I fell in love with the South Pacific island of Fiji way back in 1999. The year-round warm tropical climate…sparkling blue waters teeming with brightly colored fish…the laidback locals and chilled out vibe of island life… It was paradise.
Try as I might I couldn’t stop thinking about it.
Within two years, I returned and spent six days tramping up and down undeveloped lots in search of the perfect vacation home. I found a beautiful property with a view of three islands just off shore and a coral reef right in the front yard.
It wasn’t long before I realized that this property didn’t have to be just a vacation home. It had serious earning potential that I couldn’t let go to waste. These days, I can rent out my home for up to $450 a night. On average it usually brings in about $50,000 a year, although it varies with world events and weather issues.
I’m here at the rental right now. I’m currently at “work,” although it may not look like it as I’m sitting here and enjoying a fresh pineapple mimosa with the spectacular ocean view. I’m just dropping by to check up on the place and check in with my on-site managers…and enjoy a little R&R while I’m at it.
I like to visit about every nine months. Honestly, if it didn’t take me 24 hours to get here, I’d come much more often. That’s my one regret. It’s farther away from the States than I’d like. If I were buying my vacation rental now, I would buy somewhere closer to home.
I got in yesterday morning, and after a good nap, I unpacked my suitcases stuffed with items for the house—snorkel gear, new curtains, linens, and navy blue washcloths (for the ladies to remove their make-up with). I like to replace these items frequently to keep everything pristine for the guests. It’s the attention to little details like this that will ensure the customers have a pleasant stay…and give you a great review online after.
This morning, I had a quick meeting with my manager and went over a few items in the house that needed fixing. I spent the rest of the day lounging by the pool, on the hanging bed, and taking underwater photos of my daughter (she’s 20 and big into her social media). Lunch was light nibbles of fruit with cheese and fresh pineapple juice, prepared by the housekeepers.
Tomorrow, I’m going into town to select a new paint color for the master bedroom—I am thinking a deep turquoise. Then, after a bit of shopping, I’ll come back to my home and enjoy the rest of my day working on my tan, swimming lazily in my pool, and reading my Kindle—another hard day’s work.
Last night, we went to the nearby Wananavu Beach Resort for dinner. It’s a bit like the TV show, Cheers, “where everybody knows your name.” The first night back is always hugs and kisses from the staff. We split a chicken pasta dish and indulged in a couple of cocktails. While I’m there, I take some video with my iPhone for my website and YouTube channel. Little snapshots like this of the surrounding amenities are a great way to encourage vacationers to rent out your property.
One day this week, I’m going to meet with my accountant and I have to swing by the bank to sign a form. The rest of the week is my own. I think we’ll take a couple of snorkel tours and head out to Nananu-i-Ra Island (which means “Daydream Far Away”) where we’ll lounge on hammocks by the beach and eat pizza.
Sure, I’m at work here. But it’s woven into the fabric of my day so it hardly feels like it. In the 10 days I’ll be here, I estimate I’ll do less than 10 hours’ work. And it’s work that anyone can do. And—if you can keep a secret—as much as I moan about the flights coming and going, it’s worth every minute in the air to come to this place of beauty.
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