When we arrived, we were immediately greeted by a smiling band of locals playing ukuleles and presenting us with flowers and bottles of water. It was hot and steamy as we stepped off the plane, not unlike our home town, but Vanuatu was different. I was excited and jumped into our minibus with an air of expectation, when the air around me was so relaxed it was almost impossible to breathe. Arriving at our beautiful Breakas Beach Resort, I found myself relaxing and enjoying the polite but care-free attitude of the locals. As I stepped into the reception area my breath was taken away from me. I looked out onto the wide line of private beach that sat behind a large pool inhabiting floating tourists.
My husband and I unpacked in our comfortable thatched-roof villa and went straight down to the beach. We found ourselves walking in the habitat of tropical sealife. Bright blue starfish bigger than our hands were scattered on the reef, black and white curious sea snakes avoided us, sea cucumbers dotted the floor and colourful fish swam around our ankles. We supported the locals by buying their produce and tasting the beautiful coconut milk. We bought shells, carvings and so many different types of bananas.
Dinner was best found at local restaurants with the best seafood we’ve ever tasted. Our day trips throughout the country showed us the simple state in which some locals lived. We visited their villages and watched them weave and fish. I had my long hair braided into the thinnest of braids, attached so tightly to my head. On our last night, we experienced a loud, deep storm that thundered overhead and dumped rain on our roof. We were protected and comfortable inside, though, listening to the pitter-patter of rain and watching the flashes of lightening over the bay. Our return found us relaxed and renewed, ready to return to our lives in the rat race.