#SonakshiOnHoliday: The actress writes a personal account of her beach holiday to the Seychelles
Let me start with a confession: I am truly, deeply, madly in love with the sea – the salty breeze, the shimmering sand and the clear blue waters make me go weak in the knees every single time. And the Seychelles islands in the Indian Ocean, those tiny dots on the Atlas, had always intrigued me. So when a friend suggested a vacation at an exclusive 10-villa private island resort on the northeast shores of Mahe, it was difficult to resist the temptation.
It took me just a glimpse of their website to be taken by its comforting ‘home away from home’ vibe. It had every luxury that you might think of available within its gates, and opened to an unspoilt, serene and secluded beach. It seemed as if it had been custom-made for me!
That’s because I have always dreamed of spending the last days of my life away from the din of the city at a quaint resort on some gorgeous island amid a tranquil ocean. And the JA Enchanted Island Resort was right out of that dream. I knew it was time to tick one item off my bucket list, and without any ado, I got my tickets booked.
Life to the lees
Life is short and I want to live it to the fullest. I am in a very demanding profession and although I love my job, I think it is necessary to take some time out for myself every now and then. I am very particular about this ‘me time’. And I love to travel. I think it is the best way to de-stress. So in between projects, or maybe when I am feeling saturated with work, I just switch off and fly out to some remote corner of the world to recharge my batteries.
Ideally, I do a beach holiday. I love to sprawl on the sand under a mellow sun, watching the waves. I can do that for days. But whenever I am near the ocean I mostly find myself running right into it. I am a water baby. I had learnt to swim at a very young age, probably even before I could walk properly, and today I am so much at home in the sea that at times I feel I’ll grow fins and a tail and transform into a mermaid! You had me at hello!
This was my maiden trip to this mostly uninhabited set of islands in the Indian Ocean, off East Africa. Although I had seen lots of pictures of this dreamy paradise and drooled over them for years, nothing prepared me for the experience. The very first glimpse of the archipelago from the flight got me under its spell. It seemed as if the earth was wearing blue chiffon sparsely studded with tin emeralds. It was breathtakingly beautiful!
At the resort, a warm welcome awaited us. It is owned by an Indian family, the Shahs, and had that ‘home’ vibe that the images on their website had promised. And the owners went out of their way to ensure that. Right from what kind of food we wanted, to our need for privacy, everything was taken care of. It was like a home away from home and exactly what I needed at that point.
For the next few days, my villa became my favourite spot in the whole wide world. It seemed as if someone had planted it right into the middle of a postcard version of a tropical paradise. It was surrounded by beautiful white powdery beaches hemmed by tranquil turquoise water teeming with marine life punctuated with coral reefs – I couldn’t have asked for anything more. The first thing I did on getting there was to get a photo of me standing in front of the ocean overlooking the villa. It was also my first post on Instagram from the Seychelles.
Usually the days were very relaxed – my only agenda was to wake up and get my scuba gear and explore different diving spots. We had our own infinity pool and it opened out into the ocean. So I could go snorkelling whenever I felt like it, and I did feel like it quite often! Also, I was carrying my underwater camera. So I managed to capture some amazing photos of the reefs and the marine life. I also took some scuba diving shots.
I am a very private person and have very few close friends. I am glad I had them to share this trip with me – we went diving, snorkelling, on boat rides, and soaked in the golden sunshine while gazing at the blue sipping masala chai – good company always makes a trip better.
From HT Brunch, October 8, 2017
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