Of all the places I’ve been in the world, the backwaters of Kerala in India impressed me most of all. There was an otherworldly feeling of tranquility and majesty as our tour boat glided through the lakes, along canals, past villages, fields, forests, and temples.
The locals lived simply but well, working in harmony with each other and their environment. The waterways served for transport, commerce, food source, and entertainment.
And inspiration. The calm waters reflecting the trees, the clouds, and the sun. The birds going about their business or rising like angels to seek higher things. I was charmed and delighted by the elegance of the land.
There were houseboats there. Grand affairs that one could hire for a few days, each with a captain to navigate it along, a cook and a houseboy peeling vegetables off the back, maybe a guitar player to strum a few chords. Built for comfort rather than speed, these floating mansions would put someone in more intimate connection with the waterways than our hasty tour.
We wouldn’t be watching the sun go down with a glass or two of something nice and dinner wafting its aromas forward. We’d be back on our cruise ship, off to somewhere else on a flying visit. I vowed to return one day and spend far more time in paradise.
Soumya Nambiar of Travel, Books and Food (now there’s a happy combination) spent some time on one of these luxury houseboats, and in stumbling across her blog I am full of desire to immerse myself in the Kerala backwaters.
The whole experience is mesmerizing and you slowly fall in love with the laidback way of life. Since mobile connectivity was a distant dream during most part of our cruising experience, we finally had the choice to unplug and enjoy the company of our travel companions. This is so crucial in today’s world and by being disconnected, I was able to be content in my own world.
But for me, the favorite part of the whole journey were the sunsets and sunrises. They were gorgeous and definitely cannot be described in words. You will have to be there to experience it.
Image credit: Soumya Nambiar