I am back in Singapore now, alhamdulillah, and right at the beginning of Ramadhan too. Full circle.
Between the last entry and this one, I had every intention to blog regularly. There were much to share, lessons to process and beauty to spread, but alas, technology wasn’t on my side.
Let’s just say Mauritian internet connection is truly a test of patience, plus the lack of wifi is enough to cause you to flip a few tables.
But as I quickly learnt, there are bigger battles to fight, so I made do with documenting my time in Mauritius using Instagram. If by chance you are on Instagram, it’s at @thetudungtraveller and #tttprojecthope / #tudungtravels.
Y’know, 4 weeks flew by just like that. Can one imagine a lifetime?
How was it? Do I wish I could have stayed there longer?
Yes and no. Yes, because I have made so many dear friends and left pieces of my heart behind, and would have loved to see my idea being executed in person. No, because I have done all that I could, and it is now time to be elsewhere.
With a full heart during my last sunset on Flic en Flac beach 2 days ago, I calmly whispered to the wind:
“I am enough. I have given my all, and there is nothing left I have to give.”
My time with StartUp Mauritius was nothing short of enriching, with all its ups and downs, challenges and blessings. I came back with the conviction that I have strectched and grown into someone who I hope is better than the one who’d left Singapore 4 weeks ago.
Why do you go away? So that you can come back. So that you can see the place you came from with new eyes and extra colors. And the people there see you differently, too. Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving.
Everything happens in its own time and every lesson will reveal itself like a flower in its bloom.
Mauritius is truly a testament to Allah’s beauty and greatness, the people I met there an answer to my prayers, and the work done a satisfying calling.
I struck a whole lot of stuff off my bucketlist while there, and I cannot be any more grateful. Over the past four weeks, I:
- stepped on the African continent
- got my PADI Open Diver certification
- swam with dolphins
- channelled my passion for teaching and entrepreneurship into something positive
- trained and taught on the beach under a blanket of stars
- saw my first (and a few more) shooting star(s)
- stargazed through the night and slept on the beach, while trying very hard not to freeze
- got lost in a sugarcane plantation
- touched as many lives as I could with as much grace, love and wisdom I could muster
- and many more.
Allahu. Sometimes the best things happen when we let go and let God, for that was how I ended up somewhere in the middle of the Indian Ocean.
May the deeds be accepted, may the lives touched continue to spread love & joy on the many corners of this earth, and may the flame of hope keep burning.
Before I end this little note of hope, here’s one of my greatest, if not the greatest lesson I’ve learnt over the past 4 weeks:
As much as possible, be the beacon of light, love and hope. We are all so different, yet our souls crave the same things. Be the soul that feeds the hunger and thirst of others who are searching for light. Like sunlight to plants, leaves in need will stretch out to feel and feed on the warm rays of the sun, without the sun ever needing to inch any closer. Stay grounded, yet soar far and high.
Every one is fighting their own battles – battles unseen and hidden. Some people take a lifetime to understand themselves; some never do. Imagine how hard it is to try and understand someone else. So try less to understand, but to love instead. Act with compassion, treat others with respect, and carry the self with dignity.
When given a choice, always choose to act with love. When I act with love, I know that I am making the better decision.
Choose to love.
Thank you Mauritius. The sun has set for my time with you, and the next phase is starting to spread its faith. I am bound to start a new chapter tomorrow, and I am filled with both excitement and anxiety. But let me leave that talk for another day.
I’ll be back soon, with more stories and pictures.
Till then, Ramadhan Mubarak to all my Muslim darlings!
Lots of love,