When we disconnected to connect

My husband and I are wanderbugs with an innate desire to travel and explore. After becoming parents, the “Now you will not be able to travel easily” comments from some people never deterred us. We continued to travel, albeit a bit differently, and did our first road trip with our child when she was 11 months old.  It was a breeze and the experience encouraged us to do more road trips with her.

As it was a long weekend this time around 26th January (Republic Day Holiday) , my father suggested we visit Chitrakote Falls together. This was the first time we heard about the place, so we did some research on it after my father’s recommendation. We discovered that these are India’s broadest waterfalls, also called as Mini Niagara Falls. The Google images of the falls were breath-taking and we promptly planned the trip. Once the bookings were done, I was looking forward to this expedition.

The journey from Visakhapatnam to Chitrakote Falls was long and exhausting, but it went by smoothly without any hiccups. My hyper active toddler also more or less enjoyed the journey and was co-operative for the most part, contrary to our expectations. Upon our arrival at the resort, we were apprised by the receptionist that there is only one BSNL tower in the area and so all our devices would be out of network coverage area for the whole trip. We joked that this would force us to talk to each other rather than being glued to our mobiles or iPad. Though we do ensure we spend focused time together as a family during outings and trips, being cut-off from the world means there is not even the occasional peeping into the mobile. Our nature of work also demands that we be online most of the time as quite a bit of the work actually happens on the go. Thus having no network helps to make the most of a trip.

We had read online that the first two cottages at the resort give the best view of the waterfalls and therefore, we had booked them in advance. By the time we reached there, it was already close to 6.30 PM. Hence, we just had dinner and strolled inside the premises of the widespread resort. We retired to bed early but for some reason, I could not sleep. I proceeded towards the balcony to catch a glimpse of the waterfalls which looked different in the night. Majestic, resplendent and fierce – the falls seemed overpowering now and there was pin drop silence around. There was only the sound of the gushing waters, analogous with the noise of the storm brewing in my heart. It was deafening after a point and the voices within took over slowly, making me introspect and connect deeply to my innermost self and thoughts. It was as if I was having a conversation with my soul and re-discovering myself, finding some answers and being posed with some questions. At the end of it all I felt immersed in an oasis of serenity and that night, I probably had the most peaceful sleep in a long time.

I felt so glad that my parents had accompanied us for this trip. Not only did I get to spend some quality time with them, but because of their presence my husband and I also got some alone time together. While my daughter was having a ball of a time with her grandparents, we were away having a tete-a-tete with each other. It felt like it had been ages we had a heart-to-heart chat without the distraction of gadgets or being interrupted ten times in the midst of a sentence by our toddler. Neither were there any stolen kisses and holding of hands, nor was the tone of our talks romantic. Yet it was probably one of the most romantic moments we shared after the birth of my baby. It took me back to the initial days of courtship. We chatted away to glory about everything under the sun with the waterfalls and the river providing the background music as well as the perfect backdrop to “our” moment, which was the highlight of the trip for me.

There was something so special about being in the lap of nature with my loved ones and whole of myself. My entire being was thoroughly soaking in every moment without any part of me wandering here and there. Oblivious to the happenings of the world, we were creating beautiful memories for life and connecting not just with each other, but also our own selves. I have always believed and experienced that traveling heals and opens your mind. This was not the first time we went on a trip when we were disconnected from the world. Such trips always have a therapeutic effect and are rejuvenating. Hence, we have decided to make it a point to do these “disconnected” trips on a regular basis. It’s true that sometimes it is important to disconnect to connect.

//This article has been published by Women’s Web and is available at the following link.

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