I keep a bucket list board on Pinterest and it is full of all the places I want to go.
BUT, doesn’t it seem daunting that you may never get around to seeing all of those places? I know it does for me.
That is why I started a new system. Once a year, you know, resolution time, I pick out 5-10 places on that board with the ones I must-must see but may not get around to it this year (because of their distance) and the ones that I must-must see and I will have a better chance of exploring.
Then, after I get to check that off my bucket-list, I then remove it from my board. Now that it is off my board I can look back and know that I have a stamp in my passport and I have accomplished this incredible goal of seeing a magical new place.
You may be saying to yourself, does the list ever become blank? Ummm, no. That’s because there are soooo many places to see and honestly, I won’t ever get to see them all.
BUT, what I am doing is getting to see the places that are top on my list and getting to check those off. That my friends, feels good!
I have a few places on my list for 2021, but this place has been a dream to visit and I will finally get to check it off my list. Of course I want to go there for the white sand beaches and bungalows over the water, but the culture here has me in awe!
The Maldives is a nation of islands in the Indian Ocean, that spans across the equator. The country has 1192 islands that stretch along a length of 871 kilometers. While the country is approximately 90,000 square kilometers, only 298 square kilometers of that is dry land. The islands are grouped into a double chain of 26 atolls.
If you are unsure of what an atoll is, it is a ring-shaped reef, island, or chain of islands formed of coral. I had no idea what it meant either!
The country’s unique geography is mesmerizing! Colorful reefs and islands rimmed with the whitest sand surrounded by the clearest shallow waters that one can imagine. Only 200 of the islands are inhabited, and a select few on each of the atolls are resorts and some of the islands are used for industry and agriculture.
The beauty of the Maldives is not only above the water. The Maldives is home to about five percent of the planet’s reefs and are home to a thousand species of fish. Manta rays and whale sharks also make the Maldives their home.
Although home to just over half a million people the Maldives has its own unique culture and traditions. While heavily influenced by various cultures around the rim of the Indian Ocean, the Maldivian culture, craft and traditions have been shaped by the island environment and the seas that surround us.
Dhivehi is the language of the Maldivian people. The current script, Thaana is unique and was developed from Arabic numerals around the 16th century. Maldivians are master boat builders, with the traditional Maldivian boat, dhoni being shaped over centuries, resulting in a craft that perfectly suits the various conditions of the seas.
The traditional cuisine is heavily based on fish and coconut, with several dishes that have no parallels anywhere in the region.
The Maldives has one of the most delicate environments anywhere on the planet. Coral reefs are the foundation of the islands, which offer protection to the tiny islands as its natural defense system, and the country’s economy depends heavily on the health of its reefs and ecosystems.
Several conservation efforts are underway to protect the valuable marine environment of Maldives. While several marine species and birds are protected by law, protected areas have been designated to ensure the conservation of specific ecosystems and the rich biodiversity of the country. This includes designated nature reserves in islands of various atolls to protect wetlands and mangroves and the protection of marine areas and the designation of biosphere reserves that covers coral reefs, islands, sea grass beds and mangroves.
Several resorts conduct their own conservation programs. While some programs conducted by resorts focus on the protection and rehabilitation of sea turtles, others are engaged in cutting edge research on regeneration of coral reefs. Several community education programs are also conducted by resorts for school children and the community at large. Non-governmental organizations also play an important role through their voluntary programs and conduct regular beach and reef clean up programs.Visitors to Maldives are advised to carry back their own non-biodegradable waste and to take care not to stand on, touch or remove coral structures while snorkeling or diving.
Have you been yet? What did you like the most about the Maldives? If you haven’t been, do you want to?
I can’t wait to hear your thoughts!