Nomadiers so far…(May 2018 – June 2019)
Nomadiers so far…(May 2018 – June 2019)
Our first starting point after we decided to be a nomad was a village called Hadshi. Why Hadshi? That’s because we typed, “place near Mumbai” and “dog friendly ” on Airbnb. The filters – dog friendly, kitchen, WIFI etc were ticked and we landed at Hadshi. We had never heard of it. I remember it was May 1st, 2018. The approach road to Hadshi was parched and so when we landed in this greenery oozing, gated complex we were a little comforted.
The decision to be a nomad was not easy. Many close ones were bugged with us. So, the mind was chattery saying things like “this is a stupid idea, and you are going to pay heavily for this” etc. Thoughts like these were running like a headless chicken in my mind. Emotional feelings were touching the roof.
Our dogs on the other hand were super delighted. For the first time in their eleven years of life they were super happy. Cooped up in a Mumbai flat, they had abundance of love but it was ultimately a big cage for them there. The freedom to pee and poop in the open, whenever they wanted to, gave them the freedom that they could have just dreamt of until them. Ample space to run, sneak out and eat fabulous water apples was a bonus.
Soon it was night. All the other bungalows had no residents, as it was a vacation second home for many. It was pitch dark in front. I and my hubby were silent for the longest time ever. Was it a mistake? We were weaving our own fictional stories in our mind, not saying a word, yet playing a part in each other’s web. The thought network was getting dense and dark. And suddenly we saw this beautiful, magnificent moon rising in the sky. It was a full moon night. I had never seen such a beautiful sight in my entire life. I was speechless. Prakash fetched his DSLR but boy, that picture did no justice to the actual sight we saw. It was something unimaginable. We never ever doubted our decision to be a nomad after that moment.
Name of the place: Krishna Sankool/Hadshi
Name of the owner: Nitin Lad
YouTube link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MpFo56fzZsM
Places to visit when at Hadshi: Unique paths mountain top homestay for stay and lunch, Unique paths for Tikona trek, Hadshi Temple, Sant darshan at Hadshi temple, Chinmaya Vibhooti, Boat ride opposite Krishna Sankool, Girivan.
During our stay at Hadshi we came across ‘Shelke’ family. They had a lovely homestay at Kashig. It was on a hilltop. The May month heat was taking a toll on us. So, we decided to go and stay on the mountain top. The homestay was lovely. At night we saw a tree completely covered with fireflies. I had seen fireflies before. But thousands…. Never before. The tree looked like Amitabh Bachchan singing Saara Jamana Hasseno ka Deewana…. It was an incredible experience that can’t be expressed in words. Next morning all the kids in the house came running, urging us to go to the house gallery. Still reeling from our sleep, we looked at the sky and we saw double rainbow. My jaws dropped. I was like “hey does this even exist, am I dreaming” etc. The DSLR was no good again. The sight was just spectacular.
There were Aavla, Mangoes, Jamun, Jackfruit etc to pluck and eat. Crab hunting in the dark, trekking on the Tikona fort and Saibachi topi was challenging but so much fun. Homemade poha on the top of Tikona made by Shelke’s mom was lip smacking. The food at the homestay was authentic Maharashtrian. The children at the homestay are live wires. They are the soul of the homestay. This was a family that can fast-track the whole village to prosperity thought my mind. Such homestays can do super well with the help of Mumbaites and Puneites staying nearby who are constantly looking for cool week end options.
We were quite emotional when it was time to say good bye. But the nomads needed to move. We were learning our lessons in minimalism. We were shedding our extra baggage and moving light here on.
Packing tips: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sxkSzpkgNGw
Name of the place: Uniquepaths.
Name of the owner: Mr. Datta Shelke
Cell number: 7378501000
YouTube link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ec7z8gVdxE
Places to visit when at Kashig: Unique Paths home stay for lunch and treks. Nearby village life and temples, crab hunting and rice planting festivals.
Next was a stopover at Mumbai for a few days. It is good to stay connected to your loved ones, in between 2 destinations. That way we don’t miss out much on home front.
The next destination we decided to go was Lavasa. We were deliberately choosing destinations closer to Mumbai because it gave us the freedom to come back home if there was any emergency. The ego and attachment make us feel that things at home will come to a standstill if we are not around. Nothing stops just because you are not around and that’s a great lesson to learn.
It was rainy season. Rains at Lavasa are beautiful. It rained like a curtain of water. No thundering and no lighting at all. Just pouring for months at a stretch. The city entrance looked like the abandoned Jurassic park. But the building structures and the cottages are brilliant. It is strong and oozes quality. The material used to make this city are excellent. The roads are top quality. I really hope this city is revived to its original glory. It doesn’t deserve to go down due to someone’s greedy calculations gone wrong.
