Singer Anju Joseph has earned numerous fans within a short time. A great lover of music, Anju also enjoys travelling. “New sights during each trip and new people I come across always fascinate me,” she says. Anju, who is always excited about relating her travel experiences, speaks to Onmanorama.
“When I am busy with my work and shoots, some amount of stress is felt. A short trip at that time offers big relief,” says Anju.
“I have always loved journeys and has been lucky to join a profession where plenty of travelling is involved. Apart from visiting every corner of Kerala, my shows have taken me to numerous places. There were a number of personal trips too,” she says.
However, Anju’s favourite destination for enjoying the scenery is Idukki. “A place with hills and mountains is what I prefer. Nothing can match a spot abounding with greenery,” she feels.
Moreover, Kuttikkanam in Idukki is hardly an hour’s drive from Anju’s native place. “A trip to Kuttikkanam is a regular affair. My mind feels refreshed after every visit to that spot. One never gets weary enjoying sights such as the hills, greenery and mist,” she says.
Travels in India
Anju says she has so far travelled only to a few places in India. “A trip to some location in the country is planned often. However, I have been forced to cancel it every time,” she informs.
In fact, among Anju’s dreams is a Leh-Ladakh tour. “I always love greenery and given a choice between a beach and a hill station, I would always prefer the high-altitude area,” she quips.
Not surprisingly, another destination that charmed Anju was Ooty.
Even though Anju has been to several parts of the world, she was most excited while in Cape Town. “The biggest attraction there was a mountain named ‘Table Top’. It resembles a table and there is a rope ride to reach the top as well as a cable car. The weather is chilly, similar to Munnar’s. Moreover, the mountain is surrounded by the sea. With teeming crowds, the place also resembles Fort Kochi and Goa,” says the singer.
Anju had always wanted to see a penguin. “That wish too was fulfilled during the Cape Town trip,” she adds.
Cape Town first attracted the celebrity through YouTube videos. “When I saw those videos, I began dreaming about a trip. Finally, we reached the Table Mountain and started the cable car ride at 10 am. There was plenty of excitement till 5 pm,” she says.
Later, Anju and her team also made a music video with visuals of the mountain.
Another destination that Anju felt enchanting was Niagara. She has also travelled to the US four times as part of her shows and has visited almost all major places of interest there.
Goa still faraway
Curiously, though she has travelled to many interesting destinations, Anju is yet to visit Goa. “We have been planning a trip there regularly for the past eight years. However, every time it did not take place due to one reason or the other,” says the singer.
“Our latest plan was a trip during May. However, the lockdown imposed in view of the COVID-19 outbreak spoilt everything,” she informs. Anju says that she has no idea now when a Goa trip would materialize.
Trips abroad and a gaffe
The foreign countries Anju has visited include the US, UK, Switzerland, France and Germany. However, the singer felt some distress as she could not visit Paris during her tour of France.
However, Anju recently saw her dream of a trip to Times Square in New York coming true. “It was with musician Stephen Devassy’s team that I went there. Incidentally, it was Halloween day and was so exciting. We spent the entire day at Times Square,” she says.
Anju says she has no special incident to relate about her trips till now. However, a gaffe easily comes to her mind. “We were in a queue at a ticket counter in Cape Town and a person in front of us was wasting time talking. As the queue was not moving because of him, we were agitated,” says Anju.
“I thought that there were no Keralites in Cape Town and commented angrily in Malayalam that the man was making things difficult for us. Sometime later, the man approached us and said in Malayalam, ‘Aren’t you from Thrissur?’”
“I was thoroughly embarrassed,” says Anju.
Anju loves adventure. “During a trip to Lakshadweep for a show, I could try scuba diving. However, paragliding remains a dream,” she says.
The singer says she loves hills as she is afraid of water and trips on water. However, at Kavaratti in Lakshadweep, she did engage in scuba diving. “The tourists are given proper training before they are allowed to dive. Classes by the instructors gave me the much-needed confidence for plunging into the water. The tell you how to breathe under the water, among other things,” says the celebrity.
A reason for Anju’s worry was that she couldn’t swim. Anyhow, she decided to go ahead with the dive and reached the seafloor. However, she breathed through the nose instead of the mouth and had to return to the surface. “I was shaken by the incident and wanted to abandon the dive. But the instructor again boosted my confidence, gave more instructions and took me to the seafloor a second time,” she says.
When Anju dived, she closed her eyes in fear. “But when I opened my eyes, I felt I were in paradise. The sight was indescribable. It was a scene right out of a Discovery channel documentary and I could even touch the coral reefs,” she recalls.
Anju has many more exotic destinations on her bucket list. “One is the Valley of Flowers. Another is Iceland,” she reveals.
Earlier, the singer travelled to faraway places for shows along with her mother. “But now I go by myself and travelling alone is a special experience,” says the singer.