I had just come back from an exhausting holiday in the Cook Islands in October last year, and as usual, was looking at my next holiday destination on the plane ride home. By chance, I stumbled upon an incredible package to the Maldives for a bargain price at the renowned Shangri La. But there are far and few between who are as reckless, as some might say (I prefer adventurous, spontaneous, vivacious), when it comes to spending exorbitant amounts on travel (my best friend Jess shares this bug/trait with me and it is perhaps why we get along so well and have travelled together so often). So when I broached the topic with James after forking out a fair amount for the holiday just passed, I was enthralled by his immediately agreeable sentiments.
The Maldives is often the idyllic honeymoon destination, saved up for a special time in people’s lives. Mainly secondary to the exxy nature of many of the exclusive resorts there. My parents always felt that I was a bit of a spendthrift. I for one however, agree with the cheesy sentiments of American rappers who coined the term YOLO. Bucking the status quo and doing what I want when I want because I want to, you know?
Of course, the Maldives did not disappoint. You would hope so after the series of flights and ordeal of airports and boarding and disembarking plane after plane after plane. We flew into the southern most point of the maldives atoll’s, Gan, where offshore was located Villingilli island and the noteworthy Shangri La, only a quick speed boat ride away. The humidity and heat was apparent instantly, our faces were rather dewy after very little movement.
A cold face towel handed to me by our personal butler for our stay quickly alleviated my body’s poor thermoregulatory abilities, and I quickly realised that airconditioning was going to be my best friend during this trip.
Ushered onto a buggy, we head on out to our over-water villa in Serenity Bay, our eyes glued to the mesmerising sparkling crystal clear waters and transparent ocean life below. This was far better than any constrictive aquarium setting. The villa exceeded all expectations – spacious, with endless views of the Indian ocean, a bed responsible for some of the best sleep of my life, and a lush indoor and outdoor bathroom setting. Like a true queen, electric roller shutters were simply a button press away, handy for when i felt like a shell of a human at 10 am the next day after drinking my way through bottles of Riesling the night prior.
We walked and cycled over the iconic wooden boardwalks that led out from the luxe villas standing in the lagoon through the dense jungle foliage on parts of the island. Like homing pigeons journeying home with all but an internal GPS, we became all too well acquainted with the pool side bar, working our way diligently through the included cocktail list; spoilt for choice.
Though naturally equipped with copious amounts of melanin, it was James who frequently lay out for hours in the sun working on his tan – the irony of brown people hiding from the sun to stay fair and the fair skinned desperately trying to be brown by all measures plausible, fake or sun induced, was made all too apparent. I did however incidentally go four shades darker after a brief amount of time in the water ; from NARS Foundation tahoe to new guinea in a heartbeat.
What of the food? The best part arguably was the generous neverending buffet breakfast. A double shot espresso, blueberry smoothie and an assortment of Asian style foods was my daily gourmet brekkie. There is something about having noodles for breakfast that I love. James essentially would have two breakfasts as my eyes are much bigger than my stomach.
When I was younger I enjoyed holiday’s filled with activities. But now that i am working, destinations like the Maldives prove a perfect escape from busy neverending days- a chance to switch off and relish in the absolute delight of doing nothing at all. Of watching the aqua blue waters as they gently ripple, the tide ebbing and flowing, snorkelling through warm waters, reading a book that was not medical for the first time in ages..the maldives was exactly what I needed and didn’t even know it. 5 nights felt like much longer, and longer in the best kind of way possible. Nothing like a bit of ocean recovery. So much so I will be heading back to the Maldives in the second half of the year.