Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Left my heart in the Maldives

I'm writing this post as I am on my last leg of a long trek home. Currently, I have 7 hours left into my flight from Delhi to Chicago. It's been approximately 24 hours since we began the journey home from Male. I'm feeling a bit bittersweet about this trip coming to an end. I'm excited to get home to do laundry, visit a doctor for the foot, and properly catch up with some people. After that I would like to teleport back to the Maldives and make that my permanent residence. My mind is racing on business ventures and opportunities to make this happen.

It was really hard to say goodbye to the boat crew. They were a fun group of guys, who really had a pride in their country and it's offerings. They did a great job sharing that with us. I kept trying to persuade the boat crew to let me stay and join the crew. One of the crew guys, who I like to call Smiles (he always had a giant smile and fun giggle), offered me a room in one of the storage compartments. Sold!

I think another reason it was hard to say goodbye is because of the group we had. Between the five of us we really had a great dynamic, with no drama at all. I walked away from this trip with some new friends and look forward to having boat reunions in the future.

Our last night on the boat was one of my favorites. The weather was perfect (we had a bit of rain throughout the trip as it's the off season) for one last happy hour sunset swim! The crew even joined in the fun. People were diving and flipping from all stories of the boat. It was a blast, with lots of laughs. We then proceeded to whip out the twister board, which was hysterical. Crew members were coming out of the woodworks to observe the craziness. We even got a couple of them to participate. We left the board as a parting gift. After that we had a fierce game of uno with everyone. It was so fun to have our new friends join in our crazy fun. Hopefully, they don't think we are too crazy, but after performing the Armed Shark dance (a dance that evolved throughout our trip - There may or may not be video footage) that could be questionable

The next day we were taken to Male kicking and screaming. None of us wanted to leave our week's home. We had arranged to meet for dinner at Seagull cafe, and were excited to hear Ali would join us for a bit before dinner with his family. One last hoorah. It was a nice, chill end to the week, with some fancy ice cream treats to top it off.
I can't stop thinking about the trip and the Maldives itself. The island has stolen my heart. It is quite possibly one of the most amazing places I've ever been, the crystal blue water, the marine life, and the many islands. It has a charm that I have not felt from many places. I also found the locals to be extremely nice, helpful, and attractive. Though tourism is a big part of their economy, it doesn't seem to be overrun with tourism, they still maintain their own character. Probably due to the fact that it is still pretty unknown for westerners, and quite a long journey. The journey is worth it!

For those considering a trip, the boat safari is the way to go. It is loads cheaper than the resort, and you get to see & do so much more. It was also great to learn about the country from the guides. They were very knowledgeable about the history and the best spots to go for various activities. Many of the resorts you have to pay extra to do the activities and dining, which was all included in what we had paid for the boat at a better rate. The only additional charge we had was booze, which really wasn't as bad considering it was a week's worth. It's the route to go in my opinion.

Maldives, I will be back!!

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