Apparently it’s Christmas?

A few things recently have made me think a lot about what it is that makes life tick. Don’t worry, this blog isn’t (hopefully) going to read like a therapy session transcript! I wouldn’t inflict that on you… But just a few thoughts…

I got a few hours in Male on my way back to the UK, this was a pretty heated game of chess being played in on of the markets I found

Firstly, a few weeks ago I had a ”european mini-break” – I flew back to Scotland for my sister’s wedding. To say I was excited about this is an understatement. In fact, I’m pretty sure I was more excited than my sister… (no offence to the groom)… If I had been leaving the Maldives for good at this point, I would have been really sad, but being able to pop home and see my family, and then come back was the ideal situation. What I didn’t actually expect was how it would make me feel on returning here. The past few months and the visit home, have all made me realise (wait for the the schmaltzy bit!) how much it means to me being near my family! It’s not that I didn’t think I liked my family before! Just that it has reaffirmed to me how much it means to me to be near them.

Two different beaches, a few days and a few different worlds apart. At home on Nairn Beach in the freezing fog…

A lot of people have said to me over the past few months how being in the Maldives must be “a dream come true”, that “I’m in paradise” and so on. And yes, the Maldives ticks a lot of “paradise” boxes. But are palm trees and beaches really what makes anyone truly happy? For a couple of weeks, maybe, but not longterm. There are two ingredients I reckon, that you need in life. One is to feel that you are accomplishing something both personally and externally – that you you are challenging yourself and through this achieving something bigger than you.

… and back in the Maldives.

Sometimes whilst I have been here, I haven’t been able to feel that I am ticking this box… Sometimes I get so frustrated at the pace of life that I have mentioned before, that I feel like nothing is getting done, that I am treading water. Then a cog in the process turns and once again I feel like we’re getting somewhere.

The second big thing you need in life is people. Or rather, not just people, but people you feel “get” you, who you can share the highs and lows with, with whom a few words can say a hundred.  It’s not that I feel lonely as such here, but it has heightened my awareness of the importance of people around you.

The past few weeks have seen my social media feeds full of people getting into the christmas spirit, which I love to see but also make me a wee bit sad! I’ve had a Christmas away from home before, when I was in India when I was 17. But then I was with other British girl and among other christians, not that I’d say I’m religious, but just that there were people celebrating the day. Here, however, there is not the slightest sign that it’s christmas, because obviously, everyone is Muslim! It’s a bit like going to a Scottish village during Eid and expecting there to be a celebration… It’ll be a strange 25th of December, not only waking up in a house on my own, but in a country that doesn’t in any way celebrate the day. Still, this difference in culture is partly what attracted me to take this role.

Well, it’d be criminal not to learn to dive whilst I’m out here!

And I will be getting a special christmas delivery on the 26th, with the arrival of the furry-faced one (also goes by the name of Adam), who’s joining me out here for 2months – ticking off the second of the two ingredients to a happy life, a loved one to share the experience with! (but hopefully not providing me the “challenges” to fulfil the first requirement!)

You don’t have to be anywhere special to be happy, you just need the right challenges and the right people, whether its Maldives or Manchester it really doesn’t matter.

Happy Christmas everyone. I hope you are all on the path to achieving these two things, or if you’re really lucky, you’re already there.

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