In order to fly out of this first-world country, I must first run the retail gauntlet.

I am trying to get to my boarding gate at Brisbane Airport International Terminal, to fly to Vanuatu, one of the world’s least developed countries.

The wide corridors have suddenly narrowed and corralled me into a maelstrom of neon signs, electronics, perfumes, clothes, things we must have, must have, must have.

I hear a perfectly coiffed blonde 40-something squeal in delight to her husband as she sees the perfect designer brand sweater at an amazing price.

The surrounding mindless compulsion to consume saddens me, as I put my head down and plough through the duty-free delights.

But am I free of this addiction to acquisition? My husband and I have recently pared our belongings, preparing to hit the Aussie road in a camper trailer once I return from my South Sea adventure.

It has not been easy. I may think I have escaped the claws of the cult of consumerism, but in the end, we still have too.much.stuff.

And as my privileged white-arse touches down on the runway at Port Vila, I hope my time here teaches me about needing less and giving more.

The Port Vila International Airport looks like a suburban corner shopping village.