My 2018 - This is my Hobby: starving on a desert island in Fiji - SURVIVOR!

in my2018 •  2 years ago  (edited)

It may sound a little masochistically, but it is truly my greatest hobby - starving on a desert island somewhere in the Pacific Ocean. To be precise: in Fiji with 16 strangers. Fighting for food. Fighting for staying warm. Building a shelter from scratch. Playing the greatest social game in the history of the television - SURVIVOR.


For those who are not familiar with that game, it is a reality TV show. 16 strangers are put together on a desert island without the access to any modern technology, including Flint, food, fridge, telephone and so on... Participants have to fight against each other and I don't mean physically fight, it's a mental fight. Every three days someone is eliminated from the game by the other players in the voting. The strategy is the most important in this game. You have to have the right friends (choosing form people who you have just met a few hours ago) or I'd rather say -allies. Being physically strong may be your advantage (you can help with eg catching the fishes) but it can be a course as well (they will see you as a threat and want to eliminate you from the game). This game is so deep I don't even know where to start telling you about it!

So let's start at the beginning of this whole story... My story with Survivor.

How it all started for me?

Imagine it's 2001. 6-years old, little redhead girl is staring at the TV. It may not sound like the beginning of the best adventure that has yet happened to me, but trust me - it is so! So I was looking at young, beautiful people in bikinis competing against each other on a perfect location - beach on a tropical island. I probably didn't understand any of the things that happened there, but I was amazed by the beautiful views and clear water. I'm not kidding - I really remember what I thought watching it back then. Every Monday and Tuesday I was anxious, couldn't wait for 8 pm to come. If I was polite enough for the whole day, my parents would let me sit in front of the TV and watch it to the end.
Robinson Crusoe was my favourite film btw as well :D

So it was the only polish season of this reality show. They have spent too much money and didn't get enough in return. It was not profitable enough. As a child, I just forgot about it. But when I was 12 years old I encountered on a program in English that was similar to the one I watched years ago. It was subtitled and I really got involved in the plot. Couldn't wait for the next episode to come! Don't get me wrong - I'm not a TV maniac type. I barely watched and am watching TV now. But this show is an exception. No matter how busy my week is, there is always 45 minutes for Survivor to be found there.

OK, so coming back to the main point: 12 years old me found out there are foreign versions of the reality TV of my childhood going on still somewhere in the world! The season I watched in polish TV was subtitled, but I couldn't get enough. After it finished, I searched the internet. And I found it! SURVIVOR, it's called! I remember that feeling - I felt like if I have found my missing sibling. Me and Survivor - together again! There was only one problem. It was not subtitled, I'm from Poland, I was learning English but you know... I didn't know it enough to understand foreign accents. I never had a real contact with the live language. Only perfect speakers form my school books. But I didn't give up. I watched it anyway trying to understand as much as possible. That's how I learned English. Watching that TV show.


Ok, you already know how i got interested in Survivor but... what this game is about?


The Survivor format has been implemented in 55 countries around the whole world! The leader in the number of seasons carried out has been Americans who have just issued their 36th season (which is great by the way) and are not going to stop there!

In the game, you need to demonstrate the great versatility and you can approach it from different sides! Physical strength counts, ability to make good relationships, analytical thinking, strong psyche, not to give up in crisis situations. In addition, the strategy is important, always looking a few steps ahead... However, the most important of all mentioned above is the ability to properly adapt to the constantly changing situation.

In the game, you need to demonstrate the great versatility and you can approach it from different sides! Physical strength counts, ability to make good relationships, analytical thinking, strong psyche, not to give up in crisis situations. In addition, the strategy is important, always looking a few steps ahead... However, the most important of all mentioned above is the ability to properly adapt to the constantly changing situation.

Okay, I can barely refrain myself from more admiration and go over to particulars:

The Rules of SURVIVOR

Participants are usually a group of about 20 people of different ages, with different professions, from different parts of the country, different in character. They are divided into two groups called tribes. They live in separate parts of the desert island, do not have contact with each other and compete against the other tribe for the first part of the game.

Participants are completely cut off from the outside world during the game. They have to provide the food, build a shelter from materials found on the Island, light a fire without matches or even a flint. The only tools that they have there are: machete, whetstone, first aid kit, a bit of rice and a backpack with clothes (t-shirt, shorts, underwear, a pair of shoes, a hat, sweatshirt). That's all.

I have already mentioned that these two tribes are competing with each other, right? Yes, every now and then participants are sent to competition. It is usually some form of an obstacle course / multi-stage task/ puzzle to be performed.

Look at that challenge! It was sooo difficult!

That one was hard too!

Tribes can win in such a competition an award or immunity. The rewards vary. Of course, the most valuable is food and tools to get it. Sometimes you can also win specific meals, equipment needed to improve the camp, fishing equipment, and even (in US versions) visit of a family member and the opportunity to spend a whole day with him/her in the camp! That was about the reward. As I mentioned, you can also win an immunity. Each episode one tribe has to eliminate one person from the tribe by voting. The tribe that has won an immunity does not have to do that. It's even more precious feeling than not being hungry - feeling safe that you are not going to be eliminated and can survive another day on that island. The voting and a tribal council that goes along with it is the main point of this game, so I will add a few words.

Tribal council

The tribe that have lost a challenge must eliminate one of its members by voting. And here is all the fun. Of course, no one wants to leave. Alliances and arrangements are being formed. Participants face serious dilemmas: get rid of a physically strong person who will be useful for winning subsequent tasks, or maybe the one I least trust? Lies and double arrangements are obviously on the agenda. Tribal Council is a special place where participants meet with the Host of the program before the voting. He often asks inconvenient questions to provoke players to discuss. Tribal Council ends with voting, reading of votes and leaving the program by the player who got the most votes from his tribesmates.

The process is repeated several times, until the next stage of the game takes place. MERGE - A combination of tribes.

But it's not all...

Hidden immunity

Another fun thing! On the Island (in the jungle or around camp) you can find hidden so-called "hidden immunity idol". A person who finds such amulet can use it on any Tribe Council and be safe. After casting votes by the participants, you must signal the desire to play such a game and give the hidden immunity to the Host. No vote for a person using an amulet in this situation counts. That person is not going home tonight. Of course, a person who has found that hidden immunity does not have to tell anyone about it and usually keeping it secret is the best strategy. Players, however, often use the fact of having this amulet to strengthen the alliance with other participants, informing them about it in the act of trust. It may be worth it, but it may also work quite the opposite - it may arouse in others the desire to get rid of "allies - competitors" faster. Good intuition and reading other people is important. It often happens that a person who has an immunity (ie theoretically able to protect themselves from falling out) does not suspect that others will vote for them and leave home with such a unique souvenir There were situations in which someone was so confident of their allies and that they will not vote for him, that he has been voted out of the game with two (!) hidden immunity idols.

Next parts of the game!

When there are about 12 participants in the program, the tribes are joined. The game from this moment becomes completely individual. It is not tribe against tribe anymore. The challenges also become individual at that point. They usually refer to dexterity, accuracy, endurance or memorizing skills (so that both genders have an equal chance of winning). This is the stage of the game in which physical strength and good coping with the advantages turn into big disadvantages. Someone who has been needed by his tribe so far, suddenly as an individual player (and a threat in the competition) becomes dangerous. Alliances and friendships are put to the test. The producers of the program additionally complicate very complex interpersonal relationships by such things: One player wins a great meal in a challenge. He can choose only two people (let's say from 6) with whom he will share it. It is really though at this point. After 20 days of starving food is more valuable than gold.

Who will win?

Of course, the Tribal Councils still happen and every few days someone leaves the program. But people who survived to the merge, even when voted out, still have an extraordinarily important task to fulfill! They will sit in the Jury and choose the winner of the show. Yes, this is the biggest phenomenon of this game. At the end of the game there are 2 or 3 people - finalists in the game. The Final Tribal Council takes place, finalists have the opportunity to express their opinion on why they deserve to win. Jury members ask questions to help them choose the person who deserves to win the most. There are no specific criteria. Some will take into account physical fitness, other personal relationship, the rest the ability to paly that game. This is also a very important aspect, you need to properly sense people to tell them what they want to hear in order to vote for you. Didn't I tell it's awesome?

