‘Dream as if you will live forever, live each day as your last’
The Maldives is home to luminous cyan-blue water and whiter-than-white powder sand, attracting millions of tourists every year. The Edition team had an exclusive interview with Paul & Gierde, famous for being frequent guests of the Maldives, and have learnt how to overcome the fear of flying and why Maldives can get under your soul.
What inspired you to travel to Maldives?
For a person who was afraid of flying and only did 45minute trip to Paris, I knew this trip would be a major challenge but the rewards would make this a long lasting life experience and I only planned to see this once. However, as everyone would tell you including a social group called ‘Maldives Nutters’ you become hooked. What was planned to be a one off trip has now become the 21st trip to the Maldives.
We heard of sands so white lit up by the moon, it looks like snow on a cold winter's day in London. The blues of the Indian Ocean are so difficult to describe as they take your breath away.
The islands from above seem to float across the Indian Ocean in their atolls. Perceptions of paradise are seen differently through many eyes but for us only one true definition of paradise is the Maldives.
Coconut palm trees, the southern night sky, the luminous plankton, the magical marine life and most amazing Ridley Scott project protecting the injured Turtles and the flora of the Maldives especially Frangipani flowers, the sounds of the koel Maldives bird that’s your alarm in the morning.
Which resort is your favourite?
To us every resort we have been to has something to offer, whether it is a Conrad Rangali where you don’t even need to get your feet wet to see the Manta along the 500 meter bridge walkway.
Fushifaru, where we received the biggest welcome we have ever seen in the Maldives, it was like the whole island had come out to greet us. Baros Maldives, with the beautiful iconic lighthouse and saxophone music offered us a most romantic honeymoon.
On our engagement Hurawalhi’s 5.8 underwater restaurant experience left unforgettable heartwarming memories. It is difficult to describe and mention all of the resorts we have visited because we could go on forever as they all had many things to offer and made us feel so special.
Did you really create your own Maldives corner in London?
We talk and discuss Maldives every single day at work, with friends and various social groups and have probably taken over 100 thousand photographs of the Maldives. In fact we love it so much we have created a little corner of paradise in our living room. We relive memories in this corner.
Tell us about your favourite attractions of the Maldives?
One is to meet with our Maldivian friends including the legendary Mohamed Afeef, who I have met at the Conrad and followed him to all other resorts where he worked and his amazing sand art work and messages are a sight to be seen.
We have met a lot of great people while re-visiting the Maldives over and over again and with most of them we are friends, like Tropical aviator, Arushadh, who has an incredible personality. Snorkelling and seeing the whale shark is just mind blowing along with manta, stingray, sharks, turtles and other marine life favourites. Walking around the island early in the morning and late at night, feeling safe, a sense of freedom.
My hobby is photography. I love to capture the sunrise, sunset and all the memorable moments during my vacation. These moments help to recharge our life with positive energy, just relaxing on the beach and taking it all in.
What is your favourite quote and book?
‘Dream as if you will live forever, live each day as your last’ and our favourite book: ‘The Secret’ by Rhonda Byrne.
Maldives is a favourite place to visit and we make all it takes in our daily life to get us there. The pandemic around the world was a complete shock to everyone with the sad loss of lives and affected millions of people. Really thought that travel would become a thing of the past and dreams would just stay as distant memories, thankfully with Vaccinations and testing the world can start to move forward again.
Now with travel restrictions easing and Maldives being the one of safest places in the world to travel. Testing before you arrive and when you leave makes it easy and stress free, and we are thankful to the Maldives for letting us back to our beloved country.
With Love & fond affection to all the Maldivian people. Thank you – Shukriya
Paul & Giedre