3 Days alone on uninhabited Island (Tonga, Vavau Group) | The Family Without Borders

The Family Without Borders

The Travelling family

South PacificTonga


3 days alone on an uninhabited island

Tonga, Kenutu Island (Vavau Group): Tom feels wild, Photo: Anna

The best thing about 3 days on the empty island? We could run naaaaaked ;) The worst? No sweet water sucks.

Such an idea: if we are in the place of the world, where inhabited islands still exist – we should take a chance! In north Tonga there are many islands without people and only if you find a way to get there – you can stay for a while.

Kenutu, a little island on the east side of north islands. After Kenutu there is just ocean and International Date Line, where the day starts.

So we go. We found a man with a motor boat, paid for the petrol (both sides in advance!) and agreed he will come back to get us in 3 days. He left us alone and waved for goodbye.

Wuuuuuhuuu. Do you remember those funny talks: who would you take with you to the uninhabited island? Or what would you take? From the important things we had: our tent, bottles with sweet water (no sources of water on the island), some cans with food (no really food except coconuts and fish there), a lot of matches and a bush knife. That was such a safety minimum for us. Don’t forget we have kids ;)

First thoughts? Come on, we are totally alone! We can run like idiots on the island and nobody will look, or jugde, or whatever. We can take the clothes off, we can jump and sing very loud. A new feeling!

Ok, let’s put the tent and let’s make the fire. We collected the wood and… it started to rain. Actually we were really a bit unlucky with the weather, was raining most of the time, and even if I’m a master of making fire – it’s not so much fun when everything is wet. And when your kids start to be hungry and ask when this rice will be ready. Suddenly, making a simple lunch takes ages.

Or collecting coconuts! There were a lot of rats at the island, so 99% of coconuts had a little hole and were empty inside. But we knew we have to find some, because we wanted to be sure that we have enough of sweet water in the bottles, just in case. And once you found some coconuts – you realize that carrying more than 2 or 3 is a challange. So you go back to the tent, and then again through the bush to the other side of the island.

Suddenly you can realize how much time takes just… living: collecting rain water, food, making the fire and getting things dry. And – since it was mainly raining – there was anyway not too much time to walk around. But we did walk: meeting some other inhabitants of the island (crabs, snakes and bats).

No running water, no cooker, no electricity, no roof and no people – makes you think a lot. About human needs and about safety. „What if?“ – comes to your mind more often.

THE moments of those 3 days? We found a bit of chocolate in our backpack, melted it on the fire and ate with coconuts! And the morning coffee, when on the second day it was finally not raining (the only pity is that the water boiled on the fire – has not the coolest taste ;). And our naked dancing in the rain (our girls were for hours watching some books and paining drawings in the tent, while we… ) (hmm, some time ago some reader send me a question: „ok ok, but how to have sex with your husband while travelling with kids??“, maybe once I should write a post about it..;)


This post is also available in: Polish

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We have published our first book (for now just in Polish:) about our Central America Trip.
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  • Posted July 9, 2014 at 15:21 | Permalink

    jedno wielkie wow!!!

    • Anna Alboth
      Posted July 11, 2014 at 11:04 | Permalink


  • Posted July 9, 2014 at 15:38 | Permalink

    Szkoda że żadnego Piętaszka nie udało wam się z rąk ludożerców uratować :)

    • Anna Alboth
      Posted July 11, 2014 at 11:05 | Permalink

      może i lepiej? :)

  • Posted July 9, 2014 at 17:40 | Permalink

    Ale świetnie!

    • Anna Alboth
      Posted July 11, 2014 at 11:05 | Permalink

      oj byyyyło!

  • Bea
    Posted July 9, 2014 at 18:46 | Permalink

    Jesteście nie-sa-mo-wi-ci!!! Chylę czoła :)
    PS. Czy jest szansa, że kiedyś zaczniecie publikować też filmiki, nie tylko zdjęcia?
    A swoją drogą Wasze zdjęcia są piękne…! :)

    • Anna Alboth
      Posted July 11, 2014 at 11:06 | Permalink

      Będą!! Tylko musimy mieć więcej prądu i więcej czasu..

