Being a backpacker on a luxury island is one way to feel like a mouse in a cheese factory, it’s like you’ve woken up in the middle of your wildest dream and want to run around screaming like an excited child. Apparently when you actually do this, the honeymooners surrounding you don’t appreciate it. God knows why …
I imagined the Maldives would never live up to the perfect white sand beaches of The Philippines and never be as fun as the wild parties I experienced on the Thai islands. However, venturing there via a local ferry with my Australian travel buddy and our backpacks in tow, we docked (for $2) somewhere so dreamy it made us squeal with disbelief every morning.
I was in India when the bargain offer landed in my inbox and I couldn’t resist a short break from the backpacker lifestyle I’d been living for the past 10 months, not that I don’t absolutely love sharing a room with 8 strangers and being gifted with the top bunk next to someone with a talent for sleep talking … Every time!
So, there we were, our beautiful paths colliding for the third time during our adventures around the world, two single girls on an island that hadn’t seen crime or alcohol for over fifteen years, a recipe for disaster surely?
After a few days of sunset spotting, beach bumming, girlish screaming, oceanside dinners and plenty of Instagram photoshoots, we decided to leave our stunning haven for the day and explore a new drop of tropic paradise, a nearby sandbar island. Somewhere on the hour-long speed boat journey towards this magical blob in the ocean, I’m pretty sure they drugged our snorkel masks because until this day, I’d not felt so high on life and the pure beauty of Asia.
It started with a playful turtle swimming inches from my wide eyes to take a quick breath. Once the boat docked on the crescent moon of flawless sand we watched whilst small reef sharks darted past our sun-kissed feet. After a ‘delicious’ cucumber sandwich a rainbow, yes that’s right, A RAINBOW appeared directly above us and what happened next can only be described as art. A pod of dolphins somersaulted and flipped around the island, I think I might have shed tears in disbelief that it was really me standing there witnessing this perfection.
Nothing in the world beats that feeling, getting high on life and falling in love with a place you thought was only possible in your imagination. It makes a pretty good story too!