Stepping off the plane it all hit me at once.
Maldives. We had made it. Since I was a young teenager I had dreamed of going there and in that moment, stepping off the plane to the wave of warm air and ocean smells, I had made my dream come true. It was completely indescribable and actually quite (read: very) emotional.
I believe we create goals and strive for them for the feeling we have when we accomplish them, it might be an adrenaline, it might be excitement, it might be pure joy – and for me the Maldives dream was for the feeling of bliss, and in some way, for accomplishment – for every sight, sound, meal and experience to be blissful and knowing I along with Morgan had worked hard to deserve it.
So there we were and there I was feeling blissed out and emotional. From the moment we stepped off the plane it truly was bliss too.
We had booked and organized our 10 nights of the Maldives to be spent at 4 seasons resorts – Kuda Hurra, The Explorer (3 story luxury catamaran) and Landa Girrarrha and if we go again, we would stay there again, it was just that divinely blissful and beautiful. As it is 5 star resorts though we disembarked off the plane to have our Four Seasons representative waiting for us in the arrival area and were whisked off to a private gorgeous room to relax on lounges with cold refreshments and towles and free wifi as we awaited for our boat to be ready to be boated to the island. It wasn’t long before we were getting walked to the boat and the adventure was about to begin. What struck me the most was a) how incredibly close to the ocean the airport was, I’m talking, mere metres, and b) how beautifully clear and clean the water was for a bay, and not just any bay, an airport bay, so the busiest bay in all the Maldives no doubt.
I remember every feeling I had – and at this stage it was awe and excitement and emotional overwhelm. Getting on to the luxury boat for the 30 minute ride to our first hotel Kuda Hurra I kissed Morgan and he looked at me and without saying a word we both knew we were feeling the same. As we took off I remember the stars the most. I felt like they were the brightest I had ever experienced. The sky was just full of them, like there was no sky left as the whole galaxy had fit in to the night sky just for us … and it was at that moment I had my first overwhelm of emotion and the tears started, not from sadness but from pure and utter happiness and bliss. I was grateful beyond words or feelings and I couldn’t have stopped them if I tried.
The first night was divine. We got in to our ‘home’ for the night which was a beautiful sunrise facing over the water bungalow. Morgan is a white personality so it takes a fair bit for him to really show his emotion or excitement, and I have to say, walking in to that bungalow was the first time almost in 10 years I had seen him that excited and filled with emotion – it was just really, really special.
We were spoiled with French champagne and a dessert on arrival as we were, after all, on our honeymoon and we wasted no time diving in to both.
Awaking the first morning was like nothing I could ever properly articulate. We had slept with the curtins open as we had arrived in to the Maldives late at night so although we could see the closeness and divinity of the ocean, it was no sunshine and blue skies experience. The first stream of daylight woke us and we were up faster than I think either of us had ever jumped out of bed.
Exquisite would be one way of explaining what we saw. Crystal, crystal, crystal clear waters that seemed to never end. And our bungalow was directly over them. From every area of the bungalow, you had water views, including the toilet – and I get why, it has a beauty too divine to ever hide away from a wall or floor!
After spending our day snorkeling, lounging on the beautiful sun beds, eating the delicious food and swimming in the extraordinary pools, we were shuttled on a speed boat to our 2nd Four Seasons resort – which just so happened to be a 3 story catamaran called The Explorer, that was going to take us cruising for the next 4 days around the islands.
The next 4 days were a blur of snorkeling, island visits, sun baking, swimming in ocean’s so clear you could see the bottom no matter how deep and eating some of the most delicious cuisine we had ever tasted. Every night on the ‘ship’ we had a theme night (there were just three other lovely couples so 8 of us all up on a boat that could fit over 40) so would get dressed up as we were told, be it cocktail, casual or wear a sarong provided and were treated to tastes you couldn’t imagine were whipped up on a boat and accompanying wine and champagne.
One of the nights I will never ever forget until my last breathe was actually the last night on the ship. We were told there was a note from the cruise manager (an amazing man by the name of Areef) that we needed to read for dinner. We got in to our room and there were beautiful sarongs laid out with a note to be ready for dinner by 6pm and to meet on the back deck. 6pm on the dot Morgan and I and the 6 others were in our sarongs on the back deck to be met with staff and Areef, who told us to board the smaller boat as we were going to a deserted island for dinner about 2 minutes by boat away.
We arrived on the island to it lit up with candles and small fires lighting a path and a way to welcome drinks and canapés. After some pinch me moments there we were then lead to the area we would have dinner and never have I ever seen anything like it. The staff during the day had obviously worked so hard (secretly) and had dug out a huge table and chairs in the sand for us to sit at and eat – it was covered in cloth and I have to say was one of the most comfiest / fun tables I have ever had the deep pleasure of sitting at.
