BULA!*

*A word heard everywhere in Fiji. Bula is deeply embedded in Fijian culture and means a number of things, from hello, welcome, goodbye, love and more. It is used as a blessing of health and happiness.

So it’s safe to say our week in Fiji was full of ups as well as downs. Having decided to visit during their rainy season, we were prepared for the fact that we might see some rain whilst we were there. However, we were not prepared for this rain to fall relentlessly for most of the day, every day. Nevertheless, in true English spirit we resolved not to let the weather spoil our time in Fiji.

After spending our first night on the mainland we caught the ferry up to the Yasawa Islands, where we were going to spend the week island hopping. Our first island was Blue Lagoon and it was absolutely beautiful. When we arrived on the island we were greeted by all the staff singing a welcome song in their native language. That night we had a wonderful BBQ meal accompanied by live singing and a kava ceremony, which is a common tradition in Fiji. After dinner we were given the option to do coconut bowling on the beach, which was a lot of fun. The staff had their own team and naturally blew us all away.

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Our next island was Korovou, which left much to be admired when compared with Blue Lagoon Resort. Unfortunately the rooms as well as the food were very average and they offered very little activities in comparison to other islands. If you are ever island hopping in Fiji I would suggest avoiding this island if you can.

Next we travelled further south to Mantaray Island, which we had heard very good things about. Again the Fijians on the island were the loveliest people and also welcomed us with a song. The island is most well known for the amazing snorkelling you can do just off the beach. Between May and October you can even swim with mantarays – another reason not to travel during the rainy season!

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Aside from the wonderful snorkelling, they offered a range of activities, including a Fijian cooking lesson, basket weaving and yoga on the beach. One evening while we were there the staff performed a traditional fire dance which was amazing!

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Having had a lovely week, despite the rain, real disaster struck on the Saturday when we were due to return to the mainland. Unfortunately the boat was unable to come due to poor weather and extremely rough seas. We were literally stranded, meaning that we were forced to cancel our flight to New Zealand. Thankfully the boat was able to come the following day and we were able to rearrange our flight to Auckland for the Tuesday, so it could have been worse!

Moral of the story – aim to visit during their dry season!!

Bula!

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My first post

“Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.” Arthur Ashe

While I am sure the professional and groundbreaking tennis player, Arthur Ashe, was not referring to starting and maintaining a blog when he said these words, they nevertheless have become my mantra for writing this blog. In fact, I think it’s pretty good advice for life in general!

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Start Where You Are:

You must be wondering, who is JessicaJets?! My name is Jess Kingsbury and I am 21 years old. This summer I graduated from The University of Exeter with a degree in English Literature and I am now about to undertake a 4-month trip around South East Asia and Australasia (lucky me!).

Having gone straight to university from school, I always knew that I wanted to go travelling after I graduated. I have also always wanted to have my own blog, but could never think of what I wanted it to be about – so I saw this as the perfect opportunity! My main focus will be to share my experiences and any helpful hints and tips, from places to visit, things to do, food to try etc !!

Use What You Have:

While I hope that anyone who may stumble upon my little corner of the Internet finds it both entertaining and informative, my primary purpose is to allow my friends and family to follow me on my travels. Being a first-time traveller (and indeed a first-time blogger), I’m sure there will be a lot to learn so please bear with!

Do What You Can:

So, where am I going?

  • Bali & Gili Trawangan
  • Australia (Sydney to Cairns and everywhere in between!)
  • Fiji
  • New Zealand (North and South Islands)
  • Vietnam

I love a good bucket list! So here are a few of the things on mine:

  • Get my scuba diving qualification
  • Dive in the Great Barrier Reef
  • Swim with dolphins
  • Sky dive in New Zealand (jury’s still out on this one)
  • Go white water rafting
  • Watch the sunrise from the peak of Mt Batur in Bali
  • Try yoga
  • Experience the Sydney New Year’s fireworks
  • Try a new food in each place visited (slightly ambitious, I know)
  • Hug a koala

Finally, please feel free to leave comments and follow my instagram @jesskingsbury1 for photo updates of my travels!

Speak soon!

Jess