Maldives had always been on the fantasy list of spots we’d love to visit someday, but it always seemed like a long shot.
It’s ridiculously far away from Mammoth–in fact it’s pretty close to the exact opposite side of the world from here.
Fortunately, in the year where very little went right in the world, a number of things fell into place to make this trip accessible. So we jumped on it.
We only had about nine days, home to home, to make this work. With almost 30 hours of travel (LAX-Dubai-Maldives), this seemed insane but we took a chance. Ultimately, the travel redefined what I thought was possible in such a short amount of time–it never felt rushed.
Part of that was probably because there isn’t a huge list of things to do in Maldives–especially not during a pandemic. That isn’t to say there was any down time. You can go sunrise to sunset with activities there, but you’re confined to a spectacular, tiny island as well as some boat trips to nearby reefs. I’d guess during non-Covid times there’s more room to island hop, but they were keeping every island separated while we were there. It wasn’t limiting at all though-the reef around our hotel, Oblu Select at Sangeli Island, was more than enough to keep this ADHD underwater photographer as busy as I wanted to be.
We spent time with sharks, rays, turtles, and endless schools of tropical fish. We caught insane sunsets, met amazing European travelers, and ate awesome Maldivian and Indian food throughout the day.
I wasn’t sure what to expect from Maldives–we’ve been to similar spots like French Polynesia–but this spot was very much a different experience. There’s no “inland.” You can throw a rock from one end of the island to the other. Many of the islands are man-made with sand dredged up from the sea floor and palm trees imported from other islands. It doesn’t feel artificial in any way–they’ve done a great job of working with what was there in situ.
This part of the Indian Ocean is home to some of the warmest sea water on Earth. It hovered around 85 degrees. That may not seem refreshing but it absolutely was.
This dream trip absolutely surpassed all the expectations and I think a return trip to this region will be in our future. The travel–even for just more than a week–really wasn’t that bad. We got to spend a night cruising around Dubai on the way home (with negative PCR tests!) which is a spot we’ve always been, at the very least, curious about visiting.
So there is the highlight of our Pandemic year–and one of the coolest places I’ve ever been.
Check out the underwater engagement session I shot at Oblu right here.
Finally, I get a lot of questions about my underwater photography rig. If you’re curious, I put my Canon camera in an Aquatech housing, with a 16-35 mm lens. Holler here or on Instagram here if you have any questions on that, I’m always happy to chat underwater photography.
Thanks so much!