Shafna is a household name in Kerala, thanks to her long-running mega serials. And now her husband has also joined the bandwagon and is already a popular name on Television, thanks to a new serial running on Asianet. Here they are sharing their travel experiences and Shafna admits that it’s only after marriage that she started travelling more.
A tense wedding and after
Our love affair and the subsequent wedding were a tense affair. We decided to travel to Kodaikanal with Sajin’s brother and a few of his friends to put all that behind us. But our first solo trip together was to Goa. As a rule, we prefer to travel to places which are not too crowded and especially stay away from the usual popular ones. True, Goa is immensely popular but it's also true that there is a happy vibe in there. That is why we zeroed in on Goa. And it continues to be one place that we love revisiting.
The unforgettable Himalayas
I think we can never get tired of the Himalayas. And that is one place we have always wanted to visit. I love trekking and the snow and scenery are breathtaking. Guess what? I have been there thrice. As for Sajin, I have lost the number of times he has been there. The Himalayas are always on the top of our travelling list every year.
Earlier last year we had travelled to Goa and the Himalayas. We had made elaborate plans which included long trips, but coronavirus cancelled all our plans. Last year we stayed at the Himalayas for 15 days. We explored various places, stayed with the locals, and trekked one mountain every day. It was a fantastic experience! We had a whale of a time savouring the picture-postcard scenery as well as socializing with the locals. Since it was winter, it was magical to watch the snow and by the time we reached the top of a mountain, we would be spattered with snow. I think the memory of that trip lasted for a year. And of course, our two weeks in Goa was equally memorable.
We are not really those advanced travel planners, mostly they are spur-of-the-moment decisions. And if we get a break from shooting, we immediately plan a journey. And if we get two weeks, then we will plan an extensive trip. We have travelled throughout Kerala. Since we prefer cold climate, we fancy Munnar, Vagamon, Kuttikanam and Idukki. Mostly we try to stay at places which are not well known.
Once we stayed at a Mud hut in Munnar. It was a unique experience to live without internet or mobile range. When we stepped out of the room, we can see mountains adorned with flowers and birds. Apart from us, there was a North Indian couple staying there. It was unusual to live so near to nature and soak in its beauty. I think such experiences will always be close to our heart.
Indian Road trip and world tour
Of course, I love to see other countries travel the world but my husband thinks there is so much more to see and explore in India. He is of the opinion that one should first have their fill of India before venturing abroad. It is our dream to travel the world on-road and if we get the finances and time, we are hoping to do that one day.
I am dying to visit Santorini in Greece. Arguably the most famous of the Greek islands, Santorini is instantly recognisable for its whitewashed, cube-shaped buildings adorned with blue accents, steep cliffs and tangerine sunsets that light up the sky and sea. And Sajin wants to see Kailash (the striking peak standing in the remote south-west corner of Tibet in the Himalayan Mountains. Rising at an elevation of 6638 m (21778 ft) it is one of the highest parts of the Himalayas and serves as a source of some of the longest rivers in Asia). Once we have done exploring India, we will take off to other countries. Although we have been to Dubai and Maldives, there are so many more to explore out there. I am interested in knowing about a new country, people, and culture. When we have so much beauty in India, why are we going outside is what my husband keeps asking me. In a way that is true, though we have been to the Himalayas multiple times, somehow during every visit we get to discover something new there. And am sure there are even more facets to explore in the Himalayas.
Husband is an adventure junkie
Sajin loves adventure travels and though I am all for it, I get cold feet at times. But of course, he encourages me to try some of these adventure activities. I have enjoyed scuba diving, snorkeling, and paragliding. He also loved bungee jumping and we have tried it together.
Kulu Manali trekking
I loved the Kulu-Manali trip. Usually, our trips are planned well in advance but since the Manali trip was under the adventure list, we did not make any prior planning. Only carried a bag for trekking! We first took a flight to Delhi and from there by bus to Manali. I am a huge fan of bike rides and can travel long distances on a bike. Kulu Manali is a honeymooner’s paradise. There is so much romance in the scenery. There are so many places to explore in Manali—New Manali and Old Manali (If you are a nature lover and want to spend your vacation amidst tranquility, then Old Manali is the place for you. But, if you cannot stay without the city chaos, then New Manali is suitable for you) Mall Road (the main street in Manali), Solang Valley (This is an adventurous winter destination with magnificent snow-capped peaks in its backdrop where you can try Paragliding, horse riding, zorbing, and parachuting), Hadimba Temple (This is an adventurous winter destination with magnificent snow-capped peaks in its backdrop and ideal for trekking at the Himalaya trails, sightseeing, and photography), Gulaba snow point (Gulaba is a village in Himachal and is 27 km away from Manali and 25 km from Rohtang pass) , Rohtang Pass (famous for its picturesque backdrop and a wide array of waterfalls and also for adventure sports and jeep safari).
As you go up, the temperature starts to fall at an alarming rate. We also did paragliding on the way. I can’t forget the bus ride from Manali to Delhi. Hopefully, this year we are exploring newer destinations. You simply cannot get bored with travelling!