Maldives - a vacation within a vacation

More jealousy-inducing tales from Brian Spencer, who won the trip of his dreams in our 'Subscribe and win!' newsletter competition. This week - the breezy, beautiful Maldives.

maldives_clearwaterPool or beach? Snorkeling or swimming? Lion or Tiger lager?

For three sun-soaked days in the Maldives, these were the toughest questions I had to answer. There were no sights to see, no transfers to arrange, no plans to be kept. Minutes melted into hours, hours into days - it's the luxury of doing nothing, and doing it on your own time.

maldives_chairsThe Maldives, after two action-packed weeks touring Sri Lanka, felt like a vacation within a vacation. Swimming in impossibly turquoise lagoons, snorkeling through mesmerizing coral reefs, rubbing flippers with tropical fish painted every color in the crayon box… yeah, I could get used to this.

maldives_huts

Located about 435 miles southwest of Sri Lanka in the Laccadive Sea, the Maldives, a chain of about 1,200 small coral islands, is Asia's smallest country, one of its most exclusive (and expensive), and, sadly, its most endangered. As the lowest country on the planet, the Maldives could vanish in the not-too-distant future if sea levels continue to rise. The threat is so real, in fact, that the government is considering purchasing land in neighboring countries for the worst-case scenario of relocating its roughly 300,000 residents.

maldives_boardwalkLet's all hope it never comes to that. Let's hope, instead, the world's wave of environmental consciousness continues to produce new ideas and new ways of living that help protect and preserve dazzling natural treasures like the Maldives, because, trust me, there's no place else quite like this on the planet.

maldives_sunset