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Hanging out in the Maldives

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I think I can safely say I was the only person in the Maldives NOT on their honeymoon.

Just kidding, plenty of people weren’t on their honeymoon. But I was definitely the only single girl there. Boo freaking hoo.

Oh well, more rum-filled coconuts on the beach for me!

visit maldives

Now, before you start hating me for being in the Maldives (because let’s be honest here, I even hate me a little bit) I was in that part of the world for a conference in Sri Lanka where I was speaking. The Maldives are a quick dirt cheap 1 hour flight away from Colombo. Why the hell not?

Though, when I was in Sri Lanka 2 years ago, it was in the middle of a break up, and the thought of going to the Maldives made me want to cry. Hard. So I skipped it.

Not this time!

Given the opportunity to go hang out on in the Maldives with no strings attached? Count me in.

visit maldives

visit maldives

visit maldives

visit maldives

It was a balmy 35 degrees celsius with 100% humidity when I stepped off the plane in Male. Holy crap I wasn’t in New Zealand anymore. Before you even walk out of the airport you can see the twing=kling turquoise waters beckoning you from across the road.

Far out is there anything better than seeing water this blue?

Nope, nope there isn’t. Except for maybe the fact that the water temp is 30 degrees with 40 meters of visibility! Holy shit!

(Also writing this it seems I’ve gone full native and forgotten how to use anything but the metric system. That’s what 6 years abroad will do for you).

visit maldives

When you travel in the Maldives, it’s mostly all-inclusive resorts where the resort covers the whole island. The Maldives are made up of over a thousand islands that are grouped together into 26 coral atolls, most of which are uninhabited.

And you should probably visit soon before the islands disappear under the sea. Thanks global warming!

As you can probably have imagined, the Maldives isn’t the cheapest place to holiday to. But I didn’t find it insanely expensive either.

My friend Janet from Journalist on the Run has a great post about traveling the Maldives on a budget.

visit maldives

visit maldives

visit maldives

My first stop was Cinnamon Dhonveli which is only about half an hour away from Male the capital by speedboat. Too easy.

First order of business – throw on a bikini and jump off my water bungalow deck and go for a swim. Drink some coconuts. Take a nap. Get a massage. Read in the sun.

Now, this is not usually how I travel, I have always preferred adventure travel over resort vacations, but I got to say, this was the life!

visit maldives

visit maldives

visit maldives

visit maldives

I had only three things I wanted to do while in the Maldives – work on my tan, sleep, relax, take a real vacation, and go diving. Happy to say I was able to do all three!

The Maldives has insane diving! I wasn’t expecting that. In fact, I had no expectations. But because of the amazing reef systems, the diving is just incredible.

Think whale sharks, manta rays, turtles galore, nemos, everything!

visit maldives

At Dhonveli I went diving for a day, most island resorts will organize heaps of activities like diving, and mostly hung out on the beach.

The water was so clear straight from the beach it looked like a swimming pool, and there was even coral and fish right there off the main beach to swim over, it was great.

It was so hot I actually just dragged the beach chair into the water to hang out. How to spot a tourist, right?

visit maldives

visit maldives

visit maldives

visit maldives

After a couple of days at Dhonveli, I had to say goodbye and head over to Cinnamon Ellaidhoo, on a completely different atoll further away, this time by seaplane which was awesome!

I loved getting to see the Maldives from the sky!

Ellaidhoo blew me away. It’s a small island surrounded by a sea wall to protect the coral, but it has a friendly, intimate vibe that I really loved. This was a place I wished I was visiting for a month.

And the best part is that there is an amazing reef coral wall surrounding it so you can dive straight from the beach. No boats. And you can dive 24 hours a day, it was awesome!

visit maldives

visit maldives

visit maldives

visit maldives

Again I got to stay in an overwater bungalow, which was one of my biggest bucketlist items ever!

From my room I could hear the waves crashing softly against the reef wall, watch the sunrise and set, see the stars twinkle at night and even watch fish swim by underneath the porch. It was so epic.

I didn’t wear shoes or makeup the whole time I was there, digging my toes into the soft white sand and let my salty hair dry in the hot breezes. There was more wind here making it less hot and cooler.

visit maldives

visit maldives

visit maldives

visit maldives

I spent my days diving off the reef and off a dive boat further away, ticking exotic fish off my bucketlist and practicing my underwater photography (so hard guys) and just enjoying the fact that the water was so warm I could dive in my rashies and not a wetsuit!

