30 Day Travel Challenge: Lovable Culture

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Day #2 of the 30 Day Travel Challenge and it’s a destination where I love the culture. I’ve been lucky enough to experience a pretty wide variety of cultures in my travels, and while I spent the most time in Korea, I think the most welcoming and lovable culture I’ve encountered was that of Fiji.

From the moment we stepped off the plane we were greeted by security staff and locals alike with a hearty ‘Bula’. It makes sense that a country whose main expert is tourism would be friendly, but it goes beyond that.

One of the local children poses for me on Kuata

The most telling examples of this? Interacting with people outside of the tourism industry. While killing time in a Port Denarau shopping center waiting for our bus, I was stopped coming out of the bathroom by an older Fijian man.

“Where are you from?” he asked, and I replied that I was Australian. He grinned and continued.

“Where are you going?”

“Robinson Crusoe Island,” I informed him.

With that he smiled, wished me a good vacation, and wandered off on his merry way. He didn’t try to sell me anything or offer me a cab ride? He seemed just curious as to what I was up to.

The second example took place on Kuata. After a busy day of entertaining a large group of Uni students on some kind of tour, a few of the younger male staff opted to join us for drinks on the beach. While their intentions might have included the chastity of a few of the prettier students on the island, they were always cool and courteous with all of us. I got to play chaperon and wasn’t once made to feel like I was cramping the guys’ style, and they were cool enough to invite me to come stay in their village as I was leaving the next day.

Joe and Patricia enjoying some R&R on the beach on my last night on Kuata
Heather and Kate saying goodbye to their favorite local.
A local boy waves goodbye as we leave the island.

It’s just such a welcoming and friendly culture. I didn’t see a scowl. Didn’t have a local yell at me or seem put out by my presence. I can’t wait to go back.

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