Now this is the change of scenery I was hoping for. I was left wondering last week whether this trip was still going to be possible and yet here this jammy cow is… in the Maldives.
Everything came together super fast in the end. I woke up to an email on Tuesday morning containing flights tickets to Male departing the following evening. So I did what every self respecting freelancer would do – I dropped everything to buy some new sandals and pack my bags immediately.
First time flying Qatar Airways
I flew to Male with Qatar Airways via Doha. I’ve never flown Qatar before but was impressed by the service and generous amount of snacks coming around in economy. They fly A380s from Melbourne so I checked in as soon as I could in order to get a seat on the upper level. (Always look for the upper deck tab on the seat plan!) There are just 8 rows in economy on the upper deck so it feels like a premium cabin – just with smaller seats! Service is fast as there are less passengers to get around and there are no queues for the loo either. I was on the end of a middle row but I prefer window seats if they’re available as they have storage compartments down the side. (You can almost pretend it’s Premium Economy. Almost..)
Doha is good hub to transit through as Hamad International Airport is slick and well-equipped. As I’d been given a heads up about being interviewed by Maldives TV when I arrived in the county I paid to use the shower facilities at the Vitality Spa (30AUD for 40 mins) and it did me the world of good – especially the Rituals Spa moisturiser I slathered on afterwards! It was a light load on the aircraft from Doha to Male so I stretched out until landing here.
Speaking of which..
So I’m in the Maldives to speak at the World Travel Writers Conference in association with Maldives TV. I’m speaking on a panel alongside a line up of bloggers and writers about storytelling for luxury destinations and some cool ladies I met in Sri Lanka last year are giving key note speeches.
The sponsors have also very kindly arranged extra nights for us all in a couple of different boutique resorts. I just spent my first night at Adaaran Club Raanalhi and am now writing this from Adaaran Select Huduranfushi – both of which are affordable 4 star resorts in the Maldives – and who knew that was a thing! It was overcast when I arrived yesterday but has cleared up now and looks every bit as magic as you imagine the Maldives to be. How is this ocean colour even real?! I’m dying to take my first dip and meet all the local fishes so I best stop tapping on these keys and get in!
I’ll be updating all my socials about this Maldives visit. We’re using hashtag #WTWC2017 for the conference if you’re interested in luxury travel/marketing and seeing what all the rest of the panel are getting up to.
Let me know if there’s anything you’re dying to know about the Maldives. Until next week.