Perhaps the biggest irony of my life is I am both a hopeless romantic and a hopelessly single individual. This is not to say that I do not get into relationships but perhaps to emphasise the fact that I have been first and foremost always interested in romancing myself.
With this in mind, I thought why not visit the Seychelles - a renowned honeymoon destination, to celebrate turning 26 and graduating with a masters degree on the same day (20 January, 2017 was an eventful day for me and the world – Donald Trump was sworn in as the president of America).
I will be honest about my intentions for choosing the Seychelles as a destination to visit. It is one of those very few countries in the world that allows unrestricted and unquestioned entry of Bangladeshi passport holders as long as you can provide proof of an accommodation that you have booked.
My mother was kind enough to offer to meet me on this honeymoon island, so I set off in February 2017 to this tropical island to meet her.
I bought a flight from Kathmandu to the Seychelles with Jet Airlines. When I got to the airport, I realised a glitch in the system meant my entire trip from Kathmandu to the Seychelles had been upgraded to business class.
I waited in the business class lounge excited about this trip that I was about to take, when the airlines announced that they were about to delay the flight.
After a couple of hours of waiting, I boarded the plane only to be taken back to the airport terminal as the flight to Mumbai had been cancelled.
Much chaos ensued but somehow I managed to get Jet Airways to put me on the earliest flight to the Seychelles - which happened to be through Etihad Airlines.
As luck would have it, the gods of travel took pity on me once again and upgraded me to business class!
I essentially floated my way to Seychelles and when I arrived in Mahé island, the weather was a balmy 28 degrees with a beautiful floating breeze and I was welcomed by the smiles of wonderful Seychellois immigration officers.
I was out of the airport and on my way to the beautiful resort I had booked for us.
Interesting facts about the Seychelles --
Smallest capital in the world
The capital of the Seychelles, Victoria, is the smallest in the world. If you want to explore it on foot, you will be able to do so in less than a day.
Home to the famous breadfruit
The breadfruit, as the name suggests, tastes like bread once it is cooked. But it can also be eaten as mash, chips etc. According to legend, if someone eats breadfruit while visiting the Seychelles, s/he will return here one day.
Pirates used to hide here
The Seychelles used to be a hideout for pirates. Some believe that the islands still have treasures hidden by pirates.
Home to rare bird species
This archipelago is home to a many rare species of birds such as the green-tinted Seychelles warbler and the Seychelles sunbird.
Seychelles experiences beautiful tropical weather throughout the year with intermittent rainy seasons.
It is one of the smallest nations in the world - there are two main islands (and several other small ones); Mahé - where the capital Victoria is located - and Praslin. We made it a point to visit both the places during our trip.
The history of the country is rather interesting, as it falls within the migratory route between Africa and Asia. It was a French colony initially and was later taken over by the British.
Creole, also called Seselwa, is the mother tongue of most Seychellois people. Creole, English, and French are recognised as national languages.
In Mahé, we spent a good deal of time lounging in front of the turquoise water that grazed our beachfront rooms and ate delicious seafood dinners under starry skies.
We also explored the capital Victoria and walked around its beautiful streets. We visited museums, markets and conversed with the locals.
We then ventured to Praslin, which is the second biggest island in the Seychelles. To visit it, you need to buy yourself a boat ticket from the jetty.
In Praslin, we stayed in a lovely B&B called The Mango Lodge, which provided a panoramic view of crystal-clear water.
True to its name, the lodge is home to dozens of lush mango trees and its ground is covered in ripe mangoes that fell off the trees.
From Praslin we decided to take a day trip to La Digue - a gorgeous island which is just a boat ride away. It is home to vanilla farms, sandy beaches with rocks and excellent seafood restaurants.
We sat under a straw roof and ate fish to our heart's content before getting back on the boat back to Praslin.
Once back in Mahé, I decided to go diving. My grandfather, who was in the navy, always told us that life underwater offers far more beauty than the human mind could conjure and he was right!
The underwater life in Seychelles by far overtook anything else that was on land. For the first time in my life, I saw a shark swimming freely – just a few feet away from me.
I saw fishes of colour combinations beyond my wildest dreams and coral reefs which dressed the ocean floor with a medley of colours and textures, dancing to the rhythm of the water amidst which they flourished.
Eckhart Tolle, in his book 'The Power of Now' spoke of how he experienced the power of now in nature for the first time. For me, my first memory of experiencing every second of every minute of the 'now' was on that scuba diving trip.
The Seychelles are a cluster of stunning islands with breathtaking views, great island vibes and lovely food. There is not a lot to do here, which is why it is the perfect honeymoon location. However, it is also crazy expensive.
I look back at my experience in the Seychelles and it was truly a lovely one. I do not know if I would return to the place again, but it holds some beautiful memories for me.
The writer is a Bangladeshi travel writer currently based in Berlin, Germany. She has travelled to 94 countries on a Bangladeshi passport. Through her blog www.maliharoundtheworld.com, she shares her experience of travelling as a brown, Muslim, Bangladeshi woman while simultaneously encouraging a culture of travel amongst Bangladeshi youths.