The Globetrotting Diaries: Staying on a Houseboat on the Kerala Backwaters

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Both my trips to India were unique and unforgettable. The first of these wonderful experiences was when my friend and I decided to go to the Osho Center in Pune for a 10 day meditation. This spiritual experience left a deep impression on me and I knew I had to return to India again. 

Before my second trip, I reached out to a friend who had been at the Osho Center for several months to ask them for suggestions and advice. That was when I heard about houseboats in Kerala and decided to experience living on a houseboat for three days. We took a domestic flight from Mumbai to Kochi where our driver was waiting to take us to the boat.

Relaxing on the houseboat. (Credit: Negin Shaker)

Living on a houseboat on the backwaters of Kerala for three days was a different kind of experience compared to my other trips because when you travel to a different country, you usually rush from one place to another to visit as much as possible. However, on this trip, we would spend most of our time sailing the boat, watching locals go to work, seeing women wash clothes in the river, and witnessing kids go to school or play cricket in the afternoon. It really was like going back in time.

Each day, our three main meals were made from fresh, locally-sourced ingredients prepared by our cook before we left the shore. So throughout the day our food was a surprise as we did not know what was available that morning—I must admit it turned out to be a delicious surprise!

We had the chance to get off the boat in the evenings and chat with locals. As Kerala has the highest literacy rate in India, I still remember the proud face of kids who were able to speak in English with us. It was such a joyful, relaxing experience

The simplicity and authenticity of this trip was priceless.

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Negin Shaker
Negin Shaker

Asia Destination Specialist — Negin was born and raised in the Middle East and always wondering what life was like beyond its borders. She found her passion and joined the travel industry almost 20 years ago. She has travelled throughout Asia, including Thailand, India, Indonesia, the Maldives, Malaysia, and South Korea.

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