We were amazed to find an oasis amidst this place. ‘Ashiana’, a beautiful world-class setup for senior citizens. I got an opportunity to teach yoga there. So, I closely watched the people and the arrangement there. It was an excellent place to live. The community centre was incredible and the workshops it held almost daily was well thought of. Their inhouse restaurant which cooked gorgeous home style food kept us warm and comforted. We made some very good friends there. This is the place I would love to go after age 55. They let people above 55 to be members there. So, till then be a nomad thought my chattery mind.
Name of the place: Ashiana Utsav Lavasa Senior living
Name of the owner: Ashiana group
Cell number: 07447407021
YouTube link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e7RRDMTkVtc
Places to visit when at Lavasa: Lavasa Promenade, Water sports, Spa, Sunset point, On Air Cafe, Ashiana senior living.
Mumbai visits were increasing as our son and loved ones stay in Mumbai. Our family and friends didn’t miss us much because every 2 months we showed up. Life was never better. I told Prakash, “I don’t know how much time we can go on with this nomadic idea but I can surely say that these are the best days of our lives”.
Being born and brought up in Mumbai I thought I was very liberal and open-minded person. But when I went to my next destination i.e. Arambol (Goa), I realized that I was a heavily conditioned person. I judged people looking at their attire, the way they spoke, ate etc. I felt little inside. I knew I had to make this big shift and change my mind set. I needed to do a lot of work on myself, my conditioning etc. I was ready to do that.
Arambol, was an eye opener for both of us. We saw young girls and guys as young as 21 years, who had gone around half of the world back packing. It amazed us no ends. I remember seeing this guy who walked into one of our meditation class, sat through the class and chatted with fellow students to find which place had a good deal to stay cheap. I was like ‘hey you didn’t even decide where to stay before you landed’ and he said ‘that’s never an issue because I can peg my tent anywhere’. That young chap really needed an applause. I know many kids abroad do that. But we Indian moms are still nappy changing our kids at that age. We dish out advises as to what to do and what not to do on an hourly basis. The statement ” Beta khana khaya kya” can be patented by us, Indian moms.
People around were playing music like a pro. Also, we saw a trend there. Owners of many homestay didn’t know about Airbnb, Booking.com etc. So, foreigners had a deal with these house owners. They gave them a fixed monthly sum for the whole year and the foreigners managed their homestay remotely from another country. It was an amazing business strategy.
We enjoyed our stay at Arambol. The evenings at the beach was lovely. Many activities like juggling, wind surfing, Yoga, drum circle, photography sessions, fishing, dancing, singing circle, Hare Krishna group, sunset flea market etc were going on there. We met the most beautiful souls out there. It was a great experience.
September 2018 to February 2019
Name of the place: Piya Guest House
Name of the owner: Mr. Jack Dmello
Cell number: 9921616878
YouTube link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r0By43c2oEY
Places to visit when in Arambol: Arambol Sunset market, Arambol beach in the evenings, Organic vibes, Arcan Bar, Twice in nature, Source, Sweet water lake, Tiracol fort, Trek from sweet water lake to Keri beach, Mud bath near sweet water lake, Banyan tree near sweet water lake, Arambol Carnival.
The next place on my bucket list was Rishikesh. I hate flights that take more than an hour. But to tick this off my bucket list I went that extra mile. The flight was a cake walk but the sight of Rishikesh shocked me no end. Concretisation of the place was so rampant that I was aghast. The word Yoga, Sattva, Tantra etc were on the boards of every second structure. It was not a good feeling at all. The cows, dogs etc were looking so malnourished that they were eating out of overflowing dustbins. They were totally bearing the brunt of so much commercialization. This was the place that really let me down. I felt sad as a human being. I saw how we humans are damaging our environment like there is no tomorrow. Here, I tell “sorry” to the next generation for being a part of the generation that did maximum damage to the environment. The only solace was when we got to stay opposite the Ganges. I literally spoke to Ganges and said “We humans are really stupid. Please clean yourself Oh Ganges, because we have no compassion. Please don’t be angry on us. Please don’t harm us. You can wipe us in no time. Mercy. Please….”.
Name of the place that helped us heal: Omkarnanda Gita Sadan
Cell number: 09837446399
YouTube link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lhuOx7gIds8
Places to visit when at Rishikesh: Ram Jhula, Laxman Jhula, Parmarth Niketan, Marine drive, River Rafting, Haridwar, Baba Ramdevs ayurvedic school, Triveni sangam, Harki Pauri, Beatles Ashram, Ganga Aarti. The juice house at Laxman Jhula.
