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Holidays aren’t for everyone

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Recently, she took first holiday and she’s 48 years old, but why did she wait so long?

She grew up in a small village on a small island in a small country.

She’s not always been in paid employment and saving for a holiday was never a priority or even came into her mind.

The small income she has derived during the years her children were growing up, were spent on school fees or lifes essentials – food, shelter, water. 

In the developed world where people often work 8 am to 5pm; 5 days a week, 48 weeks of the years (or more); the promise of an approaching holiday is the incentive or carrot,  that keeps them at work.

Holidays aren’t a concept that many people living in a developing nation, would ever consider and that includes ni Vanuatu peoples.

70% of the population live a subsistence lifestyle, with no form of regular income, therefore there is little opportunity to put money aside for a holiday.


When Mary heard of the women in her village planning a one week visit to Fiji, to visit friends and family in villages in Fiji, she started saving.   At the time, Mary was working 3 days a week, so budgeting was essential to get to the end goal of being included in group heading to Fiji.

Mary’s daughter is studying in Fiji.

Emma won a full Vanuatu government scholarship to study medicine at USP (University of South Pacific) at the end of 2017.    The first member of the extended family, who would attend university.   Those years of sacrificing all, to ensure her children’s school fees were fully paid (so the children weren’t excluded from class) have paid off.  The entire family are proud and supportive of Emma’s achievement.

Being able to reunite mother and daughter, during a few days in Suva, was the icing on the cake for Mary.

After bringing up 3 children, all who are educated and living their own lives, I am in awe of the example that Mary has shown.  Mary is prioritising herself and congratulating her achievement of successful motherhood;  by taking her very first holiday.  Good on you Mary.  

The next time I find myself feeling overworked, underpaid and tired, I’ll remember Mary’s struggle.

The struggle of many mothers across the world;  where there is:

  • No regular income.
  • No holiday pay.
  • No money for holidays.
  • Living day to day.

Gratitude … Gratitude … Gratitude

Sometimes it doesn’t hurt to receive a gentle reminder and simply be ….. grateful

Mi lukim yu, Belinda

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