Spontaneity is Key
After a demanding week at work last month, I knew I needed a break in my routine. So, almost on a whim, with no prior planning, I decided on a solo trip to Kanyakumari. Now I could have taken a bus, a train, or even a flight. But this was a getaway. I wanted this journey to be comfortable and convenient. Thankfully, I remembered my brother booking a licensed cab in Nagercoil to Kanyakumari not too long back. He had only good things to share about his experience. I knew immediately what needed to be done.
Trivandrum to Kanyakumari
As a solo traveler with practically no time to pre-plan this trip from Trivandrum to Kanyakumari, it was of utmost importance to me that I find reliable and convenient transportation. I decided to book a cab from Trivandrum to Kanyakumari. We set out at about 8 in the morning. The drive was a stretch of around a hundred kilometers across the states of Kerala and Tamil Nadu. It took us around 2.5 to 3 hours to reach Kanyakumari via NH 66.
The whole way, I kept on getting distracted thinking about work. There’s always too much to worry and fret about. Pending projects and deadlines unfolded laundry, bills and paperwork, and whatnot. But what filled my mind with positivity and hope was the passing landscape. The beaches and mountains felt like a breath of fresh air compared to the monotony of everyday life. After about an hour’s drive, I was hungry and was craving some good, wholesome food. So, I ended up ordering Masala Dosa and Uttapam. We ate at a modest roadside stall. Nothing fancy. Apart from a restroom break, I didn’t ask the driver to make any pitstops after breakfast.
Traffic was not that bad, so the drive was pretty smooth. We reached Kanyakumari around 11 am. I was happy that I had the day to myself. At first, I went to see the beautiful Padmanabhapuram Palace. It required an entry fee of Rs. 10 and an additional Rs. 25 for photography. I am a sucker for art and artifacts and this Palace was full of it. What struck me was the fact that the Palace was a wooden structure. This added a certain richness to its aura. Exploring the Palace took me a good 1–1.5 hours. I was in no mood to rush. I took my own sweet time observing things and clicked quite a few pictures. After that, I grabbed a quick lunch at this restaurant that I now don’t seem to remember the name of.
Next, I went to the Vivekananda Rock Memorial in Vavathurai, which is where he had supposedly attained his enlightenment. There was water as far as the eyes could see – water from the Indian Ocean, Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea alike. Then there was also the tall statue of the accomplished Tamil poet Thiruvalluvar. As I sat there, by the waters, unwinding the stress that had piled me, and watching the sunset in the horizon slowly and gradually, I felt an extraordinary sense of peace and calm. I was grateful for my decision to not travel with other people, and instead, travel alone to the southernmost point of our country. The consequent solitude was much a needed breath of fresh air.
Calling it a day
I then decided to crash at one of my friends’ places from university days. She had seen one of my Instagram stories and insisted I catch up with her. Honestly, I didn’t mind some nostalgia, gossip and homemade food, of course. PG food had been the death of me.
After I showered, had some good coffee and an even better conversation which must have lasted a couple of hours to say the least, I reflected on this sudden, spontaneous decision to travel across states in a cab on a weekend.
I had the best time traveling
all by myself, zoning out on music I loved listening to, and eating some really delicious meals. There wasn’t the usual rush to tick off all the touristy places and sites in a particular city. Instead, I went to places that I felt like seeing and experiencing, spent as much time as I deemed fit, and took the time to appreciate a beautiful sunset by the beach. Honestly, I never knew how much I needed this trip until I did.
The next morning, I visited the Our Lady of Ransom Church, basking in the quiet holiness of the place, and then I was on my way back to Trivandrum for another round of hustling at work. Only this time, I was so much more ready for the drill.