Country #32

Beautiful country,
Scenery, people, lifestyle,
Place of my wedding.

I first visited Vanuatu for a few days in 2009, while I was temporarily based in Fiji. I remember that it was pretty rainy, and that I also got a bit sick, but it didn't stop me from thinking that Vanuatu was a really nice place with a chilled atmosphere. I went to the Mele Cascades with a friend, which was lots of fun, and also was blown away by the ni-Vanuatu kava which is a lot stronger than the Fijian kava that I had been having over in Suva.

But then I was incredibly lucky to land a job in Vanuatu in 2015, and I'm writing this entry from Port Vila in 2016. Vanuatu is, simply, a beautiful country. It is physically so, from Port Vila itself to the picture-perfect beaches of Espiritu Santo, to the incredible volcanoes dotted across the islands (though I'm yet to actually witness these in person). Ni-Vanuatu people are just fantastic, and so friendly. Plus, largely thanks to the tourist industry and maybe, just maybe, the French influence, there are plenty of great restaurants and cafes all around Port Vila. In terms of quality of life, I think it is an absolutely wonderful place to live. I have often had to 'pinch myself' when thinking about how lucky I have been to have lived in Vanuatu for a while.

Aside from Efate, I spent a few days with friends on Espiritu Santo and Malekula, both of which are beautiful but in different ways. I've also been to a bunch of the small islands just North of Efate, which are chilled out and a really nice way to spend some time away from Port Vila.

An enduring memory of Vanuatu will also be mine and my wife's wedding day, in August 2015. It was a very simple ceremony, at the Shefa Local Government Office Building with views over to the sea, and with just 3 of my friends in attendance - exactly how we wanted it. It was an absolutely perfect day, and having it in Vanuatu was something I'll always be incredibly happy about.