The next place after few trips to our favourite Goa was the next destination on my bucket list. I was observing that Prakash was going by my flow of choice. Also, I realised that I was completely ignoring few states because Bollywood and news channels had conditioned my mind to give it a miss. So, I went ahead with my choice of places, ticking places off my bucket list.
Auroville, here I come thought my mind. “Gosh 2 hrs of flight again”? Theek hai thought my mind. I thought Puducherry was near Kerala (Yes, my geography is as bad as hell) and June means rain and greenery everywhere. But just 2 days before our travel I read that the rains there start in the month of October. We still went ahead with our plans as everything was booked. It was blazing hot. But our place of stay was lovely. It was off season there. So, we didn’t get to see much in the small window slot of 8am to 9am and 5 pm to 6 pm. That was the only time we could brave the sun without getting a stroke. We missed seeing the best part of Auroville because I goofed up. So, timing to visit a place has to be right, was what I learnt the hard way.
Name of the place that kept us cool: Badrinath House
Name of the owner: Mr. Ganesh Badrinath
Cell number:9884488421/ 7200070055
YouTube link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Up74Ttu3wQ
To do damage control the next destination we decided was Goa. Phew. Now we need to stay put for some time and teach what we know to people around.
All the places we stayed in Goa, in between all other destinations are as follows:
Name of the place: Saldana Kieran Park
Name of the owner: Sara
Cell number: 9822166836
Best things we liked about this place: The flat here had 2 galleries. There was an authentic Goa market just in their backyard which was comparable to that of Mapusa market. Their kitchen had all the pots and pans required to cook a decent meal. Calangute beach was 15 minutes walkable distance. It was in a prime area yet aloof to maintain peace and quiet all day long.
Name of the place: Palolem beach
Name of the owner: Anna
Cell number: +79119228800
Best things we liked about this place: This place just 2 minutes away from the beautiful Palolem beach. It is a peaceful cute little cottage. Eagle feeding in the back waters and water sports are fantastic here.
Name of the place: Serene waters/Chimbel,Goa
Name of the owner: Leo Fernandes
Cell number: 9822488180
YouTube link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n7D2xZMSr7Y
Best things we liked about this place: We just loved this place. The place was next to a river. So, even in the month of May it was pleasant. Leo and Jacqueline are superb hosts. The food was authentic Goan. It was lip smacking and perfect every single time. This is the place we will return to, every given opportunity. It is just perfect. Ribander, Charao Island, Divar Island and Dr.Salim Ali’s bird park are all walkable distance from Serene waters homestay.
Name of the place: M.N. Resorts/Arpora
Name of the owner: Dr. Upendra
Cell number: 9821617216
Best thing we liked about this place: It is so close to Fat Fish.
Name of the place: Casa Branca Anjuna
Name of the owner: Malcolm
Cell number: 9822388010
Best thing we liked about this place: This Place is just 2 minutes away from the beach, curlies and from Anjuna flea market. It is like home. Malcolm is a super host and you can easily get attached to his house. This is the place you want to live forever. It is perfect.
More than one year of travelling taught us the following:
- It is not an easy task to stay away from your loved ones.
2. It is very easy to pick and move if you travel light. So, reduce unnecessary things, repeat clothes. Wash and wear stuff come very handy.
3. Airbnb filters of kitchen helps in terms of saving money as well as tummy.
4. Upload your work talent on platforms like YouTube, Udemy, Patreon etc to create virtual assets.
5. Exercise regularly. It is the key to a feel-good factor.
6. Don’t hesitate to take up any job that helps you to pass your
knowledge, or that which helps you to learn
7. Stay connected to your core group of relatives and friends via Mobile phone, FB, WhatsApp video etc.
8. A good combi of work, study and spirituality helps to have a fulfilling day.
9. Pen your thoughts, experience etc. Blogging/Vlogging is a good way to do it.
10. Make small trips to your home town so that you are/have not missed much.
11. Fully enjoy with the local people. Learn their culture, cuisine and observe how they stay fit and happy.
12. Reduce your material needs and grow in compassion and love.
13. Hold no grudge against anyone. Be less self-critical. Don’t be very hard on yourself. Live and let live.
14. Don’t get attached to new people and new friends you make. Keep in touch and Keep moving.
15. Learn new things, or do activities that you always wanted to do but never found time to do.
16. Read at least few pages of any book of your liking, every day.
17. Encourage your loved ones to reduce desires and value people.
18. Be in the now. Because in the now everything is perfect.
19. Every Night sit down to evaluate how much action, study and surrender you could do on that particular day. Don’t judge yourself just do a checklist every night.
This looks like a big write up but I needed to archive one year of being a Nomad, before my poor memory gives up.
Love and light to all. That statement was the Arambol effect 😊