Almost a year since I first step foot in the country of India, fate would have me returning sooner than I've anticipated. You won't be hearing any complains coming my way as I truly embrace this wonderful opportunity. Last December I signed up for the Kerala Tourism Blog Express 2.0 - from which hundreds of travel bloggers from all over the world vied for the 25 - 30 slots through social media voting. Here is where my sackful of gratitude comes in, because of the generous votes of friends, online buddies and a few blog readers, I made it to top 10 and secured an automatic slot at this year's Kerala Blog Express.
|Photo Credit: Kerala Volunteer|
Which usher us in to the 'what to expect in Kerala?' question. During our 25-day trip around India last March, we managed just a glimpse of the fort and the backwaters of Kochi in Kerala on a three-day curtain closer pit stop. I remember wishing we had more days to explore as the state of Kerala offers a totally different landscape than the ones we've seen in Kolkata, Agra, Varanasi, New Delhi and the desert cities in the state of Rajasthan.
This upcoming return to India and an exploration concentrated at the state of Kerala really pumps me up with excitement. I can now see those never-ending tea plantation brimming with rich green color and weaving patterns of field lines, that sort of paints imaginary figures if viewed from afar. The organizers have promised us that they have availed the best Kerala tour packages to guarantee a trip of a lifetime for all of us.
I can slowly hear the birds chirping as we sail along the intertwining backwaters of Kerala. Spending a night on a houseboat with only the night time stars as source of illumination showers me with every nook of romantic setting. (too bad girlfriend won't be joining me - but I will bring her here someday)
Back in college I read this book called "God of Small Things" by Arundhati Roy that was set in a town called Aymanam, with the story shuffling back in forth in the periods of 1969 and 1993. It wasn't the sole influence that kick-started my fascination of traveling to India, but it was definitely among the few that made me really pursue that dream.
I thought after coming home last March, standing at the airport in Manila, disheveled and unshaven, I would let go of India and stare my gaze at the direction of other countries.
It wasn't the case, I longed to come back, not just once but numerous times. And thanks to all who took time to vote for me - I'm going to Kerala, India this March.
I expect to do a lot of walking since I will be joining 28 or 29 other travel bloggers from all over the world. Discovery will be at the foremost of our agenda. Right now I've carefully chosen the right stuff to bring, two medium sized back packs - one for my camera and laptop (because I still need to work at night) and the other for my clothes.
I've also decided to bring lightweight and comfortable shoes (at least two pairs) even though I'm a Merrell sneaker kind of guy, I find these loafers from Zalora very interesting and could not only look good on me, but also provides me with comfort needed for miles and miles of walking.
Cebu Pacific Air recently reached a milestone of flying in their 100th million passenger recently. As a traveler they have helped me reach my destination many times and I am grateful that they will fly me halfway to India via Kuala Lumpur, where I will board another budget airline to take me to Kochi, Kerala.
Postcards for the Lucky 30 readers.
I have never hosted a blog contest before but consider this as a start. Blog readers who will share any article from my blog "Nomadic Experiences" and tag the FB Page on Facebook will earn an entry for a random raffle online. Those who will be chosen will received a postcard from me, with a dedicated handwritten note. Goodluck reading my strokes (I will contact you on FB for your mailing address).
So that's it. You are also a part of my journey as you (who voted for me) helped a lot in bringing me back to India.