Tuesday 21 July 2015

Island life - Maldives ❤️

So the Maldives has always been up there as one of my all time surf destinations. I was so hyped to be taking off from Colombo but pretty apprehensive at the same time. 

I had butterflies in my tummy, thinking about surfing over coral again, miles out on a boat without any hospitals close by. This is just always something I'm thinking of now after the accident..."what if." 

As we arrived at the airport and were quickly escorted to the speed boat taking us to Kandooma, that all just seemed to fade. A wise person once said to me - "what is, is and what was, was" I hadn't really given it too much thought but it was profound in my mind that night. We had arrived in paradise. A surfers paradise. I was lucky to be alive and be here experiencing this, I had to make the most of it! Excitement took over. Even under the dark, starry skies, the water was crystal clear when we stepped onto the boat. I could not wait to see this place in the morning! 

Waking up was nothing short of magical - 

I've been all over the world, but never have I seen such white sand and such crystal clear water. I felt like the luckiest girl alive ❤️

The first couple of days were pretty small swell wise so that gave me some time to adjust to island life and do some snorkelling and swimming. There were the cutest little reef sharks in the lagoon at Kandooma right and an abundance of stunning fish and live coral! Not to mention plenty of chill time in the sun and out on the boat! 

Day 2 and I had even managed to pluck up the courage to jump in off the top of the boat. That was something I couldn't even have envisaged wanting to do 6 months ago and now I felt like the me that craved adventure and adrenaline was finally coming back and it felt so good! 

By day 4 the charts were starting to line up and we could see the swell was coming. I was so excited to surf the waves a little bigger and see how I felt.

Riding out to the waves by boat is so chilled! Definitely my preferred mode of surf transport! ❤️

Each day and each wave I caught helped my confidence grow. I have to say a massive thanks to the perfect wave crew at Kandooma for being super supportive and helping me believe that I could get out there and do what always used to come as second nature before. This picture by Robert Underwood captures me out on one of the smaller days before the bigger swell arrived. I honestly can't even begin to say how good it felt being out there riding those waves! 

More surf pics to follow soon... 

Sunsets were such a special time at night. So peaceful and so beautiful - laced with so many colours! 

As a special treat for my upcoming birthday we spent a couple of nights in the over water villas! Probably the raddest room I have ever stayed in. Not to mention snorkelling from our bedroom at any time of day or night! 

Also had the best bath of my life! Can't really beat this view from a tub with bubbles ❤️

Lying out on our deck at any time of the day was so chilled. I loved just lying out. Listening to the waves and the sounds of the ocean. 
Late at night, we just lay out under the stars over the top of the water. So many stars but what never fails to amaze me is seeing the same constellations I look at up in the sky from back home in Scotland. It's so beautiful and amazing. It makes you feel so small and truly thankful. For me lying there in that moment all I could think of was how lucky I was. I have an amazing family who have supported me through thick and thin, true friends old and new who have been there by my side through the smiles and the tears, an amazing new boy in my life who makes me laugh every day I'm with him, my sponsors who have stuck by me and God who I believe has made all of this possible for me. I was there under the Maldivian sky, reflecting on how life is now and how truly grateful I am. No words can surmise that feeling. I guess "blessed" is the closest I can get but it still doesn't even scratch the surface of how deep that feeling goes! 

I felt like a proper little island girl by the end of my 8 nights there. Smiles from ear to ear. I had snorkelled with turtles, jumped off boats, met some truly inspiring people, laughed, smiled, eaten amazing food and surfed some of the best waves I have surfed since my accident back in 2013. It felt incredible. 

This place was truly beautiful. A once in a lifetime experience.

Thank you the Maldives for helping me get my surf wings back! You've helped me more than you'll ever know ❤️

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