The person who obtains the most votes from the Jurors wins the program. The finale (like counting votes) usually takes place live!

The game is so interesting also because each player approaches it completely differently and it is hard to sense, how! For one the oath, "I swear to the Bible that I will never vote for you" will be of tremendous value and will never break it, another person does not pay much attention to it. An interesting example is one of the winners of the American version, who at a certain stage of the game lied that his beloved grandmother died a few days before his departure to an Island. He cried that he wanted to win for her, because it was the biggest dream of her life. He aroused pity in his fellow tribesmates and (until now I do not know how) but he miraculously won. Of course, Grandma was waiting at home and she was doing very well. She was pleased when her grandson returned with a million dollars.


(I know, 2000 words and I have not told you yet what really matters, sorry it's my biggest passion, that post couldn't be short)


Watching the show since I was a kid, I have always thought I would be a perfect competitor. It was my biggest dream ever to participate in this show. I'm kind of the outdoorsy person who loves such challenges as finding food, cracking coconuts, fishing, building shelter. But it is the psychological game that has been the most interesting to me! When I created my "BUCKET LIST" and put a sentence "play survivor" on top of it, I didn't even think it may come true one day. There was no polish version of the show, I couldn't apply for the US or any European. So it was just a sentence that could be compared (if it comes to the level of probability) to "marry johnny deep". But it did come true! I still can't believe it happened to me and have shivers all over my body when I think of it.

Exactly (really, 26.03.2017) a year ago I found out they are producing a polish version of Survivor. They were looking for participants. I applied. I actually worked on my application for 24 hours non stop. I polished every detail of it. Every sentence, every word. I made it through 1st casting, second, medical tests, tests in front of the camera, psychology tests, and many more that I can't tell you about... AND I FINALLY RECEIVED THAT CALL! "We are glad to inform that you've made it to the program. You are going to play Survivor." I got crazy. I couldn't believe it ( I still can't). I was the happiest person on earth. Really. I finally get to play it! You can't buy that opportunity for any money. It's one in a lifetime opportunity.

I was chosen as one of 16 people out of 10 000 that applied! Aaa! That would be too much if I would describe every detail of that adventure, but trust me I could talk for hours about it. In short: I went to Fiji, met 15 amazing people there. The game happened to be 392101 times more difficult than I expected. Not because of the difficulties with food, hygiene or lack of comfort. I was prepared for that. People - that was the hardest part. They are all awesome and I love and admire each and every one of them in my private life. But they were much more difficult to persuade that I thought, they didn't want to talk about the game. I just didn't predict the fact that they are not going to know and be "in" the game on the level I did. Don't get me wrong - I get on with them really well. So I didn't win or made it far in the game, but I spend 9 wonderful days on that island! The best days of my life.

Here are some of my thoughts and things I've learned from that 9 days of starving on a desert Fiji island ( I have written a separate post about this here if you are interested):

  • Happiness is a subjective thing.
  • We don't appreciate the things we have enough. I didn't have anything and somehow I managed to survive. You will do great too!
  • Technology is so amazing, but being in pure nature for 9 days can change you forever and is great.
  • Sleeping under the open sky on a desert island in Fiji with no shelter can be a billion star hotel.
  • It is sooo strange to get used to looking at a mobile screen again after not looking at something that close to your eyes for 9 days.
  • A human body can stand much more than you may think!
  • Smell and taste change so much in such environment!
  • Hunger is not felt like we feel it at home. There is no roaring in the belly, no sweet cravings.
  • Fire clearly= life. Castaway, the film, was so real! (btw shoot in Fiji)
  • The Internet gives you SUCH a great access to information!

Dreams do come true my lovely Steemians! Just keep dreaming and believe in yourself!

Me in Fiji, after the game. Do I look like a looser?

wooow. almost 3000 words it's been and I could continue about what we ate, how we slept, what we thought, what was our day like, how we build a shelter... I could talk about this for ages. Anyway, if you feel interested, drop a comment! I will try to answer.

This post is a contribution to a great contest by @anomadsoul, check it out here and use the tag #my2018 to read all other wonderful entries!

