Happy new year, friends!
Travel is a big one for me. I love exploring new places, and soaking in the new and the different. The best moments are made that way.
Heading into this year, I wanted to start a new series: to share some of our travels, to celebrate some of our adventures, and to hopefully inspire wanderlust in someone who is reading along. Up first are the Maldives!
WHEN: October 2012
WHERE: North Male Atoll, Maldives
STAYED: Coco Bodu Hithi
For our honeymoon, we wanted pure, unadulterated beaches, with absolutely nothing to do. The Maldives had been on my wish list ever since I first laid eyes on an overwater bungalow, and the decadence of the destination seemed excusable for a honeymoon. Originally, I had been campaigning to visit India as well, but Matt convinced me we would be exhausted, and we should just stick with the Maldives. He was so very right.
The Maldives are made up of 1,192 islands in the Indian Ocean, only 192 of which are inhabited. We stayed in the North Male Atoll, but learned that each atoll (there are 26!) has different wildlife and vegetation, as well as varying dialects. Most hotels, such as ours, have their very own island. They are so small that we could watch a rain cloud pass right over us. Rain for 20 minutes, and then full sunshine once again. Our own little speck in the middle of the ocean.
We chose Coco Bodu Hithi for a number of reasons. We prefer smaller boutique hotels to chains, and we were set on sleeping in a room on stilts. We loved the vibe and aesthetic, and how they designed the property to fully blend in with the natural surroundings. Barefoot luxury at its finest.
Here are a few must-do’s if you visit!
– Snorkel! Every morning and every afternoon. Those waters are ALIVE. Fish are everywhere, as are harmless baby sharks and the most beautiful coral reefs. We even saw a sting ray (although I got scared and swam away). Best of all were our two sea turtle friends! One of them was older and more subdued (read: lame), but little Speck (as we named him) swam around with us every day, and even let us pet his shell. In case you were wondering, he felt like an old, leather bound book.
– Be pampered at the spa. It sits on the ocean, has glass floors and infinity hot tubs, and is all around amazing. We tried a few treatments, and I really loved the Journey to Maldives.
– Catch your dinner! We went sunrise tuna fishing (the traditional, hand-held Maldivian way), and the chef grilled them up for us later that day.
– Splurge on the overwater bungalow. It is so worth it.
– Always use the outdoor shower. Soap up under the sun/moon while you watch the fish swim under your feet, breathing in that delicious ocean air.
– Take full advantage of the unlimited champagne at breakfast every morning, as well as the juice bar. My personal go-to was a blend of orange, watermelon, grapefruit and lemon. Matt’s was orange, carrot and ginger. YUM.
– Definitely book a table at the weekly wine dinner. It was our favorite and most romantic meal there.
– Sit by the pool for hours at a time.
– Order a coconut water! They grab a coconut, drill a hole, and stick a straw in. Too good.
– And after your coconut water, grab a cocktail.
– Collect seashells, but be careful! Most are inhabited by cute, little hermit crabs. (If you follow me on instagram, you might have seen my Hanukkah gift. Matt gave me eight pieces of jewelry made out of the seashells he collected on our honeymoon. I have been wearing a gold glitter dipped piece of coral throughout the holidays!)
– Sail around on a traditional dhoni and watch the sun melt into the water. Magic.
– If you enjoy yoga, this is a beautiful place to practice.
– Wake up early to see the sunrise.
– And be sure to catch all the sunsets, too.
– And lastly, unplug completely. Enjoy every moment of paradise with the one you’re with.
peace, love and hugs, L