Stuart and Gillian Auld decided to create an alternative for people to be able to experience foreign countries and destinations. They got tired of hearing people saying how wonderful this place was or that place was when in reality, they hadn’t set foot outside the resort or travelled beyond the tourist traps.
First a little background on why they’re passionate about travel off the beaten track but especially about Vanuatu.
Stuart was fortunate to have been raised on the island of Malekula in the nation of Vanuatu, formerly the New Hebrides. Growing up immersed in the local culture and languages has resulted in a strong spiritual bond to Vanuatu itself and especially the island of Malekula. He is still regarded as “man ples” (a man of this place) by the communities on Malekula.
It’s a common conversation topic when you first meet someone in Vanuatu to ask which island they are from and Stuart proudly identifies as “man Malekula” when part of those discussions. Makes for some bemused expressions, considering the pale skin and blue eyes.
Gillian made her first trip to Vanuatu several years ago and she was immediately understanding of Stuart’s ties there. She had experienced village life in Fiji many years ago and also felt visitors were missing out by only staying within the resorts, remaining insulated from the reality of daily life.
Anyway, in our humble opinion, visitors to Vanuatu are missing out on the opportunity of really experiencing an alternative to their usual lives. A resort in Port Vila is not dramatically different from one on the Gold Coast.
Spending a few days in the outer islands and being part of a village community is a real life changer. It’s a reminder of how lucky we are and how much we take for granted. Life’s not as simple as just turning a tap to get water or ducking to the shops to pick up a slab of steak for dinner. It’s subsistence living. Stuart’s sons have traveled to Malekula previously, once as very young boys and the effect on them was profound.
Come and experience it for yourself. It’s what we term “My Kinda Holiday”. Make it yours as well!!