The incredible India
Have I had any expectations in regards to my trip to India? I don’t really know. I was supposed to travel to some interesting places, take a lot of photos through which I would experience this amazing country. Would you call it an expectation?
Because much of the state Kerala, in a quite short time got flooded, me and my husband were not able to visit any of the places we have planned to visit.
The origin of the trip
One day in January 2018 my husband received a phone call. A woman wanted to talk to him. She introduced herself as an acquaintance of somebody that my husband knows. She said she was from India, living in Oslo with her husband and she would like to meet up one day. We met at our place. The second meeting happened at their place where they also prepared amazing Kerala food for us. The time we spent with our friends was very interesting because we were talking for 3 hours about India, it’s culture, religion, people etc. At the end of that conversation my husband and I expressed that we would love to go to India one day. Our Indian friends suggested joining them on their trip that was going to happen in August.
We decided to go. We bought our tickets and applied for visas, in that order. By the way getting visas was one of the most stressful stuff I went through. At the end we received our visas and we could finally take a deep breath.
I didn’t read much about India beforehand. I have been trying out different approaches to various subjects in my life that make me less stressed. Normally I would spend a lot of time on the Internet researching the location I was suppose to travel to in order to be prepared. In reality that would make me very stressed because of all the expectations that I would built up in my head. For the past year I have started a different approach. Before traveling I check the location briefly only. Thus I am happy with everything what comes my way when I reach my destination. Does it work for me? Not always. However I am happy that I try new ideas and consciously improve myself, my thinking and my attitude. Long way ahead of me but every time I do things consciously I am happy that I try. Because I gain experience.
I didn’t know much about Kerala when we arrived in Trivandrum. Our friends wrote down the names of the places that we will be visiting together. I checked them on the map and that was basically it. That was my research. Somehow I felt relaxed because I knew our friends will be with us almost every step of the way.
India here we come
The day has finally come. I was very excited. We were traveling to Trivandrum via Amsterdam and Mumbai. The trip to Amsterdam was very easy. At Schiphol airport all went smooth and fast. The flight to Mumbai was also very pleasant because of a nice doutch steward who wanted to practice his Norwegian with us and all the time bringing us some food and beverages. 4-hours-layover at Mumbai went very fast even though we had to claim the luggage, go through the emigration, get physically our visas and check in again.
Air Jet flu us from Mumbai til Trivandrum. At 11 am we arrived in Trivandrum.
At last in India
I woke up when our plain started approaching the Trivandrum airport. I looked down at the landscape dominated by palm trees. Somehow the view was nothing like I have imagined or expected. No skyscrapers nor highways. I was looking at the bush, basically. In my head I have imagined Trivandrum as a western city but where are the roads?
There are roads allright but driving on those roads gave me a major headache at first. The distance from the airport to our hotel was approximately 15 min drive but somehow it was the weirdest 15 min of my life. I was seated comfortably in a cab passing by a harsh daily – life of Trivandrum. We were passing by houses and houses without any breathing space like forest or a field, something I learned later, is a very common thing in Kerala.
People are literally everywhere and so many of them. Goats, cows, dogs and other animals were a common sight for us as we were traveling by car. Once we saw a goat sleeping peacefully on a door step leading to a shop. At first I thought it was a dog, it sure looked like it. Very cute.
One day some neighbor girls (around 10 years old) came to greet us as we were staying with our friends at their house in Kollam. We talked a little about schools, friendships etc. But when I asked if they have any pets, one of the girls answered that her family has cows and chickens. Nice that cows and chickens can be thought as pets.
Due to the flooding, we couldn’t travel anywhere. That was very sad. However our friends have been arranging things so we wouldn’t be bored. One day we went to visit an elephant. It was my first time with this huge animal. What an experience that was. Did you know that elephant’s skin is covered with millions of small hair? They are friendly but I was overwhelmed with the size of its body therefore very scared to come close and touch it.
The other interesting day was when we visited a Maharaja’s palace. First of all we had to take of our shoes which was a very strange thing. But walking around barefoot was somewhat liberating for me. By the way barefoot walking on the streets is a common thing in India.
My biggest hope for this trip to India was shopping. I was just crazy about hand made stuff that I could use for photographing. I thought those items I would find everywhere. I was mistaken. However I have bought some beautiful things so please check my profile because there I will post pictures with those props.
Overall I think the trip was very interesting. It’s all about experiencing life and that’s how I will remember my travel to this beautiful orient country.