Taste, feel, discover, smell – for us, these are all part of traveling, researching and blogging. Sure, we want to enjoy our trip, but what we also want is to collect authentic experiences and a “real” sense of foreign cultures. But how does it work when wrapped in fine toweling from France, eating imported foods served on expensive porcelain plates and fenced in by so many luxury goods that the nature surrounding us is obscured? Additionally, we are served the finest coffee from Africa by Asian staff waiters and the lady at the front office greets us with an east German accent.
Sure, it feels great. The whole world seems to meet on the small, beautiful islands in the middle of the Indian Ocean at this luxury resort, but we would like to experience a bit of “typical reality” and see what life is like for locals as well. We were not just satisfied with the best, we wanted to know how people really live outside of the resorts and what life is like for those working behind the scenes & in the front of the house to create this microcosim of luxury. Luckily, during our days in paradise, we were invited to LUX Resort to visit one of the neighboring local islands. Of course we did not hesitate and off we went on the Dhoni’s (the traditional means of transportation in the Maldives) cruising through nothing but turquoise blue waters for 45 minutes.
Interacting with locals is always exciting. While Thies is talking to the boys, first about music then a variety of other topics, I snack from native cooking pots. It’s encounters like these that make travelling the most successful – the reflection of the experienced – then it is “real” and captures me with the awakening of all my senses.
And as we trekked over this colorful-small island, I wondered how life feels here with every step. How does “normal” and possibly “forever” feel here? What would my hobbies be and how would we earn money? There are no shopping malls, no pharmacies, no late night convenience stores, and no DHL packages – but WiFi, which has newly arrived here, is available ;) These ideas of another life overwhelm me on our travels again and again. For a few hours we discovered “the real” Maldivian life and culture and one thing is certain: We would have liked to stay longer.
The mix of onions, tuna and coconut makes us pleasantly full. The foreign spices refresh our taste buds and the heat of the day sits down with us. In the back room there is a small outlet with a rather sparse selection of shops. There is also a toilet with a shower and “hot water,” the owners tell us proudly. Even a small school and a whale shark research facility has its place on the local island.
Maldives holiday on a local island
Only in recent years has it been permitted, by law, for Maldives island locals to offer guest rooms or Bed & Breakfast in their private residences. For us as tourists, this means one thing: It creates a new alternative way of tourism in the Maldives. How about spending two weeks on a local island for the cost of one night in one of the luxury resorts?
For about 60€ per night, a Maldives holiday on a local island is affordable for average earners. Whoever wants beautiful beaches, an incredible underwater world, or even to spend a day on a traditional fishing boat with the Natives, staying on a local island is perfect. There is air conditioning, comfortable beds, delicious, fresh food and good conversation. The hosts can also arrange transfers from Male airport to the island – and WiFi is also available.
It’s the combination
And if you’re longing for a few days of luxury and a water villa with several restaurants, spa treatments, and a gym in air-conditioned environment, jumping in a Dhoni and island hopping combines the local and luxury experiences together. Two different types of trips on one holiday, Sounds perfect, right?