Instagram Island

It seems like these days, everybody has a sunset, a swim, a coconut or a horse in their day to day life. Everybody has a tan, a laugh, a natural beauty, a wild side. Everybody has a phantom photographer on a secluded beach. Everybody has Instagram.

I am one of the guilty. Hands up (for Detroit), guilty as charged. I have an account for my clothing line and one for my personal life. I like sharing my pictures, I like looking at other peoples and I especially like the ease in which I can access a like-minded marketplace. And clothes. Hand- picked from handy little square pictures … and delivered straight to my PO Box.

In #paradise.

Where funnily enough, more often than not, there is a beautiful sunset, we go for a swim and have a coconut. There are even a couple of nosey horses lurking around the river these days, between my house and Colova-i-cake. (We have a new foal now too. Due to good old Maryjane going and getting herself knocked up.)

According to Instagram, everyone else is somewhere here too. I just can’t find yooooou.

I remember when I was younger I would talk about coming home to Fiji, people would say… “Go back? Why? Is there anything to do there? How will you make money? Won’t you get bored?”

Now those same people are saying… “#jealous” “LIKE! I want a life like this.”

So turns out, we are trending!! Island life is the new black! Black with a tan.

Simplicity is in. The appearance of shedding the unnecessary is having its day in the sun. Days in the sun, are having their day in the sun. Naked never really went anywhere. Healthy living is booming. People are finding the indigenous within. Gold tattoos and flower crowns. The dream is no longer to forge ahead, take it all, money for miles, shiny new plastic. It is to live amongst the mangoes, crochet bikini, guitars, understanding ourselves, the universe and each other, living like sepia tinted quotes.

So where are you all?

gypsea wanderingFor all these @gypsyandthehighseas, @princesspacificlady @hippyheaven @seekingsun @travellingtroopster @ihatethecity @paradisefindergirl @starerofthesea @pensivebeautifulsurfergirl @wandererwander @wanderingsomemore @wanderingaroundwithflowersinmyhair @stillwanderingaround ……. ***

None of you seem to wander here. Or try to. It’s sad really. I thought we could be friends.

So I’m guessing you live on Instagram Island. An oasis that cannot be found. Only envied. (Not unlike that place where we all want to be … that beach where everyone is drinking Corona’s?)

It’s probably not raining there either. Drats. Here in real life Fiji it is bucketing down. The plants were becoming even more lime green, our environmentally conscious hydroelectric plant is being nourished, our water tanks are filling up, the kids are playing rugby in the mud, but I am losing my tan. #gross

But the good news is our ‘Fiji Water’ catchment is also getting some serious loving so there will be plenty of opportunity to pose with that American owned product tomorrow. 🙂

IMG_2272-1Do you know what the main component of island life is? It’s not bikinis. Or bonfires. Or surfing through the lunch hour. Not even those sunsets and swims and coconuts or Maryjane (the horse).

It really is co-existence.

It’s being one of many, an eco-system. It’s sharing your life, your wealth, your lunch, your home, your children, your clothes, your siblings, your drink.

It’s Taki! But for everything….

It is not only co-existence with other humans… it is with the the past, a heritage, the land, and other creatures too. Island life is knowing it’s not in your blood to fish on Sunday’s. Because the fish deserve a break and a day of rest. What it isn’t though… is the economic dilemma of discovering the probable profits of ignoring social norms and fishing on Sundays anyway… because the business opportunity was just too great to turn down and anyone reasonable would understand the individual benefits outweigh the community cost.

Island life is that misunderstanding. Misunderstanding how you could be so selfish.

Sometimes I wish it was as easy as messy hair and tribal tattoos and 100 plus likes. I wish the reality was as simple and sunny as the snapshot. That would be a whole lot easier.

And a whole lot less fulfilling.

IMG_1475If you ask an islander… “What are you?” They will probably say, “a Tongan” or “a Fijian” or “a Rotuman”.

If you ask a Westerner … They will probably say, “a surfer” or “a lawyer” or “a rebel”… or “well I’m @wandathewanderer on insta…”

And that’s culture. Neither is right or wrong, bad or good. One is grounded in family and the earth and the other in self.

To be honest… (more commonly known as #tbh…) if you asked me… “What are you?” I would probably mumble something in between.

I am happy to be a citizen of Instagram Island. I am happy to take photos the capture the joy and beauty of my life. Waking up, day in and day out, in #summer. I am even happier to sometimes get paid to do so.

But I am ecstatic….truly ecstatic… To be a citizen of the real thing. To know that sometimes I can only afford two-minute noodles and there is nothing to do because the power is out and everyone is at church. To have two night-clubs to pick from. To lay on the floor of my friend’s house while the boys beat grog outside not because I am tired but because I may as well. To see my shirt on a strangers back. To share fruit with the bus driver. To sleep on two mattresses between five people and baby under  a rusty old ceiling fan. Even to get frustrated in the 2 hour line at LTA. To wake up and go and pick a real live little human named Summer … and know that captured on Instagram or not…  she is 10 fold more amazing than any phenomenon in the sky that results in my skin being sun-kissed and photo ready.

beach bbq

So if you guys ever want to pack up your kaftans and your headdresses and head a little out to sea… you know where to find us. We will welcome you with open arms. (Then maybe steal your Byron Bay Spell Collection $300 shorts. All in the name of island love.)

But seriously. We would love to see you.

In the meantime you can catch me at … @matisse_walkd………..Juuuuuuust kidding settle kids.

(vacava gang one jug?)


*** instagram usernames are fictional due to fear of being beaten up or losing followers



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