Saturday, June 16, 2018

Musings after my first solo trip to Kerala, India

Here I am, a 24-year-old Goan girl, having been on my first ever solo vacation! Well, I've travelled alone before, and have a crazy set of stories to each one, but this one was special. This trip was without really a purpose, without a real destination... It was about getting lost and finding myself while at it. It was about my soul gliding wonderfully in the universe and trying to find itself. It was about going out and living on my own terms, for an entire week!

Yes, I packed my bags and went on a solo trip to Kerala. Why Kerala? Because it's a familiar land. I don't know the language, I don't understand their culture and I don't like a lot of things about the place and its people. Then why 'familiar' you ask? I've been to Kerala four times, and this would be my fifth. Being confident about finding my way around, is what familiarity meant to me!

Why Kerala in the rains? I wanted to travel during this special week. Secondly, I've been to Kerala in the rains multiple times and I know how beautiful it is. Thirdly, I love the train journeys through the Konkan coast during the rains - they are simply phenomenal. Tried it ever? Yes, I could have easily taken a flight to Kochi. But I didn't. I instead, took a train, a slow train and slowed down - slowed down myself, slowed down my thoughts...

Kerala as a place, is quite slow as compared to any city. Like, the busy city of Cochin isn't that busy. Everything runs at its own pace, and it's like everything slows down for a moment. At the pace at which my life was going, I needed this. I needed the bliss you find while seeking new lands and new cultures. Why travel solo? Because, I wanted to be my myself. I wanted to introspect. I wanted to spend time by myself, understand myself more deeply and cherish every moment.

As you may have realised, it was a really slow paced vacation - of slow walks in quaint villages, of slow boat rides, of eating slow, of doing everything slow... Of just slowing down in life. Of realising that every minute, every second, every moment is meant to be cherished. Of knowing what you truly want from life. Of meeting new people and watching the sun go down. Of enjoying every moment, just the way it comes. Of letting the universe decide your course, just the way it wants to. Of smiling more and making everyone smile. Of writing handwritten notes and pasting a thank you message to everyone. Of opening my mind and bearing my soul. Of listening to stories and telling some of my own. Of just being....who I truly am!

What did I do in the entire trip? Relax, unwind, walk, walk some more, drink some tea, smile at strangers, write by the window side, drink some more tea, eat some good food, talk to strangers, catch on some sleep, make stranger friends, walk down the beach, watch the sun go down, relax, unwind... Basically do everything I've ever wanted to do since the longest time. Do everything I've wished for, do it only for myself and enjoy doing it.

Every day of this trip has been a perfect, it makes me emotional. It has restored my faith in humanity and the universe. It has taught me things I never thought I could learn. It has helped me unlearn a ton of things I wished to unlearn. This trip has confirmed that I'm a beach baby, tea lover and a cat person! This trip made sure I find myself. And this trip is one of the many solo trips that are yet to happen!

A big shoutout to every one who has inspired me to travel alone, to everyone who pushed me to go for it when I had second thoughts and to everyone who believed I could do it, when I myself didn't. Dammit! It's not so difficult. On the contrary, it's so much better to be by yourself. For someone like me, who is a seeker for companions in every walk of life, this was a welcome change. And this is something I wish to do more often! 

I love how it changes your entire perspective about a lot of things - life, relationships, yourself, people, places! I love everything about traveling solo. I hope every one of you, who have read this till now, go on at least one solo trip in your lifetime. Go for it, there shouldn't be anything stopping you. Work. Save. Travel. And trust me, you don't need as much money as you think you need to travel - so that shouldn't be your concern at all! Signing off... Love love! xoxo

Related post: An open letter to Fort Kochi by an Indian solo girl traveller

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