  • Paulina
    Posted July 9, 2014 at 19:45 | Permalink

    REWELACJA :), cudowny post :), czuliście się przez chwilę jak Robinson Cruzoe?

    • Anna Alboth
      Posted July 11, 2014 at 11:07 | Permalink

      Czuliśmy się zupełnie niezwykle i wyobrażaliśmy sobie, jak to było tak naprawdę i na długo wylądować na takie wyspie. No kosmos no!

  • dubi
    Posted July 10, 2014 at 11:45 | Permalink

    Consider the post, it would definitely become popular! :)

    Great adventure. Mine was not that extreme, I’ve stayed on an island with people permanently living there (no running water and very limited electricity though) and met, I think, the same zebra-like snake. It’s a really deadly one.
    No risk, no fun…

    Good luck with the rest of the trip!

    • Anna Alboth
      Posted July 11, 2014 at 11:08 | Permalink

      Really?? About the snake. Shit ;)

      About the post – I see I see, time to write one!

      • dubi
        Posted July 11, 2014 at 22:10 | Permalink

        I’ve done a little research and found a snake I saw. Ooopsie, it’s the most deadly one in the world!!! At least according to that list:
        It was the Belcher’s Sea Snake. I know it looks black and blue in the picture but it may be found on land as well (I met them on a beach moving inland) and then it’s black and white, and looks very much like in your pic (wiki says it lives around Solomon Islands, so I guess Tonga also belongs to its natural habitat).
        I hope I haven’t scared you, I’m just surprised myself what a creature we’ve met!

    • Posted July 12, 2014 at 13:41 | Permalink

      @dubi: If you wanted to shock us – your succeeded. So i also started to research a bit and I feel calmer now.

      I am quite sure now, that the fellow we met is NOT a Belcher’s Sea Snake (which “rarely goes on land” – Wikipedia), BUT a Colubrine Sea Krait (Laticauda Colubrina), which is hunting at night and hanging out on the islands in the daytime. All the description and the pictures on Wikipedia fit much better.

      Our yellow headed friend might be still a deadly one, but since they don’t hunt in the daytime, but at night swimming around in the sea, the The Family Without Borders walking around is not exactly what the want to bite. Luckily!

      cheers / tom

      • dubi
        Posted July 13, 2014 at 10:07 | Permalink

        Sorry, I really didn’t mean to shock you! I think you’re doing a great thing for your little girls (and yourselves) which they will remember and benefit from for all their lives. I’ve spent almost a year living/traveling in a similar region (mostly living in a house in a jungle) and I think taking local transportation (motorbike, bus) was more risky than finding a snake in my house from time to time. Anything in life may be risky, actually ;))
        Since it’s you who saw the snake, you’re probably right about the species, especially if it was more inland. I’m quite sure the ones I met were the Belcher’s Sea Snakes (locals suggested me so) but, of what I understood while doing some more research, they aren’t really dangerous (even though their venom is) too, fortunately (for me)!
        Good luck, I really enjoy reading your blog!

  • Joanna
    Posted July 10, 2014 at 14:33 | Permalink

    OK, I’m waiting for THE POST. :) All the best for you, guys!

    • Anna Alboth
      Posted July 11, 2014 at 11:09 | Permalink

      ;)) Deal!

      • justyna
        Posted September 10, 2014 at 11:49 | Permalink

        Can’t wait! :)

  • Premek
    Posted July 8, 2016 at 01:19 | Permalink

    Cziesc jak tam? :) not sure if its correctly written.
    We are couple from Czech republic and want to do the same about living on inhabited island. I was just wandering how much did you pay for the petrol and the favour to take you there?
    All best peace and love :)

    • Posted July 8, 2016 at 10:06 | Permalink

      Hello Pzemek, we just gave the boat driver something around 5 to 10 Dollars per person. In Tonga all the time people have to get from island to island and the usually pay the boat driver like you pay for a taxi. If your uninhabited island is further you pay more than for the normal island trip. If it is somhow on the way you will pay less. / cheers / tom


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