I asked… and I received… just not in the way I expected.
My beautiful partner Pete and I have just come back from an amazing week in Fiji. It was everything we could have wished for, perfect weather, super friendly people, fabulous resort and we met loads of terrific people.
We commented to another couple in the spa the night before we left that ‘a week was not quite long enough, 10 days would be just right’...
Be careful what you wish for!
To paint the picture we arrived late afternoon so the drive from Nadi airport to DenarauIsland was going into the sunset. I just love tropical sunsets. We booked into the resort and our unit looked to the west, the sun was setting over the water. Gorgeous, warm, tropical, romantic were the words that came to mind.
We spent time lounging around the pool, having a coffee at the beachside cafe, having a crack at water aerobics, into the hot spa, going for walks and simply relaxing. It was meant to be a relaxing time.
The Fijians are so friendly and helpful. The resort staff always had time to stop and have a chat, I admit nothing happens in a hurry, we weren’t in a hurry so it was perfect. It is all labour intensive there are staff everywhere, my guess almost as many as guests – OK I exaggerated a teensy bit there.
I loved how while we were out and about the locals would come up and offer help with directions and we spent lots of time on the local ‘yellow buses. They simply help each other and tourists also. Smiles some easily to them and the children with huge brown eyes looked at us timidly. Now I think about it I did not hear a Fijian child cry or throw a tanti the week we were there.
The markets were a visual delight and they take great pride in the display of their fruit and vegetables. Paw-paw is one of my favourite fruits and they were displayed stacked on plates. There was one largish one beside a plate and on enquiring found it was $2. The sounded good to me, it got better – the plate + the big one was $2. What a bargain!
A boat cruise sounded pretty good so off to SouthSeaIsland we went, it was a magnificent day, beautiful weather, clear blue water and a great BBQ lunch. There always has to a ‘but’ – when it was time to leave a dinghy with platform seats was transferring us from shore out to the larger catamaran. Safety is not a big concern, and it had 3 steps that sat loosely, very loosely in the sand. I had one foot on the step and was mid air with the other foot when a wave came and knocked the boat sideways, I lost my balance cracked my shin on the step and was thrown against the step support and the step edge. Ouch!
Yep it hurt, hurt like hell… I did not even say ‘goodness gracious me’. I was speechless, it knocked the breath out of me. I have come home sporting the most magnificent huge bruise from the back of my knee to high thigh with a huge lump in the middle. That kept me quiet on the way home, Pete knew I was hurt, I was quiet. Ouch is all I can say even now as I think about it.
It is 35 years since I was in Fiji and longer for Pete so we decided to go down to the CoralCoast to MauiBay. It was another day in paradise. As we walked down to the pier there was a lady and her young son having a picnic under the trees. She asked us where we were from and we stopped to chat, she invited us to join her for lunch. Another example of their beautiful generosity.
What a great opportuity to create some mini videos I thought…so away we went on a series on confidence on holidays.
Let’s go back now to the night before we were to leave and us saying that 10 days would be lovely a week was just not quite enough. Next morning we were up at 4am to get out to the airport for our flight. What a shock to find we were not in the system, we had no booking, despite the e-ticket I was carrying. It had been cancelled, long story.
Be careful what you wish for…
Fact 1 we did not have a ticket. Fact 2 the flight was full. Fact 3 a ticket later that day was $3,000 each. Fact 4 a flight the next day was $500 each. We agreed to that, however we had no internet access so the supervisor booked it for us on her I-pad, emailed the e-ticket to herself and said she would print it for us. She had our passports in her hand. She was also busy and was constantly being interrupted.
She duly handed us back our passports and the e-ticket, we looked at the date, time and checked it really was an e-ticket. Into my handbag it went all ready for the next day. That organised we now needed accommodation, Pete called the resort and we got a room. Whew! It was time to celebrate, the upside is we get another night and almost 2 days what a bonus!
Be careful what you wish for…
Next day I suggested that we go to the airport early, very early just to be sure and organised. Pete is a tad casual and was not super excited at my suggestion but agreed to go. His comment as we walked into the terminal was ‘what are we going to do for hours here?’ We were about to find out.
Up to the counter we went, handed over passports and e-ticket. There was a bit if fiddling going on and she dropped the bombshell. Someone else’s name was on the ticket in place of Pete’s. Mine was OK – whoop that didn’t help! It turned out that another passenger was being transferred from a flight that was full and she was dealing with his details as well as ours and wrote the wrong name on the ticket. Simple you might say – just change the name.
WRONG! My goodness you would have thought we were moving the Bank of England. After much finger pointing and phone calls…and time slipping away. I was getting teensy bit anxious. OK a lot anxious.
Then we started talking $$$$$, starting with $180 cancellation fee for the incorrect booking, a new booking at $675, minus the $500, Pete was up for another $355. Eventually we had a ticket, get through customs and immigration with 10mins to spare before boarding.
We made it and arrived home safely. Whew!. There are a few lessons learned here, funnily (yes I can laugh now), I had done some little videos for social media and my website based around confidence and holidays. One of them was about keeping your sense of humour as challenges can and do arise when you travel. Talk about eat your own words.
Yet nothing takes away from our time away together, I am so happy and grateful that we had that wonderful time…and yes even the extra days.
Next time we go away I will be careful what I wish for… to tell the Universe exactly how I want it!
What challenging travel experiences have you experienced? I would love you tell us your stories.
If you enjoyed and relate to this post please share and comment.