India was an old dream that turned true in a moment that was the least expected. I didn’t know what to wait for, neither what to look for during this trip. And like first time experiences do, this one fulfilled my heart with excitement, hope, and let the adrenaline rush through my veins. As I was boarding the plane, the same question was crossing my mind over and over again. Is this actually happening, or my dream of the dream just looks so real? The flight attendant telling me to fasten my seat belt was a nice reminder that it was real, that I am on a plane which will take me to the land I always dreamed of: India, namely Kerala.
The country of spices, coconuts, dance, music, and colorful sarees welcomed me with genuine smiles, and it was ready to let me live some of the best moments of my life. The humidity and the heat that was wrapping around me, as I was getting closer to exit the airport, kindly announced me that I am about to spend 15 days in a tropical country where the fervor is present day and night.
First stop was Kochi, Kerala. The city where the honking of auto rickshaws only stops with the nightfall and, if you are not used to it, the driving on the left side of the road might confuse you at first. The busyness of the streets, which are crowded with noisy cyclists and auto-rickshaws rushing everywhere, is balanced by the serenity of the locals. The time seems not to touch them, whatsoever. Whether you see them on the porch of their houses, or at the market by the sea, their face expressions emanate calmness and peacefulness. No rush, no hurry. Then a trace of a shy smile appears followed by a drop of curiosity when we meet each other’s gaze.
As we move forward through the market, we see stands with coconuts, handcrafts, filtered water, and banana chips for sale. I stopped at the handcrafted stall to take a look, and while the vendor was trying to sell me something, someone with a big smile was asking to take a selfie. Again, this is one of a kind experience when a local wants to take a picture with a tourist. At this point my thoughts are mixed up, and I am feeling happy.
Shortly, we left the market and hit the streets of the city. The landscapes change from a block to another, but the atmosphere remains the same, tranquil and nostalgic. While walking around the city, we couldn’t not notice the blend of the cultural influences that marked the history of this city.
Also, it is almost impossible to overlook the palm trees because they are everywhere you go.
Once arrived back at our Xandari Harbour Hotel, if felt like we entered into another world. Behind the big doors you find a place where you can’t hear the noise of auto rickshaw, nor can you see the crowded streets. A place where only the serene views and the high humidity reminds you that you are still there, still in Kochi.
And this was just the beginning of a trip that let me touch the beautiful culture of Kerala, God’s Own Country.