Travel & Expat Lifestyle Magazine

Collin McKenny in Fiji Expat Spotlight

collinToday’s Expat Spotlight interview is Collin McKenny, owner of Lomalagi Resort in Savusavu, Fiji. She escaped from “Corporate America” in 1997 and built a boutique resort in the Fiji Islands.

Quick Stats:

How did you become an expat, and why?

I got tired of shareholder value overtaking the value of customers and staff from a corporate perspective! Cashed in my stock options, 401K — sold everything (well, almost everything that didn’t fit into 5 containers!) and moved here in 1997 after finding the property in 1996 on an exploratory trip. I’m by myself these days — my ex didn’t fit into the “Fiji time” way of living.

Where else have you been an expat?

Just Fiji.

Best piece of expat advice you’ve received?

My Fiji lawyer said “Instead of building right away, why don’t you wait a while and learn how things work here.” We didn’t listen!

Best piece of expat advice you’d give?

See above!

Favorite expat related web sites?

I read MSNBC and the London Times online to find out what’s going on in the “real” world.

Are you planning or dreaming of a move? Are you going home instead? Where to and why?

I’ll be 65 this year and am planning to sell the resort although I will still stay in Fiji.

Tell us more about what you do in your location?

It’s a pretty lazy lifestyle. The resort is small (only 6 Villas) so it’s not too demanding from a “work” perspective. I have a great staff which makes a big difference! I love meeting new people from all over the world who come to Fiji for R&R.

Here are a few photos of the resort:
lomalagi-villas lomalagi-aerial

Would you recommend your current location to other expats? Does it rock or does it suck?

The politics are crazy but the people and the physical environment are wonderful. Like many overseas places, you can’t always get the stuff you want. I miss Wheat Thins, asparagus, strawberries (it’s not cold enough here for them to grow). I miss not having a WalMart or Home Depot to run to when you need something. I’ve always been flexible — now I REALLY am!

What is the expat community like where you are?

In the Savusavu area (on Vanua Levu, Fiji’s second largest island) there are +/- 100 expats — mostly Aussies, Kiwis and Yanks. Some are snowbirds; many live here year round. Suva, the capitol city on the main island, has lots of expats.

Anything you’d like to add?

Don’t be afraid to live your dream!

Thank you!

Thank you, Collin for participating in our Expat Spotlight! We wish you success and happiness in your current location, and wherever your dreams and business endeavors take you.


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