I’ve been travel dreaming my entire life. At an early age, I didn’t yet know it, but it was definitely there. I adored the family beach holidays and trips to Disney and loved the feeling of full-fledged freedom each brought with them. I guess, at the time, that feeling meant no homework, not having to wake up early to rush to get to school and the possibility of having ice cream three times a day. As the years progressed and I was the one choosing the destination, footing the bill and deciding the length of time and distance of the journey, the feeling of freedom was the same but the meaning, different. It started with something special to look forward to, to do during those educational holidays (while in university or teaching) and has grown into a desire to have that freedom feeling of travel dreaming joy all the time.
For the past decade, my travels have been a little different than those years between graduation and meeting the husband. Those between years were made up mostly of visiting friends or a beach or cruise holiday at an all-inclusive something. Meeting someone from the other side of the world changed that. Holidays became travel adventures to countries that involved each of us having to fly a similar amount of distance and time. Rarely was that less than six hours for each of us and more likely it was closer to fifteen for at least one of us. Fast forward a few years and the travel adventures got longer, visited more remote spots, involved a whole host of immunizations yet, often included a beach retreat for a few days. It was different. The goal changed from escaping winter and full-time plopping on the sand to seeing, experiencing and doing and then taking some time to recharge those batteries. Travel is exhausting, but if you’re lucky enough to be exhausted from travel, you’re lucky enough.
Aside from visiting friends and family, rarely, if ever, have we returned to the same spot twice. Until now. In our shared existence, there have only been a select few dedicated beach holidays. There was an eleven day stop in French Polynesia for the ‘honeymoon spot’ within the one-year ’round the world honeymoon, one week at an all-inclusive in the Dominican Republic, and a fabulous treat to celebrate my fortieth birthday in the Maldives. This week, we’ve returned to the Maldives to celebrate the husband’s entry into a new decade. Same country, same passport stamp, same resort and no joke, before we arrived we even requested the same beach bungalow in the same spot on the island. This is a first for the both of us.
There’s something special about this place. Whether it was the atoll, the culture, the climate, the people, the resort, the sand, the sunsets, the waves, the time in life or an aligning of the universe of which we were unaware at the time – Kurumba provided the ultimate scene for joy. It’s not an easy thing for us travelers to return to the same spot. There was something there that said, choose this, forget about another passport stamp or a different experience, this one is worth finding again.
Aside from our trip to southern Africa, there are few places we talk about with an impenetrable desire to return – the Maldives was one of them. The husband has been talking about this holiday since we were here almost three years ago. I’m excited to see it through new, yet familiar eyes. We’ve returned to the scene of utter relaxation, complete happiness and total joy. It was here, where we experienced a magical few days away from the extraordinary and ordinary of the every day. We’ve returned for a taste of that pure bliss we felt 976 days ago. Here’s to creating more moments of magical memories.