A traveler is a wanderer at heart. A backpack and curiosity are his only companions. In a strange land, when people say stranger is danger, trusting your gut feeling is the only option. Relying on words of those who are strangers is a risky thing.
Far from home, away from the family, when you are wandering all alone, the wondering begins. A wish for a cozy place after a cold day, a cool breeze after a tiring day, a loving smile after a hopeless day and an affectionate embrace after a moment of loneliness.
“…because home is not a place but a feeling.”
A night spent in a hut in the middle of an apple orchard surrounded by ice-capped mountains with a family that feels like home.
A hotel might give you hot water and cozy bed, but it might not feel like home. The warmth of the room temperature cannot match the warmth in the smiles of those who welcome you to their homes.
To make you feel at home is their only intention. To make you feel comfortable and give you a sneak-peak of their life. How they survive and manage in the strange land which is their homeland.
In India, almost every state has a home-stay facility. Under the Tourism Ministry, it is called Incredible India Breakfast in Bed or Home-stay scheme. Homes which are approved by the ministry are legally allowed to host travelers and tourists from all across the world.
Sharing a day or two of a local’s life and relishing their authentic, home-made regional delicacies is one of the best experiences.
Home-stays are relatively cheap and room service is also available. Basic amenities are provided with a homely environment to live in. Like a family member, you can eat with them in their dining area which is sometimes right next to a chulha (hearth) in the kitchen area if you are in a village. You can assist them in the kitchen and learn to cook a couple of their dishes. This kind of involvement makes the trip special as you have plenty of good memories to take back home.
So if you are on a trip and a little homesick, do not forget that there is a home away from home in a strange land.