Every so often, I write about a destination I haven’t been to. As much as I love recounting trips and sharing my experiences here on Bohemian Trails, I also love to dream; dream about people and places I’ve never crossed paths with. That’s the traveler in me, the explorer that believes in the magic of new beginnings and that beauty can take so many forms.
Today, I’m writing about Kerala, India. It’s a destination I’ve not been to myself but would like to. Many of my travel writer and blogger friends have made it there over the years, and I’ve been able to travel vicariously through them in small ways.
I’ve rounded up a few reasons why this pocket of India interests me, not only to spark your own wanderlust, but to quench my own.
Ayurveda is really heavy here.
Life is strange sometimes. I first heard of Ayurveda on a trip to Zimbabwe a few years ago. I was there for a wedding and struggling to balance my mood and hormones due to my PMDD. The sister of the groom and I were chatting one day and she told me about Ayurveda and it kind of blew my mind.
For those unfamiliar with Ayurveda, it relies on many herbs and natural oils sourced from plants that grow in Kerala. It’s been used to treat a variety of illnesses and to promote a more balanced lifestyle.
Since this is such a part of Kerala’s culture and history, I’d love to experience some sort of experience around Ayurveda, even if it’s a body massage, hair treatment or full-on oil bath.
It has the highest literacy rate in India.
The more I travel, the more I realize how important education is for a person. Having grown up in an upper middle-class family just outside of Washington, D.C. I never really had to struggle in this area. At the time, I took it for granted because I didn’t know any other reality.
Travel has opened my eyes to not only poverty but to education…and how a lack of education makes it really hard to change your economic status. It happens in my own country and it happens in other countries around the world.
Kerala has a literacy rate of 93.1%. It is also the first state to have 100% primary education for children. When I finally visit, I’d love to volunteer at a school and meet some of these amazing children.
New heights lead to new perspectives.
This past year for me has been all about healing and with healing, has come new priorities in life. Instead of counting countries I’ve visited, I count experiences. I guess part of that simply comes with growing up. Growing out of the person you thought you had to be and into the person you were meant to be.
Experience-wise, Kerala has some pretty epic ones. One that really excites me is watching the sunrise at the world’s highest tea estate. The estate is located in Kolukkumalai, a town on the border of Kerala and Tamil Nadu, and from what I hear, is one of the most peaceful places ever.
The view from the top overlooks green terraces, Tamil plains and the chola forest. After sunset, I’d enjoy a slow start to my morning with some freshly brewed tea. I’ve heard it’s delicious.
It looks like heaven on earth.
Pardon the cheesy line here, but even National Geographic included it on its list of “Ten Paradises of the World” and that was back in 1999 before mass tourism hit.
Coconuts are a big part of the state’s economy; in fact, close to 8 hectares of cultivated area are designated to coconut plantations. As a result, Kerala is responsible for about 45% of India’s coconuts. So, not only are these coconut trees beautiful to look at, but it’s providing jobs for locals living here.
Then there are the backwaters, comprised of lagoons and lakes. This channel covers almost half the length of Kerala and lies parallel to the Arabian Sea. The water is turquoise and calm, and I can’t wait to get on a boat and see all this amazing nature up close.
*This post is sponsored by Kerala Tourism. All opinions are my own.