I think you’ll agree with me when I say that travel is probably one of the most dominating status symbols of our time – it is the hot topic at all social and work gatherings, it is the source of pride for the well travelled and the way people gauge if one has ‘arrived’. In all this, I am lost because as embarrassed as I am to admit this , I’ll say it – I don’t really enjoy travel. I am the sort of person who can spend infinite amounts of time alone with nothing to do and nowhere to go. Travel is often something that starts to rub off on me at the middle or end of a trip. This does not sit well with my travel hungry husband who spends all his waking hours plotting his next adventure (I often joke with him that he has a travel itinerary planned and ready for Timbuktu). So one of my biggest promises to myself at the outset of my career break was to loosen up and enjoy travel a bit more so that I’m not playing the Grinch at our vacations. But I must say that when the ocean is involved there are fewer temper tantrums and so much more enthusiasm from me.
With this post, I am creating a new category of posts recording moments of my travel journeys that seem to be worth remembering. This isn’t intended to be a guide or a review or anything remotely useful to anyone. This is for me to come back and smile when I think about my travels and encourage me to go on that next adventure. (Yes, selfish I know but maybe you smile too when you read this?)
After years of drooling at our friends’ pictures we decided to finally take that well deserved trip to Maldives, a tiny island nation which is shockingly a two hour flight away from Bangalore. The night before we left my friend S warned me, “No beach will ever be good enough for you AGAIN”. I brushed it off but I think she is right and now I am worried that I may never be completely satisfied by a beach ever. 😐
Here are my favorite moments of Maldives 2014
- Welcome – When we got to Male airport, I was my usual cranky post-travel, pre-checkin self and ready to snap at anything and anyone. We were made to wait for about 20 mins for our transport to our hotel (Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa). Finally when the speed boat arrived at the dock, I sat down grumpily at a seat by myself away from PK ignoring him completely (I know you’re thinking – such a bitch). We chugged along, the cool breeze hitting my face and slowly tempting me to throw away my grouse and have a good time when a bigger boat cut across our little speed boat. Before I could comment on how even the seas have traffic problems, I found that the boat had splashed enough water to completely leave me soaking wet (only me, no one else on the boat). Even the ocean was telling me to lighten up and enjoy myself.
- The View – Thanks to my husbands hotel points, advanced planning and some dumb luck we were upgraded to an over-water bungalow that had the juiciest, most delicious (for the lack of superlative adjectives to describe this) view I’ve had the good fortune of experiencing. We spent a lot of time on the outdoor deck soaking in the beauty and watching shimmering green waters and the orange sun melting away into the waters at sunset.
- Did you just say, Shark?? – As much as I love water, I am not a very good swimmer and to make matters slightly worse I have a fear of deep water. So it is with some trepidation and some put-on confidence that I signed us up for a reef snorkeling activity. We have snorkeled before in Hawaii but as novice swimmers we’re still not completely confident to jump into the sea and just go for it. After some initial “Oh My Goodness – What have I done” moments when I first saw how deep the water really was, I finally decided to just suck it up and enjoy the experience while I was given the opportunity to do so. When I took a small break and was floating on my back, this girl nearby tapped my shoulder and said, “Did you see the sharks?”. I quickly popped back into the water to see the last of a group of sharks a considerable distance below us. It was scary and beautiful all at the same time.
- Dolphin Watch on Dhonis – I’ve been to dolphin cruises in many places before but none was this special. Here, we weren’t in a gigantic boat with barricades – we were sitting on the floor of a traditional wooden Dhoni boat with dolphins merely a few feet away from us. My favorite were the playful spinner dolphins that decided to come up close to us and oblige us with a few flips – they received a thunderous applause from the entire boat of people.
- Leaving old comfort zones for new ones – When I left the US in March this year, PK was a non-swimmer. In the few swim lessons that he has had since I left he has learned so much that I was stunned when we hit the pool on the first day. It is a big step for someone who was always nervous around water to get out of their comfort zone and I am so proud of him for it. He and I both have a long way to go before we’re comfortable swimmers but we’re committed to get there.
Thank you for allowing me to reminisce – I hope you enjoy reading this!