Blog post written for BrosOnRoad blog, as a guest blogger, as part of the ‘Travel with Story’ initiative. Visit their blog to join them for many amazing journeys. “One life, miles to cover.”
Travel with story. Each time someone reaches out to me for a potential post as a guest blogger or blog article re-post, it motivates me to continue my journey as a blogger! Also this time, when ‘Bros on Roads‘ asked me if I want to join their new initiative “Let’s travel with stories”. I didn’t think twice as I love to travel and share travel stories!
‘A story about one of my trips which I call The Best Trip of my life, that brings a curve of joy on my face and makes me feel nostalgic.’ Yes, too many travels and stories, yet, never enough. Especially lately. But I am excited that today we can virtually travel ‘together’. No matter existing travel limitations or restrictions. That’s the power of stories: they can last, no matter what.
TRAVELING – my definition
Traveling has been always part of my life, since very young age. I just love to discover and explore new places; it is a feeling that nothing else can really replace. And it doesn’t need to be plane. Travel isn’t only by the air. Although, plane and car are my two favorite ways to commute, first fast and comfortable, second gives an immense feeling of freedom and allows to see what isn’t marked on the maps.
Travel means the world to me. My definition of ‘travel’ has changed from past years from just seeing a new place to creating footprints of memories. Also for this reason I called my own blog as ChasingLifeMoments, relating a big part of it to traveling. It isn’t really about sightseeing, nor about vacationing. It is much more than that.
TRAVELING = I + JOURNEY + EXPERIENCE + MOMENTS + FUN
For me traveling is about 5 elements:
- I – connecting with self, discovering not only places but also realizing and learning so much about myself when venturing around the world
- Journey – it is about the path, not destination, so often we go to one specific place but in fact it isn’t the place that remains in our memory as so special and unique, it might be what happens on the way or what we discover in the most unexpected way
- Experience – no book, no travel guide, no movie can really replace the actual feelings, smells, views, taste of trips; experiencing new places allowed me to appreciate more and to understand that each corner of the world is just amazing, there is no better or worse. No school can teach you that. It’s like theory vs. practice.
- Moments – traveling helps me to ‘stop’ and focus on life and its simple daily moments, that’s the time when I don’t forget to watch sunsets, collect shells, sip coffee and do nothing or venture around without knowing where next
- Fun – I just can’t live without smiling, making others feel a bit happier, it is a must element of each travel. Fun doesn’t stay home, it is always packed in the suitcase
Two months ago I wrote a blog post about ‘Travel Memories: Collecting Moments‘. Back then I started to list down all reasons why people travel: to create lifetime memories, to disconnect, to miss and appreciate home, to challenge self, to meet new people, to start over… list is long.
Why I have been traveling?
Initially I traveled with my family, my parents and sister. From the age of 7 I continued traveling mainly with my sister, 3 years older. My parents wanted us to see the country and see the world. To ‘change the air’ we breathe as they used to say and to recognize us for all the studying efforts. Today I know that they wanted to inspire us, to motivate even more. Maybe that’s why today I live in Bangalore and my sister in the Alps. Ones mindset needs to be very open to change life, to relocate, to create new home.
Traveling – it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.Ibn Battuta
My first international (European) trip took place at the age of 6 years old. My first alone travel (with organized English school in UK) at the age of 10. That’s the time when I continued to travel across the Europe, visiting some countries more than once. 15 years later my first business trip took place, revisiting UK again. And just after few months, back in 2009, I have traveled first time outside of Europe, to Asia. Yes, to India. Destiny marked it as the first trip. That’s the time when I started to visit other continents and always more countries.
My personal key triggers:
#1: as life is too short
#2: to create lifetime memories
#3: to meet my family
#4: to explore new places
#5: to be inspired
#6: for work
And just recently, after starting my blog, I realized one more reason: to tell stories.
I love to visit new countries, marking 43 of them so far, but it is my family that is the world to me. Maybe that’s why I have selected Maldives as the trip I want to share with you today. There were two other travels that were even closer to my heart: going to India for my own marriage and traveling to India to relocate, being 5 months pregnant. Two journeys that are life’s journeys. Although, back then I have already treated India as home so those travels’ dimension was different. That’s why I have decided to take you for a moment to Maldives!
