Why I Have Embraced Island Time on Solomon Islands
Back home in Australia if I am meeting a friend for a coffee and am any more than 10 minutes late it is considered quite rude. After all, my friend has had to sit by herself, feeling very self-conscious, and looking as though she is out at a coffee shop alone.
Cue the shock and horror.
Well after traveling so much over the last five years I have become a pro at forgetting to abide by the social norms back home. I have forgotten what it feels like to have to sit by myself waiting for someone to arrive for a meeting and feeling angry or stressed about the situation.
Because here’s the thing: sometimes you’re late, and that’s okay. Let’s just say being late for things has held me in good stead in my latest home.
Yet instead of feeling annoyed when a meeting doesn’t happen until four hours later or a friend turns up an hour late for a coffee date, I embrace it as a new opportunity.
Let me introduce you to ‘Solomons Time.’
We have all heard of the concept of ‘Island Time’ and this is what I am referring to. It’s the lax appreciation of time. Meeting times are flexible and sometimes people have other commitments that they will prioritize.
Yet instead of feeling annoyed when a meeting doesn’t happen until four hours later or a friend turns up an hour late for a coffee date, I embrace it as a new opportunity. It’s an opportunity to catch up on my work , or an opportunity to strike up a conversation with someone next to me.
Here in the Pacific, things run at a relaxed pace and while this means that there are ample coconut drinking and hammock swinging opportunities, it can also mean that getting things done can be tricky. It can mean that planes might be late or early or that they might skip airport landings when there are no passengers to pick up though this is not what they advertised. It means that the electrician might turn up in two hours or two days, who knows? It means that making plans can be tricky because rarely will things run according to your plans.
The most important thing to always remember is that things will happen–just in their own time.
I love that the people here don’t worry about little things like being late to something and focus on the more important things that you need to worry about in life.
We are so programed to rush and stress and worry and want things done NOW in the west, but why do we do that? After traveling to various countries where sticking to a strict time regimen is rare, I love embracing the laid-back lifestyle here.
Each day is an unknown adventure and you are never really sure what will happen. I love that there is normally not any rush, unless you are late to catch a boat. I love that the people here don’t worry about little things like being late to something and focus on the more important things that you need to worry about in life.
While embracing ‘Solomon Time,’ I am learning to be more flexible and taking it all in my stride. I’m taking the time to enjoy the good things in life, like fresh tropical fruit, islands and coconuts!
Why I Have Embraced Island Time on Solomon Islands photo by Unsplash.