During the 1980s, the term “throw another shrimp on the barbie,” became a part of the American lexicon. Americans were exposed to some of the jargon that is common in the land down under; or so they thought. The phrase was originally made popular by Australian actor Paul Hogan for an Australian tourism board commercial that ran in the U.S. The irony is that Australians don’t use the term “shrimp,” but instead “prawns,” which would single out any American visiting the island nation who was trying to sound Australian.
Despite the misinterpretation of facts, the country of Australia has often been a fascination for many Americans. Visions of kangaroos, koalas, white sand beaches and a famous opera house are all images that Americans associate with the country.
Not exactly a hop, skip and a jump from Australia, but in the same part of the South Pacific, are the Fiji Islands; a mere 2,200 miles away. Made up of over 300 islands, one Fiji island was the setting for the 1980 movie “The Blue Lagoon.” Both locations are exciting destinations for travelers.
Kevin Davis, who owns Equipment Repair & Diagnostics in Carson City, Nevada, hadn’t taken a vacation in several years. Typical of many business owners, the workload often precludes much opportunity for time away.
Davis had been on location for a project in San Francisco and became fascinated by the variety of people and their travel experiences. This glimpse into other cultures caused him to ponder some exotic travel.
“Moving to San Francisco motivated me to make the trip. I took on a short-term work project in San Francisco and left my home in Carson City, Nevada, to live in the city while the project took place. I am born and raised in Carson City, Nevada, and although I have traveled across the United States, I had never left North America,” Davis explains.
“I experienced the multi-cultured city of San Francisco and heard many amazing stories of foreign people and places,” he adds. “After hearing multiple stories of positive experiences, I wanted to see for myself and decided to start in the South Pacific.”
Traveling to the South Pacific from California is a challenge for anybody who gets restless on a plane trip. Davis stopped at the main airport in Fiji first, making the first leg of his journey an 11-hour trip. One reality made the trip a little more uncomfortable than it might be for many other people, but Davis had tools to improve his situation.
“Thankfully both flights to and from Sydney were broken up by stops in Nadi, Fiji. The longest legs of my journey were only 11 hours,” Davis says. “But I am six foot six and not used to being contained in a small airplane seat for that long. During both long flights, I found myself performing aisle yoga and conversing with flight attendants and other travelers in the rear galley.”
Visiting Sydney and Nadi
With its distinctive harbor front Opera House, Sydney is the most populous city in Australia. Davis was impressed that downtown Sydney was both quiet and clean. A real feat for a city of four and a half million people.
Davis stayed in the downtown area. Because he isn’t a big fan of crowded cities, he spent time exploring outside the city. He describes his experience with the restaurants there as “interesting.”
“I spent most of my time in the city and its surrounding beaches,” he says. “My best memory is hiking five kilometers along the coast from Bondi Beach to Coogee. I enjoyed exploring and photographing the city while travelling by mass transportation.”
“I quickly left the Sofitel Hotel after talking to the locals and went straight to Natadola reefs. Free diving there was incredible, I was able to swim with some of the most extraordinary fish species in the world near an incredible reef break,” he says. “The most enlightening part of my stay there was discovering how happy and thankful most of the people I encountered were.”
Davis says that the accommodations at the Sofitel Hotel were “incredible,” but again, he spent most of his time there exploring the countryside.
“I tried some delicious local food, the fresh fruit and fish was a nice break from American fare,” he says.
Surprisingly, it was not something about Sydney or the Fiji Islands themselves that held the most surprise for Davis; it was other travelers.
“What surprised me the most is the number of people who actively travel and take vacations, as a balance between work and pleasure,” Davis says. “I, myself, get very consumed in work and often don’t take the time to appreciate the most important things in life. I had anticipated travelers who were getting away from winter to enjoy summer, but was blown away at the amount of young people who were extremely well traveled, spoke multiple languages, and had done it all before. It was very cool to see.”
There’s a good reason Davis has become consumed in work. Like many entrepreneurs, the workday can easily exceed the hours of a regular shift. Davis opened for business three years ago. As an ISO, the company serves as a cost-savings alternative to the OEM, according to Davis.
“I am lucky enough to own and operate my own company,” Davis says. “My team and I specialize in on-site surgical equipment installation and repairs. We also have a 5,000 square foot shop (research and development lab) where we explore innovative repair and testing processes for the latest healthcare technology.”
The business is comprised of technicians and engineers.
“We work hard for our clients determining what their needs are and how we can help them achieve their goals. We provide well-designed, cost-effective service on sterilizers, washers, tables and endoscopic video systems. Although we are a small shop now, we are steadily growing through word of mouth and reputation,” Davis says.
Staring at a white sandy beach and aqua waters may be the perfect retreat for a biomed who has spent too much time staring at medical devices. The South Pacific calls.
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