It started as a dream. Being a Waterbaby and growing up in a little Archipelago, the Maldivian Islands has many times crossed my 'Bucketlist' list. I mean - the crystal blue waters; the luxurious resort islands, which marked their freehold on a lone island; and the chic water villas standing on stilts being showcased on every ad got me sold! I just had to see that for myself.
And all that I saw. I was blessed to fly to Male for work and accompany Couples for their Honeymoon. Before landing onto Male, you take in a view of the atolls beneath you. These countless ring-shaped reefs contrasting it's turquoise-coloured inner circle against the dark blue ocean. It was a Maldivian dream come true!
Despite all the beauty Maldives can boast of (I once saw a baby shark and sting rays at our hotel beach) I wasn't exactly caught off guard or swept off of my feet. Because I know what our very own Philippine Islands has to offer. Perhaps just a little bit more tourism boost and environmental protection measures. Perhaps, just like the ads, it was overrated.
However, there are still some truths. The significance and what this bunch of Islands mean to me has long changed since it became my last layover. Honestly, I haven't seen much of Maldives in the couple of times I've been there. Until in December 2016, days before Christmas, I flew with an amazing crew and tagged along with two of my lovely colleagues-turned-friends on a hot and sunny beach day.
Although exhausted after work, our awesome threesome (Egypt, Romania and the Philippines!) dragged us for a one day excursion. This was the first and only time I went to a Resort Island, that is the Club Med Kani, in the Maldives. We took a boat ride from the main Hulhulé Island to Kani. And Paradise it was! We had a huge buffet waiting for us, water activities to be played, photos to be taken and memories to be made. Also, Disney's Moana was a hit at that time! It was clearly a day to be thankful for.
As I was watching the sunset from the edge of a jetty, I remember asking myself what if all of this were gone? And in my thought, I'll be happy. No regrets. Only gratefulness in my heart. Grateful because I got to spend a day in paradise with Salma and Raluca. Grateful to witness dolphins jumping next to our boat ride home. Grateful because I got to live this moment. I say, the world is my playground and I was (literally) on the swing of happiness. And as life is measured by moments upon moments, I have a lifetime of this moment that took my breath away to last. I took it as a gift. Life is a layover. Enjoy it.
Shukran! Mulţumesc! Salamat!
Club Med Kani: