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There’s almost always a bittersweet feeling when you finally board the plane and leave a destination; you’re sad to leave, but at the same time super excited to a) go home or b) move on to somewhere else. In my case, it’s normally a 50/50 split between the two.

Today, the split is more 90/10 in favour of sadness.

Today, for the first time ever, I actually cried on a plane… and at the boarding gate. And going through Customs. And even at WHSmith. Thankfully I was not a blubbering mess as depicted in almost every movie I have ever watched containing a plane – they were just silent little hidden tears rolling down my face, like I was in a cheesy melancholic music video about a long lost love. Except it was nothing to do with a long lost love. I just really bloody didn’t want to leave Kerala! I am going to miss absolutely everything about the place – the people, the food, the trees, the scenery, everything!

When I booked my plane ticket, the plan was to stay for 3 weeks and visit 3 friends for maybe 3 days each, because although they all said I was welcome to stay as long as I wanted, British culture dictates 3 days to be the perfect number before you are less of a guest and more of a space invader.

It started off great.

Friend No. 1 picked me up at Trivandrum airport and drove me to his place. I stayed 3 days and 4 nights before he drove up to Cochin to hand me over to Friend No. 2 like the baton in a relay race.

Friend No. 2 drove us to his place just outside of Thrissur, where my 3 days turned into 7 which turned into 18 which ultimately, thanks to a last minute flight change, turned into 25. And trust me when I say, if I had a real visa and not an ETV it would have turned into so much more.

Friend No. 3 never happened.

My friends’ families welcomed me with open arms. Their friends became my friends. Kerala became my home, and it’s always sad when you leave home – especially when you don’t know if and when you’ll be back again. Hence the sad tears.

But now I’m fine because I get to spend the next 18 hours trying to sit in as many different seats at Dubai airport as physically possible while writing up a gazillion blog posts and pictures!

So thanks Kerala. I love you.