Australia and New Zealand. And with more budget accommodation springing up catering for the backpacking cohort, Fiji is quickly establishing itself as a great place for today’s young, budget backpacker.
Getting In and Around Nadi
Nadi International Airport is the main gateway for International travelers to Fiji. For most, Nadi is a brief pit-stop before heading straight out to experience Fijis magical islands, however there is benefit in hanging around for a couple of days. Local buses are cheap, plentiful (although they are not too reliable) and easy to use. Don't hesitate to ask a local if you get stuck, they will be more than happy to help out. Alternatively you can make use of Fijis 'share taxi' system and get more closely acquainted with the locals.