Out of Office: Jetting off soon to Fiji!

May 22, 2024

In five days time we are jetting off to Fiji for a week. We’re staying at an island resort and our holiday package includes a variety of great activities. I have a lot to do before then so I probably won’t feel excited until I’m actually sitting on the plane.

As mentioned in a post a couple of weeks ago, the reason for this little holiday is because on 31 May 2024 I will turn 60. I decided that I didn’t want a party and I didn’t want a big family gathering. I wanted to get away from it all for a bit (not too long because I can’t be away long from Mum these days) and I wanted to go somewhere I’ve never been before – somewhere from my bucket list. Nature is always my go to and usually at this time of year I’d head somewhere cooler as I love the cooler weather but on this occasion we are going somewhere warmer! Hopefully not too much warmer! From what I’ve read this is the best time of year to visit Fiji so I’m very pleased about that.

I mentioned in my May – the month of birthdays post that one of the activities we will be doing is visiting a village and that I had planned to buy some small gifts for the children. My research had revealed that the best idea was to get items that would help out at school. I did go out and buy some things but not exactly what I had thought I’d buy. I had to adjust according to costs and weight etc. I have no idea how many children I will cross paths with but I’ve catered for about 50. I bought blue ballpoint pens, lead pencils, novelty erasers and stickers (see photo below). I found that the most economical way to buy to cater for 50 was to shop at one of those discount stores and to buy things packaged in bulk amounts. The items I ended up buying were the most economic options I could find as well as not being too bulky or heavy to pack. Before we leave, I will separate these out of their packets and make up 50 little individual gift bags to make it easier to hand out to the children. With the sticker books I will separate pages and put one page per gift pack, so each child will get 1 lead pencil, 1 blue pen, 1 novelty eraser and a page of stickers. If I have any left over I’ll probably seek out a teacher and give them to him/her.

Pencils and pens


A reminder again that next week on WEDNESDAY 29 MAY and the following week on WEDNESDAY 5 JUNE #WWWhimsy will be hosted by:

There will be no posts published here at Write of the Middle on those dates above. For the first date, I will be swanning around Fiji, immersing myself in the culture, enjoying a variety of fun activities, handing out gift packs to the Fijian children, and hopefully at times lying about in a hammock reading a good book, and for the second date I will have only newly returned home and will be up to my ears in laundry and catching up with everything at home plus going to visit Mum.

I will return to hosting #WWWhimsy on Wednesday 12 June when hopefully I’ll have had enough time to prepare a post to fill you in on where exactly we stayed in Fiji as well as where we went and what we did and share a heap of photographs of course! Until then, thank you to Sue and Deb for looking after #WWWhimsy for me and for all of you and thank you to all of you who link up regularly and support #WWWhimsy. I’ll see you again soon!

Ciao for now,

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  • Reply Christie Hawkes May 22, 2024 at 6:17 am

    What a wonderful way to celebrate your 60th birthday, Min! Enjoy yourself and happy birthday! Also, I love that you are thinking of helping others even as you treat yourself.

    • Reply Min May 22, 2024 at 2:23 pm

      Hi Christie and thank you! xo

  • Reply Sue from Women Living Well After 50 May 22, 2024 at 6:26 am

    Hi Min, Happy birthday! – a fabulous way to celebrate your 60th birthday and a trip away is just what you need after all that has been happening in your life lately. We did a cruise to PNG last year and I didn’t realise at the time that you could take items for the children. It is a wonderful and thoughtful idea that you have purchased something to take with you. I know they will appreciate it very much. Thanks for #WWWhimsy and have a wonderful holiday. Looking forward to reading all about it when you return. xx

    • Reply Min May 22, 2024 at 2:26 pm

      Hi Sue, thanks for the birthday wishes. I hope that I will relax and enjoy the holiday. At the moment I have a lot to do and just had a heap of vaccinations so not feeling very good! I had the same experience as your PNG one when we went to Vanuatu (via cruise). I saw women giving out gifts to the children and wished I had known. That is why I investigated and decided to be prepared this time. I’d love to see the lovely smiling faces of the children. Thanks so much for helping out with #WWWhimsy while I’m away! xo

  • Reply Natalie May 22, 2024 at 8:04 am

    Have a wonderful trip and a happy 60th birthday celebration, Min! It’s kind of you to prepare gifts for the local children. I look forward to reading your post-trip report.

    • Reply Min May 22, 2024 at 2:27 pm

      Hi Natalie, thanks for the birthday wishes. I still can’t believe I’ve nearly reached that age! I hope the children like the gifts. They’re practical but I tried to get a little bit of fun in there tool. xo

  • Reply Debbie Harris May 22, 2024 at 8:29 am

    It all sounds lovely Min and you’ll love Fiji, the people are so friendly and appreciative. When we go to Kokoda in PNG we always take things for the children and they love it. Happy 60th birthday and what a special way to celebrate. In other news it looks like we’re unable to go to New Caledonia next month due to the civil unrest – it’s a sad state of affairs for all concerned especially as I was finally ready to go back after 46 years (but it’s not about me).