Do you have Survivor in your own country? Do you enjoy it? Have you ever watched any season? Or maybe you even thought about applying!? Tell me in the comments!

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Wow! I just read "a million worth" post on steemit. Wow!
My feelings?

I envy you !

I wish I could be in your place.
My chances are none.
I 'm 64.

Thank you so much! If you really wanted, you could apply! I had a 67 yo man in my season and he did great :D age is just a number ;)

How to apply? Is this restricted only for the citizens of a specific country?

Well, yess. I'm from Poland and I could take part only in polish version. I know there is Survivor in France (koh lanta called), Australia (fantastic seasons always), New Zealand and obviously USA. I don't know how about other countries, you would have to check. There is no option to apply for any foreign version (I would if I could for US Survivor).

  ·  2 years ago (edited)

Wow 😮 you have such an amazing writing style. You have such an ability to draw colorful pictures with your words. I could even smell the ocean and feel the thrill of wind and water drops on my skin. Thanks for sharing this surviving experience with us. Looking forward to do something similar soon.

awww, Thank you so much for this comment! You can't even imagine how much it means to me! :) if you do something similar, remember to write a detailed post, I followed you and will be waiting to read it!

Sure .. followed you too .. and waiting for your next adventure lol

You and your friends are just AMAZING 😉

Oh wow, what a post! Your enthusiasm for Survivor is evident in your writing. I loved your storytelling here and how much detail you go into, including your whole backstory to get on the show! Well done on achieving your life-long dream. Your insiders perspective here is really unique! You've done an amazing job writing this. Good luck!

Survivor is just great! My friends and family can no longer stand a word about this game, so... I've found Steemit! :D

Lol. You have a whole new audience!

Happy you got to experience this. We had a similar show in Belgium and my best friend once was selected too. She had an amazing time, learning a lot! And she said the same thing... it was handling/interacting with the people that was the hardest part!

I can clearly realate to that!

I was on Big Brother 8 USA in 2007. I totally understand what its like to be isolated somewhere without the comforts in life. I was on food restrictions for 2 weeks. I was Zach Swerdzewski on season 8 of Big Brother. got to the final day and lost.

Screen Shot 2018-03-27 at 7.40.21 PM.png

Oh! Nice! We have a little reality TV community here on Steemit :D You did much better than I 😄

yes i added you. and yes i love survivor. looks really tough. then again stuck in a house for 3 months isnt the easiest either LOL

it's not at all... I honestly think Big Brother is harder because it's less amusing to me. Island is a completely new environment and that's why it's exciting even (probably) after 30 days. BTW, before castings to my show, I've been listening to Dan Gheesling's(Big Brother 10 winner) podcast named How t get on reality tv and I think it helped me to get into the show :) BB and Survivor have a lot in common ;)

lol dan is such a geek lol... yes they do. there is a lot in common and i have met many at overlapping events as well. Thats so funny that you said that about Dan. hahaha.

Really interesting, my fiancee @JustJasmine did something similar. She was on MTV's "The Challenge" for like seven years. Not exactly "Survivor" but pretty close.

oh! I have to check "The Challenge" out, haven't heard of it before!

Meanwhile in Germany we only have a show with naked people on a similar island.

haha, I know what you mean! It's called Naked and Afraid in English I think. I would never take part in that, too hardcore :D I'm more about social interaction than survival :)

Well naked and afraid actually has a topic.
It is something like naked bear grills, isn’t it?

I was thinking of some dating show thing.
„Adam sucht Eva“
But that’s just awkward, no need to google it.

„Your“ show is based on voting and competitions, right?

Great to see such enthusiasm under such trying circumstances.
I don't think I'd last long either.

and I've always thought that I would be great, that this game is perfect for me, but was wrong. Maybe you are wrong that you would lose? 😎haha. thanks for your nice comment!

I'm just gonna say I find you to be rather attractive. Both physically and spiritually. I wish you well, great post, and congrats on living out your dream!

Thank you! :))

So awesome! I love Survivor! What a kick it must have been to be able to participate... Good for you :)

the best 9 days of my life and I'm pretty sure nothing can beat it! :D

Soooooooo cool! So, since you actually did it! Do they really leave you to survive? No tips, help or food (besides prizes and rice)? How was the social game? That seems like the most difficult aspect to me...

