Our daughter had been asking to visit the Maldives since we began traveling in Asia. A luxury lifestyle Instagram account had worked it’s magic on our girl and made her EAGER to visit the perfect beaches of Maldives. Enter the 1st Act: Fetishism.
Now, we are comfortably poor travelers, however, since we currently live in Asia, a trip to Maldives is much more affordable and accessible. So, at Christmas, we surprised our daughter with a new bather and fedora, which confused her a bit as as she asked for neither. After she opened her ‘experience gift’, a notecard that she was getting a trip to the Maldives, the swimsuit and hat gift made much more sense!
2nd Act: Transmigration
Our girl screeched when she saw the clear blue ocean rings around the atolls as we made our decent into Malé International Airport (Plane tix from COK ->MLE ~ $100USD each). After landing we had about 3 hours until our hired speedboat would take us to Maafushi. We grabbed our backpacks and took a boat to the other side of Malé where we had a tiny and forgettable meal for $80 USD, picked up some groceries and supplies for the week, got money from an ATM and purchased 2 Sim Cards. A Dhiraagu SIM Card in town (Malé) cost 50% less than if we had purchased at the airport. Oh, and for the first time ever after traveling for a year, our ATM money did not come out, but was deducted from our account – it did work out. After finishing our necessary tasks, we hired a taxi driver to show us around Malé (200 MVR or 13USD). Tourists don’t spend much time on Malé though we would’ve enjoyed a few more hours exploring the island where most Maldives residents live.
After a 45 minute/17-mile boat ride, we were on Maafushi, an inhabited island with a population of about 2,700. We were picked up via oxen cart powered by a young male human. We weren’t exactly sure if we were suppose to ride on the cart with our luggage – we were not – whew, that would have been so weird!
Staying on an inhabited island like Maafushi means living alongside the locals (absolutley lovely people) and spending less money on accommodations (that’s cool). Alcohol consumption and importation is prohibited on inhabited islands and bikini wear restricted to ‘bikini beach’. Resort islands are more expensive, private, boozy and western in general excepting nudity. We chose to stay with the locals, dress modestly and drink nonalcoholic beer and cider for a week.
3rd Act: The Positivity Act aka The Scientific Method Act
Did the Kids like it?
Ame: Yes. Our gal imagined us living in one of those houses built over the water, but agreed that staying on a non-resort island sounded more fun for us – she’s also great with money, so she saw the financial advantages to staying on Maafushi. Ame felt safe in the water because she could see to the bottom. She liked snorkeling and liked seeing fish and turtles in the ocean. I think she was happy to learn that she is not very interesting to the fish. Ame is a competent and capable ocean swimmer, but she still prefers swimming in a pool. Collecting shells, of which there were heaps, was one of her favorite things.
Son: Our guy is at home in the water, ocean or pool, but found the ocean to be too cold. After a mile of swimming against the currents, taking in new data during our snorkeling trip, it seemed like he was emotionally tired as well as physically fatigued. We found a hotel that rented bikes and both kids really enjoyed biking around the island. Our son loved the buffet meals – self service meets loads of options. He spent hours making structures in the sand.
Reference: Auguste Comte – The Course in Positive Philosophy