11 Mar

As I meandered through the streets of Kochi, I felt like I had entered a whole new world. The lively culture, lack of personal space, and intense heat and humidity made for an otherworldly experience. But my mission was clear: to explore and understand the local Indian culture, and where better to start than by staying in a homestay? To be honest, I had never stayed in a homestay before, but I was eager to immerse myself in this unique accommodation style. Knocking on small, unassuming doors felt like embarking on an adventure. The homestays I encountered may not have had impressive facades, but what was inside was what counted. Upon entering each homestay, I was greeted warmly and offered sweet black tea, which was like drinking a Red Bull - it gave me a burst of energy and enthusiasm.

 I soon learned that small cultural differences could greatly affect what was considered hospitable in Indian culture. From removing shoes before entering a home or temple to eating with your right hand and dressing modestly, it was essential to be mindful and respectful of these customs. Sharing a room or sleeping on a mattress on the floor might make some people uncomfortable due to a lack of privacy, but I found it to be an excellent opportunity for cultural exchange. The hosts will always be eager to provide food, ask about your day, and suggest activities. It was clear that they wanted their guests to feel like part of the family. 

The homestays in Fort Kochi are the real deal - no fancy ratings or beautiful facades, just a genuine reflection of everyday life. Some even had small terraces where guests could be entertained, while laundry was hung out to dry in creative ways due to the limited space. According to the Kerala Tourism Department, there are over 2000 registered homestays across Kerala. 

This style of accommodation is not only unique but also incredibly popular. So, if you're looking for an adventure and an immersive cultural experience, don't hesitate to knock on those small, humble doors - you never know what kind of adventure awaits you! I advise that you stay for a few days and then move on to have a normal night somewhere else.  Keep a balance 

Just do it!

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