31 May 2015

Malolo Island



The first stop on our ‚island hop‘ was Malolo, where we stayed for 3 nights. The island turned out to be much more of a relaxing spot than a backpacker island, so we ended up having a very relaxing stay there. We also realized that we had unconsciously booked into a main surfer place, as Malolo’s reef are famous (not to us of course) as some of the world’s top surfing spots like cloud break, so we got a little lesson about surfing there.

One of the little things we love about Fiji: when you are offered freshly picked coconuts without even asking 

Even though we weren't really expecting the place to be so calm (the other hotels on the island are more luxurious resorts) a few days of just chilling out and resting were well needed after two weeks of constantly being in a group of people and having a program for the day.
A  few early nights were also very refreshing, especially since our next destination, beachcomber, was always referred to as ‚the party island‘ :D

26 May 2015

Hong Kong I pt. 2








Et voilĂ , the second part of my weekend trip to Hong Kong!
Beautiful Hotel, lots of shopping, massage, mani- and pedicures, boat rides and tropical weather...do I have to say more?

24 May 2015

After 3 weeks in Fiji...

Long time no see - or at least that's what it feels like. Time for a little update : After the week on Ovalau I took 'a week off' to see some of the more touristy white sands/backpacker/party side of Fiji. I was so lucky to have a bunch of amazing people in my volunteering group so we decided to discover more of Fiji in a week of 'island hopping' in the Mamanucas, which is a group of small islands in eastern Fiji.
Again, I can say that we had such a good time together with friends and new people we met in some incredibly beautiful places.
Now I am even halfway through my stay in Fiji which is hard to believe. The day I arrived here feels like hours and ages ago at the same time. The first 3 weeks here have been filled with amazing experiences, thanks to the people I met here and what Fiji has to offer.
Yesterday I said goodbye to my friends I met during my first week here, people I have been with 24/7 since the first day and it was very sad seeing them set off to other continents. But since we all share a love for traveling, we're pretty confident that we will see each other again in who knows what part of the world.
After one week in Suva, one week on Ovalau and one week in the Mamanucas, I think I can say that I got quite a good impression of the different sides of Fiji, having had a week in the capital being introduced to Fijian culture, a very peaceful week of life in the village and a week of backpacking, snorkeling and tanning while island hopping.
I was very happy to hear that I could change my program from the one in Suva to the one on Ovalau, which means that I will be spending the next 3 weeks in the village which I'm so excited for!!

20 May 2015

pre birthday weekend in HONG KONG! I pt. 1



                                                                                  We actually went for a swim in the Pacific Ocean! 




                                                                                            I admit, we mostly ate Thai Food ;)

                                                The Sound and Light Show which is every evening - rather dull though


Since I love traveling almost more than anything, I've always gotten journeys as birthday and christmas presents for the past 8 years or so!
My birthday is next week but last weekend was a long one, hence we decided to fly then so I wouldn't miss too much work. My Mum and I were beyond excited to go to Hongkong again after almost 6 years since last time. We love the city so much because you really get the best of all:
- it's Asia but almost everybody's able to speak English
- you can go shopping like there's no tomorrow
- although it's such a huge city with skyscrapers and people everywhere, there's still so much jungle-like nature and of course beaches quite near the centre
- it's so nice and warm (it rained a couple of times but it didn't really matter since it was still warm)
- good food!
- ... I could go on like that for ages ;)

My Mum has been there countless times and since this was also already my fourth time there, we skipped the touristy parts and just did whatever we really wanted to do. One thing, for example, is taking the bus to Stanley - a town close to HK. We actually hopped off the bus before we arrived in Stanley and walked there. Despite the heat and the moisture, it was such a beautiful little hike in an tropical environment, seeing all the nice houses and swimming in the sea :)

There will be a part II since I didn't manage to cram everything into this post! xx

16 May 2015

the best week on Ovalau

So, during introduction week it turned out that there actually is no beach anywhere near Suva and that it has some sort of microclimate which explains the frequent rain. Other volunteers told us that the project called 'turtle conservation' was an amazing experience so I decided to sign up for that project instead of kindergarten for one week and go to Ovalau along with a few other volunteers. 

Here's the mazing sunset view on the ferry to Ovalau (with Tom, one of our coordinators) and waiting for the bus for the 3h ride there in Suva (we waited for the bus for 1.5 hours...fiji time)
 After our day of traveling we arrived in the little volunteer house in the village near Levuka. It is in the middle of nature, close to a small village, to where we always walk through the forest and a little stream to have our meals. The house is only two dorms and a bathroom area behind it.
The project is actually more about being helpful to the local community than the sea turtles but I will make a few more posts about Ovalau.  It was so lovely and inspiring being part of the village for a week, everyone was so friendly and welcoming and we felt like we knew everyone after this week. I'm so glad I went to Ovalau for a week and got to make these amazing experiences with people I now consider friends and I will definitely try to come back there during my time left in Fiji.
These lovely kids just climbed up a palm tree to get us some coconuts and then chopped them open for us to drink. They were all so kind and well behaved and fun to be around.
The two only products used on my skin have this week have been sunscreen and bug spray and it's totally fine. After a few days only in nature I didn't even mind the ants in my suitcase or the bugs in my bed or running through knee-high 'grass' only in flip-flops anymore.
Our life during this week has been so incredibly relaxed and peaceful : We were outside pretty much the whole time, played with the kids of the village, worked (= cleaning the turtles tank, building a path or organic gardening) a few hours a day and spent our free time at the beach and having bonfires or kava evenings.
Right now I am back on the main island from where I will ho to see a few other islands with friends the next week before going back to the program, which I am very excited for but I also have so much more to say about life in the village, it was such an unforgettable experience !

12 May 2015

orientation week

going to the premium cinema to see pitch perfect 2! and having fun on our minivan in the rainforest
Akisi grating the coconut for our Fijian meal

Some more impressions of my first week in Fiji. As I mentioned we have orientation week so we get to know the fijian culture and get information that will be useful during our stay.  We had a lot of fun with the other volunteers during and between our activities which included fijian language class, cooking, weaving, trips to Suva city etc. 
We also had our first little ceremony of drinking Kava, which is the traditional drink in Fiji. It is made from the powder of the yaqona plant and has a taste you need to get used to at first...  But it's really nice to have all sitting around the big wooden bowl it is made in and the numbing effect it has on your mouth :D
For this week (the week after orientation week, I am a bit behind) I have gone to another, smaller island with some other volunteers, it's called Ovalau and is SO beautiful and we can't believe how friendly and welcoming all the people here are! I will write more soon, it's hard to spend time on your laptop here!:D
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