Geoffrey and I recently went on a very quick trip to Vanuatu. I wanted this to be a brief introduction into the trip and what we experienced within ourselves. It was a place that neither of us had had on the list. Yet there it was, a speck among other specks when we were searching for somewhere we could escape to in the shortest flight time. In The Gift of Everydayness, I have already reflected as to why we feel our time is limited. Therefore, we didn’t have a lot of time that we would have wanted to spend travelling to the destination.
On arrival, it was very clear that this was no grand international airport. Despite Port Vila being the main airport to Vanuatu. It was simply fantastic. I am not meaning this to be a travel blog, more of an experience post, but it is difficult to not want to share how much we loved travelling to this country. The fact that we were one of two ‘big’ aeroplanes on the tarmac gave us the first hint. Then when we entered into the ‘terminal’, we were met with almost complete silence. Only the ceiling fans above produced a low whirring sound.
With very little knowledge as to what to expect, we grabbed our bags and exited the airport (after going through the shortest and most easy-going ‘customs’ I have seen). We took a bus, aka a mini-van, to our destination all the while taking in our surroundings. From what I saw, and I know Geoffrey felt the same, we saw a very simple lifestyle. We saw a community caught up in the rush of lots of people/tourists moving in and out of their country, and all the locals attempting to join the race. We decided almost from the start that if there is any rat-race we would like to join, it would be the one you find in Vanuatu.
What affected me the most is that it appeared that it didn’t matter what we owned, or what clothes we wore. It didn’t matter the state of the bus, or where we were from. Just as long as we knew where we were going and we responded to all the friendly ‘hellos’ and ‘goodnights’ each day. And that is the highlight of the entire trip: people from Vanuatu are some of the friendliest we have ever met. Polite, respectful, and always with a smile if you are able to return the favour.
I am overwhelmed with all I wanted to say about Vanuatu, and what we learnt there, so I want to end this post right here. To be continued hopefully soon!