When we do not have our next trip planned or do not have tickets booked for our next destination, a sense of panic, combined with excitement and nervousness sets in.
Sakshi and I talk for hours, research for days and finally come to a conclusion about the time and place to visit. Once we book flights, accommodation and secure our visas, we are at peace.
But then we begin our countdown and before you know it, the holiday is over.
We experienced something similar about the Maldives as well. We weren’t sure if we could pull it off, given that we had seen and heard experiences of many travelers in resorts, which would cost us a bomb.
But we managed to find a budget-friendly place to stay, got to experience the resort life for a day and got a hang of how life is on the islands.
Every inch of the country, starting from their airport, encourages you to chill and just relax. Wherever you see, you will be in awe of the majestic Indian Ocean, which encompasses the entire nation. How could you not like seeing clean, blue water for as long as you can see?
Sakshi had already prepared an itinerary and also drawn up a budget for us. In our travels so far, we have always stuck to it.
So, I just followed whatever was mentioned in the schedule and we had a great time – be it our stay in Maafushi for 4 nights, the snorkeling, drinks at a yacht, a day at the beautiful Ranahali Resort, a few hours in Gulhi or an evening at Hulhumale.
Special shout out to the people of Maldives – they were polite, humble and always ready to help. The local people can either make your trip a pleasant one or make it nightmarish. Fortunately, we were on the right side, which made the trip all the more memorable.
Among the activities, I enjoyed snorkeling the most. A dip in the middle of the Indian Ocean sounds scary, but with life jackets, breathing apparatus, fins and a couple of trainers around, you have nothing to worry about. It might take a few minutes to get used to the water and getting the breathing right under the water. Once you do, the colourful fishes and corals you witness will all be worth the effort.
Sakshi is terrified of water and as a result, spent not more than 20 minutes in the water. Like her, I too don’t know how to swim. But I felt safe with the life vest. I spent nearly a couple of hours in the water.
Once I got accustomed to how to breathe underwater, it was a terrific experience. The waves more or less maneuvered me around, but I kept one eye to see where my boat was so that I didn’t get lost.
If you aren’t confident, the guide will accompany and take you around and you get a sense of the fact that you too explored a bit, just like Sakshi and her sister did.
The whole experience gave me a sense of satisfaction as I felt that I can survive in deep water without knowing how to swim and enjoy whatever the ocean has to offer. Growing up, I was scared of water, but such serene experiences have given me the confidence and the eagerness to go back into the water again.
My first ever snorkeling experience was in Andaman & Nicobar Islands in 2017. Our feet were always on the ground, while our head was deeply immersed inside water. That was indeed a start. Now having jumped into the ocean, I am more confident than ever.
During the boat ride, you can also witness a lot of cute dolphins. You have to be quick with your camera if you want to capture as they go back into the water as fast as they come out.
For 25 USD per person, we had the opportunity to snorkel at two places: Nemo point and Turtle point. You are provided with all the types of equipment, transfer to and from hotel and lunch at a sandbank for that price. Totally worth it!
Maldives is a country that I would definitely recommend. It is perhaps the one place wish I had more time (And Money) to explore. Hope I can get back soon!
To Find out more about our Maldives trip, click here.