Monday, November 2, 2009

How did you end up in FIJI???

This is THE most asked question by friends and resort guests!

How did I get to Fiji???? In the late 80's, sitting one evening with a good friend & my now ex on our patio in Walnut Creek CA (with 3 bottles of wine!!), she & I started talking about getting out of the corporate rat race before the "gold watch at 65". What if we built a small resort / retreat for artists & writers? My husband was a "house-husband". It worked for us/me because I traveled a lot & he could pick up & go too if we wanted. She suggested New Zealand -- both of her kids were married to Kiwis. I looked into it but at that time, NZ didn't allow ANY immigrants over the age of 40 - they expected everyone to end up on the dole.
My husband & I were intrigued with the idea. Being on the West Coast at the time, we spent a lot of time in Baja and on the West Coast of Mexico & started looking around there. Then came a move to Cincinnati which put the Caribbean close. In our 8 years in Cincy, we made AT LEAST a dozen trips to that area, from the Bahamas to Bonaire. Either flying to a specific island to check out properties or on a small cruise ship that went into the off-the-beaten-track places. We came THAT CLOSE to buying a small privately owned island in the Bahamas except, on the 3rd trip, the mosquitoes were so bad that I had to have a doctor brought to the resort! We only looked at islands owned by "civilized" countries - UK, France, Holland. Most everywhere the locals were okay around tourists but VERY "chip on the shoulder" to owners & other expats. Descended from slaves, they had a "you owe us a living" mentality. AND, on a lot of the islands, there were ARMED guards in the stores!! Hmmmmm.....
In early 1996, I spotted an ad in a Villa Rentals newsletter for 25 acres for sale in Fiji. It was freehold (only 8% of the land here can be BOUGHT) and had an old house on it (used as a weekly rental). We were already committed to a trip to Bonaire at the time so I asked for photos (this is WAY before email!!) and more info. It was for sale because her husband had died (they had planned to develop it into a small resort) and she remarried -- and the new family had 4 kids under the age of six! We flew to Fiji in May 1996, after checking it out with friends in international banking. Once a British colony, the Fijians had never been "slaves". Hurricanes (called cyclones in this part of the world) do happen but, unlike the Caribbean, very infrequently (I've been through only one).

To be continued......:)


  1. luv the blog honey , can wait to hear the rest of the journey..

  2. great first post Collin :) We are so close with me in NZ, but I haven't been to Fiji since 2000, would love to go back.

  3. Great post. Thanks for letting us know a bit about how and why... I look forward to your blog entries. ~♥~

  4. Love that part of the World! ~ Steve

  5. Dear Collin,
    your story is so great ... I love it and I know there are much much more things that I can't wait to read ...:)

  6. Fascinating post, Collin! I'm on the edge of my seat waiting to hear what happens next~!!! Excellent first time blog~!!!!
    Anita @ModelSupplies

  7. What a fascinating story... thanks for posting it. Tell us about your daily life. I'm intrigued.

  8. Love it Collin! A great posting! Cant wait to find out the next installment! Hugs love and laughter my sister!! Congratulations!!!
    Debra @MomsofAmerica

  9. I love the romance of building a resort on a tropical faraway isle for artists (me) and writers (me) - would that it weren't so far away and I didn't have the starving artist syndrome! Loved the beginning of your story.

  10. Beautiful Collin! Can't wait to read more from you!! xxox

  11. Your story is wonderful, we can't wait to be a part of it. See You Sat.

  12. Collin, you are an amazing woman!
    good luck + health for the future!


  13. I love your blog!! Nicely done and will keep up with it! : ) xoxo

  14. Hi Collin,

    Great first part to your story! I, myself, have often asked that question quietly - "how did you end up in Fiji?"

    But now that you have answered it, and thru such an enchanting narrative, my next question is - when do I get to read the conclusion to this? LOL.

    Kudos to you for a dream well-envisioned & executed.


  15. Awww so jealous! ;-) Can't wait to learn more and live vicariously through you! So glad to tweet you!

  16. OK missy I followed the link so hopefully my profile is set up right! Thanks for the help! Can't wait to meet you IRL and stay at your resort. Need to dive and kayak!! ;-)

  17. As always an excellent posting.The
    way you write is awesome.Thanks. Adding more information will be more useful.


  18. Thanks, Collin, for giving me this site. We have Fiji on our wish list and this info makes it even more interesting. We had renters from Queensland for six years and hope to get down there for a visit in the next few years. Could be a good place for a reunion?

  19. Hi, Richard ~ you're welcome! Fiji should be on everyone's "wish list" ~ it's an amazing place and so much of it is still completely unspoiled. I hope it stays that way!!

  20. I visited Fiji in 2005 during my college years. Glad to have found a blog I can follow to remind me of the wonderful time I spent there.

  21. Doug Wright said
    ....then what happened? I am always interested in people who have followed their dreams.
    PS. Is the farm next door for sale?

  22. I need to get on to chapter 6 and soon!! Nothing next door is for sale at the moment, although for the right price, EVERYTHING is for sale!

  23. Hi Collin,

    Just read your first post. Having been able to follow your progress from the beginning with old fashioned typed text, when you started your piece of heaven, it's great that you can tell all the story. All The best!

    We're taking a Cruise to Alaska to Celebrate 30 Years Together in May.

    Stay tuned friends, it's an amazing story.

    Charlie & Vita
    HMB CA