Winning!

I would take walks at sunset and sunrise (thanks jetlag) and really felt like I was able to disconnect and enjoy being there.

visit maldives

visit maldives

visit maldives

I loved chowing down on hot curries and even hotter local Maldivian food as the stars started to come out over the sea.

I couldn’t get over how friendly and welcoming everyone is over there. Blew me away.

It didn’t rain the entire time I was there even though it was the monsoon season.

visit maldives

visit maldives

visit maldives

I really think the Maldives is heaven on earth. A place where time doesn’t matter.

Just editing these photos and writing this post makes me want to go back so badly, next time for a couple of weeks.

I think I’ve got the island life bug bad, guys. Help!

How high is the Maldives on your bucketlist? Do you dream of visiting here one day? Would you go solo like me?

visit maldives

Many thanks to Cinnamon Hotels for hosting me in the Maldives. Like always I’m keeping it real, all opinions are my own, like you could expect less from me.

82 Responses to Hanging out in the Maldives

  1. Kate July 5, 2016 at 7:21 pm #

    Stunning photos! This whole post had me saying: “I want to go to the Maldives!” Looks (and sounds) like you had a fantastic vacation!

    • Liz July 6, 2016 at 7:27 am #

      It was a great vacation!

  2. Travelgal Nicole July 5, 2016 at 7:48 pm #

    Been to the Maldives twice!!! The diving is unlike anywhere else I’ve been with amazing visibility. Swimming with whales sharks and manta rays was the highlight. Underwater playground

    • Liz July 6, 2016 at 7:27 am #

      serious underwater playground!

  3. Cat Gaa July 5, 2016 at 8:02 pm #

    I couldn’t bring myself to read any of it, but the pictures DIOS!! Here’s hoping my new job affords me some cool travel soon…

    • Liz July 6, 2016 at 7:27 am #

      good luck

  4. Geeky Explorer July 5, 2016 at 8:02 pm #

    Wow. This is stunning, and yes I now hate you a little bit!! 😀

    • Liz July 6, 2016 at 7:28 am #

      I hate me too!

      • İzmirde Gezilecek Yerler December 5, 2016 at 8:34 am #

        I am writing this comment from turkey. It was a very nice writing. Meanwhile, you look so beautiful 🙂

  5. Janet July 5, 2016 at 8:27 pm #

    Thanks so much for mentioning my Maldives post Liz, very kind! Seriously missing the Maldives on this rainy Irish summers day. Your photos are beautiful!

    • Liz July 6, 2016 at 7:28 am #

      Thanks for writing such a kickass post! I know, it’s winter in NZ now and I’m dreaming of that water!

  6. Shelby @ The Fernweh Wolf July 5, 2016 at 11:27 pm #

    I’m so jealous I can’t wait to go to the Maldives! Also cinnamon hotels is such a cute name haha
    xx

    • Liz July 6, 2016 at 7:29 am #

      Seriously cute!

  7. KirstinDalton July 5, 2016 at 11:29 pm #

    I didn’t want to go there until your photos and your mention it was sinking! I think i’ll save for a trip!

    • Liz July 6, 2016 at 7:29 am #

      Make it happen!

  8. Patricia July 6, 2016 at 3:34 am #

    Yes! A visit to the Maldives is definitely high up on my list. And I wouldn’t have any issue going with myself, and it was great to read that you enjoyed your solo trip there so much. Thank you for sharing, and for sharing those incredible photos!

    • Liz July 6, 2016 at 7:29 am #

      I had a great time!

  9. Katie July 6, 2016 at 6:15 am #

    These photos look incredible! I love the colour and clarity of that water. I have a big addiction to islands in general, but I’ve always thought of the Maldives as: a) unaffordable and b) just for couples. So it’s great to hear about a solo trip not breaking the bank. I guess I’ll have to add it to the ever-growing (and growing, and growing) list!

    • Liz July 6, 2016 at 7:30 am #

      yeah it’s more than just for honeymoons and you can definitely go on a budget!

  10. gokhan July 6, 2016 at 6:17 am #

    this would really crack my budget for sure!

