Published on 5 June 2023 at 14:35

After having an extremely chaotic schedule, feeling exhausted and burnt out I decided to go on a much-needed solo deserving break. As I reached my destination and got off from the taxi I was approached by the porter who welcomed me and escorted me towards the reception area while wheeling my hand luggage.

I was greeted by the receptionist and after a brief exchange of my details I was asked to take a seat in the lobby area as she prepared the booking form. As I waited for her to finish the process a steward offered me a glass of refreshing pineapple and mint juice which I thoroughly enjoyed.

The lobby was a breezy room, there was a big, beautiful statue of the Buddha which caught my attention. I immediately felt at peace just by looking at the statue that I wasn't even able to take a full account of all the furnishings placed in the lobby.

I was interrupted by the receptionist as she handed over my keys and the room number. The porter politely asked me to follow him as he ushered me to the room with my luggage. On our way to my room, I took in the scene unfolding before my eyes, the sides of the pathway had beautiful trimmed colourful flowers and lamp posts every few metres apart. The pathway led me straight to the cottage, my temporary home.

The porter opened the door to the cottage and placed my luggage on the floor. He then opened the door which led to the balcony and cheerfully welcomed me. As he was about to leave he said " Ma'am at any given time you may call the receptionist for any kind of assistance. May You enjoy your stay". I reached out to my purse and tipped and thanked him as he left.

The room had two single beds, and a rug was placed between the two beds. A bedside table was placed at each side of the bed that had a lamp and a statue of the Buddha. The dark tanned wooden flooring gave a cosy feeling to the room. The walls of the room were painted white, and a large painting of the cherry blossom tree was framed and placed on the wall.

There was also a study table and chair in the room. The room had no television at all. I walked to the adjoining bathroom which was spick and span. In a basket, a set of two body towels, hand and face towels were fancily placed. A variety of herbal toiletries was placed on a wooden tray next to the basket of towels.

Feeling tired I freshened up and made myself a cup of lavender tea which was set aside on the study table. I took the cup and sat on the wooden chair at the balcony observing my surroundings. The place had a breath-taking view. I felt a deep sense of calmness and composure as I watched the enormous mountains in the distance surrounding the vicinity of the cottages.

The beautiful colourful bougainvillaea and a variety of roses added a flair of bounties to the landscape. The colourful birds chirped around in pairs as they harmoniously made their way to their nests. The setting sun coloured the sky with beautiful hues of pinks and orange. The air was fresh and sweet, and I watched all this in awe. My tiredness melted away into thin air as I sat and took pleasure in that moment.

It was approaching 6:30pm and I began to feel hungry. I decided to leave the room and head towards the dining room and turn in early for a much-needed restful night. The dining room area was a basic veranda that connected to nature. It felt nice being close to nature and listening to the crickets chirping. The wooden floors were polished with dining tables having two chairs, each. The walls were light with beautiful dim lights to give a relaxed ambience. I chose a corner table and sat down, putting my phone on silent and placing it in my purse. A waiter walked up to me greeting me with a smile and handed over the menu and said "you may choose from the a la carte menu, or indulge in a buffet or perhaps choose today's special which would cover up for a four course meal."

Without further going through the menu I requested the waiter for the 4 course meal. He smiled and asked if I would prefer the main course to be vegetarian or non-vegetarian. I opted for the non-vegetarian, preferably chicken. I declined his offer to indulge in a beverage as I just wanted to enjoy my meal, and the server left to place my order.

I enjoyed listening to the soft instrumental music being played in the background. It wasn't long until I was served a clear mixed vegetable soup, the aromas of the fresh herbs from the soup made my mouth water. I tried the soup, and I was instantaneously delighted by the taste and the simplicity of the soup. Up next came a plate of salads, consisting of an array of vibrant vegetables such as cucumber, carrots, the yellow green and red variety of capsicums, dill leaves, yellow corn with lemon dressing.

Soon enough the main course arrived with stir fried chicken, steamed vegetables, mashed potatoes, and brown rice. Lastly the dessert consisted of a chocolate cake. I couldn't ask for more as I graciously continued to relax and enjoy the rest of the evening. Across from the dining area I noticed a well-lit gazebo, I decided to explore it after enjoying my scrumptious meal.

The gazebo was octagonal in shape, the structure was made of wood. The carvings on the wood were delicately and elaborately designed. Not so far across the gazebo was the night blooming jasmine tree which emitted a very pleasant and pleasing fragrance. The cool evening breeze and the starry night was immensely magical.

If I were to sum up this day I would have to say that it has been one of  the finest days of my life. If there is one thing that I learned from this trip is that one needs to take breaks often and in solitude. Time to time self-introspection is an important tool for anyone trying to improve themselves. We often tend to over burden ourselves with unnecessary never-ending recurring endless thoughts of things which have not even occurred in our lives. We are so accustomed to conditioning by the society that we do not realise that these mind-numbing effects can take a toll on our lives.

This overnight trip was an eye-opener. I realised that when the mind is calm life does not look like a challenge but it's in calmness one takes the best decision. It somehow dawns to one that life is not scripted but instead life is a journey of adventures, failure and growth.

Learn to hush the mind, take a much-needed pause!  Remember being in solitude does not mean that you are lonely, instead it is the best way to get to know more about yourself.

To ponder over, I leave behind a quote which is deeply etched in my heart by Paolo Coelho which states that "Solitude is not the absence of company, but the moment when our soul is free to speak to us and help us decide what to do with our life".


By Disha Sharma

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