As We Travel » Vanuatu http://www.aswetravel.com Traveling Tips, Destinations, Videos & Travel Blog Thu, 02 Apr 2015 16:06:33 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.1.1 Melanesia – Amazing Things To See and Do http://www.aswetravel.com/melanesia-things-to-do-and-see/ http://www.aswetravel.com/melanesia-things-to-do-and-see/#comments Sun, 29 Aug 2010 12:00:37 +0000 http://www.aswetravel.com/?p=10884 jQuery(document).ready(function(){ var options = { sites : new Array("facebook","twitter","gplus","linkedin","stumpleupon"), plugin_url : "http://www.aswetravel.com/wp-content/plugins/all-in-one-social/" }; load_all_in_one_social_banner(options); });

As We Travel - Traveling Tips, Destinations, Videos & Travel Blog

Melanesia, a group of islands north and north east of Australia (including: Fiji, Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu), is a region that puts an emphasis on what “paradise” really means. The islands are amazingly beautiful, the history and culture is exotic and many of the people are known to be the happiest and […]

The post Melanesia – Amazing Things To See and Do appeared first on As We Travel.

]]>
As We Travel - Traveling Tips, Destinations, Videos & Travel Blog

NEW! - We just released an e-book called The Pre-Travel Guide – it’s designed as a step-by-step guide to help you improve every part of your RTW preparation – from planning, saving, where to go, health, 1st month on the road etcDownload Here.

Melanesia, a group of islands north and north east of Australia (including: Fiji, Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu), is a region that puts an emphasis on what “paradise” really means. The islands are amazingly beautiful, the history and culture is exotic and many of the people are known to be the happiest and friendliest in the world.

Melanesia is a fascinating place, and apart from the natural beauty I find it to be a very mysterious part of the world. Partly I think it’s because we don’t know all that much about this part of the world or it’s history. There was no written language before the Europeans came instead they used words of mouth from generation to generation to educate and share stories.

Even today, long after the Europeans first arrived, there are still many communities with little to no interaction with the ‘real’ world. They still live the same lifestyle they always have, with the same traditions, beliefs and customs.

Here are some of the most fascinating customs and traditions in Melanesia – as well as some amazing things you really need to do and see:

The Wig-Men

The Huli tribe, often known as “The Wig Men” live in the central highlands of Papua New Guinea. They are known to be the fiercest warriors in the world, but they’re also known for one of their softer traits – THEIR WIGS.

The Huli men make wigs out of their own hair, and to make a wig you not only need strong hair, but a lot of it.

For the men in this tribe, the hair is the number one most important thing, and for the boys to attend “hair-school”. To grow strong, healthy hair, the young men live together in a monastic lifestyle under the guidance of a wig master.

Only after their wig is ready can they marry. They have both every day wigs as well as ceremonial wigs, and for the ceremonials they prepare for hours.

The Invention Of Bungee Jumping

Bungee jumping was actually invented in Vanuatu. This is where AJ Hacket got his inspiration.

Land diving (as they called it) is an important tradition in Vanuatu.

Young men throw themselves from shaky wooden towers in tree vines, head first straight towards the ground.

It’s a passage for young men to prove their manhood. The idea is to jump from as high up as possible, and come as close to the ground as possible (preferably touch the ground lightly with your head).

They Play Sport Without a Winner

The sport of cricket has become an important sport in Melanesia (although it is still unknown of in the remote villages and areas), but the rules have changed slightly to adapt to local attitudes.

For example in the Trobriand Islands off the coast of Papua New Guinea, cricket is a very big sport, but there is no winner..! This I think is an amazing sign of the honest, caring and ego-less way of living done by the people in Melanesia – which is mostly suppressed and ignored in the West.

Swim In Jellyfish Lake

Millions of years ago jellyfish were trapped in the Palau Lake after a submerged reef rose from the sea, creating a saltwater lake.

In this lake, the jellyfish have adapted to the new conditions by losing their sting (since they didn’t need it).

During the day the jellyfish follow the sun and stay at the surface, so when you go snorkeling, you can find them all around you.

Visit An Active Erupting Volcano

The Yasur Volcano on Tanna Island in Vanuatu, is one of the most active volcanoes in the world, it has been erupting every few minutes for the last 800 years.

Being the most accessible volcano in the world it is also known for its beautiful explosions, and is called “The Light House Of The Pacific” because of the eruptions which can be seen from the sea!

A visit here can be dangerous, but you get to take some amazing travel photos! ;)

Have you visited any of these places? If so what was your personal experience?

