Fiji is the perfect example of how we live our life and how we travel. We came here on a whim based on a technicality. We had a 5 hour layover in Fiji on our way to New Zealand. And it was free to extend that layover. So we extended it from 5 hrs to 18 days and decided to give Fiji a whirl. We booked a cool resort for part of our time here as a place to celebrate my 40th birthday. And we discovered that some of the best diving in the world is found here. “Why not finally get our dive certifications in Fiji, then go diving for my birthday?” we thought. And so we found a backpacker’s hostel (that also offered PADI courses) on the small island of Mana, and came here to learn how to dive.
Yesterday, we started off our dive class with lots of reading and some written quizzes. It went great! Then we got into the water for our skills tests. And that’s when Kyle discovered that he HATES breathing with a regulator. He couldn’t breathe normally, it felt like someone was sitting on his chest, and it freaked him out. So we called it off.
I could have chosen to continue on with my training. But honestly, the person I love to do things with is Kyle. So there didn’t seem to be much point in me continuing my dive certification either. One of the agreements we have on this trip is that neither of us will do anything inherently risky without the other one. And diving fits into that category. This is the place where someone is thinking, “How unhealthy! Why shouldn’t she continue on? Why do they have to do EVERYTHING together?” But the truth is, it doesn’t really matter what anyone else thinks. This is our marriage and we’re really happy with it. If you’re going to travel around the world with someone, shouldn’t that someone be the one person you do always want to be with?
We were a little bit bummed yesterday afternoon wondering what we should do now. Do we stay here or move on to someplace new? Should we try again? It was one of those moments where what happened didn’t exactly live up to what we expected. And so we did what we always do in situations like these. We roll with the punches and strike a new path through the unknown.
And then the universe gave us what we needed. Yesterday afternoon was full of new friends and good chats at the hostel over beers. We had a great dinner with more new friends, and ended up singing songs, drinking beer, and dancing through the restaurant & bar and under the limbo pole all evening with everyone at our hostel. It was one of those nights that makes travel so worthwhile for us and it arrived at just the right moment.
Today we woke up to less rain, sunnier skies, and loads of smiling faces. Not to mention we woke up in Fiji! We said farewell to some new friends, made plans to maybe meet up with others down the road somewhere, and planned out a few adventures around here for the next couple of days. Seqa na leqa! That’s Fijian for, “No worries!”
Travel is a lot like life. You’re always trying new things out to see if they fit or are worth making room for. You’re always growing and moving and having new experiences that change you.
And, just like life, in travel you can’t always get what you want. But quite often you find that you get what you need. Last night was a great example of why we travel and it arrived just when we needed a little reminder.
I think you made the right choice. I have water and breathing issues (too many Jaws movies as a kid?) and I won’t go in the ocean without Chris. So we stick to snorkeling. It’s no fun when you can’t enjoy it with your favorite person.
I agree too! What fun is being trapped underwater if you can’t breathe?