Travelling to a Resort Atoll in Maldives

Our recent trip to Maldives was not a fulfilment to a bucket list, since I am not one who loves to travel, but more of a result of an impulse decision. Right after our Japan trip, hb suggested that we should take a trip to Maldives during K’s 1 week Sept school holidays, since some of his air-miles were going to expire at the end of the year.

7 days seemed like a perfect number of days to spend on a ‘remote’ island without getting bored.

A flight from Singapore to Maldives Velana airport is only about a 4 hours flight away, as SQ have two flights into Maldives daily, either a late morning arrival or a late night arrival. We opted for the latter and stayed one night at the Maldives Airport Hotel as the seaplane flights to Thaa Atoll did not operate at night.

Having done that, I think it will be a better choice to to take an early morning flight from Singapore and then try to get seaplane transfers in the same day, without the hassle of finding accommodation in Male or at near the airport.

Maldivecomb1Snaps taken while waiting for the Como Maalifushi Counter to open to arrange for our seaplane transfer the next morning.

 

Once our luggage was checked into the counter, we were driven to the Maldivian Seaplane building, about 10 minutes drive away, and ushered into a comfortable Como (the name of the resort we travelled to) Lounge to wait for our boarding.

Maldives 3Watching the seaplane from the Como lounge while waiting to board our Seaplane to the resort

 

When hb and I were planning for our trip to Maldives, we wanted to experience a fairly new resort in a remote (untouched Atoll) as the quality of the coral reefs were one of our considerations. So we didn’t really considered the time we needed to travel on the seaplane. There are many other options of resorts in Maldives that can be reached by seaplane under 30 minutes of travel time. The other consideration we took into account was comfortable rooms with direct access to the sea, i.e., water villas. The photos on Como Maalifushi website seemed to show that they have beautiful water villas with a good house reef, while being family friendly at the same time.

Most resorts with water villas have an age restriction for children, as families with children under the age of 8 years old are not allowed to stay in the water villas but have the option of beach villas or rooms to stay in.

When in Maldives, the whole family needs to love the sea  (ie. have no fear of the water or the swimming in the sea) to be able to fully experience what most of the resorts can offer. Especially since it is not the most budget-friendly or convenient place to travel to with children. When travelling with young children who are still on diapers, or milk or just started solids, be prepared to lug everything along with you, as it will be almost impossible to get any baby suppliers when stranded on an remote island.

It’s still more worthwhile to go to the mid to high end family resorts in Phuket or Krabi when one has young children below 8 years old, taking into account less hassle for travel.

Some resorts even have ‘adult only’ restrictions. I have read on the TripAdvisor that some resorts have restrictions that kids are not allowed in any of the restaurants or common areas after 630pm.

I think travelling to Maldives with children who are at least 10 years of age will be the most optimum, since 10 years old is also the age that PADI allows children to take their first Discover Scuba lesson or Open Water course, which will be directly converted to a Open Water License when the child turn 16 years old.

 

On the Maldivian Seaplane

The journey itself to Thaa Atoll where Como Maalifushi is an experience on its own, since its my first time travelling on the seaplane. As more than 95% of the seaplane journey was very scenic (can be disconcerting for some who have a fear of heights) as the seaplane it took another 1 hour on the seaplane to reach Thaa Atoll where Como Maalfushi is located.

 

The seaplanes are not allowed within the shallow areas of the Atoll surrounding any resort. So the ‘landing pad’ is a wooden floating platform in the middle of the sea. So it can get a little scary with strong currents and wind (no issue during the high season when the seas are calmer), as one tries to get a steady stance on the platform, while waiting for the boat from the resort to arrive and transfer the luggages and the passengers onto the boat for the 15 minute ride to the resort.

 

Next…We arrive at Como Maalifushi!

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The New Home – T Minus 84 days to Moving In

For a while, I have been mulling over whether to continue blogging about new home. As I have good friends who are currently going through financial challenges in their lives, and blogging about my breakthroughs might make them feel worse about their current state, so I did consider that I should be more sensitive about their situation.

Then I was reminded why I planned to blog about this in the first place.

The new home is a blessing from God and I am full of praise and thankfulness for all He has done in my life.

If you have followed my journey since 2011, you might have chanced upon posts about our first home, and how we move on from this home.

What I didn’t add then was the circumstances surrounding why we had to sell our home.

My hb chalked himself a huge debt through his business and we were in a very bad shape financially, so selling the home was the only way we could think of to pay off most of the debt.

We could not afford to buy a home anymore after that so we rented, but less than a year later, we had to move again from the rental home, as renting a house prove to be something we could not even afford monthly. So we moved into a room in hb’s Auntie’s house.

Again what I didn’t add was that debt was still there, and due to some very unwise choices, the debt hole become bigger. The hole was big enough not to ever own a home for a rest of our lives, if God didn’t bring us through this. I never dared to even think or even ask God to give us a new home, I just lived my life a day at a time.

Subsequently hb and I had to live separately (that was the most poignant time in our marriage), and since 2013, hb has been working out of Singapore.

In 2015, things improved financially and we could afford to rent a home, which we are still residing in today.

Being able to rent a home has been no short of a miracle breakthrough, but God went further and gave us a bigger miracle to have finally owe a home which we can call our own.

