What happens when you take a trip without your phone? What happens when you don’t check in on Facebook or post a thing about the holiday on any of the social media? Don’t worry, your heart does not skip a beat nor do you stop breathing! Unimaginable as it may sound, it is an enthralling experience you must try for your next holiday, says Sumedha Bhatia (who mind you is crazy about posing and taking pictures of every moment if possible!)
Kerala, God’s Own Country, is a delight for any social media enthusiast. Place your camera anywhere and you get a picture worth hundreds of likes. When my brother and I started planning the trip, I admit, I had thoughts of gaining social media popularity from those pictures. Yet both of us took a decision that many would call insane in today’s age. We decided to leave our phones behind.
Yes, you read it right: Two young people went on a trip without their life support systems! Even our elders couldn’t believe their ears when we declared our decision. They doubted us till the time we actually left our home for the trip, but at the same time, they were glad that we all are going to cherish these moments forever. No prizes for guessing, this made our trip one of the best ones of our lives. We may have no record of it on our social media but we have beautiful memories of moments which perhaps wouldn’t have come alive if were too busy on our phones then.
We started our trip from Alleppey, a beautiful place in Kerala. We had our booking at The Lake Palace, surrounded by the pristine Vembanad Lake from all sides. Our warm welcome by the staff was followed by a tour in their houseboat. Without any rush to take pictures to post on our Snapchat, we were able to really appreciate the spellbinding view of the widespread lake and the greenery. It was so relaxing with the light wind running past our face that it washed out all our travel tiredness. This was the best resort of the entire trip; it offered the best ambiance, food, services and what not? It gave the initial boost to our trip with the perfect blend of the above mentioned aspects.
The next two destinations were Thekkady and Munnar, where we stayed at Chrissies Hotel and Ragmaya Hotel, respectively.
The best thing about Kerala is the welcoming nature of its people. Be it the locals, or the staff, everyone has something new to offer.
Having ample time due to lack of social media addiction, we interacted with a lot of people and learnt a lot about the people- their stories, interests, lifestyles etc.
The hotel owner at Chrissies told how he and his wife, who belong to two different countries, love to travel. They visited India once, and when they came to Kerala, they loved our country so much so that they didn’t want to leave and started their resort to earn a living here, enjoy the beauty of nature, and stay with the amazing people they found. This gave us all a very proud feeling, and made us love Kerala even more. Another thing about Kerala is their Ayurvedic Treatments. It provides a source of healing mind, body and soul. It gave us a soothing effect at the end of the day. We also went to view martial arts at Kadathanadan Kalari & Navarasa Kathakali. Watching them perform dangerous stunts, right in front of us, was thrilling. I even volunteered in one of their activities. It was scary, exciting and fun, all at once.
If you are a nature lover, don’t miss out KFDC Floriculture Centre, Munnar. The flower garden gives a treat for your eyes, and contains a huge variety of different colored flowers. One can spend hours in there and still feel that the time spent was very less! We got mesmerized by the beauty of the mélange of colours and types of flowers. Even the cactus there was bliss to watch.
There is a lot of road journey in Kerala to move from one part to the other. Usually, during such trips, most of the members use their phones and miss out a lot of precious moments. We, on the other hand, either enjoyed the lush green surroundings or played a lot of travel games. Be it as basic as a game of Antakshari or some newer games we had found, like Guess the Famous Personality. Even our driver joined us for the games, and he enjoyed our company.
We also went to the waterfall (including Athirapally Falls, where Bahubali was shot) and the beaches. The beaches were extremely clean, we went inside and let all our issues flow away with the tides. The days and the nights were longer, we could do a lot of activities in a single day. We carried 2 board games and playing cards along with us. We all spent a great family time, and even discussed deep things, previous stories and a lot of other stuff.
On the whole, it was a rejuvenating trip for us all. I would suggest you all to try the technology detox for your upcoming trip, and see the wonders. You will see much more than you usually do!
Without worrying about your work or the urge to post on social media or to chat with your friends, you are truly present where you are. Just carry a camera for a few pictures and spend rest of the them observing your surroundings.
Irrespective of the many benefits the technology and internet have given us, they definitely eat up our time as well. Things are much better when you capture the memories in your heart, not on your screen.
We understand that it is not easy to take such a step. Hence, here are a few tips that may help you ease the process:
- If you feel that it’s impossible to survive without your phone, enlist what do you need the phone for? Communication with co-travellers? Carry a basic Nokia phone or two. Pictures? Carry a camera (Click only a few pictures, or else it will destroy the very purpose of not carrying a phone). Work issues? Remember that you are going on a holiday! Eventually, you will find that phone is not an essential to be carried to your trip.
- Initially, you might feel restless without your phone. But, keep calm. It only gets better with time, you will soon embrace it.
- You will get constant thoughts about your Instagram feed looking great had you clicked a particular frame in a picturesque place. But then you will hear a voice. Listen to that voice. It’s your inner voice!
- If you plan to visit multiple locations, find out the one with best reviews among them. Keep that location the first one to be visited. This will ensure that even a single thought of need of technology gets eradicated.
- Even if you are an introvert, try to interact with new people as much as possible. It is amazing to get insights into new lives.
- Don’t forget to carry some games to keep you entertained all the time.
That’s all you need to do to have an awesome trip. Bon Voyage!