The thought of doing a home stay on one of my tours, has been on my mind for a while now. But I have to confess that so far I did not have the courage to do so. While travelling alone I put up at luxury hotels as they are a safe bet too. But this time the spirit of a backpacker got the better of me! I was looking for a different experience and as the last weekend got longer with Monday being Ganpati festival, I took off to Pune.
Post the monsoons, the Western-Ghats are a treat for the eyes. The lush greenery and the natural water falls are picture perfect for the seekers of serene beauty. Pune is only a two and a half hours trip from Mumbai by the road and the journey itself is a delight specially while crossing Lonavala and Khandala. There is a country-side feel to it once you get on the Mumbai-Pune Highway.
I don’t have relatives or friends there so I chose to look at a home stay option in Pune. Apart from being an IT hub, Pune is also a student’s city. The best of colleges like Symbiosis, Fergusson and Film and television Institute of India have youngsters flocking to this destination. So putting up with a few like-minded youth was my option. I searched on Face Book and found a home for the weekend at Wakad.
I put up with two girls who were sharing a flat along with a pet. They both were from different cities so connecting with them was easy. But the fact that they have lived in Pune for a few years now and have adopted themselves to the lifestyle of the place, got me closer to the local feel.
The view was beautiful from their balcony and sitting there and having our laid-back tea party was a luxury in itself. It seemed that there was no hurry in life. That was a wow feeling in itself as this world sometimes makes you run like a marathon 24/7. I learnt to make Puran Poli, with them, which is a special Maharashtrian dish and came back home with sweet memories!!!
Watch out for Homestay
♤ Do your research before you are opting for a homestay based on what your expectations are.
♤ Connect with the people over mail, call or chat before you opt to stay with them.
♤ Make sure that the connectivity of the place where you put up is good and you feel safe if any unforeseen situation comes up.
You Tube channel