“Hello, my name is Gassim, I will be your Mr.Friday, would you please remove your shoes before stepping on the boat?”
That’s the first thing we were told as we sat on the boat at the pier, getting ready to travel 20 minutes to reach the island.
Your own barefoot luxury island.
It was a short 4 hour and a half flight with flydubai, a red eye flight, the 1am kind. I have a love/hate relationships with these timings, fighting sleep or visa versa. But it’s always a good thing to travel at night, and not throughout the day, especially when you land at 6am and watch the sunrise from above.
“We have a ‘no-shoes’ policy on the island”
I remember looking at my father, (who was traveling with me at the time, I’ve surprised him with a birthday gift) and smiled and thought to myself that I might actually scored some major points with him!
In a world where an island is based on a book of a castaway who spends thirty years on a remote tropical island, you won’t be far from the truth when you meet Mr. Friday.
The only question we would have on the island was … “should we walk or should we ride?” The rest was thought of by Gasim.
Each guest has a Mr. Friday for the duration of their stay and we had Gasim, a Maldivian lover of life who takes pride in his job, who is available 24/7 (Twenty-four-SEVEN!) unlike many other Resorts who work shifts. The wonderful thing about Gasim, is that if you wanted a friend to dive or snorkel with you, he was it! Gasim, made the whole experience an exciting one!
Maldives is a place I go to when I need to stop thinking.
When too much of something in my life has consumed my thoughts and I need some space.
Ironically, it’s where I get my thinking done the most, but It’s one of these places that you don’t have the pressure to explore as you do in a city. What you see is what you get. I drown myself in the under-world, diving, especially since I renewed my diving license 9 months ago.
Everyday, I learned to select my thoughts. I choose to try and stay calm when things don’t work out, I choose what energy I needed in my life. It’s a process I was (am) learning. Once in a while, you need the destination where you don’t need to over think and plan ahead.
All you need is what the sea and the sun can provide. We spent days walking or cycling around barefoot with no noise or distractions.
My trip was spent diving mostly, snorkeling with a marine biologist, practicing Yoga with a practitioner, cycling around the island, eating my way through the day and visiting the spa one hour a day and repeat.
There are 4 categories of rooms in Gili Lankanfushi:
The Family Room (that has 2 rooms) and is connected to the main island, The Crusoe, which is accessible only by boat, could also convert the living room into a bedroom, The Residence (which is also connected to the main island) and The Private Reserve, in which you can host a whole new world and the largest water villa in Maldives accessible only by boat (500 meters away from the main resort), and I got to stay in it! In all the choices you have to make, you are surrounded by the Indian Ocean.
The Private reserve, standing alone in the middle of the lagoon is 1,700 square meter in space, three bedroom villa, with a 63 square meter infinity swimming pool and a jacuzzi. It has it’s own spa, one ensuite master suite, one duplex master suite with 2 bedrooms and a 4th ensuite bedroom and can sleep 8 adults with full privacy! If you decide to have more guests in your residence, then you can do so since most of the lounge areas in the villas turn into beds and can experience your typical sleeping under the star experience.
If that is not enough, The Private Reserve also has a state of the art cinema (your very own private screening) and your very own gym and your own in-villa Barbecue, a private library and… A water slide!!!
Everything is as private as it gets with not one but 2 live-in Mr. Fridays (Private butlers) on call 24/7!
Around the island, dining options are ‘street food market’ style dinners , themed nights and breakfast in bed would be a typical dining experience. The island has its own garden growing 90% of their own vegetables.
You can also experience chocolate & wine tasting, (you can imagine how that would go!), sandbank picnic island, dolphin cruise, guided snorkeling trip with the marine biologist in which I spent the 4 days doing and you can’t miss spending hours at the spa.
Despite not having a kids club, the island kept my 4-year-old daughter well entertained with pizza and cookie making and Gasim, our Mr. Friday, helped her build a Maldivian home out of sand!
The luxury that we had at Gili Lankanfushi is the privacy, the barefoot sensation across the island. Obviously, after 5 days, we found it extremely hard to walk in our shoes.
Don’t tell anyone and don’t bring your phone. Start walking and keep walking until you no longer know the road like the palm of your hand, because we walk the same roads day in and day out, we cease to see. I sometimes walk in my sleep and teach my muscles to work without thinking and I dare you to walk where you have not yet walked and I dare you to notice.
Don’t try to get anything out of it, because you won’t. Don’t try to make use of it, because you can’t.
And that’s the point.
Just walk, see, sit down if you like. And be. Just be, whatever you are with whatever you have, and realize that that is enough to be happy.
There’s a whole world out there, right outside your window.
I’d be a fool to miss it.
That’s what walking barefoot taught me.
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*A huge thank you to flydubai for collaborating with us on our trip to The Maldives. It’s always fun and easy flying business class with flydubai! Stay tuned on a collaboration between Travel Junkie Diary and flydubai, we will be giving lucky winners a business class ticket to a special destination!