Magical Maldives

Christina Galioto

Where to begin.  Anyone who knows me knows that everyday there is a natural “song of the day” selection I make typically in the morning.  Almost daily while in the Magical Maldives I awoke with “Heaven is a Place on Earth” by Belinda Carlisle.  Please don’t rush to go and listen to this cheesy 80’s song, the import is in the title, this place felt like heaven on Earth..


Not only was I in one of the most stunning places I have ever been but I was fortunate enough to stay at BOTH of the Four Seasons Resorts in the Maldives, Kuda Huraa and Landaa Giraavaru!  The Four Seasons has composed the most enchanting symphony once again, the brand continues to remain one of my favorite hotels in the world and I will continue to sing it’s praises.  They can do no wrong in my book.

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When in paradise it’s all about letting your hair down, wearing flowy dresses and relaxing in style.  Ahhhhhh…  Let that sink in and then snap out of it!  Hair down? Uh I have wayyy too much long hair to keep down and “flowing” in the wind on an island.  The wind is great don’t get me wrong, we wouldn’t be able to surf without wind.  But it’s like a professional hair knotter who laughs in the face of brushes and plays matchmaker for your strands and lip gloss or tanning oil.  Get a hair tie, pull that shit back and put on your big girl swimsuit.  Time to get wet.

Living on a resort which happens to be it’s own island.  Yes, that’s right, resorts in the Maldives are entire islands.  The stunning waters of the Indian Ocean replace grass or concrete in the United States.  Walking out of my villa every morning my eyes would widen and breath would shorten as I tried to grasp my current reality.  Bridges in place of sidewalks, turquoise blue sparkling waters, bikes with our initials engraved on baskets, peacefully quiet and simply beyond..  Beyond was my word of the week, when I’d try to describe something I would stop and say, “it’s just beyond”.  With the sun shining and the sight of beaches and water everywhere it’s only natural to get right in.  My boyfriend and I faced our fears (a few times) and tried things we had never done before.  He and I are experienced world travelers and have an appetite for adventure so when we’re in another city or country we like to do things that are specific to that region.  In the case here, that’s water sports.  From scuba diving to wake boarding to surfing to night snorkeling to feeding sharks and stingrays to yachting!  We did it all.  Scuba diving was very exciting for me and traumatizing to him.  I was a natural and he was like a terrified piece of coral, stationary.  Haha.  For some I can understand that the water pressure gets to them, their ears pop, the flippers are difficult to use or breathing can take a bit to adjust to.  For me, I just wanted to explore under the sea!  “Under the Sea” from the Little Mermaid was indeed the song of the day ;-)  I have been snorkeling a few times but never got to go to the depths of the ocean and experience the silence and the wonder.  My favorite part was looking up from the bottom, hearing nothing and seeing everything.  I was a part of the planet I had only seen in movies.  Underwater.  The brightly colored fish came in all shapes and sizes, swimming past me they gave me ideas for a swimsuit line.  A line which will never come into fruition because I simply don’t have the time but nature has proven once again that it is the best designer and all we can take from it is inspiration.  At the end we were able to feed the fish some bread which my boyfriend decided to do from the comforts of the boat, I chose to participate while still in the water.  A fish bit my finger and I was stung by a jellyfish.  (Peeing on a jellyfish sting doesn’t work by the way…).  But we survived.  Next came wake boarding.  This was scary for ME.  Boyfriend was excited and went first.  A for effort, F for all around failure.  Poor thing, he wanted so badly to rock this board but couldn’t even stand up.  My turn, hearts racing and I’m hoping I do a better job than him and maybe even enjoy it although I am already anticipating that this is not my idea of a good time as I hate speedboating and jet skiing.  This seems similar except it’s even more ‘in your face’ water!  I’m in the middle of the ocean, this time floating on top of the water like an easy target (sharks), the boat is driving away and I am full of emotions, most of them being in the realm of fear and anxiety.  It’s time, I’m holding onto this rod for dear life, never make it up and hang on for too long causing myself to drown and swallow lots of salt water.  Ugh.  Second try, this time I’m focused and ready to let go if I need to.  I let go too soon and in a terrible position causing the rod to hit the top of my knee leaving me in excruciating pain and expecting a violent bruise to appear shortly.  I keep my game face on because it’s not like to me quit but I’m not planning on making the 40 attempts boyfriend did.  Third time, I’m pissed.  Stood up, turned to the side and wake boarded on the gorgeous Maldivian water like a pro.  From the boat it must’ve appeared that I was enjoying myself, not sure how they could misread my tense look of agony for enjoyment but they just kept cheering and driving.  We were getting into the deep blue and I badly wanted to return to the turquoise blue!  Lighter color means the sandy bottom is closer, I don’t want to go into the deep blue!!  I drop the rod so they could come get me and I could be done.  Truth is the only reason I held on for so long is because I was too scared to let go or fall.  I got into the boat slow and shaky.  Done for the day and just done.  Time to drink a glass of rosé and lay in the sun.  Night snorkeling was thrillingly beautiful, feeding the sharks was interesting, I love all animals but they look dangerous.  Seems like they were made with the very purpose of looking dangerous, we are supposed to be scared of them!  Next up is yachting, now this I am good at :)

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Aside from heart attack inducing adventure there is of course incredible opportunities for wellness and relaxation.  We did sunrise yoga at 7am which I have never even done in my beachy neighborhood Venice, CA.  We did sunset yoga, anti-gravity yoga, pedicures, body treatments, hit the gym everyday and felt amazing.  We dined in an underwater restaurant and I met one of my new favorite animals, fruit bats!  Below are some pictures that were taken, one of them being the boat we had to take to get to the spa. I will leave you all with these images and my personal recommendation to visit this place once in your life.

It truly is Magical.

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