Maldives Moments

So I am sure you will remember Tanya and Stuart from their seaside wedding we shared a couple of weeks back… they had a flower dog, a silent disco, and midnight swims in the pool, so if you missed this amazing day, click here to catch up!

Stuart and Tanya were one of the “lucky” couples that were able to say their I do’s before the lockdown came into effect in South Africa… however, they weren’t so lucky when it came to their honeymoon.

Yes, they were able to spend 10 days in the magnificent Maldives, but they also got stuck there for THREE weeks while trying to make their way back to SA!

Tanya and Stuart shared more with us today about their romantic honeymoon as well as the stressful process of trying to get home… including spending their 1 month anniversary in Quarantine! Read on to find out more. 

Hooray: So where exactly in the Maldives did you go on your Honeymoon?
T + S: We stayed at an awesome resort called Dusit Thani (we also ended up at Olhuveli during our process to get home)

Hooray: How difficult was it coming to the decision of where to go on honeymoon?
T + S: Initially we wanted to do a road trip of South America but then we figured we are going to be so tired and will want to relax and chill at one place after the chaos of the wedding. Generally, we are quite busy when on holiday so we thought of the one place we would never have another excuse to visit- so we chose the Maldives. My husband actually waited until Black Friday and had a few resorts on a wishlist. He then registered to get early deals on and got ours at about 50% off! It was a real win!
**HSN: Brides to Be, this is such an amazing travel tip, so keep your eyes peeled for Black Friday deals this year for your honeymoon in 2021!

Hooray: Whose choice was it? Or was it a surprise?
T + S: As we both enjoy travelling so much, we decided on our honeymoon destination together.

Hooray: Did you tailor-make your honeymoon yourself or did you use a travel agent?
T + S: We planned our honeymoon ourselves, BUT in hindsight, I can say that without a doubt, I would have rather had a travel agent. Not only can they offer you deals, but they also have extra help, insurance, and contacts that you may need in case of any emergency. We learned that the hard way with Covid-19. We had two cancelled flights and our travel insurance didn’t payout 🙁 It really would have helped to have someone back in South Africa who would have had our backs! 

Hooray: How long after your wedding did you leave for your honeymoon?
T + S: The wedding was on the Saturday and we left on the Monday. It was nice to sleep in late after the wedding, say goodbye to our guests, and have one more night to ourselves before travelling abroad. Travelling the day after is a no-no that many people have told me not to do from their own experience.
**HSN: We could not agree with this more… you must give yourself at least a day after the wedding to let yourself unwind and breath before you leave on your honeymoon.

Hooray: Was your honeymoon all you dreamed of and more?
T + S: It was way more, in many ways. It was longer and we got to stay at 2 resorts instead of just the one. There was however an undertone of anxiety because we weren’t sure how we would get home safely and what it would cost. Nonetheless, we got together with a few other South Africans and managed to charter a plane home. We stayed in quarantine for 3 days (a great way to spend our 1 month anniversary of being married!) and were very happy to be home when we got back eventually. Lots of emotions were had on this honeymoon, there were serious ups and serious downs, however, it made us stronger and we aren’t only grateful for the experience and everything we learned but we are also happy that we have quite an interesting story to tell our grandkids one day!

Hooray: How long was your honeymoon?
T + S: We had planned and budgeted for 10 days but it turned into 3 weeks due to the lockdown in South Africa.

Hooray: If you could give your honeymoon a theme what would it be? Adventure or chill?
T + S: Chill with a hint of adventure. I can’t believe how tired I was after the wedding. The build-up for the weeks and months before the wedding invariably will contain drama… good and bad… so taking some time to sleep and just BE together, soak it in before you spend the rest of your life on the marriage-adventure and the travels that go with it!

Hooray: Your top 5 things to pack with you for an island honeymoon…
T + S:
No one wants to be so sun-burnt that they can’t be touched
You don’t want to get sick and waste a once in a lifetime opportunity
Worth every penny for great footage and fun
Your own snorkeling masks:
No need to rent, and you can snorkel any time
Because on an island, you will invariably have a bit too much sun on one of the days…

Hooray: The biggest highlight of your honeymoon?
T + S: Being under the water snorkelling up to 3 times a day- we initially wanted to do our scuba licenses before the honeymoon but honestly, we just didn’t have time. Luckily, there is so much sea-life at the Maldives that we actually didn’t feel like we missed out at all.

There is a freedom when you are underwater, watching an octopus or turtles or fish go about their day. It makes you realise that no matter what, to appreciate the beauty in every day… This was a lesson that we both needed especially when flights were being cancelled and we were not sure when or how we would get home. We had to be totally present and focused when we were underwater… it was then that we realised that we will need to do this for the rest of our lives together. Nothing is certain and there will always be challenges but as long as we hold hands and keep on swimming, we will be fine… no actually, we will be great!

Tanya and Stuart, thank you so much for sharing your honeymoon with us today.

Although it seemed like the most romantic trip, I am sure it was topped with so much stress and anxiety, but we love your positive outlook and your, “Just keep Swimming” analogy – something which we should all remember in these times.

Wishing you many more happy travels together!

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