I have been on maternity leave for quite some time now, because I am now a proud mother of Sofie. I was only a few weeks pregnant when we embarked on our second 3-month far journey. We hadn’t planned this surprise at all and it only made our trip more special.
I remain silent to all the beautiful memories of our last trip (Maldives, Sri Lanka, Malaysia and Bali) and it was a trip never to be forgotten, because it really surpassed everything. I had agreed with my midwife that I would do the ultrasounds abroad and with a pregnancy certificate in my pocket we started our adventure.
8 weeks pregnant and 3 months travelling
At the beginning of December we left for the Maldives for 2 weeks. I felt incredibly good and I did not suffer from any pregnancy problems. The Maldives were still high on my bucket list and it literally became the highlight of our trip.
I was just 8 weeks pregnant when we started our 3 month journey to the Maldives, Sri Lanka, Bali and Malaysia. We had consciously booked a one way ticket to Asia in advance, because we wanted to leave the return date free. This worked out well, because we were flexible and like this we could fly back every moment.
One way ticket to Colombo and the Maldives
On December 5th 2016 the time had come, we left with British Airways from Schiphol to London. From there we flew with SriLankan Airlines to Colombo, the capital of Sri Lanka. I can recommend this airline to everyone. The flight from London to Colombo takes about 10 hours and 25 minutes.
The next day we flew with SriLankan Airlines to Malé, the capital of the Maldives. The Maldives consist of 1190 coral islands divided over 26 atolls in the Indian Ocean southwest of India. You can also choose to fly directly from Düsseldorf to Malé with Condor Airlines for about 800 Euro return.
Maldives: the ideal honeymoon or babymoon holiday
The Maldives has always been high on my bucket list. I just couldn’t imagine beforehand that there are such beautiful places on earth, with pure white beaches and a clear blue sea that you think has all been photoshopped. Nothing could be further from the truth, the Maldives surpassed everything!
We have been to the Maldives for a total of 2 weeks and have visited 2 local islands and 4 luxury resorts. With a private plane you will be dropped in the middle of the Indian Ocean on one of the atolls from the Maldives.
Do you want to know where we’ve all been? Below my favorite top 5 Maldives honeymoon / babymoon resorts:
1. Gili Lankanfushi
Did you know that Gili has one of the largest open water villas in the world? Complete with slide, mega private pool and 2 private butlers at your disposal? Read here my extensive review about Gili Lankanfushi, one of the top resorts in the Maldives and my favorite! You can see me above (pink T-shirt) on the right side next to the pool 🙂
2. Lux* South Ari Atoll
LUX* is a new hotel chain with luxury hotels and resorts. I was allowed to visit the recently opened LUX* South Ari Atoll in the Maldives. Read my review of this super luxury and trendy resort here. LUX* Hotels is a new hotel chain with high-end hotels. Did you know that LUX* South Ari Atoll is the place on the Maldives where you can swim with whale sharks? Here the whale sharks still swim in their natural environment and it is a unique opportunity to admire these beautiful animals.
3. Kanuhura: new gypset resort
Imagine the atmosphere in Ibiza in this newly opened gypset resort in the Maldives. Gypset is a mix between a hippy gypsy style and the jet set luxury you can expect from a 5 star resort. Did you know that Kanuhura has a private island at its disposal where you can only come by boat as a guest?
On this island the sandpiper birds hatch their eggs with those cute “Piper” birds from the Pixar film. Do you want to know how I experienced Kanuhura Maldives and how I caught my own fish? Read here my experiences on Kanuhura, the nicest place on the Maldives!
4. Huvafen Fushi
Huvafen Fushi has one of the most beautiful snorkel spots in the Maldives. You literally only have to swim 10 meters through the water and then the coral reef unfolds underneath you. You don’t have to be afraid when you meet small sharks, because they don’t do anything.
I did find it exciting when I saw for the the first time 2 sharks swimming underneath me, but they quickly swim away from you as soon as you get closer. At Huvafen Fushi you will also find many stingrays. Not only during snorkeling, but you can also feed them every evening during sunset, which in turn results in beautiful pictures.
