Adventure Found Us – A Travelers Diligence is Key

It’s not all the time we go looking for adventure.  Sometimes it finds us.

Let’s take our drive from the Coral Coast, Fiji to the international airport in Nadi for instance. One adventure I could have lived without and am happy to report – lived through.

First allow me to explain why we were in Fiji. You see, we are Seasonal Nomads. Living and working in Canada during the temperate months we escape the cold, harsh winter and travel to live in an exotic locale somewhere else in the world.

Just like Kevin, we don’t like to visit the same place twice unless we feel a calling. After all, who doesn’t love a good adventure?

Looking back – our last night in Fiji was a tremendous delight.  We dined at Cocomo’s, a hidden beachside gem of a restaurant, with two of our favourite new found friends. It had started to rain and was getting a bit slippery when our Fiji-familiar-friends declared – we may wish to “keep on eye” on the weather. Fiji was expected to get quite a heavy dump of rain that night and into the next day.

adventure in fiji

Of course, the competent fellow he is, Jack already had his eye on this trough and kept digital vigil, continuing to watch the radar later on and early the next morning.

Not due to fly out until 10 pm that next night we hadn’t yet fully packed up our belongings.  After a leisurely morning cup of coffee, looking out over the Pacific Ocean from our beautiful holiday home, we discussed said weather system.

Jack decided we should leave early and complete the two-hour drive well ahead of time. We could lunch at the Yacht Club marina on Denarau Island, much closer to the airport.

It didn’t take long to throw the suitcases in the back of our rental SUV. Friends came by to bid us farewell and we hugged staff repeatedly before driving off into the rain. We took this travel time to chat about our exceptional “winter” in tropical bliss.

Just before reaching the town centre of Nadi we were slowed by the first area of flooding.

adventure in fiji

Whereas other, lower to the ground, vehicles had stopped where the river had already spilled over, we had no trouble going over the first bridge, through about a foot of water.  Knowing this was the first area prone to flooding we would have to pass through, we didn’t get overly excited.

As we approached the next flood zone, the queue in front of us was lengthy. My forward thinking driver decided not to wait and pushed past, driving up beside the sedentary vehicles. We stopped beside one pickup truck in front and chatted with the driver. They weren’t going through.

adventure in fiji
adventure in fiji

The water height at the midway point ahead was already waist deep. Measured against the tall Fijian’s who were wading through, this was a considerable depth. Everyone was turning back. Many were already stuck and others had abandoned their cars. The water was flowing and the current looked fairly strong.

adventure in fiji

A large delivery truck full of men approached and told us they were going for it!

A quick decision had us literally following in their wake.  While I have all the confidence in the world in my husband, Jack’s abilities, this is where the white knuckling began.

adventure in fiji

We plodded along through the flooded roadway as I whispered under my breath to keep moving forward – Jack was clearly focused on his task. Not wearing our seatbelts and with windows wide open -we were prepared to abandon ship if need be.

A few local men were wading beside us and to our dismay one of them decided to open the passenger door behind Jack. This let in a flow of water and we were soon up to our ankles in the brown soupy stuff. Luckily he managed to close it again. Trudging forward the whole lower half of our SUV became submerged up past the hood, a good four feet of water at this point.  Not a problem, these trucks are built for this, ok, maybe not this much water in particular, but close to it.

We almost made it when the current became so strong we started floating. I pictured us being swept out to sea. Panic ensued, at least my own. Jack started yelling to the men, “come on guys give us a push, please give us a push”.

Push they did. As the men were shoving us along, a moment of conviction supervened, I clapped my hands together loudly and shouted repeatedly, I love Fiji – Vinaka vaka Levu, as if possessed. These glorious Fijians saved us that day.

adventure in fiji

The truck held up and through some miracle kept running. When we made it out the other side and up the main street of Nadi we both opened our doors and the water gushed out as we drove on. Street side, people were shouting cheerfully, in amazement that we made it. I’ve never been more terrified in my life.

We arrived at Denearu shaking on the inside and out and began bailing out most of the water from the truck. We were due to fly out in nine hours and I couldn’t be happier to wait!

We couldn’t stop there however, we were told the roadway from Denerau to Nadi would flood within the next hour. Only able to stop and attempt to let most of the water out plus change out of our wet clothing we had to carry on.

The SUV was tired, it’s electronics wet – and still it carried us forward. Stalling, sputtering but not failing us.

Upon our arrival at the airport, we were told we could not yet check in as we were still eight hours early. We dried off the best we could and crossed the street to an airport hotel/restaurant – where we consumed a very large, very stiff drink. Only once our nerves were slightly settled did we consider what had just transpired.

Our plane was very light that night because no one after us could get through. Had we left even five minutes later we wouldn’t have either.

The moral of the story. Travelling is an adventure. Even when you aren’t looking. So, always be diligent, always aware. There is no room for complacency. We love Fiji and I have no doubt, one day we will be back in that tropical paradise where the happiest, perhaps friendliest people on the planet live.

adventure in fiji

About the Author:

Carrie and her husband Jack are Seasonal Nomads, luxuriously wintering somewhere new and exciting for five to six months at a time. They share their knowledge, insight and money saving tips in Another Cocktail Please – the Essential Guide to Long Term Vacationing. Their goal is to help others achieve an exotic lifestyle of leisure, travel and adventure.

These experienced vacationers are happiest exploring new destinations and cultures. They love to snorkel, exercise and stay healthy while travelling so they can enjoy life to the fullest. Check out their completed, and ever growing, bucket list of travel, exploration and adventure on