“God’s own country,” Doesn’t this line make you think that the best of everything dwells in the country? Yes, I experienced the same on my Kerala trip. Besides the exotic beaches, enchanting waterfalls, beautiful lagoons, meandering rivers, breathtaking hill stations, and amazing natural scenarios, I experienced the loving nature of humans. Nature, which is hard to find and which completely leaves you touched & grateful. Don’t believe me? Read my experiences below and you will be left awestruck too.
September 2019, I got an invitation from Jellyfish watersports to be a part of Chaliyar River Paddle for 3 days plus also work for Plastic Negative Event. Which gave me the opportunity to live both of my passions to Travel & save the world from Climate Crisis.
Woohoo! How could I let it go? I booked my train tickets (train is fun and helps me keep my carbon footprints low) and sat for my journey. Via Mumbai, I finally reached Kozhikode (Calicut) and tucked myself in a sea-facing guest room arranged by Jellyfish watersports in Cheruvannur.
My first Kayaking experience:
The expedition finally started. As we were 100+ participants in the expedition, the kayaks were supposed to be shared between two people. My partner and I cut the water through kayaks reached the middle of the backwaters of Kerala where she whispered, “Aakash, I won’t be able to Kayak now, I am so tired.” Indeed, kayaking is a strenuous job but then what another choice was I left with. When I was slowly taking it ahead, gathering every bit of strength, Prasad Ji, manager, Jellyfish watersports noticed me. He came up to me and towed my kayak. That’s so considerate.
When we covered a certain distance through kayaks, we stopped by at the bank of the river to cool down for a bit and the locals from the neighborhood came up to us with bananas and coconuts. I mean, just think, why would the people of town be bothered for a stranger group of people who are on some expedition but they were.
My never-ending hunt for vegan food:
I am vegan. While my heart and brain were happy in Kerala, my stomach was struggling little for yummy vegan food options. Even though the plant-based movement is rising, the problems of vegans have not come to an end. Thanks to God, I was in his own country. The affable locals who became my friends during the Chaliyar River Paddle event got vegan dishes prepared for me from home. (I was speechless.) They even suggested me cafes that were more than happy to customize their platters and feed a vegan like me.
My passion to save nature:
“Actions speak louder than words” Exactly same happened with me when I was on the mission of Beypore beach clean-up. Being a climate activist, keeping the natural assets clean and preserving nature is my passion but I was astounded when seeing me, a 50-year old couple decided to lend their hand along with their 12-year-old daughter. They not only picked the garbage from the beach but also sat with me to have a heartfelt conversation on climate change. Unquestionably, the experience is the teacher of all things. Just like these pure souls, many other locals who came with an intention to stroll on the beach joined me in the much-needed work for the environment.
Now say, isn’t there so much to learn from people of Kerala? They touch your heart with soft smiles. They have so much warmth and kindness in a gesture that I being a traveller with home nowhere, felt homely in Kerala. This video of the “Human by Nature” campaign by Kerala Tourism conveys my feelings so well.
Sponsored: Kerala Tourism
Life in Kerala is much simpler and slower and people more human by nature. Indeed, time in Kerala is a perfect getaway from our frenetic routines.
This is Aakash Ranison Signing off,
Keep Travelling, Keep Learning.