In my previous dive travel blog update, you could read how I stayed much longer than planned on the Phi Phi Islands in Thailand. There I started with the Splashpacker travel blog idea and due to that I ´kind of´ got invited to scuba dive Veligandu Island Resort on the Maldives (I receive a small commission on your purchase through this link to Agoda, also if you click here to book your dive travel holiday on Veligandu in the Maldives on booking.com)
Invited to scuba dive & travel Veligandu Island Resort on the Maldives
The very first ´Splashpacker travel blog fan´, Tobi, was working in an amazing place to dive and travel: Veligandu Island Resort on the Maldives. I used to work as a scuba dive instructor myself on Veligandu eight years before that, and he organised for me to come there as his friend. So I could come to dive and travel the luxury Veligandu Island Resort in the Maldives as ´staff friend´, and I only needed to pay a small amount for covering some costs like food. The dive centre invited me to dive with them free of charge!
Flight deal to travel to the Maldives and scuba dive Veligandu Island Resort
As icing on the cake, I found an $80,- flight from Bangkok to Malé on the Maldives with Air Asia. Splashpacker dive & travel blog receives a small commission on your purchase through this link with 12.go where you can book your flight for a dive travel holiday on Veligandu in the Maldives. By the way, I am still catching up with old dive travel blog updates, this is not where I currently am.
Reflections to my time as scuba diving instructor
Since a long time I had this idea of returning back to the Maldives, where I worked as a scuba diving instructor in 2010. Before that, I worked for a scuba diving centre on Gran Canaria, the Dominican Republic and in Mexico, but the Maldives were as a dream to me. Next to the world-class diving, which nearly could be compared with the places I worked before, it was also a very relaxed time. No problems with finding an affordable place to rent or not feeling safe on the streets at night.
Veligandu on the Maldives is a relaxed destination for a dive travel holiday
On the Maldives, I could do my job in a relaxed way with a good contract and nothing to worry about. Working on Veligandu Island resort was such a peaceful time in those years that I worked abroad as a scuba dive instructor. I started to meditate every day and also enjoyed massage treatments at the spa, for the first time in my life! You can read more about this time of my life in Safety Stop book. The place is so relaxing and not only to work, of course. Veligandu Island Resort is a perfect destination for the most relaxed dive travel holiday. For more information about staying on Veligandu Island Resort, you can click here for another blog post on Splashpacker:
Passing the outer reef on the Maldives: the gate to a diver´s blue heaven
Before landing on the small airport island next to Malé, my eye caught the attention of the Indian Ocean. Suddenly, the ocean changed from deep dark blue to turquoise whilst flying over the outer reef break and the first atolls of the Maldives appeared. It looked like a gate to heaven for every diver and my heart spontaneously started to smile.
Grateful to dive and travel the Maldives
I felt so grateful to be able to scuba dive and travel the Maldives again. I was really curious if the scuba diving would have changed much on Rasdhoo Atoll, where Veligadu Island is located. Especially when I started a conversation with a local guy whilst waiting for my speedboat. He appeared to be a dive instructor and told me that they don´t see as many hammerheads anymore and he blamed the liveaboards for that.
Travel by speedboat from Malé to dive Veligandu Island on the Maldives
Reconfirming my speedboat was a bit confusing and I almost thought I was going to be stuck in Malé but in the afternoon I happily boarded the speedboat to Rasdhoo Island. Packed with coffee filters and some beefburgers from the Burger King in my hand luggage, the two things my new Splashpacker dive travel blog fan on Veligandu Island asked me to bring, I finally started to relax. Also, I got absorbed in the culture of the Maldives, which is called Divehi. I was the only tourist on the speedboat!
Reflections of peace by the local people of the Maldives
In 2010, I first had to get used to the differences of a culture which is, like Saudi Arabia, 100% Islam by law. But living on the Maldives completely opened my mind that time. I had very open talks with certain people about religion and came to know more about the culture. Before that, I did not even know that Muslims, like Jewish & Christians, have their origin in the same book.
So in fact, all those religions are some kind of branching of the same roots. Being brought up Christian myself, there were not even that much differences. I do remember that in 2010 I found that there was ´something´ about the people. What I probably could feel, was their steadfast belief and their faith in it. It got reflected in a certain peace and politeness they express.
My Divehi brother on Veligandu Island Resort in the Maldives
During my speedboat ride, I was also reflecting back to the time I worked on Veligandu Resort. Because on the Maldives you work and live in the same resort, your relationship with colleagues is of utter importance. You work together, eat together, relax together and just literally live together on a very small island. My colleague that time, Nooh, became such a good friend and even though we were always together, we never even had an argument!
I remember how he really made a big difference to me in the time working there, always uplifting everybody, making jokes and being there for me in good and bad times. We always kept in touch and he is one of those real friends you meet while working abroad and travelling. I was really happy and looking forward to seeing him again!
Meeting my first ´Splashpacker´ travel blog fan: ready to dive Veligandu on the Maldives
And so when I arrived at Rasdhoo Island, Tobi and Nooh were waiting for me at the jetty. I gave Nooh the longest hug ever and I introduced myself to Tobi: my first Splashpacker travel blog fan! It was so nice to meet him finally in real-life after very long Facebook messenger chats! Together with yet another team member of the scuba dive centre, they came to pick me up from Rasdhoo Island by a little boat from Veligandu. Crossing over the Indian Ocean on the Maldives made me wonder what has happening beneath the surface of these beautiful waters I used to scuba dive daily eight years before.
