No amount of blog posts can fully explain what this country is like, and how it's absolutely stolen my heart. I have only experienced a fraction of it, but I will attempt to include as much explanation and useful information as possible for anyone who plans to visit. From what to pack to the highlights of my trip, I will try and help to make your Indian adventure the perfect one.
Last year I travelled through northern India, although I've very recently come back from Kerala in southern India, so whilst it's still at the forefront of my mind, I will start here.
I had booked to go mid to the end of March, which is still considered as peak season in Kerala, however, as it was coming close to off season and the temperatures were high I assumed this would be a quieter time to go, and It was! There's only so much you can do to try and avoid other tourists but I believe if you can handle the heat, go off season! Saying that, I personally found the temperature perfectly bearable, it was between 30-35 degrees with medium levels of humidity. I must mention though that India has a different kind of heat. Unfortunately, because of the high levels of pollution, the air does feel heavier and perhaps dirtier, BUT please don't let this cause hesitancy unless you truly find heat intolerable, because I think we underestimate our bodies and how amazingly well they can cope with dramatic change in temperature. Our minds, on the other hand, can perhaps panic and become overwhelmed by it. As long as you're wearing sun protection and drinking around 3 litres of water a day you'll be fine. The advice I'd give is to breathe, relax, and embrace the sweat....
Do's and Don'ts.
DO take talcum powder - Jesus Christ this gorgeous stuff has been a saviour when I've been in high humidity. I pack this instead of deodorant as it saves on liquids and makes you smell like a freshly born baby. Also, great for if you suffer from tit sweat like me.
DON'T wear makeup - Come on girls, the sunshine is our foundation! There's a reason why the word 'escape' is used to refer to holidaying, so we have to try and leave our insecurities at home. I know it's easy for me to say as I don't have very problem prone skin, but in India where the air is hot and heavy, makeup is the last thing your skin needs.
DO take Tiger Balm and a handheld fan - Individually, both of these things are great, but together they are magic, especially at night. Just apply Tiger Balm to your forehead or the back of your neck and use the fan on these points, this will create a wonderful cooling sensation and is also perfect for mozzy bites.
DON'T pack underwear/ clothes made from synthetics - I will talk more about what clothes to pack in a future post but this is important to mention now. Make sure all your knickers and bras are made from a high percentage of natural fibres like cotton. It's a little change but it can make a big difference to your body temperature and overall comfort.
Usually when travelling to the tropics it's very difficult to determine what the weather is going to be like and for us Brits chasing the sunshine is quite important. I believe the weather in Kerala is different compared to Northern India in the sense that it is an all year round destination, it does become hot in April and May. However, I would say it would be bearable for people who deal with hot weather well, unlike Northern regions which are known to reach over 50 degrees in the summer! Whether it's peak season, off season or monsoon season, Kerala's loveliness will shine through.