The post Melanesia – Amazing Things To See and Do appeared first on As We Travel.

]]>
http://www.aswetravel.com/melanesia-things-to-do-and-see/feed/ 3
5 Things I Learned From Meeting The Happiest People In The World, Vanuatu http://www.aswetravel.com/5-things-i-learned-from-meeting-the-happiest-people-in-the-world-vanuatu/ http://www.aswetravel.com/5-things-i-learned-from-meeting-the-happiest-people-in-the-world-vanuatu/#comments Mon, 12 Jul 2010 06:00:28 +0000 http://www.aswetravel.com/?p=4232 jQuery(document).ready(function(){ var options = { sites : new Array("facebook","twitter","gplus","linkedin","stumpleupon"), plugin_url : "http://www.aswetravel.com/wp-content/plugins/all-in-one-social/" }; load_all_in_one_social_banner(options); });

As We Travel - Traveling Tips, Destinations, Videos & Travel Blog

5 Things (Life Lessons) I Learned While Visiting Vanuatu From Hanging Out With Some Of The Happiest People In The World. You learn a lot when you go traveling, especially from the people you meet along the way. Out of all the places I’ve been, there is no place where I’ve learned so much about […]

The post 5 Things I Learned From Meeting The Happiest People In The World, Vanuatu appeared first on As We Travel.

]]>
As We Travel - Traveling Tips, Destinations, Videos & Travel Blog

5 Things (Life Lessons) I Learned While Visiting Vanuatu From Hanging Out With Some Of The Happiest People In The World.

You learn a lot when you go traveling, especially from the people you meet along the way.

Out of all the places I’ve been, there is no place where I’ve learned so much about human beings as when we were in Vanuatu. Despite being one of the poorest countries in the world, these people have been rated the happiest in the world.

You shouldn’t believe everything people say about rankings, so we went there to check the out and have to admit that these people really do have something that most of Western society seems to have lost.

The way they lived reminded me of many things I already knew but so rarely actually saw, or did in real life, so for that I am so very grateful.

1. Trust:

These people will trust anyone and everyone for no apparent reason.

For example when we were going to buy some bananas from a market lady, she was lying under the table on a mattress fast asleep.

We had to wake her up, show her that we wanted to buy the bananas, but even then she just waved her hands towards the table and told us to put the money somewhere on her table, and fell back to sleep.

That kind of thing would never happen in a Western country, where the focus seems to be more on let’s make more money and trust nobody until they prove it.

2. Smiling And Saying Hi To Everyone All The Time:

My mouth was literally aching after spending a few days in Vanuatu. When you walked down the street at night, everyone would walk past saying ‘Goodnight, Sweet Dreams!’ – this wasn’t just because we were tourist either, they also acted the same to each other. They were polite and friendly without wanting something back.

Here in Europe, people often are only polite if they get something out of it, and they get very confused and at first a little suspicious  if you’re friendly and talkative to them for no ‘reason’. There it was more strange if you DIDN’T talk to the person sitting next to you in the bus van.

3. Take The Time To Enjoy Moments:

In the Western society I often feel like people judge you if you’re not always doing something, or always busy. The first thing people always ask me is what I’ve done lately and what my plans are for the future.

The vibe in Vanuatu was so chill. It really felt like time stood still, and you could find people just sitting under palm trees, laughing or sleeping by their food stalls in the middle of the day – enjoying life.

4. Take Your Time To Help A Stranger:

Taking the time to help a stranger is something that is so valued there, and I’ve never seen people putting in such a big effort to help you without asking for something back in return (like some tip). In many other places you will find people are simply way too busy with their own lives to stop and care for someone else’s.

5. Being Curious Of You As A Person:

Coming from Sweden, we ‘need’ a very large ‘personal space bubble’. Often we feel uncomfortable even when someone sits in the seat next to us on a bus.

Unless the bus is full, you will rarely see two strangers sitting next to each other when there are other free seats (I did it once to test, and the person next to me was very uncomfortable, and moved away).

Here in Vanuatu people sit right down in the seat right next to you in an empty bus, look at you with a big smile of their faces and starts a conversation right away. They are honestly curious about you, and really care to get to know you as a human being.

What are some lessons, and life reminders you have experienced while visiting people from other cultures?

The post 5 Things I Learned From Meeting The Happiest People In The World, Vanuatu appeared first on As We Travel.

]]>
http://www.aswetravel.com/5-things-i-learned-from-meeting-the-happiest-people-in-the-world-vanuatu/feed/ 22