You earn the miles and points, pay for a trip and plan it in advance. Sometimes the trips come and go and create nice memories, but none that are truly life changing. Then, there is that trip or that experience that changes you. It changes the way you look at the world, the way you see yourself or simply the way you taste things.
Back in 2007 as part of our 18 month around the world trip, my family and I spent 10 days in Fiji. After some research, we decided to visit a small island called Waya in the Yasawa chain about four hours by boat from the mainland. For about $100 per night we stay in an “all-inclusive” resort (actually two resorts on the same island) with meals included.
Of course this type of all-inclusive wasn’t what you would consider luxury. Our first resort consisted of six huts on a remote beach next to a small village complete with an outhouse and showers out in nature. The beds had mosquito nets and the only electricity was provided by a small generator for a single lightbulb three hours a night. It was remote, it was different and it was absolutely amazing.
As part of our stay, we received three meals a day. Meals were almost always accompanied by a single slice of pineapple. But this wasn’t any normal pineapple. It was the sweetest, juiciest, most amazing pineapple I have ever tasted. I couldn’t get enough. If Jasmine or Shawn Reece didn’t eat their pineapple I swooped in. The taste was truly divine and I haven’t stopped talking about it since.
While the Fiji trip taught me a few things about myself including that I can be completely at peace with no internet and no electricity in such a beautiful and remote place, it also taught me how amazing pineapple CAN be. Thus, the Fiji Pineapple Index was born. Since then every bite of pineapple has been compared to those Waya pineapples. Unfortunately, none has stacked up.
We never know how travel will change us. For me, that week on Waya changed the way I see and taste pineapple. While you may think I am saying it ruined pineapple for me, it didn’t. In fact, it gave me an appreciation for it. It deepened my connection to it in some strange way. I love pineapple now more than ever as I pursue a perfect 10 on the Fiji Pineapple Index.
I miss the days when travel was completely new to me because I feel like I had these sorts of life changing experiences more often than I do today, however they will always occur. The world is amazing and vast and the discoveries waiting to be made are numerous. People sometimes get tired of hearing me talk about travel, but I can’t. Everyone should do it. Why? Because it makes me sad to think of what my life would be like without the Fiji Pineapple Index.
I actually covered our Fiji adventures on this blog way back in 2007. You can find those posts here. What sort of life strange life changing experiences have you had while traveling? Let us know in the comments!