That Island Ting: Madagascar

Akory ê!

I’ve been meaning to write this post for a while now but there were some… technical complications when it came to my website. Long story short, I accidentally deleted my databases and it led to the destruction of my website. Literally. But, somehow ya girl managed to bring it back from the dead and recreated everything – except the contents. I’m still working on that. So far, it’s looking pretty great.

I got back from my trip to Madagascar in early January and can I just say, I had the best time of my life. So many memories were made and I feel a much deeper connection to my little island than ever before. While the main reason we went back home was to show my bother in law what Madagascar look like, we were also all given the chance to discover a place we’ve never been to – aka the north. I guess you could say that it was a new experience for all of us. The trip started at the capital, Antananarivo – that’s where I grew up. We stayed there for a few days, went to visit the Royal Hill of Ambohimanga (probably was the fourth time for me, but it never ceases to amaze me each time) – and of course, the jet lag hit me harder than a truck. The first three days consisted of visiting family members, buying food that we’ve all been missing, trying to fight the jet lag, and visiting all the hot spots of Antananarivo. Once it was the first Sunday, we hoped on a “taxi brousse” and left for the north, making Ankarana our first (one night) stop.

Ankarana was beautiful. It’s a very small village located in the north west of Madagascar. With the help of our agency, we were able to find a nice place to live in and completely immerse in our environment throughout the whole trip. We spent the next morning hiking at the National Park, went inside a bat cave and looked at the different tsingy of Madagascar. Unlike most National Parks in the US where we would usually walk on grass or mud, Ankarana has a very unique landscape. “In places where the calcific upper layers have been completely eroded, the harder base rock has been etched into channels and ridges known as tsingy.” The first few hours, we were walking in a forest then our path gradually changed rocks. Pictures are worth a thousand words so below are some pictures of how the view and ground looked like. The hike itself took the whole morning to complete, we walked for 13 kilometer (8 miles) and let me just say, the cold shower after that hike was heavenly.

But our main destination was in Nosy Be, which was also my favorite part of the trip – mainly because I’ve seen many pictures of the island but never in real life. When it finally, happened we could believe it. After leaving Ankarana, we arrived in Diego and from there, we went to the port that took us to Nosy be, one of the most touristic place in Madagascar. It’s a little island up north that is surrounded by other smaller islands. Nosy Be is a magical place to be. Words can’t explain everything .

I spent most of my days on the beach, relaxing. At times when I found myself not doing much, I read. For Christmas, My sister, Mani, got me Don Miguel Ruiz’s The Mastery of Love (along with a Le Petit Marseillais Body Wash and Clay Face Mask – you know, the essentials.) I’ve been meaning to get my hands on one of his books for the longest time and I can honestly say that it was worth the wait. Before I left for Madagascar, I wasn’t in the best state emotionally. As I was pretty open about it, I also struggle a lot letting go of certain things and seeing my worth. My primary mistake was depending my happiness of someone else and holding them responsible for it. It easily led me believe I wasn’t going to be able to live without them so I couldn’t let it go. From that point on, I was questioning a lot things about this person, where we stood and if I wanted to keep coni I never realized how lost I had been feelings until I started believing I wouldn’t be able to live without them beside me. Essentially, reading The Mastery of Love helped me get through that faster than I had anticipated. There were times when things weren’t going so well and I craved that sense of comfort he would always give me with his presence or times when I would think about all the good times we spent together and wishing things weren’t the way they were. The best part of it all was me always finding God in everything that I did. Believing that, through the darkness you will always light, just like with God, you will always come out alive.   Going home was just what I needed to clear my head and remind myself of who I am. I never realized how lost I had been feeling until I started believing that I couldn’t live without a particular person’s presence. Before I knew it, I invest more time trying to keep them around rather than putting myself first. While I felt Through all of this, I made a promise to myself that I would never allow myself to let someone become a priority before myself