P1000586Which kind of makes me sound incredibly ungrateful, or whingy.  It’s not that bad.  I enjoyed my time in Vanuatu, but I’m not doing the whole tropical island thing again, except under a few non-negotiable conditions.

Vanuatu, in case you don’t know, is a small Pacific Island cluster between New Caledonia and Fiji.  For various reasons I decided to take a short holiday there, much of the motivation being the novelty factor: I’d never been to the Caribbean, I’d never just vegged on a beach, I’d never done the whole tropical paradise thing.  

Good things first: Cheap, fresh tropical fruit.  Really friendly citizens who are interested in anything and everything, and love to converse.  Interesting knick-knacks.  Wonderful markets that sell aforementioned tropical fruit as well as an assortment of hot food.  Swimming pools.

But the not-so-good things: Rain.  Humidity.  Rain.  Having no hot water.  Rain.  Lousy exchange rates.  And more rain.

Humidity, well, duh.  It’s tropical.  No hot water, because their hot water boiler was ancient?  It was hot, so it wasn’t bad, but I have long hair, and washing and conditioning your hair in cold water is a pain.  But the real killer was the bad weather, and when it rains on a tropical island, you can’t really do anything.  And the exchange rate made some commodities deadly dear.

I can’t control the weather.  And I can get over the hot water boiler.  But this is what it comes down to: The next time I’m going to the tropics, I’m going with lots, and lots, and lots of money in my bank account, and no compunctions to spending it.  Coming from someone who can be a total cheapskate, this means it’ll be a long, long time before I do it again.

What are your experiences on a tropical island?

– Jean AAR