We’re in the midst of this crazy pandemic. I wonder how far we’ve come along and if we have the most part behind us. Life has changed for all of us in so many ways. But what has changed for me, among other obvious and common things, is solitude.
The solitude that I hold so dear, that which I try to get once every now and then. Be it in the form of a solo trip to a fav location, a quiet weekend spent alone at home, a day in a café with a book, or spans of some me-time on my regular annual business trips abroad! Oh, how I miss it!
Who doesn’t need time away from busy schedules, the rut, the constant race against time, and the usual duties and challenges demanding the best from us night and day?
Breaking free, chilling, unwinding, disappearing, or escaping to your sanctuary is what’s needed.
What I love the most is disappearing. I like to escape to a place where I can switch my phone off (even better if the lack of network coverage mandates it), not look at my laptop, not have anyone around, but more importantly, leave all the worries and thoughts behind.
It sets me in an I-give-a-fig-about-things mode!
So how do my scenes of solitude look? I’m a nature lover and love going on trails and hikes. I love snow and the mountains and I also love the deep blue seas. I love to hear and feel the rains and I find sunsets enchanting.
But what’s easily possible and doesn’t require too much planning is a trip to India’s most favorite holiday destination, Goa.
Whether I am traveling alone or might I be visiting the tiny state in a group (it works fine as long as I have stretches of me-time to do my things), one can easily find me in a spa, getting a relaxing and rejuvenating massage, or taking a stroll all alone on one of the few virgin beaches Goa has to offer. I could even be caught alone in the villa or hotel room with a book and my cup of coffee.
Being the water baby that I am, I love late evening swims in the pool under the evening lights. With a chilled drink on the deck. Another favorite scene would be at a shack under an umbrella, a drink by my side, a book to read – few pages at a time, ponder, sea-gaze, listen to the sound of waves, feel the wind! It’s so meditative!
The annual business trips are just as sought-after! While there certainly is much to do in terms of work and meetings, weekends in between are the perfect dose I need.
From having nothing to do to walking aimlessly in the less populated arrondissements or sitting in cafes with your cup of Joe and viennoiserie watching the world go by is so relaxing!
There’s neither any running around nor any place to reach in time nor the rush to finish one activity in order for the next one to start. Oh, bliss!
Another much-cherished thing to do is to be at the sister’s family holiday home, tucked away cozily, nestled in the woods of Mahabaleshwar.
Visit the place any time of the year, and it has its own benefits. Winters are cold, no doubt, but it’s my favorite season so there’s hardly anything to complain about! Be there in summers and the temperatures are already a few degrees lower than at home. A typical day there cannot be complete without a great trail or a hike in the morning, savoring a big bowl of fresh berries after.
Lazy afternoons spent on the jute rope cots or charpoi cots by the lawns with good, relaxing music are a ritual.
You can feel the fresh, crisp air sans pollution in your lungs. Having the location it has, there’s no network so that’s a big advantage! The green surroundings are a treat to the eyes and medicine to the brain. The solitude this place offers is nonpareil. It doesn’t require me to be alone. Even surrounded by people, it offers the perfect break and the perfect chance to unwind!
These little escapades give me the much needed time to clear out my head. It feels like I’m out of confinement. It allows me the time for contemplation, for self-reflection. It’s a first class opportunity I actively seek for soul healing and soul-searching. I use it to catch up on sleep - and I’m sure if you’re a young mother, you’d surely agree to that one!
No matter what gender you are, how old you are, what background you have, what battles you’re fighting, a little free time doesn’t hurt anyone. After all, what use is this life if we have no time to stand and stare?