My very long journey to the other side of the world…

It all started with the Truman show. A great movie starring Jim Carrey in the role of ‘Truman’ whose entire life is part of a big broadcast show and his every move is secretly being captured by hidden cameras. Much to the dislike of the show producers his biggest dream was always to escape to probably one of the furthest and also most remote places in the world: Fiji. Fascinated by this movie ever since I was a little girl I guess I kinda made it my very own dream to visit this exotic Island far away in the Pacific Ocean…

Luckily being a flight attendant makes traveling much easier and cheaper for me than it probably is for many others and so I thought I was smart and took advantage of my awesome standby tickets in order to embark on an unforgettable journey…

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But of course no trip is complete for me without the obligatory marathon 😉 For years I have been waiting for a race to take place in Fiji but somehow it always got cancelled last minute. I literally checked every month if there was any news on the Marathon only to get disappointed once again. And just when I almost gave up my hopes they finally announced the big Island chill Marathon 2015 in Suva-yeah!

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Very excited about the great news I immediately applied for the race and planned my trip to the Island. With a total flying amount of 20h from Dubai and 2 stop overs with some transit time in between it would take me roughly 1,5 days only to get there…not to mention the immense jetlag -.- As a matter of fact I only got 5days of vacation with only 1 day off before and after. Once again I had people telling me I must be crazy to do this but I was eager to fulfill my dream and so I would not let all this stop me from going.

Over 14,000km were ahead of me and so I planned my first stop in Sydney, Australia. Little did I know…

My first barrier was the check in counter in Dubai who made me wait up until the very last minute and then run to the gate just to reach for the final boarding call-welcome to the glamorous world of standby travelling 😉 Finally seated and all sorted we were stuck on ground waiting for the next hour or so to take off due to a Passenger being offloaded from the flight. What a great beginning…’it can only get better’ is what I said to myself…ha! So after what felt like a lifetime due to a sleepless 14h flight entertained by a child non stop screaming and slamming against the back of my seat we finally arrived into Australia…exhausted but relieved to get off the plane..now 2,5h before my next flight…I can do this!

But when I reached the immigration desk in Sydney my nightmare begins..It started with a friendly officer asking me for my non existing visa to enter the country. I confidently smile and explain that I won’t need one since I am only in transit and he sends me to the transfer desk on the other floor. After running back through duty-free and making my way through a maze of shops and counters I finally reach the dedicated desk. In front of me is a man seated informing me that I am lucky to reach him before 7am because he only has time for ‘one problem a day’…Great -.- I tell him about my connecting flight and he stops me asking for my visa. Once again I explain that I am not planning to enter Australia since I am connecting to Fiji and therefore won’t need one. And that’s where the trouble began. He starts his speech by giving me a long lecture about the entry formalities of the country and ends it by threatening me with deportation back to Italy. What?! I am obviously shocked and explain that I was unaware of this as I boarded the plane in Dubai without any visa issues. But Mr. ‘Nonchalant’ seems to be enjoying my helpless state and continues by looking up the next places to send me for my upcoming deportation…Thailand it is..apparently. Does this man realize that I just got off a 14h flight and only have 5days of well deserved vacation ahead of me?! He obviously doesn’t seem to care as he picks up the phone starting to make phone calls to the airline offices informing people about my desperate case. Scared of jeopardizing my own job with this I show him my travel documents and try to explain once again that I only want to transit and have absolutely no intention to enter the country. I even apologize to him explaining that I would have applied for a visa if I knew that I needed one as I surely did not mean to cause any trouble but he seems uninterested. Even the ladies next to him at the counter start to feel for me and try to talk into his ‘powertrip’ explaining that deportation is not the correct way of handling this situation. But he seems to be on a mission and so he starts checking the flight loads for the way back to Dubai. Under no circumstances am I gonna board a plane that takes another 14h only to bring me back to my place of origin. I feel like crying but I have to remain calm and so I ask him once again to please check my connecting flight instead as I already have a confirmed booking for the way back. So after more than an hour of shitting my pants whilst trying to be as friendly as I can I am finally set free again to ‘try my luck’ with the connection flight. Sometimes it’s really just best to suck it up and let karma do the rest. In the end you are much wiser if you just step out by not being the rude and unhelpful person. Remember to always treat someone the way you want to be treated yourself because it will all come back to you one day…

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Needless to say that I got on the flight without any further drama but despite the friendly transfer desk guys promise: without any bag -.- thank you very much, I did not expect anything else to be honest.

And so I reached the Island overly tired and completely exhausted after another 4h of being surrounded by screaming infants right next to me..why are these kids all following me?! You can only imagine my delight upon finding out that my bag went missing. ‘Luckily’ I had another 3h ahead of me in transit before my next flight to the capital city in order to sort out the suitcase dilemma. I honestly don’t know what I would have done without all those friendly and very helpful people welcoming me to Fiji and offering me such great support. Maybe I needed all the drama before in order to appreciate the warm hospitality of the Islanders.

Being on the Island for not even an hour I already encountered so many wonderful people who truly seemed to care and made me feel so welcome that I almost forgot about all the trouble. One of the first things I learned in Fiji was ‘Kua ni leqa’ and it means no worries 🙂 And for the first time in a long while it really felt like I left all my worries far behind…

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My last flight with Fiji Airways was probably the most exciting as it would get me to my final destination in an ATR twin otter plane 🙂 The flight only took like 30min but my seat neighbors (finally no more screaming children!) offered me some great company and so I really enjoyed the trip. Happy about having reached the city I jumped into the next cab to get to the hotel. Much to my surprise I got a little welcome tour offered by the taxi driver who taught me some vital fijian and luckily did not mind me zoning out on the backseat every now and then🙈 Boy, was I tired.

Checking in at the hotel desk I recognized one of my seat neighbors from the flight standing right next to me smiling at me..what a small world. He obviously seemed to be a regular here as he helped me finding my room within the resort and was well known by all the staff. Now imagine finally arriving into the hotel but not having any of your personal belongings with you. I am very grateful for the receptionist equipping me with all sorts of amenities  and also taking care of my luggage. She promised me to take care of it and so she did. Only one hour later she called me back informing me about my luggage being delivered the next morning 🙂 whohooo! I asked her how in the world she managed to arrange it so quickly and she simply said that she felt so bad for my situation and didn’t want me to worry about anything before going to sleep. Kua ni leqa. Gosh what an angel🙏 bless her! And so I finally went to bed in peace already dreaming about my next adventures..stay tuned!

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