The food was something out of this world, a 10, yes, 10 course degustation of fresh seafood, marinated chicken, local cuisine, and fresh vegetables and desserts all whipped up by gas ON the island, I remember at the end of the meal we asked Areef to please go and get him and we all gave him a standing ovation as it was just unreal what was served – how it tasted, how it was presented, all of it, when he had a small gas stove and little else.
The real surprise and emotion (for me) of the evening came when far off in the distance, we could hear some soft drumming. I turned to Areef to ask if he could hear it and he had the worlds most beautiful and biggest smile on his face which to me showed he knew that something was coming and we were going to love it. Moments later 30 – 40 Maldivian men burst out from the bushes singing and dancing traditional Maldivian song and dance.
After 2 songs performing for us they through body language asked us to join them and without hesitation Morgan and I were singing and dancing amongst them.
I have to say, and I know Morgan says the same from the night, it was the most fun, most liberating, most free’ing dancing experience we have both ever had. There was something so deeply primal to it, loud drums, ancient songs sung (us having no idea of the words), the shirts even came off the boys, it was a night that no amount of money could have ever bought and no matter how hard we ever try, could ever be re done with the fun and emotion felt in that moment.
There is a photo of us, dancing amongst the men, tribal in our movement but it’s my favourite photo of us of all time as it captured the moment so perfectly and what I feel when I look at that photo and where it takes me back to is just ultimate joy.
Once the last drum was banged and last song sung, we were shuttled back to our catamaran on the smaller boats and bid everyone a late goodnight.
The following morning, with a full and grateful heart we arrived close to our last destination after 4 of the most blissful days of our lives on the boat, the last hotel we had booked was called Landa Girrarrha (the 3rd Four Seasons resort in the Maldives) where we were spending 5 nights to finish off our dream honeymoon.
I remember telling Morgan distinctly and adamantly in my true Anna determination and gal that loves a plan style “babe when we get off this boat and get on to land 100% the FIRST thing I do is I WILL get to the gym” … HAAAAAAAAA. Yeah.Right. With every pure intention in my being, we got to our divine over the water bungalow (with sunset view and private balcony) and there was yet another bottle of chilled French Champagne awaiting us. We were then shown our villa for the next 5 days and I got no further than the bathroom. The longest, deepest bath I had ever seen with views of the infinite ocean out the window. I walked back out and saw the chilled bottle of champagne, and knew exactly what I would be doing instead of the gym – drinking that bottle of champagne in a hot bath reading my favourite book. And that is how we kicked off day 1 of our adventure at Landa Girrarrha.
One thing I will say about the Maldives is it is so fundamentally set up for Honeymooners – although Morgan and I have vowed to be back regardless at LEAST once a year. The first night we were out to dinner at one of the beautiful restaurants on the island (Italian!) polishing off culinary delights and an amazing bottle of red, we got back to our hotel and walked in to the bathroom to find they had set up a bubble bath for us whilst we were out at dinner, with rose petals, melted chocolate and strawberries and….another bottle of French Champagne. Now, never one to say no to anything deeply romantic and utterly divine we jumped straight in to that bath and didn’t get out until the champagne and strawberries were gone.
The 5 days were truly, deeply, honestly .. heaven on earth. It is in fact my belief that heaven IS on earth (as is hell – which expresses itself in depression, and evil) we just have to be open to finding it. And every morning when we woke up as soon as the sun was starting to rise (we couldn’t sleep in if you had of paid us) until the sun set and we were going to bed many many hours later, every day, we sincerely were, living our heaven on earth. From the crystal blue waters that didn’t even feel or look real, to the white white sand and deep blue skies. To the sunrises and sunsets that were out of this world beautiful and the champagne toasts overlooking both the sunset and the white sand and crystal water. To the swims off our balcony and the rides around the island without a care in the world. From the dinners that we never wanted to leave laughing and talking until late in to the night to the private air yoga classes … it was all, heaven, on…earth.
I will always, always remember our honeymoon as a total dream, almost other worldy from the beauty and experiences we got to live in to and the love that grew and commitments made (let’s come back yearly, let’s remember these moments and go back to them when we are fighting and so on).
Sharing these photos and memories with you is as much for me as it IS for you as its a slice of my favourite time now etched forever in Black and White (& colour now thanks to the beautiful photos).
From one honeymooner to another though, if you are planning your wedding, do spend some time and dreaming and scheming when it comes to your honeymoon. I’m the biggest advocate for always living and spending within your means, so if Maldives isn’t possible but you want white sandy beaches and crystal clear water go and find that and have the time of your life. I think taking that time after the wedding (immediately as well if its possible) is so so critical to the start of a happy marriage as you are still on the high of wedded love.
I shared my memories and adventure with you but now I would love to hear where YOU went on your honeymoon or if you haven’t had one yet, where would you most love to go? Leave me a comment in the box below and let’s start manifesting the honeymoon of your dreams!