We stayed in the Ocean Bungalow villa with private pool, see picture above. You can book it from €2,000 per night depending on the season. Want to see more photos of Huvafen Fushi? With TravelandVisit.com you can now book directly at the resort, which means you get a better price than when you book through the other booking sites, which pass their commissions on in the final price. Free tip from me 😉
5. Thulusdhoo: surfers island number one
If you don’t want to pay €15,000 for a week in the Maldives in a 5 star resort, you can always go low budget to the Maldives by visiting one of the local islands. For the past few years it has been permitted for the local people to open guesthouses in addition to small-scale hotels.
I went on a voyage of discovery to Thulusdhoo (28 km north of the capital Malé) and stayed in the Canopus Retreat guesthouse. This local island is a real surfers paradise and has 2 well-known surf spots known worldwide. From Thulusdhoo you can also take excursions to deserted sandbanks for snorkeling and picnicking. You don’t have to book a 5 star resort to experience the ultimate Maldives feeling.
Canopus Retreat is located directly on the beach and every afternoon a group of dolphins comes along, so special! Do you want to know how it was there and how to get here? Read here my experience about the real Maldives on a budget.
Pregnant on a trip through Sri Lanka
When I was 10 weeks pregnant I had to make an ultrasound appointment at a hospital in Sri Lanka. We had just returned from the Maldives the day before and the next day on Friday, December the 23th I had already made an appointment for a pregnancy ultrasound at the Nawaloka hospital in Colombo.
A visit to a hospital in Sri Lanka is very different from a visit to a hospital in Europe. In the end we had to wait for hours before it was our turn, but it was worth the wait when we saw our girl on the ultrasound and heard her heartbeat. At that moment I was just 10 weeks pregnant and despite the fact that the gender cannot yet be seen (the embryo was as big as a cherry) the gynaecologist managed to predict that it would become a girl.
Mirissa, surfers paradise
We spent Christmas in a guesthouse in Negombo complete with a Christmas tree and Christmas dinner. Negombo is the place in Sri Lanka where they celebrate Christmas more exuberantly than anywhere else in Sri Lanka, because there are many Christians living in and around Negombo. The people in Sri Lanka are super nice and hospitable and you feel right at home in this beautiful country.
After a few days we took the bus in the direction of Mirissa in the south of Sri Lanka. Mirissa is located about a 3 hours drive from Colombo. You can find Mirissa on the map of Sri Lanka on the eastside of Galle. If you want you can take a private taxi, but you can also take the bus that takes you straight over the highway to Matara. From Matara you take a tuk tuk which drives you to Mirissa beach in 30 minutes.
Mirissa is situated on a beautiful bay that is popular with surfers and there is a mega relaxed atmosphere. At the beach you will find fresh fish everywhere. In the evening all the lights go on which gives a very romantic atmosphere. Every evening, people gather to enjoy the delicious food and dine by candlelight with your bare feet in the sand.
Digital Nomad Life in Unawatuna
Six years ago I was in Sri Lanka for the first time and a lot has changed since then. I remember we arrived in Unawatuna and there were only a few guesthouses on the beach. At that time, you could still walk in anywhere if you hadn’t booked a room in advance.
Nowadays Unawatuna is a popular place with numerous hostels and cafes. In the middle of the hustle and bustle of this popular beach town you will find an oasis of peace in the tropical garden of the Kahuna hotel. The French owner has even created her own French exuberant “Le Café Français Bakery & Boutique” bakery with the most delicious cakes you can wish for. During this period I was 11 weeks pregnant and I had a good excuse [read guilty pleasure] to eat every day some delicious sweets 😉
It was here in Unawatuna when a journalist from the Dutch Telegraph called us for an interview for in the travel section. Of course we were very honoured that we would come up with a nice publication about our digital nomad life in the newspaper, but we especially want to inspire people to pursue their dreams and dare to take the step towards freedom. It wasn’t easy for me to leave my job 3 years ago, but since I took that step, I have created my own “movie” and filled it in so that all my dreams have come true. Read the whole interview (in Dutch) below.
