One of the positive trends to emerge during pandemic times has been an increased focus on self care. In the travel sphere, experts have noted an uptick in wellness tourism as conscious travellers seek out ways to complement their itineraries with ways to boost spiritual and physical health.
OVERWHELMING OCEAN BEAUTY
A soulish island staycation is about finding ways to manifest mindfulness. Perhaps that translates as a retreat, a guided meditation or a digital detox and whatever route you choose to take, Maldives has you covered. But even before you’ve even assumed a lotus position, one thing is prevalent from the get-go: the natural environment. And that starts with the ocean something about which I’ve waxed lyrical time and again, an incandescent sea that anchors any Maldives experience. Bewitching luminescence that inspires overwhelming gratitude for a universe so beautiful.
I would wake really early to take a walk along the beach, a light, cool breeze blowing with only the soft sound of the ocean folding onto the shore. During the day, a cycle along the shady jungle paths through a tropical forest would have the same soothing effect, and at dusk I’d sit somewhere and stare out at the ocean as the day slipped away beneath a pastel sky.
Deep breathes and gratitude, all the time. Maldives is deeply impacting. The environment alone is a conduit for contemplation and reflection.
Key is choosing a resort that holds the health of the natural world in the highest esteem and does all it can to protect it. Knowing there’s a sustainable approach in play and that optimum care is being taken adds to the contentment index. Our own pleasure should never be at the expense of others, of creatures or the Earth.
Maldives is a springboard to mindfulness and personal rejuvenation. Yet another reason to celebrate paradise.
WHAT TO REMEMBER
- Getting there: Air Seychelles from OR Tambo and via Seychelles, a 9 hour flight which is brilliant news! In an exciting development for island-deprived travellers since the advent of global lockdowns, AIR SEYCHELLES (HM) by popular demand is pleased to announce the start of a great partnership with Visit Maldives, following the resumption of the airline’s weekly commercial flights (in July) from Johannesburg to Maldives, via Seychelles. (By the way, the long haul with other carriers can be as much as 16 hours!)
- While rules around pandemic travel are in perpetual flux,it’s advised to check the Maldives Ministry of Tourism’s website for COVID-19 updates and protocols: https://www.tourism.gov.mv/covid19
- The main requirement of entry to Maldives is a negative pcr test taken 96 hrs prior to departure from the first port of embarkation along with a health declaration form completed 24 hrs prior to departure via Imuga. Another PCR test is required to be taken another 72 hours prior to your return to South Africa.
- It is important to dress modestly in public places in local islands and residential areas. During Ramadan and other festive occasions, operational hours are different in certain restaurants and shops in local islands. These restrictions do not apply on resort properties.
- Maldives is a 100% Muslim country and it prohibited to bring in alcohol or tobacco products from Duty Free in transit.
- The accommodation options range from resorts, hotels, liveaboard and guesthouses. Many of which have special offers.
- Remember that 2022 is Maldives Tourism Golden Jubilee Year and it is expected the destination will likely host fabulous celebrations to mark the milestone.
- Check the weather – you’re in monsoon territory so be sure you know what to expect. Rainy season is June & July but even then there is plenty of sun all year round.
- Remember – 2022 is Maldives Tourism Golden Jubilee Year! Keep an eye on all their social media platforms!
Bon voyage, until next time*