Along the Hibiscus Highway with all new photos!…

Digicel SIM card sales office and The Canteen, a quick and easy shop, used primarily by tourists and locals needing to purchase a few items when the stores are closed.
With cloudy weather continuing day after day, much to the surprise of the locals, we hesitate to explore with the prospect of rain. Many of the roads on this fairly remote island are rough and uneven, making rainy day travel illogical.

Each day we wait to call Ratnesh to determine if the clouds will cover what appears to be an otherwise sunny morning. By the time we finish posting the clouds have rolled in for yet another cloud-covered day.

Boats at the marina in the village.

As much as we love getting out, we don’t mind the cloudy days, keeping ourselves busy at home as many retirees do some days each week. We don’t all get out every day. 

When living in a metropolitan area, one can wake up rain, shine or snow and decide to make a trip to Costco, Sam’s Club, Starbucks or have lunch with a friend or significant other, none of which are available to us in most areas of the world we visit.

An old structure that may or may not be utilized.

If we were still living in Minnesota as retirees, an experience we’ve never had, when we left on the day Tom’s retirement began on October 31, 2012, we’d be busy with family and grandkid’s activities, visiting with friends, going to Target, Costco and Home Depot. 

In addition, we’d be spending considerable time with maintenance and upkeep of our home both inside and out; snow removal in the winter, gardening in the summer, making endless repairs throughout the year. 

Greenery along the Hibiscus Highway as we head to other villages.

We’d have been busy like most retirees who are fortunate enough to have good health and a modicum of financial stability to be able to enjoy a variety of activities. 

Instead, here we are, living in the second-largest island of Fiji, Vanua Levu, a quiet, unhurried life with no Home Depot, no Costco, or familiar chain restaurants with a gluten-free low carb menu. Our new “friends” are the lovely Fijian people we’ve met and with whom we interact almost daily. 

Cows are often found grazing close to the highway.

Over these past three years we’ve learned to find joy and contentment in our simple, unobstructed surroundings, the beauty in a newly discovered plant, bird, or tree, or in idle chatter in communicating with our family and friends through the magic of the Internet. 

Life isn’t always about the next “big” thing, the next adventure, the next unique sighting, or the next life-changing experience. For us, it’s the simple aspects of life that bring us the most overall joy and fulfillment; love, companionship, good health, a roof over our heads, availability of fresh food, and the blessed opportunity to share our story with all of you.

Thank you for traveling along with us, in good times and not-so-good times, as we continue on this journey.  You all mean “the world” to us!

Photo from one year ago today, October 12, 2014:

It was one year ago that we found ourselves worried about the flow of the lava from erupting Mount Kilauea heading in the direction of the houses we’d rented for the upcoming family visit in December. In the end, it all worked out but not without a bit of worry along the way.  The lava continues to flow at this time. For more details and maps, please click here.

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