Mary van Erp Bythell

Current Rock of Residence:

Suva, Fiji

Island Girl Since:


Originally Hails From:

California – though that was an awfully long time ago!

Found frequently standing in front of the world map that hung in the dining room as a small child, Mary was presciently givena book about the South Pacific by her parents on her 8th birthday inscribed, “To our dream traveler”. Back then she aspired to live in Ulan Bator and Tierra del Fuego for reasons that remain unfathomable. Since escaping the suburban cultural desert of the pre-gentrified South San Francisco Bay Area, she has lived on three rocks: St. Croix, the UK and Fiji. Her time in St. Croix gave her an appreciation of fine rum, incomprehensible bureaucracy and not wearing shoes. In her little Northumberland village, she learned how to pronounce her T’s properly, take tea with milk and not to regard neighbors with suspicion. Leaving oldest child at university in Blighty, she moved to the sweaty megatropolis of Suva in 2012 with youngest child and husband, where she now works and takes in waifs and strays, mostly of the feline variety. You can read more about Mary’s Fiji life on her personal blog, Fiji Diaries.

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Explore posts by this writer:

Cat vs Bat: A Fijian Death Match at 3am

I had been thinking that a post about creepy crawlies in Fiji was long overdue when the inspiration arrived on my doorstep. My bedroom doorstep. Literally. At 3am. Now all of you cat owners will be familiar with the lovely treats that your cute little killers bring...

Keep in touch with the tropics!


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