How to spend a babymoon winter in Bali
If I can give a tip for a perfect babymoon holiday for a longer time then it is Bali for sure! As digital nomads we were looking for a perfect home base for a month in which we could first escape the cold winter and secondly work remotely in a tropical environment. Bali became the perfect destination for us and we started our stay in Bali in Canggu.
Canggu, the new hotspot of Bali
The surfers town Canggu is the new hotspot of Bali. Canggu has it all, from trendy tents, nice boutique shops to healthy food cafes and restaurants. There’s a whole lay-back atmosphere and it is the place to be for surfers and people like me who love healthy food. Canggu is located between the hip Seminyak and the touristy Kuta.
Canggu is actually the area between Echo Beach and Batu Balong Beach. I can recommend you to rent a scooter when you go to Canggu, because that way you can drive by all the trendy food tents on the long Jalan Pantai Batu Bolong street. A short cut through the rice fields takes you to the Jalan Padang Linjong street, which takes you straight to Echo Beach.
In Echo Beach you will find a great seafood restaurant right by the sea. Here at Echo Beach Club you can enjoy a delicious grill buffet (fish or meat) for a very good price.
For all healthy freaks here is my favourite healthy food cafe in Canggu:
Motion Café (former Avocado Cafe)
Ubud, my favorite spot in Bali
Next to Canggu, Ubud is and will remain my favourite spot in Bali. From Canggu to Ubud it is about an hour’s drive when the traffic is on the road. Tip, book an Uber taxi. As you drive north, you’ll pass rice fields until you reach the Ubud jungle higher and higher. Here it is all green and immediately a few degrees cooler, but tropically fresh!
Do you want to know where I stayed in Bali and what my favorite top 10 accommodations in Bali is? From the hip south as Seminyak and Canggu, to the interior with Ubud and surroundings, to the relaxed Sanur and the top resorts in the south of Bali.
If you would like to read more about Bali what you can do, then click here on my other blogs:
Malaysia, ideal mix of beach, culture and nature
Those who think of Malaysia think directly of Kuala Lumpur, the Petronas Towers, but also of the bounty islands on the east coast of Malaysia and the impressive nature in the interior.
From Kuala Lumpur you can book very easy a cheap return ticket with AirAsia to Langkawi. The island of Langkawi is an archipelago in the Andaman Sea and consists of 99 other islands. It is located north of Malaysia, just below Thailand. From here you can easily take the boat (1.5 hours) to the idyllic island of Koh Lipe.
If you go to Langkawi then I can recommend you to book a room or your own villa at the Bon Ton Resort. The Bon Ton Resort is located on a very idyllic spot in the middle of the green , with only a 5 minutes drive from the famous Pantai Cenang beach. This is the most popular beach of Langkawi.
Malaysia is one of my favourite countries and I am very happy to come here once in a while. Ten years ago I lived in Kuala Lumpur for a few months and since then I always try to make a stopover at KL every time I travel through Asia. For me, Malaysia has everything. From the bounty islands in the east, the inland tea plantations, to the untouched Taman Negara jungle. If you are planning a trip to Malaysia, I would advise you to consult these blogs below:
And here she is, our little dear Sofie. Born on 9 July 2017. The first months were super intensive. Lots of sleep deprivation and it really took time to get a rhythm. All the clichés are true, becoming a mother is the most beautiful thing in the world and the love for baby cannot be expressed in words. Now 8 months later we are ready to go and we have booked our first trip for the first time as a family to Ibiza! In my next blog more about that.
Just a small selection of photos from our last trip. An Instawall full of memories of the Maldives, Sri Lanka, Bali and Malaysia. I was very happy to have been able to travel through Asia 3 months pregnant. I felt incredibly good and was pampered with fresh fruit cocktails wherever I went.
In addition, I can recommend everyone to escape the cold here during the winter months, even if it is only for 2 weeks. This winter it was too early to leave with Sofie, but for next winter the plans are already made.
To be continued…