I’m sure I don’t have to tell you this, but I will. GO TO THE MALDIVES. Start planning now, before it’s too late. Why? Well, with the world’s climate in it’s current situation, the Maldives could literally be underwater before we know it. As in during our years on this earth. Oh how sombre a start but keep going – I promise not to leave off in the manner in which I started.

Thanks to our partnership with The Collektion Hotels, we spent a week at Ayada Resort situated in one of the most remote and most enchanting areas of the world and now, with time to think after the long journey home, I can with absolute clarity say it must be on your bucket list. Go ahead and scratch off something benign or less important, say, space travel, and pencil in a Maldivian experience in, ASAP.

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Yes, we we’re very lucky to be guests of the resort (we we’re shooting our new campaign) however you will need to save up for the trip as it is hellish expensive, but, when you’re finally lazing on your deck chair next to your private infinity pool watching the tide come in, the last thing you’ll be thinking about is how many hours you had to work to get there. Also, I might point out that it’s not just expensive because the Maldives has a monopoly on the aqua-marine coloured seas surrounding the atolls, but because everything on the islands has been imported. The longest road on any island in the Maldives is 14KM’s – so there’s really no room to grow anything in quantity to sustain the population and the tourist selection. Everything, except the Tuna but including the milk and kitchen sinks are imported. Thinking about that, the cost is understandable and absolutely forgiven.

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The over-water bungalows are as mind blowing as they look through a google search. At one point I was sitting in my over-water hammock, watching the colours of the sky change from an amethyst hue to violet, I looked down to a see a manta ray the size of a 5 year old, stretched out like a pancake below my feet. There he was, Steve Irwin’s nemesis just docilely flapping along below me. One part scary, two parts oh my gosh that is SO EXCITING!

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Despite the island that makes up the Ayada resort being a mere 200m in length (it took us 15 minutes to mozy around the whole island) there are a multitude of things to do and keep you busy – if you so desire. Besides the obvious like working on your tan, there are massages in a world class spa, yoga, wave runners, fishing, surfing, kayaking, snorkelling, or, you can stick to the old school relaxation techniques of trying not to drown your book in the pool, hosting your own ‘drink as many cocktails as you can party’ or just playing the ‘have I put enough sunscreen on all my parts?’ game.

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We entertained ourselves like crazy shooting our new campaign (which releases on We Are Handsome in a few short days) – and so spent most of our time out and about so the ‘enough sunscreen’ game got played the most. That and what is the best way to style a pineapple, to which we determined with sunglasses in a pool as the answer. We also spent a considerable amount of time perfecting jumps from the ledge of our infinity pool. I can’t really claim to have perfected them though as Trevor would still like me to have gotten more air. But he quickly hushed up on the reminder that I was the only person to perform a back dive (off of our jet boat) through the entire trip…only because I wouldn’t let him do it off the infinity pool ledge and thereby force me to take up residence in a Maldivian hospital during his convalesce.

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The other benefit that the Maldives has to offer you which is unique to this part of the world is seclusion, with the islands being so strung out you don’t interact with any other people other than those on the island at the time, and even then we we’re hard pressed to feel crowded at any stage during the week. Most couples chose to spend their hours in their private bungalows which left most of the resort to us to gallivant about in. For a resort that was 75% full when we arrived we hardly knew there we’re people sharing our space until it came dinner time and we saw them all arrive for the lavish buffets.

It’s been 3 months since we returned and almost on a daily basis my mind wanders back to Ayada, and to the feel of the sand, the colour wheel of skies and seas and I’m once again wrapped in the entrancing serenity the Maldives is all about.

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