Can't travel because you are a caregiver? KIRC is bringing an exotic underwater world to you!
Welcome to Paradise in Fiji: In His Own Words
Hello KIRC family!
As family caregivers, we talk a lot about ‘self-care.’ That of course looks and feels different for each of us. For me, self-care always translated into travel. Once I took on the role of full-time caregiver to my mother, excursions were no longer an option. I know many of you are in that same position.
Two things to consider:
As we discussed previously, once it is over it is over, so when you have moments of frustration, I encourage you to channel that towards a feeling of gratitude of time spent with your loved one.
Thanks to technology, we don’t always have to leave our homes to visit far away and exotic lands!
For this week’s ‘In Your Own Words’ you will have the unique opportunity to travel to the other side of the world AND have an incredible underwater adventure!
Our globetrotting escape from reality is delivered courtesy Peter E.
He is a lifelong avid traveler and scuba diver. He is not currently in the role of family caregiver, but I think his recent trip reminds us to savor each moment of our personal journeys. Statistics don’t lie and that means there is an overwhelming chance most ALL of us are, or will soon be caregivers in some capacity.
None of us know when circumstances could change or when we may no longer be able to enjoy the activities we once did. So take a moment to chill, relax, let the world melt away - and enjoy…
*Article edited for brevity*
Grand Adventure to Taveuni Island, Fiji
This trip to Fiji had been delayed 3+ years due to the pandemic. But we finally made it ! I don't think it was until we landed that it occurred to me that this year is also the 20-year anniversary of my first visit to Taveuni Island (how could it have been so long ago - I'm not THAT old !!!).
This place is about as close to ‘paradise’ as you could hope for. My experience of the Fijian people is of the friendliest, most welcoming I've ever encountered.
Not having been diving in almost 4 years, we [Peter and significant other] were both a bit anxious about heading into the deep again. But there's something about taking that first plunge into 86-degree water, with 50+ feet of visibility that eases the return.
Taveuni is known for the Somosomo strait. The strong currents in this strait provide the nutrients for the soft corals of the Rainbow Reef.
This area is known for the soft corals, and one dive site in particular, the Great White Wall, is one of the must-see locations.
Another really unique site was called Cabbage Patch for the "cabbage coral".
The Paradise resort is located such that access to the Rainbow reef as well as two other reefs, including Vuna; just a short boat ride away.
I can still remember my first dives in Taveuni 20 years ago, seeing these huge schools of fish cruising up and down the reefs. Not only were there so many fish, but also so many I had not seen before (not found in the Caribbean).
I managed to do 14 dives sampling sites on all three reefs!
So what do you do when you're in Fiji and are not diving ?
Reading and relaxing!
We also opted to do some land excursions. One trip took us to:
An old catholic church.
The 180 degree longitude ("international dateline") marker.
Somosomo village, where we did some souvenir shopping.
Tavoro park to see Bouma falls (and the upper 2 falls as well). The hike through the dense jungle was hot and a bit treacherous. But swimming in the pools felt great.
A natural water slide. Only a few of us opted to try it, and it was a blast.
The other trip was to visit the nearby Vuna village. Seppo, our guide, used to work at Paradise. He provided a lot of interesting information about the village organization and community as we strolled through.
One of my surreal memories from this trip will be when Seppo brought his guitar, and our group, along with some locals all sang "Take Me Home, Country Roads" in this remote village in Fiji!
Ahhhh, what a wonderful experience and reminder to enjoy our moments along this life journey!
Thank you Peter for sharing a slice of your vacation in ‘Paradise’ with all of us - especially all the caregivers who spend their days and energy, focused on the care of another.
I hope you enjoyed this excursion as much as I did. Just watching the undersea video helped me ‘exhale’ and feel more relaxed.
Life is short, live it…
*Have a nugget of wisdom you would like to share with others that you have learned from your caregiving journey? KIRC would love to hear from you!
Until next time~