Last week driving down the main highway of the Gold Coast in Australia, we saw a car drive past with a Fiji Rugby sticker on it's side window. It wasn't long before my eldest daughter and I looked at each other and simultaneously shouted "IT'S A SIGN!".
Having lived in Fiji for a number of years, and now splitting our time between both Fiji as expats, and living in Australia, we do have a certain connection with the island nation. Is our connection driving our perception? Are we seeing genuine 'signs' or is it our minds seeking out opportunities to enjoy our love for Fiji more?
As we approached a set of lights just off the highway, we realised we were pulled up next to said Fiji Rugby sticker car. I waved my arms like a crazy person and caught the Driver's eye. I was trying to motion him to put down his window, and he wasn't sure what to do. Poor fella. Eventually, he wound down his window and I said "Oh I saw your Fiji Rugby sticker!".
He smiled tentatively, I could tell his thoughts were something along the lines of "who is this freak, should I drive off, wait - it's a red light, can't drive off, do I have a weapon? smile, she might go away quickly". I then proceeded to tell him about our love for Fiji and how we had lived and worked in Suva and Sigatoka. He was also from Suva, and asked me a very pertinent question "Well, what are you doing living back in Australia?"
Aaaagh, even a stranger knows my truth. We can thank the incredibly bad traffic on the Gold Coast for the time we had to chat at a set of red lights! But I have to ask myself, was it the traffic's fault or devine intervention? Whatever it was, the encounter (or sign) pushed me further in my decision to make my next trip more permanent.
This is what we do as a family - we see anything to do with Fiji and get so excited we have to act - despite what a stranger may think. Whenever I see a Fijian in Australia, I make it my mission to stop and say Bula. Even if it means my Husband has to double back and make a u-turn so I can find them in the crowded street. I don't know if that makes me weird (probably!) but I genuinely love it. Meeting new Fijians, I mean. Not being a creep.
Do you ever see 'signs' that you should be doing something? Or that you're on the right track with something?
Like when a song comes on the radio unexpectedly and it reminds you of something or someone you love, and you realise it's been a long time since you've been there or seen them so you take it as a sign to do something about it?
Some call it serendipity, some call it coincidence, what about the law of attraction? I don't expect everyone to believe in it and I don't mind what label is put on it, but in our house we do and we call them 'signs'. I'm hoping someone reads this blog and relates.
...Please someone tell me we aren't the only ones...
Before our trip to Fiji at Christmas last year, we saw a lot of signs, which of course 'meant' that we were doing the 'right' thing in travelling back.
Last November, on one fine day, a fairly non-descript white van had driven past me a couple of times on the highway, as I recalled seeing the guy's red hat going past. I didn't take note of the van or the guy until we had turned off the highway, and I noticed the same van doing a U-turn in a very weird spot. I looked up to see a bright blue personalised number plate which I couldn't read properly from the distance I was, but the blue colour caught my eye... I have no idea why it didn't catch my eye all the way along the highway? As I got closer the van had had unexpectedly stopped in the middle of the road, forcing me to pull up behind, and what did I see - his number plate "FOR FIJI".
"IT'S A SIGN!" I shouted, laughing to myself.
I had never seen this van before, or since. Three weeks ago when I was thinking about my next trip to Fiji and debating with myself (as I often do!) whether the timing was right. I was driving along my street - the street I live on - the same street I've driven along over and over for a couple of years. Something made me look into the yard of a house of which I've driven past too many times to count and guess what van was parked in full view in the driveway - yep you guessed it , the same "FOR FIJI" van.
I've since seen it parked there almost everyday - yes, I deliberately look for it now! I have no idea who owns it, or what their connection to Fiji is, but it makes me smile each time, and gives me a little boost knowing it is a sign that we're on the right track.
When one of us sees someone with a Bula shirt on, or a tourist t-shirt with Fiji written on it - we all nudge each other rapidly getting excited. "IT'S A SIGN!".
Once we saw a Tappoo shopping bag with a family at our local shops on the Gold Coast - it took all my strength not to run up to them and say hello. Tappoo was the department store that had stocked my clothing label. "IT'S A SIGN!".
Restraint is something I rarely have in 'Fiji' sign situations. Like the time I was taking my daily walk along the beach at Surfers Paradise, and a guy walked past with a BulaBong shirt - fake Billabong, lol. I didn't say anything, because let's face it, that would be weird. But the next day I skipped my early morning walk for an afternoon one and lo-and-behold who came walking past me again - BulaBong guy. "IT'S A SIGN!". So this time I said, "Bula! love your shirt, love Fiji!" and he looked at me like I was a mad woman who had forgotten to take her meds.
Maybe this is why my Husband doesn't get involved with my 'signs' anymore. (Or he does, he just won't 'get involved' in front of people, lol).
One of the biggest signs happened earlier this year. We were sitting at a Gold Coast café talking about Fiji and whether I should re-ignite my label. We had been discussing it in detail for longer than our coffee date normally took, hence we were at the café later than we had ever been before. I turned around to see a bula shirt I recognised as being designed by a Fijian designer - I knew it was his design as he is seriously my favourite Fijian designer (when I say that, I mean it - I have kaftans from way back when he released his first collection before his label carried his name).
As the guy approached and I realised who it was, I seriously lost all ability to talk. My Husband who didn't know what was unfolding before me, shook my arm and said "what's going on with you? what's wrong?". I think he thought I was having a stroke. Although I couldn't verbalise it at the time, what I would have told him had I been able to talk was that I was literally talking about fashion in Fiji, and here comes a bula shirt designed by my favourite Fijian designer. "IT'S A SIGN!"
As my Husband prepared to call 000 for my apparent medical emergency, I noticed something else. I couldn't help myself and yelled out like a woman possessed "Oh my goodness, Hello!" in such a loud voice that everyone in the café turned around to see what was going on (obviously the stroke didn't affect my ability to be loud).
It was not just some random guy wearing a bula shirt - it was the designer himself! Can you actually believe this? I still look back at that day and think what a serendipitous moment it was.
It was definitely a sign. (By the way, the designer was lovely even though I couldn't talk coherently that day).
I didn't realise how often we found 'signs' or talked about them until my smallest daughter came home from school last week and said "guess what Mum, I saw a sign today!".
A boy at her school had a Fiji key ring dangling on his backpack. I laughed to myself, for two reasons - one being that obviously the apple doesn't fall far from the tree, lol, but also because I had my own sign that day as well. Remember the Fiji Rugby sticker guy, it was the same day.
Two signs in one day!
You know what that means my friend.
We must be on the right path. See you soon Fiji XX
NB. I have changed the actual wording on the personalised number plate (online safety and all!)
SJ here - did you enjoy reading this post? Or find it helpful? If so, I would appreciate it so much if you could share it on your Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest by clicking one of the buttons just below this... And even better - please leave me a comment below - I love love love reading your comments and knowing your thoughts about this topic. Or you could Email Me if you prefer. Vinaka Vakalevu - Thank you! And thanks for stopping by my Blog xx