I woke up the next day with an almost giddy feeling and after the mandatory dip into the ocean and some good old shack breakfast, me and Nikhil headed to trek up to the view point of Om Beach. After what seemed like eternity under the scorching sun we made it right to the top and were welcomed by the sight of dolphins swimming. I had never seen dolphins before and I simply could not contain my excitement. Their effortless motion made me wish I had even a quarter of that fluent grace. After getting back to Kudle it was time for me to bid adieu to my new friends. Promises were made to keep in touch that day and to my pleasant surprise, those promises were kept.
My journey back from Gokarna to Mumbai (where I was then based out of) was not the easiest one to say the least. People stuffed into a local bus like sardines in a can and incessant traffic does a pleasant journey make. But what made all the troubles and tribulations bearable was the companion I managed to find in the seat next to me, Raaghav. He had head down from Banglore, Gokarna being his favorite weekend getaway. I think what struck a chord with both of us was that we were both on our own, solo travelling for the win. He told me about all the great people he got to meet this time around since he was on his own, I told him about mine. He went to make me jealous by telling me about all the treks and boat rides he had managed to take in his 3 days, which were never an option to me considering the paucity of time on my hands.
We both had to get on to our respective buses at Hubbali and as it turned out mine was on a 3 hour delay. This seemed like a pretty bleak scenario to me considering I'd already gotten done reading the one book I had on me but my new friend kept me company throughout. Thanks to him, I got to eat an exceptional south indian dinner of Dosa from a little street vendor. A place I would've otherwise never stopped at. He was nice enough to take the next bus out make sure I got on mine okay. Chivalry was indeed not dead. Raaghav is now one of my favorite travel buddies, my go-to for information and companionship.
I consider familiarity to also be a kind of addiction, a habit that seems impossible to break out of. But like they say, a ship is safe in the harbor but that's not what ships are for.
Technology is always said to have brought people closer, Tinder being the most apt example having simplified making new friends and meeting new people to a convenient swipe. But in the absence of the access to such convenience, exploring a new destination is the best way to explore new relationships.