There’s a hackneyed old saying often used by destination marketers and travel blogs to describe the merits of travelling. It tells us simply that, “travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer.”
While this isn’t to say untrue, the adage is missing this crucial point – travel also makes you happier. There’s even scientific proof of this; a recent study on geolocated tweets found that people expressed happiness more the further they went on their travels.
So to those in search of such happiness, here’s an idea: climb aboard Fiji Airways and journey to a place where the world’s happiest reside. We’re talking about a trip to Fiji, a South Pacific island paradise southwest of Honolulu and north of New Zealand.
The happiest place on Earth
Fiji is every traveler’s dream-come-true; blessed with 333 tropical islands, 702 miles of pristine coastline, scores of idyllic beachfront properties and waters that sparkle like liquid turquoise under the midday sun, just looking at pictures alone is a holiday for the mind.
Considering these blessings of nature, it’s no wonder Fijians are so happy. In WIN/Gallup’s End of Year 2016 survey, Fijians consistently expressed optimism about their lives and their outlook for 2017, scoring a +89 percent net happiness rating and making it the happiest country in the world. It wasn’t the first time too; Fijians were just as happy in the 2014 poll and second happiest in 2015.
A closer look at why draws up this simple answer: Fijians see unity in diversity and spend their days celebrating it.
So racially diverse are its people that native inhabitants (of Melanesian and Polynesian mix) make up just 57 percent of Fiji’s 900,000-strong population. Other prominent ethnicities include the Indians (37 percent) and Rotumans (1.2 percent), while those of European, part-European, other Pacific Island and Chinese descent form the remaining 4.5 percent.
This unique blend of cultures is reflected across Fiji’s islands in countless ways such as its food, its colourful festivals, customary rites and rituals, and the many offerings it has for visitors who come from far and wide.
Fijians love a good party
Every occasion gets a dedicated ceremony in Fiji, from the annual Hibiscus Festival in the capital city of Suva to the famous Sugar Festival in Lautoka, the second-largest city, and the colourful parades and dances of the Bula festival in Nadi, the Fijian hub for international travelers.
The flavours of Fiji
Speaking of food – foodies would delight in the knowledge that Fiji isn’t just a tropical paradise… it’s also famous for delectable eats. Fiji’s Indian, European and Chinese influences combine with Melanesian staples like the taro, coconut and cassava to create a lip-smacking amalgam of modern and traditional cuisines.
Popular dishes include the breakfast topoi (Fijian dumpling), a wide variety of Indian curries and stews, and quintessential Fijian delights like the kokoda, a kind of ceviche made of raw mahi-mahi; or the lovo, a delicacy usually served during communal gatherings like weddings that involves meat, fish and vegetables cooked in the earth for hours.
And thanks to its resource-rich lands, Fiji’s unique offerings are commonly farm-to-table, from its wide variety of ocean-fresh seafood to fruits and vegetables farmed sometimes in kitchen gardens or backyards.
Fiji has something for everyone
But festivals and food aren’t the only contributors to Fiji’s perpetual state of happy. Ingrained deeply in the Fijian psyche is a spirit of sharing – the likely reason why in the 12 months until March this year, the island paradise opened its doors to nearly 800,000 visitors – 70 percent of whom were holidaymakers.
To cater to these vacationers, Fiji has an abundance of resorts, spas and outdoor adventure packages to suit any demand. Whether traveling as honeymooners or a couple on a romantic getaway; a family in search of child-friendly fun; a heritage enthusiast looking to soak up some culture; an avid adventurer raring for a challenge; an independent traveler on the hunt for unspoiled beauty; or a work-worn wanderer looking for a place of escape, Fiji has something for everyone.
Fiji Airways, your sanctuary in the skies
And thanks to the strong spirit of community that shapes this unique nation’s service ethos, your journey to happiness begins the moment you board Fiji Airways.
An airline that stands as a symbol of national pride, Fiji Airways promises this to every passenger: it matters naught who you are, where you’re from, whether you’re in Business or Economy class – Fijian hospitality is for all.
“You instantly feel like you’ve known us for a lifetime,” Fiji’s proud flag carrier promises on its website. “You can expect the same care and warmth you naturally receive in the home of a loved one… because onboard Fiji Airways, you’re not just a seat number – you’re part of our extended Fijian family.”
With over six decades of aviation expertise under its belt, Fiji Airways’ fleet of wide-body Airbus A330 and Boeing 737 aircraft connects the archipelago to the rest of the world with a route network that spans 21 destinations across 12 countries.
The full-serviced airline currently operates direct flights from Singapore to Nadi twice weekly on Wednesdays and Saturdays; and from Hong Kong to Nadi four times weekly on Mondays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays.
It recently signed a codeshare partnership with Jet Airways, India’s premier international airline, to address a growing demand for travel between India and Fiji. As a result, airline guests now enjoy seamless connectivity between both nations via Singapore and Hong Kong. For more information on the agreement, click here.