This was the first time my husband and I travelled together!
And after 6 days in an island, a 12 hour layover and 16 hours on a plane, I had discovered the perfect travel buddy in my husband. Fun, prompt, organized, spontaneous and just neurotic enough for my taste. ;)
While the trip definitely showed me a side of my husband I had never seen before ("Do you have our tickets?? Are you sure you have your passport?? I wonder if our bags made it. Are you sure this water is safe to drink?" Hahaha!), I'd say the fun started while we were planning. It was then that I realized I was marrying a male version of myself.
One afternoon in September, months before we got married, we came across a mini travel fair in the mall. And within 10 minutes, we decided on a date and a destination. The following day, we booked our plane tickets. Easy Peasy. I love decisive people. Then we sat in front of a computer the entire day, researching and finding the best resort for us.
And because we're both annoyingly organized and sigurista, we had a whole spreadsheet to help us decide. We compared prices, ratings
(from different websites and blogs too!), proximity to the city, island activities, foodie ratings, couple ratings, and honeymooners' reviews!
We eventually booked a stay at the gorgeous Constance Halaveli, an island resort 20 mins away via sea plane from Male.
Their airport was nothing spectacular (for a major tourist destination). A little sketchy, even. But the island more than made up for it! ;) We had to stay at the airport hotel in Male for the night because the sea planes only flew early morning until late afternoon.
The seaplane, albeit terrifying for a nervous flyer like myself, proved to be quite enjoyable! We got a beautiful aerial view of the island, and I forgot all about being strapped onto a 10-seater propeller plane flying above open water.
The resort was luxurious, to say the least! The staff was working full throttle to fulfil our every whim and fancy. From golf cart pick ups at any time of the day, to cocktail hour anywhere we wanted on the island, they never gave "no" for an answer. It was always a "Let me see what I can do." Two thumbs up for excellent customer service! :p
Meals were NOT cheap though. We only had four restaurants to choose from in the island. And because ingredients had to be either flown in or shipped, even casual dining was pricey. But then again, everything about the Maldives was extravagant!
We were there for six nights and had developed a routine of sorts until we left. We would wake up early for breakfast, go back to sleep, swim a little, go snorkeling, sleep again, do whatever water sport, do cocktail hour while watching the sunset by the beach, have dinner, walk a little, and eventually go back to sleep again. Did we run by the shore like we planned? NO. Did we hit the gym with the workout clothes that we packed? NO. Did we do yoga after we asked front desk for the schedule? NO. We just slept and snacked like a bunch of 15 year olds on summer vacation. Hahaha!
I loved that I married someone who even traveled like me.
We both believed in the perfect combination of touristy activities and bumming, fancy dinners and junk food, waking up early for something and sleeping in. And more importantly, we share the same views on the selfie stick. Haha! God has really blessed me with an awesome travel buddy whose company I enjoy even when he's snoring away next to me while I read my book. :)
In conclusion, yes, the Maldives is beautiful beyond description. Yes, the marine life is as rich as Nat Geo says it is. Yes, there could not have been a more perfect place for us to honeymoon. And yes, it was worth every penny.
But I don't think I'll be returning anytime soon. I'd say our own islands here in the Philippines, with the right care, preservation and management, can give the Maldives a run for their money. ;)