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Have Lots, Want Not

Have Lots, Want Not

Outside | October 2010

The curious challenge of living it up on a private island in Fiji.

By Kate Siber

I HAD TWO WHITE-SAND beaches and an infinity pool that overlooked an endless sea. I had a boatman ready at a moment’s notice to take me snorkeling, water-skiing, windsurfing, fishing, or paddling in a glass-bottom kayak. I had two chefs waiting to prepare any whim; an open-air villa; an on-call masseuse; and a statuesque hostess who greeted me with a fruity cocktail in a fresh-cut coconut. In other words, I had Wadigi, a tiny islet in Fiji’s Mamanucas, at my command.

I’d been sent there by a dive magazine to experience the singular indulgence of a private island. And, as a chronically underpaid writer, I planned to soak up every last perk. But after a couple of days of diving among spiky lionfish at half a dozen world-class sites, dinners with too many courses to count, and enough gin-and-tonics to get me kicked out of any self-respecting American bar, a funny thing happened: I found myself doing absolutely nothing.

As it turns out, when you have everything you might want, your wants start to subside. OK, so I never did get bored with that glass-bottom kayak, but I spent most of my free hours simply lolling around and contemplating the preposterous views. On my last evening, instead of ordering extravagant cocktails and back-to-back massages, I ate all the home-baked cookies in the jar and then simply sat in the pool watching the sun dip below the horizon and the clouds sweep across the mirror-still sea.

GET THERE: From $2,327 per day for two, including meals, most activities, and lodging; two-tank dives, $100;