Maldives – the Sunny side of Life
Today’s guest came from Ukraine and was working here for short, but saturated period of time. Let me introduce you Oksana from Odessa.
Hey Oksana. Thank you for your time! So, how you came to Maldives first? Your story
That’s quite interesting story, result of one of my life’s part.
I’m Ukrainian citizen until today and after been living outside Ukraine, in North Scandinavia for some years (study, working, traveling) I had to come back to Ukraine of work permit reason and hard climate too as well. To live without Sun and Warm influence on health not much positive.
So far I do remember the last 7 years been difficult for Ukraine, and still there is little part of “good quality” life to spent time there. I think the country is closed for those who prefer to stay in international environment, to hear different languages, to meet people from all over the world daily face to face. I’m single free minded person. And all this small elements was crucial for one day I opened the map and deeply researched where I could move to get easy work permit and to connect my professional and personal skills. In such critical situation I always asking myself What I can do?, What do I feel is right for me? I’m not oil or software development engineer, high professional doctor, and even more I hate to spend time inside the office behind PC.
Choice was – Maldives.
To be honest, I’m ordinary person from Ukrainian family who haven’t traveled much. But I find opportunity to follow my dreams. For me Maldives – was something extraordinary, luxury, extremely romantic destination with pure clear Nature, silence and peace.
Other part was to find the way to new destination was Hospitality industry – exactly the sector where I would like to try myself. It’s my passion to meet new people, be creative and to deliver high standard of service and be honest, proactive, to achieve and to share the best you have with others.
I turned on imagination, applied and with strongly true in myself and God’s help I got the job there one day.
Why did you chose this profession?
I’m Master in Economy and Business Administration from both countries Ukraine and Norway. But as I already said I can’t imagine to spent my life with boring office job and I prefer to keep myself in moving.
During my professional career I’ve been learning something new all the time, different sectors as education, marine industry, volunteer experience, wellness, sport coach, translation consultant, travel guide, food and beverage industry, events organizer, yoga instructor. Well, well, so many thing to learn forward. Just exiting to turn new page.
A few people can imagine real life in Maldives. In your opinion, what personal skill is required for anyone who wants to go to Maldives?
As I think – that’s should be absolutely romanticism, pure heart and clear mind, joy of all kind of
water activities, satisfaction to stay alone in wild nature with deep connection to tropical flora and fauna, “fully” independence from civilization and society benefits.
You were working in resorts, is it hard to work in such small and bounded community? When every day you see the same people and its very hard to meet new one.
That’s great experiences. For me it was first time to discover Asia culture, people, traditions, mentality, behaviors, cuisine. I share with you that it was not always a pleasant experiences, like rainbow with all completely 7 colors and tonnages between them. Especially after one of the world’s highest Scandinavian work standards. But I’m flexible and quite adopted soul, and pass my quickly for new challenges. I learn, I collaborate, I participate.
Yes, close limited space is close limited space. You can’t change it, so for your interest to be friendly, tolerated with people you should staying there, not at least to be diplomatic and to find your own way to be motivated.
I think that’s HR responsibilities to work with employees , deeply knows and feel each personality, to help to brake frustration, to minimize potential difficult situations and takes the best from each to build quality oriented one Island community.
The Resorts I worked for hadn’t such companies culture. My personal motivation was – every day I met new people. We could not say the same for one who is working in close kitchen space and never meet guests face by face.
And second motivated factor for me was opportunity to swim, to research and to discover underwater Indian Ocean life. Such was my experience to stay happy and keep myself well being in small island space.
Describe your work day and day off.
As a Guest Relation Officer, in second resort I worked for, my work day started with first departure quests ( control and care for all procedure ) or when it was early morning fishing trip – support and service providing.
After day already started, there was continuously new arrival and departure during the day, new people, new situation. You know hospitality industry is not fast going machine, so something unexpected always happens and do remember that people are on vacation, lovely waiting vacation time, they don’t care much about timing or practice things.
As Guest relation officer my main responsibilities includes coordination with all resorts departments, problem solving, full package service providing, events and trips organizing and simple humans communication with people. I could say that I was mostly “always” on duties.
In accordance to Maldives law all employees have just 1 day off for week. You can use your rights weekly or accumulate few off days and enjoy it during the month. From time to time I practiced both combinations. But more effective is to have 2 off days at ones, that you can move other places outside Resort. During 1 off day you physically haven’t such opportunity.
We do remember that transport organizing between the islands are not “common” public traffic in the city and it takes some time to optimize the rout (boat or flight). And also we are highly depends from weather and ocean stream. So even you made carefully the plan for your lovely off day, “reality” could brings some correction.
A lot of people don’t like Male at all. Especially those who are working in resort. What about you?
To be honest I have any empathy for this city.
It’s noisy, dirty, absolutely limited for any free space or a bit of nature, not safety at all. Extremely hot and nothing to do for active person. At least you can enjoy some food places as simple cafe. To see all sights takes not more than 1 hour, to walk round and cross the main roads.
But I find this city in dynamic development to compare years visiting, I see continuously changes, some restorations, new openings. Such quick changes I can’t observe in my Ukrainian city I’m coming from.
You were living in Maldives about 1.5 years in total. What your main impression about this place?
If you like hot, humidity tropical climate, clear ocean and white beaches, peace and silence – Maldives is right choice. Climate and water condition makes this destination especially attractive. And people, customers type who coming to Maldives, there are honeymooners, divers, families with small children, writers, photographers, marine life researchers.
I repeat that to work and to spend vacation in Maldives are polar dimensions. And the attitudes from local people for the tourists and expats are reverse.
Could you imagine that to be surrounded with water, all Maldives visitors and citizens have problems with good quality drinking water opportunities. I know many people who after some period staying got health problems, especially with kidney. I was not an exception from such issue. My kidney failed after few month and only one solving I found was daily Italian mineral drinking water. Also hair and teeth could failed too. Be prepared with some medicine staff, vitamins and minerals from your home destination before to spend long time in tropics.
But Mother Nature, spectacular sunrise and sunset, luminous plankton in the night on the beach, rich underwater life, interesting people from all over the world – all there are the best and most attractive sides of Maldives.
Tell some fun story from your life in Maldives
Funny stories. You know, I would like to tell you hundred of funny stories from my memories.
For example takes Indian Ocean experience. One day I had 30 minutes lunch break and as a swimmer lovers I prefer to go quickly swimming trip instead lunch taking. You been staying in Maldives for some period and knows well that overwater silence doesn’t mean that underwater be the same.
Stream, hard changeable stream describe Ocean by Maldives shore. So for me as a new beginner, 10 minutes swimming trip with easy snorkeling equipment resulted that after I took my face over, I’ve been SURPRISED. I found me faaaaaaaaar away from the resorts shore. To shout SOS and help was any reason. I had to accumulate all my power and reach the way back in every second I been swimming against the stream. For sure I did it. And with smile continue my work day.
For other funny story I takes example with one Russian family quests. They had early morning departure, but don’t hurry to come back home….. Even flight was already waiting them, this lovely family describe me on the way how Moscow taxi waiting them for every morning lateness for 30 – 40 minutes. Dear Maldives guests, you are not in Moscow and do respect other people who would like to come back at home in time.
What you can advice for people who want to go to Maldives to work?
My advise could be: at first have clear sharing definition for vacation and work conditions in Maldives. Open your heart and mind for any challenges and new experiences on your way. And MOVE ON , follow your dreams doesn’t matter how far it takes!!!!