    • Liz July 6, 2016 at 7:30 am #

      depends on your budget I suppose

  11. Anne July 6, 2016 at 7:33 am #

    This looks absolutely stunning! Now I want to go on a honeymoon! Without getting married, just to get to visit the Maldives 😉

    • Liz July 6, 2016 at 8:04 am #

      hahaha I know how you feel x

  12. Renee July 6, 2016 at 8:59 am #

    Adding to my bucket list…

    • Liz July 6, 2016 at 7:10 pm #

      put it at the top!

  13. Kassie July 6, 2016 at 11:36 am #

    Wow how amazing and so lucky that you saw a whale shark on your dive! I’ve heard that the Maldives are some of the best diving in the world so I definitely need to make my way over there. I heard that you can stay at non-resort islands as well now and would love to do both to compare and contrast– all in the name of research of course 😉

    • Liz July 6, 2016 at 7:11 pm #

      haha yes!

  14. Writing Editor July 6, 2016 at 1:32 pm #

    Did you actually write this? Seems like something that was thrown together quickly on the plane on your way back. “There was more wind here making it less hot and cooler” and “I had only three things I wanted to do in the Maldives” but you listed six things. Poor quality writing. (And the comma splices, Jesus!)

    If you need an editor, I’ll gladly volunteer. This post doesn’t have any voice, much less yours, and is written more like bad advertising copy.

    • Liz July 6, 2016 at 7:12 pm #

      Are you serious? It’s a blog, not the NYTimes, get a grip. And it’s my blog and my voice, if you don’t like it, no one is making you read it.

  15. Rachel Elizabeth July 6, 2016 at 2:01 pm #

    Guh, I’ve always wanted to visit the Maldives even though I can’t handle humidity. That water is surreal. Beautiful.

    • Liz July 6, 2016 at 7:12 pm #

      The water blew me away!

  16. Melissa Lassiter July 6, 2016 at 5:34 pm #

    How many people tell you they swear you could be besties? Lol. Over water bungalow, total top bucket list item. Im always looking at deals with my friends saying we’d have to go with like 6 people and since the bungalows are for basically a couple, sleeping bags it is! Haha. First thing I’d do is jump in the water from my deck and swim, and roll out of bed into the water in the morning! And diving! Oh the diving! If it’s anything like the Barrier Reef naughty words will escape my submerged face so that only the fishes might understand….id go alone in a heartbeat but wouldn’t mind a friend or two…so if you ever need anyone…😉

    • Liz July 6, 2016 at 7:12 pm #

      hahahaha I love it!

  17. Kamil July 6, 2016 at 8:52 pm #

    Great photos! I always wanted to visit Maledives.

    • Liz July 7, 2016 at 6:10 pm #

      It’s pretty awesome!

  18. Janani July 6, 2016 at 11:23 pm #

    I love the way you described it. Hope I will visit Maldives sometime 🙂

  19. Kristine July 7, 2016 at 4:17 am #

    I LOVED my time in the Maldives, but went with a friend and sorta felt like we were on everyone else’s honeymoons. There were definitely zero single guys on the island we were on! But it was still an amazing experience and so rare to completely unplug and just relax. I dream about going back! So glad you got to experience them- and yes a water bungalow is the only way to go. Beautfiul photos!!

    • Liz July 7, 2016 at 6:10 pm #

      man desert haha

  20. Lauren July 7, 2016 at 10:12 am #

    It’s so beautiful! I would love a sort of mix between somewhere that gorgeous and somewhere with a bit more local activity 🙂

    • Liz July 7, 2016 at 6:10 pm #

      I’m sure there are spots!

  21. Brooklyn @ justbeingbrooklyn July 7, 2016 at 10:58 am #

    It wasn’t until this year that I really felt a desire to go to the Maldives, but I’ve been seeing gorgeous photos popping up everywhere, and now it is a destination that is very high on my list!

    • Liz July 7, 2016 at 6:11 pm #

      put it at the top!

  22. Haley July 8, 2016 at 5:03 am #

    So dreamy! I’m the same – resorts usually aren’t my style but those over-water bungalows are awesome!! Adding to the never-ending bucket list….

    • Liz July 8, 2016 at 8:33 am #

      they are amazing!

  23. Halee July 8, 2016 at 7:23 am #

    The Maldives are #1 on my bucket list!! The cost of flying and staying there has unfortunately kept it a dream for me. Gorgeous photos!

