BULA! This is the traditional greeting in Fiji. Now let me back up the last 56 hours…
Our first flight out of Twin Falls didn’t leave until later in the evening, knowing that we are traveling with a toddler we wanted to minimize as much of the unnecessary time cooped up as possible. I know my daughter is a champion traveler but why push our luck if we don’t have too?
Most of our flights we didn’t have any issues, we were able to make all our connections nice and easy and since the flights were relatively short we didn’t have any issues with the little one staying entertained and happy. But when we hit LAX *cue dramatic music* all that nice and ease changed.
As soon as we could barge our way off of the plane in LAX we had 2 hours to: collect our luggage from baggage claim, transfer it to the international terminal, drop it off, get through security, meet up with family and oh yeah it is almost 10pm at this point. FINALLY what seemed like the most stressful two hours I’ve faced in a long time, we were safe and sound on the plane and in our seats!
What I love about traveling on international airlines is how well they take care of you! Without us even asking they gave us an extra seat between my husband and myself for my daughter so we had room. They gave us extra blankets, free food and drink, kept checking to make sure that I didn’t need anything for myself of Harmony. I am that thankful, I am blessed that my baby girl can sleep so well on international flights – of the 10.5 hour flight she slept for over 7 hours of it!
Once we landed it smelled like a deja vu, a memory or a dream. The smell of the humidity mixed with the smell of the sea. I instantly though about when I used to stand the 0200-0700 watch in the Navy and I was able to watch the sunrise over the horizon, lighting a new day. My heart as always been connected to the sea and landing in Nadi it almost felt like coming home.
The Fijian people are so welcoming, when we landed the first thing the pilot said was “Welcome to our home”. Instead of what they normally say when landing on any flight “Welcome to Austin/Thailand/Fairbanks” they ensured that we knew we were in their home and we were welcomed into their home.
Walking down the street, you hear “Bula” at every corner and turn. Everyone is smiling, greeting you, wanting to get to know you and see how far you’ve traveled to come to their home. Every time we’ve left the hotel the first thing we hear when we return is “welcome home”. We have barely scratched the surface in getting to know the culture and seeing the beautiful scenery – I can’t wait to share more of our adventures in Fiji!
Traveling Photographer Out!