You heard and saw right, Fiji round two… This time as Crew!
If you’ve already seen my almost unavoidable hundreds upon hundreds of photos on Facebook, or uploads on Instagram, or even my wrap up video on both FB and Youtube… You would know that I made my return to the glittering blue shores and white sandy beach line of Fiji… But this time as Unleashed Crew!
If you haven’t seen any of the media above (I’m not sure how you managed to escape it but go you), then you probably had no idea what I was working towards in 2016.
To sum it up, I had begun a mini “internship” of sorts with Unleashed Grad Trips in January 2016, a travel company who specialises in EPIC overseas experiences for graduating students. I travelled to Plantation Island with them for my grad in 2015 (I even wrote a post about it here), and ever since I have been dreaming about my return to the beach side dance floor and crystal clear waters. They had me hooked and all I wanted to do was become Crew!
Out of 300 applicants, I was one of the six who got the unbelievable opportunity to become a Crew member as a reward for my efforts throughout the year. The day I got my email to say that I had actually achieved what may have been the impossible, I was still overseas in a bunk bed in Amsterdam (ridiculously hungover too).
I was beyond excited, and now I get to share with you all what it was really like being a Crew member. The good, the bad (wouldn’t even call it bad though) and the hilarious. If you’re currently graduating age or in year 11, I’m also going to tell you why Unleashed is the best and only option to celebrate the end of HSC and your schooling life in my next post! I will post a link to it here.
I cannot get over how involved week one was. It was absolutely crazy. There was never an activity that had to be rescheduled, and never an activity where we didn’t have anyone turn up.
Being activities crew, there is only so much you can do when students don’t want to be involved, but we didn’t ever have this problem with the first week, which made our jobs so much smoother and easier to handle. I felt fresh and ready to get super involved with everything and everyone.
I got to experience my first cloud 9 trip, host my first pool party (which was a hit) and got to do some pretty cool activities with students to get to know them more. Banana boating was one of these sick activities! Dancing on stage with all the Crew was a blast and I made fast friends with Crew and students alike.
Everyone was always up for a chat, never turned me away when I asked to join them for breakfast or dinner (hung over and drunk chats with students was always the best), and people were genuinely interested in what I had to say which was awesome. I even got to play speed dating as a girl (most of the time we had to be boys) which was an experience and a half!
Mana chicken burger and chill nights also became very common for us to catch up with each other and have a laugh whist stuffing our faces with the delicacies.
We had a few small hiccups with our activities which could have been handled better, but we made changes for the next two weeks to help them run more smoothly. Other than that there was never really any incidents (apart from a few severe jellyfish stings on cloud 9) which I would call “bad,” just the usual drunk shenanigans, medical needs, and tense friendships which you are bound to deal with time to time.
- So… the very first day we wake up on our new island home, my roomies and all went outside to check out the view from our room as we arrived at dark on the first day. Unfortunately the door closed behind us and none of us had a room key on us, so I had to run to reception in my “vote for pedro” shirt with pimple cream still on my face to retrieve the cards. It was the first and only time we got locked out of our room.
- There was a guy on the dance floor who thought it would be hilarious to slut drop in his tight pants… I thought he was only joking when he said his pants ripped but yep, they did.
- A confession of love was given to one of our Crew members by one of the students, cute and hilarious.
- Our Beginning Boutique flamingo aka. Felicia got popped by a group of girls. It was so tragic, we needed that for the next two weeks! My roomie Jess was super depressed about it too.
- Matty Hill getting absolutely pummelled by a group of girls who bought him for $650FJD as a slave for an afternoon. This included eating a bruised banana “sexually,” doing a belly flop off the pool waterfall, push ups on the burning hot ground, being drawn all over with permanent marker, singing “touch myself” over the microphone, and giving multiple massages.
Week two was super chilled out, which made our lives easy. The grads were great, especially my Melbourne crew who I got to pick up from the airport and hang out with at the port for a couple of hours.
They were all a great bunch, absolutely hilarious, and some grads would genuinely go out of their way to talk to the Crew and get to know us better which sometimes made our days after some long and tired hours.
I also got the opportunity to go to the Spirit of Sharing Cultural Day on the mainland, which I didn’t get to do on my grad trip. It was such an awesome day filled with so much dancing and smiles. It really is rewarding to go into the school and meet all the locals, they’re all so happy with so little. Highly recommend!
Week two was the hardest week for me for sure. I was struggling with a lack of sleep and was definitely starting to feel the mental and physical exhaustion of the previous week, along with having to be switched on all the time.
It was difficult to keep up with socialising 24/7 with the grads, and this was partly my fault cause I had a habit of staying up late at the parties at night to catch up with everyone to make up for the days.
