You know you’re on a special kind of trip when you walk out of the airport and jump straight into a speedboat. I don’t think I’ve ever seen sea that colour. Not really blue…turquoise. Startling. I couldn’t stop smiling, despite all the worry of leaving the kids, despite it being six o’clock in the morning.
The Maldives is made up of a long, narrow chain of 26 natural Atolls, which are a bit like islands of Coral. The Four Seasons Kuda Huura Hotel is all that can be found on the North Male Atoll. No cars. No roads. No neon lights. No hustle or bustle. Just staggering beauty and serenity all aound. As the speed boat approached the jetty where we would disembark, a group of people stood and serenaded us – a traditional Maldivian welcome. We climbed up onto the jetty and a beautiful smiling lady, with a flower in her hair greeted us:
“Welcome Mr and Mrs Jelf.”
We had no name tags on and we weren’t the only guests to arrive. How on earth did she know who was who? It seemed every single member of staff, from the Manager, who mingled with guests practically incognito, to the omlette chef, knew us by name, and everywhere we went, we were always greeted hospitably whenever we walked past.
Our suitcases were whisked away while we were greeted by our smartly dressed Concierge, who gave us a refreshing spiced drink. She told us about the various restaurants we could eat in and informed us that we’d been given two complimentary excursions of our choice, plus a massage! Nathan and I kept looking at one another in disbelief. This was crazy!
When we were shown to our room I was overwhelmed. Surely this was not just random chance. This was a blessing from heaven! The rooms were not so much rooms… Each one based on a traditional Maldivian style house, complete with garden and private pool.
At the end of the garden, a winding path, hedged on either side with lush greenery, led out to a secluded beach.
Emotions began to surface as I drank in the beauty of the room, the garden, the views. This place was completely out of this world! Paradise. I had been so reluctant to leave the children. But it dawned on me that maybe, just maybe, this was meant to be! I knew in that moment, a choice lay before me. I could spend the week worrying about the kids. Or I could let go and entrust them into the hands of the One who made the turquoise sea that lay before me…