The Fiji Pineapple Index & How Travel Changes Us Forever

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fiji pineapple index

You earn the miles and points, pay for a trip and plan it in advance. Sometimes the trips come and go and create nice memories, but none that are truly life changing. Then, there is that trip or that experience that changes you. It changes the way you look at the world, the way you see yourself or simply the way you taste things.

Back in 2007 as part of our 18 month around the world trip, my family and I spent 10 days in Fiji. After some research, we decided to visit a small island called Waya in the Yasawa chain about four hours by boat from the mainland. For about $100 per night we stay in an “all-inclusive” resort (actually two resorts on the same island) with meals included.

fiji pineapple index

Of course this type of all-inclusive wasn’t what you would consider luxury. Our first resort consisted of six huts on a remote beach next to a small village complete with an outhouse and showers out in nature. The beds had mosquito nets and the only electricity was provided by a small generator for a single lightbulb three hours a night. It was remote, it was different and it was absolutely amazing.

As part of our stay, we received three meals a day. Meals were almost always accompanied by a single slice of pineapple. But this wasn’t any normal pineapple. It was the sweetest, juiciest, most amazing pineapple I have ever tasted. I couldn’t get enough. If Jasmine or Shawn Reece didn’t eat their pineapple I swooped in. The taste was truly divine and I haven’t stopped talking about it since.

While the Fiji trip taught me a few things about myself including that I can be completely at peace with no internet and no electricity in such a beautiful and remote place, it also taught me how amazing pineapple CAN be. Thus, the Fiji Pineapple Index was born. Since then every bite of pineapple has been compared to those Waya pineapples. Unfortunately, none has stacked up.

fiji pineapple index
Our room in Waya. Unfortunately I didn’t take any pineapple pics.

We never know how travel will change us. For me, that week on Waya changed the way I see and taste pineapple. While you may think I am saying it ruined pineapple for me, it didn’t. In fact, it gave me an appreciation for it. It deepened my connection to it in some strange way. I love pineapple now more than ever as I pursue a perfect 10 on the Fiji Pineapple Index.

I miss the days when travel was completely new to me because I feel like I had these sorts of life changing experiences more often than I do today, however they will always occur. The world is amazing and vast and the discoveries waiting to be made are numerous. People sometimes get tired of hearing me talk about travel, but I can’t. Everyone should do it. Why? Because it makes me sad to think of what my life would be like without the Fiji Pineapple Index.

I actually covered our Fiji adventures on this blog way back in 2007. You can find those posts here. What sort of life strange life changing experiences have you had while traveling? Let us know in the comments!

Shawn Coomer
Since 2007 Shawn Coomer has been circling the globe with his family for pennies on the dollar. He uses that first-hand knowledge and experience to teach others how to achieve their travel dreams for the least amount of money possible.

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  1. 2006 , visited Thailand 3 weeks at the invitation of an expat I had done a small favor . I was working power plant repair and it was like 18 or 20 and windy and almost no daylight . On my one day a month home I related my lack of enthusiasm to my friend who said ” Come visit me when I’m back in Thailand . The water is warm , you’ll like it . ”
    A couple of months later that sounded pretty good . It was . I’ll be flying to Thailand for the 14th time in November . I have many good friends there . I’ve been married to a Thai for six years who has completely changed my world . We own a small house in a small town in Thailand . We just came back from England where we visited friends met in Thailand .
    More than just pineapple ( I can relate ) ,my life is completely different and will never be the same .
    If you are thinking about getting a passport , do it today . If you’re thinking about traveling , just make it happen . If a change in your life starts sounding good , don’t put it off for years , do it !

    • btw. so i hear you had the “sweetest, juiciest, most amazing pineapple you have ever tasted…” you sure that was Fiji? just saying…

  2. Coconut.
    On a South Pacific island.
    Tahiti to be exact.
    There’s nothing like it. It just tastes different from any coconut from any other place. Every now and then I’ll walk by a candy dish at work and see a Mounds or an Almond Joy bar and I’ll grab one and take it back to my desk and eat it and revisit Tahiti in my mind. It tastes very little like the coconut and chocolate crepes from the roulottes that I’m thinking of but it takes me back there.

    My dad was crazy about coconut. I never understood it. He spent a lot of time in the South Pacific right after WWII. It took me visiting the South Pacific after his death to understand that a food can take you back to a place and time in an instant. So now I love coconut, just like him. I eat it and remember.

  3. It is a very nice story and thanks for sharing. By the way have you ever travel to Vietnam and tried pineapple over there?



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