When I was a kid, the Maldives were the stuff of dreams. A colleague of my father’s gave me a hardback Maldives-themed calendar one year for Christmas, with glossy photos of atolls peeking out of perfect blue seas in between calendar pages. The sand was so white and the palm trees were so green. Could any tropical islands be more beautiful than these?
Years later the low-lying Maldives began cropping up in stories about climate change. Rising sea levels may well make the Maldives uninhabitable by the end of this century. In the meantime, tourism is an enormously important to the Maldivian economy; according the CIA World Fact Book, tourism is responsible for almost thirty percent of the country’s GDP.
Frightening climate change projections notwithstanding, what more magical way is there to encounter a tropical dreamland than from a plane about to land? This image, snapped by Flickr contributor Mystrimus, captures the ineluctable anticipation that accompanies most arrivals on picture-perfect tropical islands.