Our travel to Maldives, surprise surprise, was a pretty much pre-planned trip. Not a spontaneous travel, organized around 2 months in advance. The plan was to combine Sri Lanka and Maldives! I was super excited for 3 reasons:
- we were traveling together: My Better Half, Our Bigger Angel (back then our Little One wasn’t there yet) and myself
- additionally, we invited also my parents to join us
- finally, we were to explore many new places, for me 2 new countries!
I was flying with my parents from Poland while My Better Half and Our Bigger Angel from India, our meeting point was Colombo in Sri Lanka. After few days there, all together, we continued our trip to Maldives, initially arriving in Male and then by speed boat to our beach and spa resort, Olhuveli. Spontaneously, I invented one more thing. Me and my parents had 4 hours layover in Dubai. So… why not to go for a night car ride in UAE? Crazy? Maybe! That’s how I love to travel. I just wanted my parents to experience Dubai by night! Yes yes, we didn’t miss our flight, all under control!
BEACH & SPA RESORT
Maldives is just amazing! As you land in Male you start feeling an atmosphere that is so unique to the place. Airport full of stands representing different islands and resorts – so that each tourist or traveler is taken care of just after landing. Next transportation options are two and it mainly depends on the distance: speed boat or sea plane. In our case it was a speed boat.
This journey was amazing, going with the boat and passing all possible shades of the ocean, from transparent via translucent light blue to turquoise and ocean blue. And in the middle of the ocean different islands and resorts, one more beautiful than the other. After ~30 min ride, we reached our one! Splendid island and resort! Paradise place for enjoy next days!
The plan was following: half stay (2 nights) in the beach houses and the other half in water villas. I wanted to experience both. My suggestion: before booking and reaching the place we contacted the resort to receive also all available offers: restaurants, water activities, island events. It really helped in our selection and readiness for the trip. The resort shared with us all the details, we knew that My Better Half won’t have issues with vegetarian food and that we can experience a bit of things, not only relaxing.
We had our snorkeling equipment with us, more convenient. We did an excursion to do snorkeling in the open ocean with Our Bigger Angel! My Better Half did also scuba diving, I felt so happy for him! We also went for a fishing excursion. We did some good catches and the resort restaurant grilled us these fishes for dinner! Amazing experience. Relaxing! That’s what I loved about Maldives. Somehow it ‘forces’ you to slow down, to disconnect, to escape. Sometimes that’s what we really need!
In general, I think there is no travel for us with some special story connected to it! Maybe as we are ‘lucky’ or maybe as we travel more often so the chances are a bit higher for adventures to happen. After initial two nights, when we were playing in the ocean in the morning hours a resort staff member approached My Better Half. Hmm. ‘What now I thought?’ In summary, there was an issue with our second part of the booking. We booked the resort via email and unfortunately two water villas weren’t available. Now what?
We were offered, as a replacement, presidential suit water villa!
‘Found at the furthest end of the jetty with so much space, you’ll never need to leave. A huge outdoor deck has areas for bathing, dining and relaxing, whilst inside you’ll find two bedrooms, two bathrooms and a large living room with uninterrupted lagoon views.’
How does it sound? We were asked if we agree…
In short: 270 m2 villa with an infinity pool, a private lagoon and beach. Still, My Better Half said that: we need to think about it (omg…). And, of course, we agreed! It was like a cherry on the cake for that travel! We didn’t want to leave. My mom kept on asking why don’t we extend!
Definitely, it was a fantastic time, so so relaxing and comfortable stay. We kept on playing kite by the infinity pool, do snorkeling in our lagoon, walking & swimming to the mini beaches that were getting created with ocean tides. Whenever you travel, maybe just for a night – try to see some option for an upgrade – we often do it. It can really change the entire travel’s experience. Getting a bit spoiled at the end of the holiday is just the best thing that can happen to anyone. So yes, Maldives trip is the one that brings back a big curve of joy on my face and makes me feel really nostalgic just thinking about it. I can’t wait to travel again.
PS. There is always a balance in life, maybe just to appreciate more all the wonderful things. Last day of the trip, just before getting on the speed boat a huge storm came. Hotel approved for the speed boat to take us to Male airport. Don’t ask me how the boat ride was… With a bit of my mom’s prayers – we made it to the airport’s shore! Safe travels, All!
Hence, what’s your favorite travel story? Which trip brings a curve of joy on your face and makes you feel nostalgic just thinking about it? Remember it isn’t about distance nor direction. Share & inspire!
Moments that matter, no matter the story.