The Maldives reminds me of Christmas in Florida. At least at first.
It’s because we’ve landed at Ibrahim Nasir airport on exactly the day of the country’s 50th Anniversary of Liberation from the British. The palm trees and buildings are haphazardly draped with red and green Christmas lights, in no discernible order for 3 days, and in truth, it’s not very pretty. It feels incredibly artificial, and strangely off-putting.
Fortunately, my first impressions are wrong, but more on that later…
We’ve taken the long route, getting here. To Paradise, that is. Not wanting to spend too long in the air while 6 months pregnant, we’ve divided our journey into a series of long layovers, so me and my belly can rest in between.
Our first stop is in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, where we take full advantage of the city’s amazing food scene, and basically eat for 24 hours straight. We check out Lot 10, a food court full of hawker stall favourites, have high tea at the Majestic Hotel, and get lost in the crowds on Jalan Alor food street.
We get unexpectedly upgraded to business class for our flight from Kuala Lumpur to Colombo (do I look pregnant or something?), which makes the next portion of our journey, incredibly comfortable. We visit Negombo beach then check into a little guesthouse close to the airport, for our 8 hour stopover, to sleep and eat some Sri Lankan food. Are you sensing a theme here yet? 😉
And finally, 90 minutes later, we land in Paradise aka the Maldives. We’ve got a night in Hulhumale, an artificially created island 10 minutes from Male, which also feels strangely like Florida, before we reach Maafushi, at last. It’s a locally inhabited island, where we plan to spend the next 12 days or so.
And Maafushi is as stunningly, breathtakingly beautiful as I’m hoping it’ll be. There is not an ounce of disappointment, or feeling of unmet expectations. It’s not an exaggeration to call this place Paradise. Because it is.
We’ll have full posts on our time in Malaysia, and our guide to the Maldives, coming up soon, but in the meantime, come join us on our Facebook page, or Instagram, where we’re posting regular updates and photos.
Have you ever visited a dream destination? Did it meet your expectations or were you disappointed? Tell us all about it in the comments below. We’d love to hear from you!