Yes, we really had to make fire, build the shelter, find food and so on... But as you can see in the show there is drinkable water available, so it's fine. Btw I thought hunger will be the worst thing there (I love food, hungry me=angry me) but it was ok! The adrenaline that strikes because you actually play Survivor overcomes the hunger.

The social game is the most difficult aspect indeed! I found it especially hard because my tribe was constructed by a schoolyard pick so it was a little difficult to fit in. And all the paranoia also hit me :D "why are they talking?" "what are they discussing?" haha, that was hard, I expected to be better at that social part

Steady your amazing postings, I see, read and enjoy it thanks for sharing

Ahhh that is absolutely epic!!! I remember watching the first season of Survivor when I was younger. Definitely must have been an amazing experience !

It truly was! Now when it finished, I can't even come up with something that would beat Survivor 🙈

oh wow , what a post and story! you are amazing..

aww, thank you! 🙈🙊

tenor (5).gif

haha, that's pretty much how it looked! but unfortunately, I didn't have Jeff Probst to snuff my torch in my polish season ;/

Hey! Thanks so much for joining the contest im so glad you got curied! It woukd have been awesone if you had mentioned this was an entry for my contest! I started following you, you seem like you make awesome content!

Wow, I just woke up and am so amazed witch the traffic in this post! It has never happened to me before! 😮
Thank you! :))) Sure, I'll edit the post and mention the contest in a second. Catching the occasion - thank you for creating that lovely initiative, I really enjoyed reading some of the entries and writing mine too!

You deserve it! It is one the best entries ive seen so far! I left the comment cause i thought to myself "oh wow this one deserves a spot to win" :D it was not meant in a bad way, i hope it was implied :)

Thank you! It means a lot to me! 😊 sure, all perfectly clear!

  ·  2 years ago (edited)

How did she not mention it? She used the tags and it's in the title, and the second last paragraph.

I didn't see it, maybe cause it was too late for me over here haha or maybe she edited it as she said :) I am sooo glad some entries are being curied, so many awesome posts inspired by the contest around here! Anna sure made one of the coolest ones :D

Congratulations @anna.urbanska, this post is the ninth most rewarded post (based on pending payouts) in the last 12 hours written by a User account holder (accounts that hold between 0.1 and 1.0 Mega Vests). The total number of posts by User account holders during this period was 2057 and the total pending payments to posts in this category was $3995.50. To see the full list of highest paid posts across all accounts categories, click here.

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You are so cool ! Very nice !

thanks :))

You are so brave when attended this game show. I am not sure what I can do when I'm in this case

haha, thank you, it took a lot of preparations both: physically and mentally (and hours spend on YT tutorials "how to build a shelter" "edible plants in Polynesia")

Welcome to Steemit, Anna and thanks for sharing your "Survivor" story with us! We are a friendly bunch of people here -- you don't have to worry about getting stabbed in the back or rationing your supplies!😀 I have to ask, how did you come up with the odd number in your quote here: "The game happened to be 392101 times more difficult than I expected"? @anna.urbanska

thank you for the nice words! haha, that number is just random 😆 I didn't create an algorithm to measure real difficulties that happened here, so I had to estimate it 😂

Fantastic! What an amazing experience in such a beautiful location

Thank you! Fiji is just amazing...

Winner winner!!

I can't compete with your post @anna.urbanska

Awesome work and following you now.


thank you so much for that nice comment Frank :) I am so thrilled to wake up and be welcomed by those nice words of you all! 😍

Amazing, glad you are here on Steemit too ! You are a true adventurist !!

I'm glad too! Found out about Steemit in a bar, somewhere in Laos... and here I am now :D

Wow amazing experience!! I'll search "Survivor". Thank you for sharing

you need to! it's amazing, really! thank you for that comment :))

You made a great post

thank you :))

Your enthusiasm to survive can be feel in your post. Great writing skills. You portrayed everything perfectly.

You may like my travel series too- Travel Series (Part #1) Bali, Indonesia, Bunch of Beautiful Islands

thank you! I love Bali! Followed you to keep up with your future adventures :)