Even the most die-hard pluviophiles (rain-lovers) are intimidated by the thought of travelling in the monsoon. And with reason. It's never easy to be caught in a sudden deluge and then wade through inches of dubious, muddy waters. Your shoes squelch, you're tracking mud all over shiny floors and your glamourous persona now resembles that of a drowning rat. Now what an understandably grumpy person fails to see is the silver lining behind travelling in the rains, fully prepared with gumboots of course.
Nature comes alive with the first sprinkle of rain. The season brings with it cool breezes, the smell of wet mud and an inexplicable sense of romanticism. The beauty of your surroundings is enhanced manifold when they're drenched in rain. There's more that monsoons offer, even to travellers, that make the mud and damp clothes seem almost inconsequential. Read on to figure out why squally weather may not be a damper on your travel plans.
1. Rains enhance the beauty of your surroundings
"Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add colour to my sunset sky." - Rabindranath Tagore
Just with the first downpour, trees seem to liven up and turn into dazzling shades of green. If you thought Kerala was an incredible verdant slice of paradise, imagine what it looks like under a cover of rain. Soft droplets cling to leaves, a world in each droplet. Waterfalls gush dramatically, impressing onlookers with the indomitable power of nature. The rivers gurgle with music, trees sway with strong winds and everything stands awash and gleaming in the end.
2. You won't have to shell out the big bucks on hotels and airfare
"I pretend I'm one of the royal family when I'm in a hotel and that the hotel belongs to me - it is a palace." - Martin Short
Travelling bugs tend to pipe down during the monsoon season leading to hotels and airlines drastically reducing fares to lure in a few customers. Good for you! Book a ticket without burning a hole into your pocket and there's a good chance that you won't have to compete in elbow wars with fellow passengers on a flight to Mizoram. Live like a king in almost empty hotels. You'll have entire dorm rooms to yourself and with the lower fares, you could even get yourself a luxurious room with all the fittings. Now all that remains to be done is for you to run down corridors whooping or raid the mini-fridge.
3. Be open to the possibility of unexpected but pleasant experiences
"Chilling out on the bed in your hotel room watching television, while wearing your own pajamas, is sometimes the best part of a vacation." - Laura Marano
Even when you plan a trip down to the last detail, things tend to not go according to plan and all hell breaks loose (for you) until chaos rules the day. Instead of planning a detailed itinerary at your rain-soaked destination, let go and flow with the rhythm of the universe. If you get caught in a sudden burst of rain while you're out sightseeing or climbing towards a point which promises great views, don't get disheartened and give up. Wait out the spell of rain if possible and then gape at the ethereal calm that descends after a noisy bout of rain.
Raining too hard outside to step out of your hotel? Crack out some DVDs, order some room service, get into your comfy pyjamas and get on a movie marathon. With the rain pattering outside and you warm and cosy inside, this is one of the best feels guaranteed. It's all about dealing with what life throws at you and just weather shouldn't be enough to mess up your holidays.
4. Your unsocial self won't have to deal with crowds
“My imagination functions much better when I don't have to speak to people.” ― Patricia Highsmith
If you're one of those rare unsocial beings who don't like getting jostled amidst throngs of people, then monsoon is the best travel season for you. Beaches are so empty that you have them all to yourself along with the added visual treat of watching raindrops sploshing down on roaring waves. You won't have to stand on tippy toes to look over someone's shoulder at an attraction. There are no queues outside restaurants, no lines at the amusement park rides or any chatty tourists to put up with. It's just you and the rain-soaked stunning view in front of you and maybe an occasional friendly bird to keep you company.
5. Long drives turn from tedious to your favourite activity
"I love the rain. I want the feeling of it on my face." - Katherine Mansfield
Long drives are meant for the rainy weather. It's a charming experience to watch rain droplets cling to your window and trickle down. Feel the soft drops of elixir on your face and let the cool breeze soothe your senses. Stop by a random tea shop for a hot cup of chai and watch the rain pour off roofs. Dig into some piping-hot kachori at a street stall or just curl up in your car seat and watch the blurry lights pass you by.
6. Romance is in the air
"I love the ending of a movie where two people end up together. Preferably if there's rain and an airport or running or a confession of love." - Taylor Swift
There's an inexplicable romance in the air when it rains. Everything seems more magical and special when there's rain pouring all around you, and you have your partner right by your side. For you, romancing the rains may mean snuggling up with a cup of coffee by the window with your SO or if you prefer being more dramatic, walking in the rain without an umbrella and watching what the rain does to the world around you. It is no secret that Bollywood is a fan of romance during the rains. There might just be something there. Even if you're single, go out alone to witness that special something in the air which makes the heart sing.
7. Petrichor - the aromatic smell of wet mud after the first bout of rain
"Certain emotions just take you to the notes - being furious, heroic, sad, erotic, when rain comes." - Jeff Buckley
The smell of the first spell of rain piercing the dry mud and the delicious wet mud aroma that wafts around in the air, is one of the best smells you'll have the fortune of experiencing in your earthly existence. One of the smells which still haven't been captured in elegant and expensive perfume bottles, this one is free and is the most welcome fragrance after a scorching summer.
Don't let the fear of mud and a little inconvenience stop you from experiencing the magic of monsoons. After a little struggle, you may just come across a fascinating experience that'll stay with you forever. So go forth and lose your inhibitions to revel in the rain!
What do you love about travelling during the monsoon? Let us know in the comments below!
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