Week two was also really big on pre-drinking and kava in their rooms, which forced us to compromise the times of our night activities. This made us keep pushing them back later and later each night. We would end up doing them at 11pm (which is over an hour later than what time we would usually do them), and I would be absolutely shattered from the day activities. However, they ran much better than week one.
We also lost one of our beautiful Crew members to Australia due to a medical emergency. It was definitely a shock and had us all wishing she was still on island after that.
P.s. I got conjunctivitis????? What was up with that ewwwww.
- Nudie run during the pole dancing competition. That is all.
- Good friend of mine and fellow crew member Kristie fell face first down a pot hole whilst trying to give me a “sarcastic thumbs up,” just as we were about to take off for skydiving. I think she got more injured then compared to how uninjured she was after her own jump. Delirium had well and truly kicked in.
- I became good mates with a group of girls from Melbourne who would tell me all these weird (and cool) Melbournian drinking games I’ve never heard of. They later told me that one night they were trying to guess my age (I tried my hardest to keep my age under wraps unless asked or it came up in conversation whilst on island), and four of the five guessed about twenty, possibly twenty-one, and the fifth said twenty-six to be safe. I have never laughed so hard in my life. I’m a ripe nineteen.
Arguably, week three may have been my favourite week. (Emphasis on may, I loved all weeks for different reasons). It was the last week and although still drained from week one and two, I was prepared to give the grads of week three my last burst of V-energy. I was determined to make sure they got the same experience as the previous two weeks, as that’s all part of the job!
I feel as though I got to meet majority of the grads from week three without pushing myself too hard to get around to everyone. I met a heap on the first night who I later on became good mates with as well.
I also went on quite a few day trips (snorkelling, cloud 9 etc…) which were both really good bonding experiences. They were the biggest week and had personalities to match. They would always come and hang around the pool area which made it easy for us to talk and gather everyone together for activities. I’ve never had as much of a laugh as I did in week three, they were just really sick, genuine people who loved getting involved in all things Unleashed.
After our re-assessing of the night activities from week one, and having them run so smooth in week two, we thought for sure week three would be perfect. However, you can’t always prepare for confusion between numbers in activities etc… Tensions were high, but we stuck to our guns and improvised our way through it. The grads had no idea about any hiccups which is what part of our job is as well. Other than that, don’t have a bad word to say about it!
- Delirium had well and truly kicked in for all of the Crew by the time week three had swung around. There was more than one occasion where Candi (our hotel coordinator) would start her crazy laugh in our team meetings for no particular reason. It made us all laugh though. There’s also the time we found a fake Felicia and had a lay down on her and just laughed and sighed and laughed again. More delirium for you. I feel as though Phil (another Crew member) was also really low-key delirious, he kept yelling out the line “ride dick bicycle,” from Ariana Grande’s song Side to Side every now and then. It was also hilarious though. I fell like I would have found anything funny in that last week (which I did).
- Jess and I were craving a cheese toastie ~Plantation style~, but the end result was six slices of plastic cheese semi-melted on a bun. Even just thinking about it now makes me feel so sick. It will forever be lining my arteries I think.
- During our Crew vs. Students pool party, we found ourselves playing pass the orange once again, and Lana and I could not for the life of us get that damn orange from her to me. I couldn’t help but laugh at us. Even though we didn’t win that challenge, we finally won a Crew vs. Students competition due to our epic dance battle at the end.
- Jess thought it would be funny to dare one of the grads to eat sand. He did it without complaint, we have video evidence as well.
- On our final night, we decided to do some quick roomie bonding by putting our used Fiji water bottles on our deck in the shape of bowling pins and knock them down with our stolen coconuts. We then thought it would be funny to leave Felicia the flamingo on top of our air conditioner for the house keepers to find. Once again, it was funny at the time.
So there you have it, what it’s really like to be Crew.
Although it had it had its highs and lows, I enjoyed every moment of the roller coaster ride and wouldn’t change my experience for the world. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity and I know for certain I made the most of every moment on my stunning island home and hope to be back next year for more shenanigans.
From free-falling over Mana, to snorkelling the depths of the sea at night, boogying on the sand dance-floor with the grads, to riding through the resort on a stretch-buggy at sunset, there was never a dull moment in the 21 days I was there.
To the grads I met, you all made my my time so so special and always found a way to make me laugh, even if you guys didn’t mean it. I’ve never met such a great bunch of people. And to my Mana fam, you guys really did become like family. Bickering, laughing till we cried, sticking up for each other and always picking out the positives in situations which weren’t to positive, you’ve all made me a better person in some way or another and I couldn’t have done this without you, both literally and figuratively.
I know what you’re thinking… But I don’t want to give away too much, what’s the fun in that? If you wanna know all the goings ons and deep dark secrets of Crew life, I guess you’ll just have to apply to be one of the big kids yourself. 😉