Waking up on the island of Meedhupparu in the Republic of Maldives has been one of the most refreshingly beautiful experiences of my life.
The feeling of being semi-stranded on a natural, exotic island that is completely detached from the daily bustle of city life has been exhilarating, and seriously overdue. The inaccessibility of the islands (without the use of a seaplane or motored boat) is what the Maldives are all about.
The islands are an archipelago southwest of India in the Indian Ocean. What appear to be chains of beautiful islands are actually the peaks of a large underwater mountain range–the coral inhabited parts of which, where the resorts are, are called atolls.
To get to Meedhupparu, we first flew into Male, which is the capital city on one of the more 'industrial’ islands. We then headed to the seaplane that would take us to the island itself. Taking off from and landing on the turquoise water was an event in itself. I found myself looking down at the islands we passed thinking to myself, "Is this for real?”
The beauty of it is borderline cartoonish–it makes you wonder why we didn’t just leave the rest of the world the way it was.
The island is reserved solely for the resort and I could walk around it in 25 minutes. Everybody knows each other and the locals are especially welcoming and fun. The island is all-inclusive–a really killer deal–so as soon as I arrived I locked the remnants of city life (cell phone, keys, money) in the safe box and started to forget about the rest of the world.
The hut is literally on the water, which allows you to dangle your legs in the water from your room while drinking the all-inclusive beer all day.
The other benefit of this prime location is access to the coral reefs. At anytime you can jump off the back of your hut with a snorkel, and only a few meters out see rays, turtles and sharks swimming around.
The Maldives give you the sense that you're on another planet. It's hard to imagine from a city office that places like this still exist in the world.