Wasting away in paradise

So it turns out a sojourn in paradise does not mean everything is perfect.  I just went on honeymoon in the Maldives, and it looked like this:

We stayed in one of these:

And they did things for us like this:

It was exactly what you would imagine paradise to be.  I’ve never been steeped in beauty like that before.  Of course I’ve been a lot of beautiful places, some unexpectedly idyllic (like the visitors center in Concord, Massachusetts).  But I’ve never stayed in one place that is so aesthetically pleasing all the time.  Everything was perfect-looking, unspoiled.  Of course, there was a staff on the island which worked like elves (sometimes camouflaged in green uniforms) to preserve this, but nature did a pretty good job on her own with crystal clear aqua water and deep blue skies.  That is what is relaxing about going someplace beautiful that is the middle of nowhere.  We had nothing to do but enjoy the scenery.

Some people might be bored on such a holiday.  Even I couldn’t go to the beach every time.  But for a honeymoon, it was perfect.  I love museums, but didn’t want to spend a week scurrying through them.  Cities fascinate me, but I didn’t want to be dead on my feet.  I wanted to enjoy time with my new husband, and the respite of it being just the two of us after all the wedding frenzy.

Well, we certainly did grow closer, but not in the way you’d expect.  We caught a stomach bug and were both down for the count for a couple of days.  Even after we recovered, it was mostly chicken and rice at the buffet, passing over the tempting carving station, cheese board and unlimited desserts.

It was disappointing, but it didn’t ruin our vacation in the way I thought it would.  Firstly, when there’s nothing to do but lay around and look at the ocean, it was hard to feel like we were missing out.  Our water villa was gorgeous inside, and we didn’t pay to upgrade and not spend any time there.  And ok, when we left I thought we would be engaging in honeymoon activities and packed appropriately, but it turns out that being sick together brought us closer in another way.  We wound up taking care of each other (I think he was better at it than me, but he’s British and a boy and therefore doesn’t embrace coddling very well), and let me tell you, having a stomach bug together tore down any fair-like illusions that were left, any ideas that we could somehow be perfect people for each other.  We found out how much the other person’s crap stunk and we loved each other anyway.

And at the end of it, we rallied enough to snorkel and go on a sunset cruise and do some lazing around in other locations, like the pool.  I’ll always remember how beautiful Komandoo is, but what I’ll also take away is that this little sojourn in an ethereal paradise was the beginning of a very real marriage, with all the thorns and warts that make it somehow lovelier.

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