The Maldives is the vacation equivalent to taking a Valium with a glass of red wine. You don’t need to think here. All the thinking is done for you. When to eat, what to drink, where to swim and even what your idea of romance is. If it isn’t a Jacuzzi-topped luxury suite, you’re fucked. This brainlessness attracts a certain type of customer (so many copies of Fifty Shades of Grey!) and that’s not to say that it’s wrong. These people must work very hard to be able to afford this place. They probably get very few holiday days in the year and want to spend them doing as little as possible, and if that’s your thing then yes, this is indeed paradise. It’s the seductive mistress of destinations. You know what you’re going to get with a mistress: Sparkling conversation, laughs, a few drinks and some hanky panky to finish the evening off. Winning.
But what if what you want is something unique and surprising with a few hidden tattoos and a sneaky Prince Albert? Well then, look elsewhere. The Malidves is all organized fun and crowds of people you hate but can’t escape. I am the luckiest person in the world to be able to enjoy this place with my very good friend whom I haven’t seen in ages. I’m having a great time, but if I were here with Steve I’d have drowned him by now. Steve and I are nearly in our 9th year of marriage and that’s not to say that we can’t have a good time in each other’s company, but both of us want more. We want to discover things and make places ours and one can’t do that here. Nothing is yours. It’s all manufactured to feel like it can be anyone’s. Nothing too specific or special. It’s one size fits most.
Being here with girlfriends is ideal for me. And I’m thankful for that, as this place couldn’t feel less romantic in my opinion. I’m flanked by honeymooners at all times and watching them has become a great way to pass the time, but I doubt I’d ever run into any of these people on any other of my travels and again, that’s ok. I’m not judging. I’m simply observing and it’s fascinating.
On Disco Night I was treated to what seemed to me to be a peek into these couple’s bedrooms. Some gyrated seductively, pressed into each other’s pelvises with urgency. They pretty quickly vacated back to their jacuzzi suites. Some flailed their arms and legs about with the rhythm of a frying egg. These were my favorite couples and I think they might be in it for the long haul. Then there were couples who’d been either married for ages, or married later in life. Hands in the air, giving no fucks, they danced until I was afraid some of them night vomit and a few probably did. I have yet to identify any gays on the island, which is sad for me, but I don’t really think I know any gay couples that I believe would enjoy it here. It’s way too straight and really, really white.
There are also a large amount of Cougars here. Older women with their toy boys strolling on the beach hand in hand like a living advertisement for online dating. There are pudgy German tourists hogging the sun loungers and not speaking to each other and there are families here too. Older parents with their older children, young mummies with their toddling pink bundles and families who decided to put off Disneyland for one more year and whose restless 7-year-olds search for something to destroy.
After over 3 months in Sri Lanka, working 7-day weeks this is the perfect way for me to unwind. I have a beautiful room, lovely company and outstanding scenery. This place has been so good for me. It’s forced me to relax in a way no other destination ever has. Even swimming with sharks this morning I was all “what? A shark? No biggie.” And actually swam at it. I’m so relaxed I’m losing brain cells.
But to really enjoy a place to the point where I want to go back again and again I need to be able to get lost. I need to be able to find something new every day and know for sure that I haven’t seen it all yet and as incredible and beautiful as this place is, I feel like I’ve seen all there is to see and maybe I’m ready to go home.