I had initially embarked upon my recent trip to Fiji somewhat cautiously, because four and a half years ago, I spent a day in Fiji with my little brother, who was 18 and had never seen a third-world country. We exited the airport on an eight-hour layover between New Zealand and Los Angeles, and decided to try to go to the public beach, which we were informed was far away, since most beaches are kept by private resorts. Backpackers that we were, we attempted to get there on sheer determination and more specifically one of the public buses that stops outside Nadi airport. As we rode, my brother and I surveyed the terrain through glassless windows, and I got the unpleasant feeling that perhaps most of Fiji had been turned into foreign resorts, leaving the native people the stifling interiors and a swarming invasion of tourists. We got lost, and eventually turned around, never having seen more than the roadside.

So this time around, I was pleasantly surprised by the relationship Royal Davui has with its staff, and the relationship Fijian natives have with the tourists in general — enough that I remarked on it in detail in my Ocean Home article that just went live.