I’m doing a lot of international travel this year. Obviously.
I get a lot of questions about how this is possible so here are the basics: I’m on tour with a theatre show and I have no home. When I’m working, I travel with the show and live in hotel rooms.
This year on this particular show, we’ve had several weeks of layoff where our show isn’t booked anywhere. Because I’m a homeless person, I have to go somewhere when the show is dark and I’m not working. Fortunately, I’m well paid so I can choose where I go.
Now I could/can/do also choose to spend my non-working time visiting friends and family. But I can also choose to go out of the country. It’s all money and time and effort no matter what I choose.
This is not your average lifestyle. Obviously. And because it’s not “normal” it has a lot of downsides and pitfalls and difficulties that regular people never have to think about on a daily basis. Plus a life of constant travel can be exhausting and stressful and time consuming. But the upsides are incredible. I’ve been out of the country three times this year and it’s only July. And because of my job, it is easier for me to travel than your average person because I’m already in the travel groove. I don’t have to transition from “normal” life to “traveling” life.
So that’s the story. I travel a lot because I want to. And because I have to, given the structure of my job and my life. But mostly, I just love it. I want to see the world and I’d rather spend my money going places and having adventures than buying a big screen TV and a hot car.
So, that said, we had a three week layoff recently and I went to Fiji with my friend Dani, who is also a homeless touring theatre person with an insatiable desire to see the world. She’s a super cool chick, we hang out together a lot at work and I knew we’d be good traveling companions.
We chose Fiji by literally googling “best places to visit in 2016.” Fiji was in the top 10. I’m a scuba diver and Dani wanted to get certified. Who doesn’t love an island vacation? It seemed like a perfect choice.
But the first thing we had to do was get there.
Bee-tee-dubs, Fiji is FAR AWAY from the USA. Like super far. We got a flight out of Los Angeles, into Nadi – the capital of Fiji – and it was a 12 hour direct flight. But we weren’t in Los Angeles, we were in Denver; so, we had to get a connecting flight to LA.
Since we were arriving in Nadi at 545am, we opted not to stay in that city and instead to go to one of the smaller more remote islands so we could start diving immediately. Of course a “small remote” island means no airport so our connecting flight took us to a neighboring island and then we were promised a boat transfer by our resort.
Here’s our travel “day” to Fiji in an abbreviated fashion:
Monday 330pm: arrive at Denver airport.
Monday 450pm: Fly to LAX
3 hour layover – eat dinner, make phone calls, enjoy the last of our cellular access.
1030pm: board plane for Fiji
1045pm: take sleeping aids and sleep – uncomfortably – through a 1am “dinner service,” several beverage services and crossing the internal date line at 45,000 feet
Tuesday: never happened.
Wednesday 4am – breakfast
Wednesday 545am – land in Nadi
We then faced a long customs line, which we jumped because we had a connecting flight, got our passports stamped and changed money. Fijian money is so pretty!
brushed our teeth and found the wee domestic terminal with plastic lawn furniture
Got on a 20 seat plane
Flew over verdant green islands
and 37 minutes later we landed on Kadavu in front of a very classy airport situation
We were met by Zachy, a delightful representative from the resort who helped us drag our luggage down a dirt road
He hauled it down a stony embankment before hoisting each suitcase to his shoulder and wading out thru the surf to put it in the boat.
You know you’re traveling with the right person when you travel 23 hours straight to what feels like the end of the world but STILL isn’t the end of your travel day because you still have a boat trip and instead of being mad, you race each other to get your shoes off (Dani wins) and laugh saying “this is absolutely perfect!” And then you roll up your pants and wade out to the boat
We spent 2 hours zipping through the South Pacific Ocean before finally landing on Ono Island.
Total travel time: 25 hours
Travel conveyances: one car, one train, one shuttle bus, one boat, three planes
Days lost: Tuesday
Welcome to Fiji!