    We’ll be fine looking after #wwwhimsy while you’re away, we both enjoy the opportunity and are happy you trust us!

    • Reply Min May 22, 2024 at 2:32 pm

      Hi Debbie, yes I’m hoping I’ll love Fiji and I’ve heard the people are very friendly. I’m looking forward to experiencing a bit of Fijian culture. Thanks for the birthday wishes and yes I’m hoping the children will enjoy the gifts. I had been wondering about your trip to Noumea. I was hoping you weren’t going now since I’ve seen on the news about how dangerous it is to travel there now. It sure is a sad state of affairs over there! Just want you to be safe but sad for you that you can’t go right now. I know it was a big deal to feel ready to go back. I’m sure there will be a chance in the near future hopefully! Thank you so much for helping to look after #WWWhimsy while I’m away. It’s so appreciated and of course I trust you both! It’s a load off my mind knowing it’s still humming along wonderfully in my absence! xo

  • Reply Denyse Whelan May 22, 2024 at 9:14 am

    How lovely to know you will be having a wonderful birthday somewhere new and warm. Yes, the gifts to kids will be appreciated and I understand the weight limits too.

    Enjoy the time away celebrating you!


    • Reply Min May 22, 2024 at 2:35 pm

      Hi Denyse, last year for my birthday I was at Hanmer Springs in New Zealand surrounded in snow capped mountains. We went hiking and we spent time at the thermal pools plus dinner at the restaurant where we were staying. This year for my birthday I’ll be in the tropics of Fiji and it will be very different to last year I’m sure! lol xo

  • Reply Lydia C. Lee May 22, 2024 at 1:05 pm

    Have a great time – enjoy the break!! You deserve it. And glad you hadn’t picked NC or Vanuatu!!

    • Reply Min May 22, 2024 at 2:35 pm

      Thanks Lydia! I’m glad we didn’t pick NC or Vanuatu either! That would’ve left us in quite the pickle!

  • Reply Lydia C. Lee May 22, 2024 at 1:05 pm

    And Happy birthday!!

    • Reply Min May 22, 2024 at 2:35 pm

      Thank you! xo

  • Reply Lydia C. Lee May 22, 2024 at 1:12 pm

    What a dummy I am. I forgot to add my post …ahh

    • Reply Min May 22, 2024 at 2:36 pm

      It was worth it cos you’ve given me some LOL’s and I needed that! lol

  • Reply Thistles and Kiwis May 22, 2024 at 3:20 pm

    Have a wonderful holiday and a very happy birthday when it comes!

    • Reply Min May 22, 2024 at 3:54 pm

      Thank you Barbara! xo

  • Reply sherry May 22, 2024 at 4:42 pm

    Have a fabulous time Min! It is so good for the soul to get away for a bit. and happy birthday.

    • Reply Min May 24, 2024 at 9:34 am

      Thank you Sherry! Yes, my soul needs it badly! xo

  • Reply Jennifer Jones May 22, 2024 at 4:58 pm

    I hope you have a fabulous time and a wonderful birthday Min. U did similar. For my 60th I also wasn’t interested in a party so took myself off to the Camino. Have a fun time.

    • Reply Min May 24, 2024 at 9:35 am

      Thanks so much Jennifer! Camino – is that in Spain? xo

  • Reply Sammie @ The Annoyed Thyroid May 22, 2024 at 5:58 pm

    You look like you should be celebrating your 50th birthday not your 60th! Hope you have an amazing time and can’t wait to hear all about it. The kids will love their goodie bags I’m sure 😀

    • Reply Min May 24, 2024 at 9:36 am

      Thanks Sammie – I wish! Nope it’s the big 60 this time – hard to believe. I hope the kids love their goodie bags cos it feels nice to make other people happy or give a little joy. xo

  • Reply Joanne May 23, 2024 at 5:05 am

    I hope you have a fabulous time on your trip. I love your idea of making up school supply gift bags for the local kids; my uncle did something very similar when he headed out to hike/climb Mt Everest and we donated lots of crayons and things to his cause.

    • Reply Min May 24, 2024 at 9:38 am

      Thanks Joanne! It feels good to give and provide a little joy or happiness. I hope to see lots of smiling faces of Fijian children. How beautiful will that be! That was so kind of you to contribute crayons etc to your uncles gift packs for the children of the himalayas! xo

  • Reply Bernie June 5, 2024 at 7:38 am

    Min, Fiji is awesome and I hope you have the most amazing birthday experience there. How wonderful that you are thinking about the local children.

    • Reply Min June 9, 2024 at 7:14 am

      Hi Bernie and thank you! I had a fabulous time in Fiji. I’ll write a post about it soon. The week went by very quickly!

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