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Day 1 of The Candid Odyssey

Today, on our first day, we are going from Ernakulam, Kerala to Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu via train. These are southern parts of India, almost. Coimbatore is a place known for its markets, textiles, industries, and history. The train journey is delightful. We get to see beautiful rocky hills and the monkeys and peacocks that makes the hills interesting. The houses near Coimbatore also looks attractive. Small houses with the similar square-shaped structure, but with different stunning colors. When we see it from a distance, the geometry and the colors make it an interesting thing to keep watching for, until we reach the Coimbatore railway station. Thanks to Indian Railways for offering affordable travel options across the country, most of our journey is by train. We will come across many railway stations and train memories. We do the bookings online, usually 2-3 days before the expected journey date. This all happens on the journey, nothing is pre-planned!

Once we reach Coimbatore, our first stop is the accommodation, which is Spot On Kota Lodge. As you know, we are on a tight budget. We can only spend around 1000 rupees per day on everything including travel, food, and accommodation. So going forward, we will stay in the cheapest rooms and hotels. On average, the rooms cost 300 rupees per night. We book these rooms online once we reach the destination. After reaching the room, the usual process is to keep the 65L rucksack in the room, take some necessary items in the 10L backpack, and then get out of the room.

There aren't many attractions in Coimbatore. It's the place itself that's the attraction. A walk through the Smart City walkway nearby Valankulam Lake is a good way to spend time. It's like a couple's area. Full of couples, everywhere - young and old. After walking so long, we can take a rest under a tree. Lay on a slab and just start thinking what are we doing here. Like all deep thinkings, it leads to a good nap :) Besides the walkway is a road where vehicles are bustling. After a while, we are continue walking. Yes, today it's just walking and observations. The hustle in the Raja and Vysial streets in the evening is nerve-wracking. A lot of shops and street vendors on both sides of the road, shoppers, animals, vehicles. Even big buses go in between them, which is amazing. Everything is in harmony. We roam around those streets, without even checking the maps, also enjoying some street food along the way. If you are a foodie, sorry to disappoint you, I am not. So, don't expect many details on food as we move ahead. Anyway, by around 9-10 pm everyday, we will go back to our room, that's the time we will quit wandering :)

When we go through these things, we get to feel a lot of happiness. If we revisit what made us happy, it's not any expensive things or achieving any so-called "success" in anything. It's just small things that we see. The old couples who were trying hard to take pictures with the lake in their background, the rats trying to play hide and seek near the tree we slept under, the way the bus goes in between the hustling street, the taste of an inexpensive omelet that was served in a leaf, etc. All such small things are a pure source of happiness. But I feel we in our busy schedules forget to notice those, comprehend those, and feel those. It's not only achieving the goals that bring us happiness. Happiness is everywhere, we just need to look carefully :)

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