• Malsa Maaz

End of an Era: Goodbye Georgie

For some reason, airports always inspire me to write. For the longest time, I’ve had writer’s block, perhaps because I haven’t had the time to sit down, reflect and write. It has been super busy, one event after another, from Tedx Baa Atoll to the Jaipur Literature Festival. But now, I finally do. So here we go.


I’m currently sitting in Istanbul airport for a 7-hour transit on my way back home from the UK. After 3 years of shedding literal blood, tears and sweat, I have finally graduated! My dissertation will get published for the first time, and that’s perhaps what’s given me the courage to write again. It’s always that fear, isn’t it? Do people even care what you write about?


Anyway, as I write this blog post, I have realised how much I have been dreading it because saying goodbye is never easy. On the last day of JLF at Soneva Fushi, Georgie and I bid farewell to each other as her time at Soneva was coming to an end. Two weeks later, she made her way back to London ‘back to weather’ as she put it. I wanted to dedicate a blog post to her because I think we were the first pair of Barefoot Booksellers to work so closely with each other, not to mention she was a brilliant teammate.


When I arrived at Soneva Jani, the Barefoot Bookshop had been closed for a few months, which meant there was a lot to be done. First, it took me a while to settle down because it can get so overwhelming to live where you work! Next, setting the bookshop back up along with the Barefoot Bookseller activities was exciting, but not easy. Fair to say, I was struggling.


Not too long after I joined, Philip Blackwell from Ultimate Library visited the resort bringing exciting news with him. They had finally selected a Barefoot Bookseller for Soneva Fushi - Georgie from London. Philip explained how she had years of bookselling experience and specialised in recommending books. He noted that with her experience and my ‘creative ideas’ we’d make the dream team. And he was absolutely right. I do consider us to be the dream team.


Georgie first visited me at Soneva Jani after her trip to Sri Lanka. We had an eventful week including bookseller training for me and showing Georgie around the resort. But perhaps the most exciting part of it was our photoshoot for Cosmopolitan UK! Have a look at some of the shots taken by Julia, our Chief Digital Storyteller at Soneva:









So here is to Georgie and all the memories we created as the Barefoot Booksellers working together in paradise. We got to work together, go on nights out, and have inside jokes!





Mr. Georgie George, it has been a pleasure.

Love, Malsa xx

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