Looking back, hb and I can both identify to the story of Abraham in the bible. Except that being stubborn asses as we were, we would probably not be willing to give up our ‘Isaac’ (our home). But we had didn’t have a choice as we had to deal with the consequence of the bad choices we made.

After letting go of our first home, there were more tests and difficulties that came along (which are too complicated to list them down here, but I will share if you are ever keen to hear my testimony personally) which brought us to the lowest point in our life.

Eventually it became worse than just losing the home. But it was at this point that we decided that in our own strength, we can never save ourselves and we needed a miracle from God to bring us a breakthrough.

This new home is more than an answer to our prayers, hb’s specifically was, to have our finances restored. Upon retrospect, it has been more of a resurrection rather than just restoration. As for me, my prayer was “God please take care of my family. I will do what you tell me to.” So I have been very determined since then, to be able to understand the will of God and learn to hear Him speak to me for every situation in my life.

So in a way, our situation then it was a ’no choice’ surrender to God, vs the story of Abraham who was willing to give up Isaac as a show of obedience and surrender to God. But I learnt surrender, obedience (my trips to Jakarta to share a testimony over a two year period, God made it very clear to me that I will lose my inheritance if I did not take the obedient step to go 😱), repentance, and the fear of God through this journey.

Even then, God made everything work out for good. That’s how wonderful the God I serve. And true to His word in the Bible, as He has blessed my family abundantly, having all that we need. (2 Corinthians 9:8)

So when you see this ‘silly’ woman share bible verses and faith messages on my Facebook status, know that I am walking out and truly experiencing this life with God. These verses and words are like fire, fire in my heart and in my bones (Jeremiah 20:9), I cannot hold it back, simply because He is so good and He is a true and living God.

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I would have never expected that one day I will be able to create a nesting place that hb and I both envisioned.

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It has been exciting seeing the transformation of our new home step-by-step. Even with this stripping down to bare walls and floors, with only ugliness and mess, I am still reminded of God’s goodness for my family.

This is a milestone for my family, as it is only because of Him, that I am able to share this process and the joy of building up this dream home for my family.

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Who do you say I am?

This very question was asked by Jesus to Peter, in the book of Matthew.

Probably many Pastors and Christians with the knowledge of Christ written in the Bible will be able to answer the same way as Peter did, as his reply to Jesus was, “You are Christ, Son of the living God.”

What we hear from the leaders in Church or even read from the bible or books about God is termed as Knowledge. To put it simply Knowledge is the information or awareness gained through experience or education.

While Understanding is defined as knowing or realising the intended meaning or cause of something, it can also mean an intepretation or view of a particular thing.

It is said that Knowledge is greater than understanding, and one without another is incomplete.

I think this concept of Knowledge is greater than understanding can be applied over many things. However I realised that when it comes to making sense of this thing known as life, understanding is just as important.

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How do we apply knowledge and understanding to our own lives?

Case in point, when it comes to difficulties we experience through life, knowledge is not enough.

I might know that I am experiencing some form of difficulty or problem or even what caused it, but understanding will be more crucial here; why I am going through it?

Often we just see on the surface why we have to encounter a difficulty or trial in life.

When we analyse the situation from a logical perspective, it may be a consequence of an earlier decision we made. Also surrounded with well-meaning friends or relatives, who will remind us constantly, saying “It’s your own fault, you did this and that, you made the choice.”

Or it might be that we are participants of decisions that others selfishly make (i.e., in a family unit), or a victim of circumstances (we are just placed in that situation without any intervention of our own action).

If I take the regular church-goer Christian perspective of, “I am experiencing this, as God wants to humble me. Or that I need to count my blessings…” I would have just skimmed the surface of something deeper.

When I look deeper, I believe there is a purpose for difficulties and trials to change us to be a better person.

 

What if, it is more than just ME?

But what if, we took it a step further and see things from God perspective, everything we encounter a difficulty and trial, and ask this same question. “Who do I say He is?”

If I choose to see it simply, I think trials and difficulties fulfilled these 3 things;

1. Refine our characters

2. Build a greater revelation and understanding of God in our lives. This means to know God personally, as He can and will speak personally to address our problems and trials (this includes the solutions). Not just what is preached in the pulpits, or shared by others.

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3. Help us develop an identity of ‘who we are’ and ‘Whose we are.’

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It all comes down to our relationship and understanding of who God is; which translates to developing our identity of ‘Who we are in Christ’ and a greater revelation of God.

If we can seek God to refine us, and also come to an understanding of these things every time we face any difficulty. The purpose of these difficulties and trials would have fulfilled its purpose in our lives, and that’s when it will usher in the breakthroughs.

A life journey walking with God is not rocket science, it’s religion that complicates it. It is actually very simple, yet profound. I know this works, as I have experienced it in my life.

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It’s often our quest for knowledge that complicates, as I don’t need a theological degree to share all that. All it takes is time seeking Him.

Don’t resent your difficulty or trial either by shaking your fist towards God, and feel resentment towards Him for allowing the trial.

Instead, start asking yourself this question, “So who do I say He is?”

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It’s worth spending that 47 minutes of time to listen to this and think about how much of these Names of God you truly know and understand.

Click on this video below and listen to the lyrics in this song ‘Names of God’.

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