The four of us have known each-other since Kindergarten (KG); we lost touch for some time till Facebook and Whatsapp reunited the entire class again! Back then if someone would have predicted that one day the four of us would sit in a plane and travel abroad together, we would have laughed out loud! But there we were; boarding the Air Mauritius flight from Delhi on 11 June, 2017! And the rest as they say is history! The trip to Mauritius with my school friends was epic in every sense and here is why!
There is no Pretense with School Friends
I don’t know if it is true only for us or if it is true for all but you let the guard down with your school friends. No one pretends much, it is easier to chill! On our trip none pretended to be cool! We were four women in our forties out to have fun the way real people do! We were happy to be the middle class us, who saves for a trip and then tries to save in every other way too. Bus rides were fine, leaving an expensive shop or restaurant was fine, calling each-other silly names was fine too! I wonder why it is not the same with any other group of people other than school friends!
Laughter- It Comes Easily with Friends
With friends, particularly school friends, the entire language changes! Phrases like behan (sister), which I have not used for anyone in ages would come back easily! We would laugh because we would remember poems like “hara samunder gopichander” and sing it loud in the ocean! It was my pleasure to visit my country no. 25 with my friends. They were on their first, second or third trips, mostly first if you don’t count Nepal, which is in close proximity to our hometown Gorakhpur! I would call them ‘Kuwe ka mendak’ (frog in the well) when they would say “apne India mein …(In India …)” We did adventure too!
Shopping Comes Easy Too!
I am not much of a shopper but some of the enthusiasm of my friends for shopping rubbed of me! They were patient when I went looking for swimwear and I tried the same when they looked at makeup items which made no sense to me. I made them drink local beer and they in turn wrinkled their noses at me and declared, “this beer is different from home!”
We Talked and Talked
We were the odd people out in Mauritius, there were mostly honeymooners or families, at least from India. When we could come back to the coach on any tour, we would talk, almost non-stop! At the hotel we would talk, on the beaches we would talk, in cafes we would talk and we would laugh too, loudly at that! Honeymooners whisper and families usually keep quiet or play with their phones! We were different!
We Took Photos Non-Stop
It is no surprise that I was the photographer on the trip! They like to pose, I like to click, it was perfect! I had a brand new camera too, a Canon EOS 1300D. I have been a Canon user anyway since I started using a DSLR in 2007!
With my friends, for once the focus was on chatting and laughing though. I could happily put the camera in the landscape mode and click pictures!
There were times when I was taking pictures at dusk, and I would play with ISO but such occasions were rare on this trip. However, the higher ISO performance of the EOS 1300D was quite impressive.
I am happy to report that the Wi-Fi feature on EOS 1300D works like a charm, even when I shoot in RAW entirely. I need to turn the Wi-Fi of the camera and open the Camera App on the phone. Then I can view all the shots on the cell phone and save the pictures I want to share. It is saved in JPEG automatically on the phone. No more taking duplicate pictures from cell phone for me from now on, as I can share the camera pics easily! My experience with the EOS 1300D was that it’s pretty good for an entry-level DSLR, and should definitely satisfy as your 1st DSLR, and it’s very usable to boot.
We Were Busy Planning the Next Trip!
After the first two days we were busy planning our next trip in 2018. We practically shortlisted almost 100 the cities from around the world! I am not sure what will happen as I can’t predict the future! But I believe that fun should not stop after just one trip with friends, right?
What follows below is the guest post by my friend Anshu! I have known her and everyone else on this trip since Kindergarten (KG)! After much back and forth we decided to go to Mauritius. The biggest factor in their favor was no visa requirements for Indian nationals! After my Prague visa experience, I wanted an easy destination! But I digress, over to my friend Anshu writing about our Mauritius trip! You will get to read my version soon!
Travelling with school friends is always special. Mridula, Shweta, Sonu and me (Anshu) are friends since kindergarten who meet once a year some place in India but decided to take our summer break in Mauritius this year. We were super excited. It was Shweta and Sonu’s second visit abroad, mine third, and Mridula’s twenty-fifth (yes you read it right – 25th) but her enthusiasm was no less than ours. Understandably so, Mridula being a travel blogger who is quite sought after [It is me Mridula again, see how favorably your school friends view you!]
We spent six days in Mauritius and what memorable six days they were. Time just flew by. Mauritius is blessed with beautiful beaches and lovely cheerful people who greeted us with warmth and made our stay very comfortable and enjoyable.
I experienced para-sailing, snorkeling, and zip lining for the very first time and all of them were great fun. We got to see star fish from close up for the first time.
South Island tour was an amazing experience and anyone visiting Mauritius must not give it a miss. Food was a bit disappointing, especially for vegetarians, but Mridula – the veteran traveler – explained that getting vegetarian food of the kind our pallets are accustomed to is rare when abroad.
Anyway, the best part of the tour was the opportunity to spend time with childhood friends, everything else was just the icing on that cake.
I started my India travel blog, Travel Tales from India in 2005. In 2016 I realized Travel Tales from India and Abroad better reflected my writings. I love to walk and ride in metros around the world. I have not been everywhere, I am not even close, but it is on my list. I also quit my job as a professor in 2015, it was a happening year! I did a Ph.D. from IIT Kanpur ages ago!
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