The Big Splurge

Throughout our travels, our family has stayed in a lot of different places. Cottages in small towns, condos in high rise buildings, little units overlooking vineyards, large apartments hovering over bustling streets, and cramped hotel rooms where one kid is relegated to the floor (sorry Ali). We’ve gotten used to pretty much every kind of cost-effective housing situation imaginable, but “luxurious” has never been an adjective we would use to describe our accommodations.

That is, until Volivoli. The resort hooked us up with a great off-season rate so we could experience this amazing place on the north side of Viti Levu island with our Fiji friends, the Summerlins.
Volivoli resort on Viti Levu

The weather was perfect, the beach was beautiful, the guys went scuba diving, while Diana and I relaxed with the kids. It really couldn’t have gotten much better. Our little cottage was called a bure, the Fijian word for the wood-and-straw structures once common to these islands. However, this high-end, luxury room complete with air conditioning and an amazing view bore little resemblance to the traditional huts local tribes once built here. Simply looking out the door to our ocean vista was a phenomenal experience.
Our room with a view at Volivoli resort
Ali searching for ocean life at Volivoli resort
Ike and Ali exploring at the Volivoli beach
Reuben and Brian out for a dive

Our first night at the resort, we watched a traditional dance performance. The Fijian meke combines dance, song and story-telling. The routines display women’s grace and femininity while the men demonstrate strong, warrior-like movements. At the end we all ended up on our feet dancing our way around the restaurant.

One night the adults went out for a sunset cruise around the small islands off the coast. Our guide Geraldine served us drinks and appetizers as she shared facts about the area and pointed out some of the nearby mansions, like the island you can rent for $10,000 per night.
Bula bula
Our sunset cruise with Geraldine
Cruising the island near Volivoli
Dive boat anchored off Volivoli
Diana and Reuben

Volivoli resort provides free access to a lot of activities. The older kids worked on their snorkeling and kayaking skills, and Ali further honed her new swimming strokes. One thing I will always remember about Fiji is the fact that our youngest kid, who refused to go underwater for the first six years of her life, has suddenly turned into a little fish while we’ve been here. Look ma, no floaties!
Look ma no floaties
Pool at Volivoli
Ike and Leah at the beach in Volivoli
Kayaking at Volivoli

This weekend was definitely a splurge for us, but so worth it! We had a great time with the Summerlins in a true Fijian paradise. To top it off, we got some great insight for our upcoming trip to New Zealand. Both the friendly resort owners and the Kiwi guests we met during our stay gave us some great advice for when we land in New Zealand later this month. Until then, there’s still more fun to be had here in the land once known as the Cannibal Isles.
Our families at Volivoli
Dressing the part for our time in paradise

About the Author

Tracey Carisch

Mom, wife, friend and change agent traveling the world with my family to learn our place in it. After spending a career in organizational change management and community initiative implementation, I put my career on hold for our family's trip around the world. In April of 2014 we sold almost everything we own, put the rest in a storage container, and departed on this journey. While my husband continued his software development work to financially support our trip, I planned and documented our adventure, homeschooled our three daughters, and found volunteer work opportunities for us to do in the communities we visit. Now that we've returned to the U.S., I'm completing book about our family's adventure and our lessons learned.

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