Many people consider Fiji to simply be an island paradise – that’s it. Now, don’t get me wrong: Fiji is indeed a beautiful, relaxing country; however, so much more is offered throughout this remote chain of islands in the Pacific Ocean. When I signed up for the Travel for Teens Fiji Service & Adventure trip, my parents were quite skeptical of the trip, bombarding me with questions: “what are you going to do for 13 days on a small island??” Truthfully, I didn’t know, but once I got to the islands, I was so thankful I signed up. While it is true you will always feel the ocean breeze and warm temperatures across the island, I never once thought the trip wasn’t worth it. I live in Florida, and I could just as easily travel to The Bahamas, Dominican Republic or Jamaica; however, Fiji is entirely different. Everything from the community service aspect of the trip to the great personalities of my peers throughout the duration of my stay made Travel for Teens’ Fiji Service & Adventure trip unforgettable. Right from the very beginning, people tried bonding. It worked. It is true we traveled across the entire world to a remote island unlike anything we’ve experienced before, and this unfamiliarity created a bond far quicker and stronger than one that would be formed in a more familiar setting. A good chunk of the trip was spent in a small island chain called the Yasawa Islands a few hours from the largest Fijian island where we helped a local school for a community service project. It was a wonderful experience. We could play and interact with the kids at the school, all between ages 5 and 15, and all these kids spoke English – certainly a nice benefit. They absolutely loved us. They had so much energy, running alongside us around their soccer field and dirt track, making days felt like minutes, and minutes feel like seconds. They taught us Fijian songs and games, and I still remember how to count from one to ten in one of the native Fijian languages all thanks to two kids by the name of Bill and Abel. Now, I am not someone who is the best with kids (I feel rather awkward in those sorts of situations), but I didn’t feel any amount of discomfort with these. I was very happy in this regard. We built an incinerator for the school so they could burn their trash (small islands like this cannot have landfills; therefore, burning trash is their best option) and the neat thing about this was the fact that we could see each and every Fiji service trip’s work before us while we were there. Each Fiji Service & Adventure trip contributes a bit more to the school, and we could ask kids that went to the school what last year’s group accomplished. Upon leaving, some of the kids presented a few of their favorite travelers some gifts, and I was one to receive a handmade bracelet from Abel. It had a Fijian symbol that supposedly brings good luck to its wearer and I still wear it every single day as it helps remind me of my wonderful experiences I had in Fiji. Once we finished our community service project, we engaged in other extraordinary activities across multiple islands, and some highlights included scuba diving in what I consider one of the most beautiful reefs in the entire world (and I have been to the Great Barrier Reef previously – Fiji tops it), a zipline adventure in the hills overlooking local villages, farms and beaches, and my personal favorite: an early-morning hike to the top of a mountain to see the sunrise. We were doubtful about getting up very early, but it was entirely worth it. Eventually, a few minutes after reaching the top, the reds and pinks began to show, and we saw that big, bright red ball rise up from the perfectly calm sea one thousand feet below. That was likely the most spectacular sunrise I had ever seen (quite possibly the most spectacular one I will ever see, unless I have the fortune to travel back to Fiji once again). As I said in the beginning, “they thought I would get bored for 13 days on an island. They were wrong.” Fiji is entirely worth putting on your bucket list, and not only that – Fiji should be at the very top of your bucket list. Travel for Teens is able to check off that list for you, and the 13-day Fiji Service & Adventure is your perfect choice to experience a group of islands unlike any other. Fiji is far more incredible than any island you can experience in the Caribbean, far more incredible than Hawaii, and far more incredible than nearly anywhere else on the planet. I only hope one day I can return.