There is a not a single word in the English dictionary that I can use to describe Fiji and exactly what it meant to me. People ask ” So, how was your trip?” and I’m just left with nothing but a smile on my face, a sense of fulfillment , and the enlightenment of knowing my life has been touched and I have touched some lives.
On 28th of May 2015, I left for a place I knew little about Fiji, with the purpose to do volunteer work with the beautiful children on the Yasawa Islands, my heart felt so happy and excited for the adventure . Before I left for Fiji I read this quote with very little understanding of what it meant.
Meeting people & having them ask ” why Fiji ” “why volunteer work” I had answered that question many times on the trip and each time my answer developed into something deeper. Now I can confidently answer this question with no self doubt or worry about what people think or say and with the help of a book “Light is the new black” by Rebecca Campbell I soon discovered that I was on this journey to Fiji because it was a calling from the universe. Personally, I needed some breathing time & reflecting on my first solo travel experience I am so f***ing thankful that the universe sent me this & I jumped so willingly into something that really wasn’t in “my plan”.
I had lost myself completely, yeah I would say I had hit an all time low. Everything I had worked so hard for the year before hadn’t gone to plan, not that I expected it will because the arts industry is so damn competitive, but having to walk away from something that I could literally smell/taste/physically feel myself in for the year of 2015 with no feedback, nothing, was really hard for me to comprehend.
I was in a relationship, which possibly wasn’t the best idea when I had little to no self confidence, was full of anxiety & just in self destruct mode. I was a crazy person, unsure of where I was meant to fit in in this big wide world, I was unsure of myself and unsure of my purpose. The relationship ended, which at the time I thought was a complete disaster, looking back now it was a blessing, and yet another message from the universe. We were both so young & needed the space to find ourselves which now I am so so thankful for & have nothing but love and light for the person who I shared 6 roller coaster months with.
I was meant to be going to London to study at the renowned Guildhall School of Music for a 3 week Musical Theatre intensive. Everybody who is close to me knows the Carly some years ago would be jumping at this opportunity, but I couldn’t bring myself to fill in the application forms, my heart wasn’t happy & it simply didn’t feel right. I had to listen to my heart, which is something I rarely did. Was I going to London for A) myself or B) because going to London is what everyone expected me to do, so it looked good on my resume for auditions the following year. Surprise, surprise the answer was B.
I knew this was my calling to do something for myself, something more & my calling lead my heart to volunteer work in Fiji. Was I nervous to get on a plane and travel solo, of course I was but my soul was telling me everything would be okay and honestly everything in Fiji was more than okay.
My life has been graced by some of the most beautiful, magical, gentle, unique human beings. Each and everyone of their stories has touched me in so many ways and left me feeling more inspired than ever. Especially Tema ( the coordinator of Vinaka Fiji ) and all the children I worked with during my time as a volunteer. Being able to work along side Tema was such a privilege, her work ethic and passion to helping the children was amazing and infectious.
Each and everyone of the children I worked with has touched my life in so many ways. Their love and positivity for life despite having very little is ever so inspiring. I would like to thank them all for welcoming me into their community with open arms, the memories of me walking up into school, hearing my name & having you all greet me with hugs and smiles is something I will cherish close to my heart for the rest of my life. Even though I was there to help you learn and grow as students, I feel like I have learned so much from my time with you & I am walking away much more enriched and enlightened. You all have taught me so much more about embracing life, enjoying the simple things & caring about those who love you most. The children are all so intelligent and unique in their own ways & I believe have the power to achieve great things. They are living life the right way, free from greed and the over indulgence of always wanting more. I am so thankful the universe sent me the message to go Fiji and volunteer because I have learned valuable lessons from these children.
Now I fully understand the quote I read before I left. My travel experience has ignited something inside me. It has changed so much for me, home is still home & nothing has changed. However, I have come home the Carly I always knew I could be, the Carly that was hiding inside me & just needed some prodding to come out.
Fiji, I love you & Thank you Universe for sending me this calling