I’ve always pondered this question:
Is there really such a thing as heaven on earth?
To put it bluntly, YES.
Let’s start at the beginning, shall we?
The first question asked when I told someone we were vacationing in Turks & Caicos this year was, “I’m sorry, WHERE?”
My husband and I first heard about this place years ago. Originally when we started looking into it, the $$ dollar signs $$ were way too shocking for us, so we pushed it aside, and vowed to visit at least once after one of us was willing to sell a kidney to do so. 🙂
Kidding. We didn’t sell a kidney. Wouldn’t…I don’t think. But then again, this place is damn amazing…..
We saved up. Looked for airfare deals, planned…planned some more, and finally made it happen.
1) Don’t stay at a resort unless you want to eat rice for a year to pay for it. Book a private villa. We did. Four bedrooms, two baths, a private pool, four minute walk to the beach, and the ability to cook some of your meals at home. A fraction of the cost. Quieter. All around, don’t do it any other way. Mean it.
2) Book your airfare in advance. Don’t fly direct. Look for airfare deals on Tuesday mornings. We were able to fly First Class, all 5 of us, for a VERY reasonable price on US Airways. How? Loads of patience and early planning.
3) Stay near Leeward Beach. The island is small, so renting a car is a must to explore. We opted to stay farther away from the resorts. It’s quieter, and our beach is deserted this time of year. Amazing.
My kids haven’t fought once since arriving. Not that they fight all that much at home, but they are best friends here. It’s astounding when you walk away from life, the stress of it, all of it…how the ability of just being alive settles in. The appreciation of just breathing becomes your focus, and the beauty of nature encircles you. It’s astounding, quite honestly.
Upon our decent into Turks and Caicos, the entire plane grew silent. Cell phones were raised to the windows as everyone snapped photos of a place you, up until that moment, only imagined existed within the pages of a picture book.
The water is crystal clear. Whether you are snorkeling 10 feet above a coral reef, or over 100 feet, you can see the bottom. Just like a swimming pool, except with hundreds of neon colored fish, powered sugar sand rifts on the ocean floor, and conch shells the length of your forearm. Everywhere.
The locals here are so accommodating and friendly. Someone told me the heart attack rate here is almost non-existent. I’m not surprised. It is the most calming, methodical existence any human being could ever uncover here.
What I’ve learned in the past 48 hours since arriving is how much stress we put on ourselves to simply survive. I, for one, am a terrible stress hoarder. We shouldn’t have to visit a place like this to savor life. We should be able to do it wherever we call home, but it’s hard, right? I get it. I hope to walk away, that all of my family walks away, with the value of just BEING. At home, routine is what fuels us, not the quiet means of just being alive. I see it so clearly here.
Sunsets are postcard like.
Last night, my middle child and my youngest laid out under the stars for hours. Without city lights, the constellations are so bright here. My middle child loves the stars, and has ever since he was very young. He taught the rest of us last night where certain constellations were, what they were called, how long astronomers had known of their existence, etc. We saw shooting stars, many of them, and it was invaluable to me to watch my kids stare in wonder at the beauty of the sky that lie above us.
Are we ever coming home? Questionable at the moment. 🙂 When you capture photos like this, it’s very hard to ever fathom stepping back on a plane to return to the life we walked away from.