Ever since learning about Turtle Island last year, I’ve been scheming a way to get there myself. The island, which is one of Fiji’s 330+ islands, seemed to be the things that Disney “happily ever afters” are made of. It also looked insanely romantic and like the perfect setting to re-connect with my husband.
Well, sometimes life happens and alters our plans, right? First, a cyclone hit many of Fiji’s islands, causing significant damage to various communities and making it nearly impossible to visit in late February. So, we re-booked our dates for March, instead. Then…another hitch.
Long story short, one of us made it to Turtle Island and the other didn’t. While I was bummed that my hubby had to stay back and work, my best friend jumped at the chance to go in his place. She literally booked her flights within 48 hours, putting my own spontaneity to shame. The rest, shall we say is history.
Here’s how I turned a romantic vacation into an epic girls getaway!
1) Arrive in Style
Getting to Turtle Island is all part of the adventure. After arriving in Nadi, Fiji’s capital city, it’s off on a seaplane. I’ve never been on one before and despite my slight fear of heights, I was hooked by the thrill of it all. The ride is about 30 minutes or so and the view, even on a cloudy day, is spectacular. That’s not even the best part, though; once you land on the island, there are staff members to whisk you away to the island. These lovely gentlemen (pictured below) carried me from the sea to the sand. Then, it was lots of singing and dancing from the crew and crazy smiles coming from our stunned faces. Even though I’d never stepped foot on this island before, it felt like home.
2) Keep the Cocktails Coming
As soon as our toes hit the sand, our hands went straight for the welcome drinks. Then, it was the bottle of champagne awaiting us in our bure (bungalow). Turtle Island is an all-inclusive property but it’s unlike any all-inclusive I’ve ever stayed at. For one, there are only 14 couples (or in our case, your bestie!) at any given time. That means a whole lot of personalized services and special treatment. Despite the slew of cocktails, wine and rum-spiked coconuts we consumed during our six-day stay, we made sure to stay hydrated with our Fiji water…am I the only one who thinks drinking Fiji water in Fiji is the coolest thing ever?
3) Hit the beach. Strike a Pose!
There are fourteen private beaches on Turtle Island, which means plenty of “alone time” with your SO. The staff does a good job of breaking these up among all the bures so that everyone gets an immersive experience. The iconic “Blue Lagoon” was filmed here, so naturally, there are some beaches more popular than others. Romantic walks on the beach didn’t apply to us but we made the most of our time away from the rest of the group. After chowing down on gourmet food (they have their own gardens) and topping off our bottle of wine, it was time to hit the beach…wanna-be model style. Who needs props when you’ve got this tree?
4) Test your Limits.
Whether you’re on a luxury hideaway like Turtle Island or at the watering hole in your own backyard, breaking out of your comfort zone is key. Our days in Fiji went by remarkably fast. In between meals, whether with the group or on our own, we soaked up the sun anyway we could. There are lots of activities offered on the island—horseback riding, snorkeling, stand-up paddle boarding, scuba diving and more. On my quest to test my limits, I discovered “Wing Fin.” I don’t actually think that’s the official name but it’s basically a mix of snorkeling and water skiing with your hands. To me, it felt like flying underwater. See? I told you I was a mermaid!
1) Smile because it happened.
For the first day or two of our trip, I kept thinking of how “special” it would have been with my husband. I’d look at the other couples and feel a pang of hurt instead of enjoying the moment. Luckily, this brief bout of FOMO didn’t last long. Before I knew it I was smiling ear to ear without a care in the world. In fact, in some ways not having my romantic partner with me might have helped. If you’re feeling in a funk, try to silver lining. Think of it as a blessing in disguise because, in some ways, it is. I made a conscious effort to get to know the staff and the other guests where I could have easily retreated. Besides, who better to lift your spirits than your best friend?
What’s the best ‘bestie’ trip you’ve ever taken? Tell me in the comments below!
This post is in collaboration with Turtle Island who hosted my stay and sponsored my flight. All opinions are my own.