On my first trip to India I was a hero. And I say that in the most sarcastic, self-deprecating way possible. There were rickety two-day bus rides where toilet stops meant an open field, I booked near free accommodation with blood-stained walls, and I visited places no one had ever heard of just because no one had ever heard of them. I was headstrong on awarding myself Most Independent Solo Female Traveller in India, 2012.
I can only guess this was my final shaking off a 5 year co-dependent relationship and a privileged upbringing. Or maybe I just watched The Beach too many times and Leo’s intrepid ways finally got to me.
Either way, after years of scowling at anyone who travelled the region otherwise – you know, comments like, “Oh you stayed at the The Oberoi? Did it still feel like you were in India?“- I have finally revised my ignominious attitude.
For the sake of others like me, I am here to speak words which were once unspeakable: There is a time and a place for a hot bath, a high-flying hotel and bowl of fries with tomato sauce delivered to your bed.
And that’s okay. No matter where you are in the world.
To celebrate this momentous coming of age occasion, and to ensure I hadn’t lost my mind and my soul, I took a trip to two of Kerala’s fanciest accommodation offerings; Turtle on the Beach in Kovalam and Estuary Island in Poovar. They were filled with interstate Indian travellers and genuinely hospitable staff. Instead of feeling trapped and sheltered, I felt reinvigorate to explore. It was total bliss and I’m not afraid to do it again.
To anyone else feeling and suffering as I once was, please feel free to get in touch. We can pioneer Arrogant Unwashed Travellers Anonymous, and help the world one back-packer at a time.