    • Liz July 8, 2016 at 8:33 am #

      it’s not as expensive as people think!

  24. Cory July 8, 2016 at 11:06 pm #

    Dude, that picture with the night sky….

    • Liz July 12, 2016 at 12:41 pm #

      hahaha right?

  25. Jay July 9, 2016 at 1:42 pm #

    Incredible images. It looks beautiful there. Scuba diving must have been extremely fun with the super clear water. Looking forward to future blog posts from you.

    • Liz July 12, 2016 at 12:43 pm #

      It was, and also because the water was so warm!

  26. Zach Strange July 9, 2016 at 2:52 pm #

    So… My wife and I are vacationing on the Outer Banks of North Carolina currently. I thought I was doing good to walk the beach and let the ocean water roll over my feet and then I saw this. So much jealousy right now.

  27. Nicole July 9, 2016 at 4:26 pm #

    Your photos are amazing, makes me wanna go back so bad! I loved the Maldives. I was there solo as well… Over Valentines Day 2014, completely oblivious to the fact I was there over valentines. The hotel staff were so puzzled when I checked in. Only you? Yes.

  28. Cloe July 9, 2016 at 9:46 pm #

    I’m so jealous, it looks like paradise!

    • Liz July 12, 2016 at 12:45 pm #

      It is paradise!

  29. Amina July 12, 2016 at 10:34 pm #

    Really i liked you as brave girl and independant, you present a good example for girls. I loved what you shared beautiful girl in beautiful place.

    • Liz July 13, 2016 at 1:04 pm #

      Thanks!

  30. Madi | Restless Worker July 15, 2016 at 12:51 am #

    Absolutely stunning photos! The Maldives are definitely my number one destination choice for my honeymoon (sorry lol) and seeing your pictures just proves why!

    • Liz July 15, 2016 at 10:46 am #

      Thanks! It is a good honeymoon spot for sure xx

  31. Timo July 15, 2016 at 4:44 pm #

    What a lovely way to enjoy the life! I haven’t been to Maldives yet, but hopefully I will visit it soon 😉

    Lovely pics, Liz!

    • Liz July 15, 2016 at 4:50 pm #

      Hope you make it there soon!

  32. Emily July 15, 2016 at 11:07 pm #

    Beautifully written.. I appreciate your take on going solo… I was there in maldives on a honeymoon trip. I wish I go there alone sometime.. read..eat..enjoy my alone time all by myself..

    • Liz July 17, 2016 at 12:15 pm #

      it’s a great place!

      • sunny July 19, 2016 at 6:19 am #

        u r really beautiful Liz…. I love you.

  33. Jenponix July 22, 2016 at 2:58 pm #

    Solo or with someone, i must go here!:)

    • Liz July 23, 2016 at 8:27 am #

      Yes you should!

  34. Adhi.me July 23, 2016 at 7:39 pm #

    Really nice article 🙂

    • Liz July 24, 2016 at 10:12 am #

      Cheers

  35. Lydie I. Merrell July 28, 2016 at 4:57 pm #

    This is a great preview to where I want to go! The way I see Maldives before was never this alluring. Thanks for writing about this place, now I can go there by myself, someday, without fear.

    • Liz July 28, 2016 at 9:22 pm #

      Thanks!

  36. Marisa August 15, 2016 at 12:45 am #

    We were in the Maldives last December and are dying to go back! Your stunning photos make me want to go back even more now! Such an incredibly beautiful place on this earth!

    • Liz August 15, 2016 at 9:17 am #

      It’s amazing isn’t it?

  37. Creativemeraj September 16, 2016 at 10:28 pm #

    Heart touching place!!!

  38. Bahtiyar October 10, 2016 at 10:49 pm #

    Hi, Liz. First of all, I want to say that you are a truly gorgeous woman. You look really great. Your joke regarding being the only one on the Maldives, who is not on honeymoon, made me laugh very much. However, being single has its own advantages and positive sides.
    Your article is awesome, and I think it should be an ideal template of how a gorgeous travel post should look like. The photos are fantastic.
    Thank you very much! Hope to visit your blog more frequently!

    • Liz October 11, 2016 at 8:07 pm #

      Thanks!

  39. Shailendra @ Taj Mahal January 10, 2017 at 12:04 pm #

    Your pics are just awesome, Maldives is definitely one of the best destinations to spend some quality time on vacation.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

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