Day 10…No sunshine…Acceptance of conditions throughout the world…

The guard at the gate to the Government Building in Suva, the capital of Fiji.

Since arriving in Pacific Harbour it’s been cloudy and rainy for no less than 17 out of 21 days. While in Savusavu, we experienced similar amounts of rain occurring almost every day during the three-month stay. 

As positive as we attempt to be about conditions where we’re living at any given time, it would be ridiculous to say we’re not looking forward to the coo, sunny climate of New Zealand, definitely not in the tropical climate category. 

At this point, it’s hard to believe our four months in Fiji are coming to an end. Overall, we’ve enjoyed Fiji, mainly for its friendly locals, beautiful surroundings, colorful vegetation, sparkling sea, and some of the finest organic produce, grass-fed meats and free-range chicken on the planet, all at affordable prices.

Recently, dining out on several occasions has been enjoyable with many options befitting my diet, which wasn’t the case in either Savusavu or Trinity Beach when most menu items included starches, sauces, and sugar.

Distant view of the Government Building in Suva.

Fiji is truly an affordable place to visit for the long term when staying in a vacation property and perhaps at different times of the year, it rains considerably less, making it all the more ideal vacation/holiday spot during those periods. 

We remind ourselves that literally everywhere in the world has aspects that may not be ideal to the average traveler or even the long-term resident. Years ago, we often discussed how many Minnesotans retired to Arizona and Florida for the great climate.  But, after visiting both states and watching weather reports over the years, we’ve seen and experienced that their winters can be cool with inclement weather.

When we first left Minnesota to travel the world, we spent our final two months in Scottsdale, Arizona, a beautiful desert community, a haven for many retirees, making final preparations to leave the US long term.

It was warm when we first arrived in Scottsdale in early November 2012 but quickly became cool requiring we wear jackets most days. We never had an opportunity to use the pool outside our condo door. It was simply too cool.

The long fence surrounding the Government Building in Suva.

During our Scottsdale trip, we rented a vacation home for a week in Henderson, Nevada for a family gathering over Christmas. There too, it was very cool and we never used the pool in the backyard. 

On many earlier visits to son Richard in Henderson, Nevada, we recall very cool weather in the winter months. Tom and I easily recall waiting outside a casino after a show for the valet to return our car, freezing while we waited 20 minutes.

Where is the ideal year-round warm climate? Does it even exist anywhere in the world?  If it’s warm, it’s usually humid. When it’s humid, there are usually mosquitoes and a wide variety of insects and…lots of rain.

The more we travel the more we accept these realities, especially when we’ve spent such a huge portion of our travels living in a tropical environment. Over the past 12 months, we’ve lived on four islands of Hawaii, Trinity Beach, Australia, and Fiji, all considered tropical climates, all of which included clouds/rain at least 50% of the time.

The top of the President’s house in Suva.

In the past 12 months, we’ve only spent 18 days cruising. Although we spend a lot of time discussing and planning cruises, some years we spend little time actually doing so. 

In other years it’s much more such as in the upcoming 12 months, beginning on January 5, 2016, during which we’ll be sailing on five cruises encompassing 76 days, approximately 21% of the year. 

Most often, conditions on cruises are highly satisfactory with little inconvenience and adaptation required; no insects, air-con comfort throughout the ship, comfortable beds and seating, relatively good food, no shopping or cooking required, no housework, and frequently, good enough weather to spend a little time each day lounging by the pool. 

Sure, we’ve experienced rough seas on several cruises and a few bouts of “cruise cough” a harsh inevitable reality on some sailings. Once it starts it’s difficult to avoid, especially when one of us “catches” it and transmits it to the other. 

The beach in Suva has several seating areas.

Illness is a downside of cruising for which we’ve promised to be even more mindful of in our upcoming cruises.  No handshaking, touching, and too close proximity to others.  Plain and simple. 

There were a few occasions we excused ourselves as graciously as possible to leave a dinner table when upon being seated near or next to a coughing passenger. This is an awkward must-do. Even so, we’ve fallen prey to the cough on three or four occasions. 

We wash our hands no less than 12 times a day but need to increase the frequency and beef up other methods we’ve implemented over these past 11 cruises. More on that later.

Why cruise? Mainly, the opportunity to visit many parts of the world in a short period, the highly pleasing social interactions, and the relatively easy living onboard a ship continue to provide a tremendous draw for both of us.

ANZ National Stadium in Suva mostly used for rugby and football, popular sports in Fiji.

As we begin the countdown to departure and the end of 2015, not so much anxious to leave Fiji as opposed to looking forward to the next leg of our journey, we reflect on this past year as being one of considerable enjoyment, personal growth, and discovery. 

With many plans and new countries on the horizon, we hold onto our seats for yet another enriching “ride” in the awe-inspiring world in 2016.

Happy day to all!

Photo from one year ago today, December 27, 2014:

Family day at the beach park on Christmas Day, posted one year ago today. Although it was raining, Vincent and Miles (not shown in this photo) were more interested in looking for fish in the shallow tide pools than stopping to eat. For more details, please click here.

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