What is “Fiji Time”?
From the moment you sit on a Fiji Airways flight reading their in-flight magazine, Fiji Time, to the moment you are still waiting for your taxi 20-minutes later than agreed, “Fiji Time” is an ever-present aspect of a trip to Fiji. But what exactly does “Fiji Time” mean? We’ll go through what Fiji Time is and how it will affect your Fiji trip in this article!
While the concept of “Fiji Time” might annoy people from busy lives where everything needs to run on schedule, most of us leave Fiji having embraced Fiji Time and looking at the world a little bit differently. You never know, you might just realise that you want more Fiji Time in your life?
For more about the culture in Fiji, check out The Guide to the Fiji Culture for Travellers.
What is the Definition of Fiji Time?
1. The notion of things getting done eventually, or not at all, without the stress of time.
“What time are we feeding the sharks today?” “Fiji Time.”
“Hey, you’re 10 minutes late!” “Fiji Time.”
2. The time zone in Fiji. See What is the Fiji Time Zone here – not that anyone cares anyway due to Fiji Time (see above).
How Will Fiji Time Affect Your Trip to Fiji
Fiji Time is an effect that is felt by both visitors and the locals. However, to people coming from the hustle and bustle of the busy Western World, Fiji Time can feel a little annoying at first. If you like schedules, plans and set itineraries, then you might find it a little hard to adjust to Fiji Time. However, the locals (and visitors once they get used to it), see Fiji Time as living life: not rushing it.
So how will Fiji Time affect your trip? Here are some ways:
Organising a time to do something
If you organise a time to meet with a local, be picked up in a taxi or do an activity with a local (rather than at a resort), then expect to meet later than planned. It could be anywhere between 10 minutes to an hour.
In resorts, however, you won’t have to wait too long, as activities and entertainment tends to stick a little better to a schedule. (Even then, most times that are stated in resort entertainment schedules are a ballpark figure). Nevertheless, for resort activities like island excursions, we suggest you are ready on time.
It’s likely that the only time you will need to be “on time” during your Fiji holiday is for your outward flight. Locals understand the urgency of this, but be sure to emphasise the time you need to arrive at the airport.
When you ask how long something will take
Ask a local how long an activity will take or how long it will take to get to a destination and it is likely that you will be met with a bit of a blank face before they give you a wildly inaccurate time. Hey, they try, but let’s be honest, it’s a question they don’t often need to think about. All you can do is take their answer with a pinch of salt and ask yourself does the time even matter anyway?
The time it takes to do things
Not long after you arrive in Fiji, you will notice how people do things just a little bit slower here. You’ll see that people walk down the street at a laid-back pace and, hell, the top speed limit in Fiji is 80kmh/50mph which most people don’t want to reach anyway. This sometimes means that the check-out at the supermarket might run slower than you’re used to or even checking out of your hotel might take longer than expected (but to be fair, that only happens when the hotel is busy).
Tours with itineraries might change
Some of us like to see an itinerary with the time and order of what activities are done when. However, with Fiji Time, some things are subject to change! The reason isn’t always to do with things not running on time, but schedules often change depending on the ever-changing weather in Fiji. There’s usually a good reason why itineraries change, so the best thing you can do is rip up that itinerary, sit back and enjoy the surprises throughout the day. You’re still likely to have a jam-packed day of fun while still hitting all the highlights of the tour (just not necessarily in the order and time planned).
How to Embrace Fiji Time
It’s true; Fiji Time is likely to have one of two effects on you:
- Annoyed that things aren’t moving fast enough and running on time
- Relaxed – you are on holiday anyway, things will happen when they happen
Personally, we know which feeling we’d rather have. It’s best to just go with the flow, drink a little bit of kava, and accept that things work a little differently in Fiji. That’s what travelling is all about, right? Experiencing something different and escaping the norms from back home. While you might not want to live your whole life in Fiji Time, enjoy it while it lasts. And you never know, you might find yourself wanting to come back for more.