January 2016 was ushered in with a 10-day adventure to India. One of my best friends, Shilpa, was getting married and she asked me to be a bridesmaid. Who could ever say no that bubbly and beautiful person – I wouldn’t know. So I bought a ticket, got saris made and flew to the South of India.
My first stop was Kerala – a serene and beautiful place that really does own the title “God’s Own Country”.
With a thousand coconut trees lining up its coast and even the city, Kerala breathed in a certain kind of peace that can only be found in silence and color. It was in Kerala I witnessed the waiting game and the southern sunset.
Mumbai showed me India in Technicolor – the bustling streets, the busy sidewalks, the beautiful blend of colors and the majestic towers. It was a different vibe. While Kerala was calm, serene and peaceful, Mumbai was an exhilarating dance of endless explorations. The exquisite (and exotic) food, the temples, the sidewalk stories, the auto rickshaw lookouts and the burst of color – they were an amazing experience all together.
The best part of exploring India was that I explored it by foot – a long walk through a palace-turned-museum, a majestic zoo in the heart of the city (and in the opening sequence of Life of Pi), the main street of Bandra, the perimeter of the Gateway of India and the bridge overlooking Dobhi Ghat.
I’m not going to lie – I was scared and cautious walking the streets alone at first. But being a solo traveler does have its perks. You witness stories unfold, you get to make tourist mistakes and chuckle to yourself, you see life for what it is, you tick off things on your bucket list, you immerse yourself in the heart of a beautiful culture and you experience things at your own pace, in your own way.
Adventures lend you a certain kind of freedom that leave you excited and warm inside – whether you’re in a peaceful coastline or in the middle of a spice market shooting up at the sky.