As with many things these days, it all started with an Instagram post.
I was looking to book an amazing trip for my family after our 2020 summer plans were cancelled.
After a year and a half of lockdowns, and quarantines, and homeschooling… and with Patrick traveling to Berlin in June and July for nine weeks for work… our family needed to go FAR FAR away to escape, re-charge and to reconnect.
The Maldives had always been on our bucket list. Back in the day (pre-kids), this trip would have followed more of a romantic trajectory, but if you follow this blog, you know we love to travel with our kiddos, and SURF, so “experiences” and connections trump $$$$ a night over the water bungalows.
Now back to that Instagram post…
I was scrolling through social and happened to catch a story by Shane Dorian, iconic surfer and Momentum Generation member (if you haven’t watched this documentary and you love surfing, it’s a MUST WATCH), and he mentioned that he was a part of a family focused surf trip to the Maldives.
I needed to know more, so I messaged Shane myself to get additional info, hoping that he might get back to me, and he DID!
He planned the trip with Perfect Wave Travel as a part of their Legend Series in 2019, it was cancelled in 2020, and now it was back and running in 2021! As mentioned above, unlike other surf trips, which can be a bit bro-ish, this one involved the entire family, even non-surfers, so it sounded… PERFECT.
Without knowing a soul, but with enough intel, I trusted my gut (and Shane), and we booked our vacation.
After surviving a late Covid test hiccup (our tests didn’t arrive in time for us to leave on the planned date and we missed our rendezvous with Patrick in Dubai), the kiddos and I landed in Male after twenty four hours of travel, took a boat to Kandooma, and ran into Patrick’s already vacationing arms!
We arrived in time for breakfast, but a day late, so we didn’t want to miss a beat and Parker and I prepared to take the afternoon boat out for his first surf with Shane, Lars (one of the expert surf guides from A Perfect Wave), Andy (the crazy talented photographer and videographer hired for the experience), and a handful of the other family members on the trip!
We hit up a spot called Riptides and P was thrown into his first session, jumping off the boat and into some 8-10 foot face waves on his first day.
But Shane and Lars were with him every step (or paddle) of the way, and this trip was already cemented as “the best ever”(on day one)!
Shane even ditched his own board and duck dived Parker himself under some of those waves to make sure Parker was safe!
Back at the resort we explored a bit, unpacked, and tried to make it through dinner without falling asleep with our heads in our plates (the 12 hour time flip from Los Angeles was no joke).
What makes Kandooma so special (and one of the reasons A Perfect Wave picks this resort), is that it is home to the Kandooma Right, an amazing barreling right hand wave that goes OFF when the conditions align.
We lucked out while we were there, and the wave gave the resort the most epic five days of surfing that it could have.
It was a technical, tricky wave, and the more experienced kiddos got the ride of their lives. Parker went on a smaller day and learned so much.
The best part? You can only surf the wave if you are connected to the resort, so there is no massive crowd to fight (although still some aggressive surfers to navigate).
Every day we were able to get to know each family and kiddo more intimately, and it was as if we were all meant to be there…
… and Parker was was really pushed by the level of surfing that the other kids were performing at, so it was as if he were at an accelerated camp (in one of the most beautiful places on earth)…
… with one of the kindest human beings we’ve ever met.
One day we took an excursion to swim with sharks, explore a shipwreck, and eat lunch on a sandbar in the middle of nowhere.
To say it was epic is an understatement.
It was so needed for our family…
… and we made a new family along the way!
We rarely book the same destination twice, but we would consider this one again for the combination of surf and family time that is offered.
I want to thank Sylvia Hammond, from Perfect Wave, for making the booking process painless, and for answering my endless questions about flights, arrival delays and Covid protocols.
I’d also like to thank Andy Potts for all of the photography and video provided (you can see videos on my Instagram), and for being such a great friend to the kiddos, as well as Lars from Perfect Wave for your care and kindness.
Finally… to Shane, Lisa and Jackson Dorian… it was a family affair… you guys rock! Check out Lisa’s swimwear for girls, Kim and Li Bikini… it’s so cuuuuuuute!
This trip was such a reminder that sometimes you have to just take a chance on the unknown, throw (some) caution to the wind and just seas the day (I can’t escape this post without one surf pun)!
Until next next time friends… we’ll see some of you in October in SoCal!