The first backpacker to dive and travel Veligandu Island Resort on the Maldives
Once we put our feet on Veligandu Island, Tobi´s words really made me laugh: ” I bet you are the first tourist ever arriving on Veligandu with a backpack!” Veligandu is a very luxurious island resort, nothing that normally fits my budget as a ´Splashpacker´.
The island is one of the most peaceful places I ever lived on and I was so so so happy to be here again for 10 days. It really felt like a dream to me. Exactly the same way I felt during my very first arrival when I came to work here, but this time I knew what was waiting for me in the oceans! I couldn´t wait to go diving here.
Back to peaceful Veligandu on the Maldives made me also dive into reflections and travel back in time
I checked in at the reception and I soon realised that a lot of staff from 2010 was still here! So many things had happened to me over the last 8 years, big drama´s but also living happy dreams, which you can read more about in Safety Stop book (more on Splashpacker travel and dive blog soon). But coming back to Veligandu and being ready to dive the Maldives again, made me feel like time has stood still!
For a little moment, I felt myself back in 2010, when I was still much younger, naive and carefree. Back to the time where I started a journey with meditation and questioning certain truths, and back to the time where I started to make ´non-diving´ safety stops in my life on a daily base. And here I realised why. Because this little island has a peace I could not find on any other island in Europe, the Caribean, Asia nor Australia. I wished I could stay to work here again!
´Dive travel holiday´ on the little staff island, Kudarah, next to Veligandu Island Resort on the Maldives
Because I was visiting as a friend of Tobi, my room was on a little island called Kudarah, next to Veligandu Island. It seemed that during these travels over the last couple of months, something wanted me to continue island hopping, after writing so much about it on my dive travel blog! Kudarah gives home to a big part of the local staff from the Maldives that is working on Veligandu. I think I was the only female staying on this little island, so the idea did make me feel a little bit uncomfortable in the beginning.
But every single person was so polite to me and I got treated with a lot of respect. I was asked all the time if everything was ok in my room and if there was anything else I needed. They treated me like a guest in the resort. Also, the room, with airconditioning and even an espresso maker, was way more comfortable than any of the rooms I stayed during my travels to Thailand. What a luxury for a travel blogger who loves to scuba dive and usually travels on a budget!
Many reflections after one day of travel from Thailand to dive Veligandu in the Maldives!
That night I fell asleep like a princess in the most comfortable bed. Also there was going so much through my mind after that day of travelling. I was planning to write one dive travel blog post about my ten days on Veligandu on the Maldives. But whilst writing, I realised how much came to me and how much reflection I went through just by arriving back to the place which was my home for a small year in 2010. Maybe I was overwhelmed by certain emotions because now I realised that the time I worked as a dive instructor on Veligandu did change me in a more psychologic and spiritual way. While at the time I thought it was just some kind of luxury place in the Maldives I worked for a while.
So in my next travel blog update: more about Veligandu Island Resort & scuba dive the Maldives
So for now, in my next travel blog post, you can come scuba diving with me to the beautiful dive spots on Rasdhoo Atoll in the Maldives. It´s really one of those rare places in the world where I realised the scuba diving has only improved over the years. So I actually experienced the contrast of what the instructor waiting for the ferry in Malé told me. Here is a small sneak peek on my dive and travel blog YouTube channel of diving with the sharks at Madivaru Corner, a dive site located near Veligandu Island in the Maldives:
Scuba diving in this part on the Maldives has only improved!
Till I have that post finished, you can already read more about scuba diving on Rasdhoo on Splashpacker. Or watch more videos, like the one with the manta rays and the dive site ´Big Blue´, both close to Veligandu in the Maldives, on Splashpacker travel blog YouTube channel. Right now, in the time of the coronavirus, Nooh told me that the fish and marine life has improved A LOT after lockdown. He even saw a whale shark in one of his first days back in the waters! You can also sign up for the mailing list below and receive an e-mail with new posts on Splashpacker dive travel blog no more than once a week.
Recently, I have written a review about the Nikon Coolpix as dive camera. This camera is really recommended for scuba dive travel. Click the add below for a great offer on Amazon right now (almost half price). Splashpacker dive travel blog receives a small commission on your purchase through the add below.
Stay tuned for more dive travel information, not only about Veligandu or the Maldives
And because I had such a good time, I also decided to write a full blog post just about Veligandu Island Resort. You might also be interested to know that Veligandu is welcoming tourists again! Veligandu Island is a very safe place during COVID-19 because they request everybody to do a test before arriving. You can book this resort through booking.com or Agoda. (I receive a small commission on your purchase through this link)
COVID-19 dive travel deals for your scuba diving holiday to the Maldives
Currently, they offer the most amazing deals from about €1500,- per night for €350,- roughly! If you don´t want to miss out on anything, you can also sign up for my mailing list below. You´ll receive an e-mail once a week with the latest post. Please note that Splashpacker receives a little commission if you book through the accommodation links provided in this post or if you use 12go.co to find your best international flight deal.
Happy Bubbles & Safe Travels!