Meghalaya Through Larissa D'sa's Lens: Travel influencer unveils the mystique of 'Abode of Clouds'

Meghalaya Through Larissa D'sa's Lens: Travel influencer unveils the mystique of 'Abode of Clouds'

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Larissa D'sa, the adventurous travel influencer, spent March 2024 immersed in the misty allure of Meghalaya, India's "Abode of Clouds." She explored this northeastern gem for the first time while filming her upcoming National Geographic series titled 'Postcards from Meghalaya.' From the cascading waterfalls to the enchanting root bridges, she uncovered the myriad wonders that make the region a true marvel. As Larissa shares her Meghalaya adventures with her growing legion of followers, she invites them to step into her shoes and discover the enchantment of this mystical land for themselves.

Northeastern Flavours

Northeasterners don't rely on mass-produced, commercial products. Instead, the indigenous people draw upon the abundance of fresh, seasonal ingredients the land provides. The result is a culinary experience far superior to anything you'll find in the city. From the pungent fermented soybean of Meghalaya to the fiery chillies of Nagaland, every bite is a revelation, bursting with bold, authentic flavours.

Larissa's love for the region's cuisine is palpable as she described the complex layers of taste that captivated her senses. "I have always loved Northeastern food. The flavours are so unique and pungent, yet so delicious. The Khasis are truly skilled with their culinary creations, whether it's vegetarian or non-vegetarian. And the fermented soybean, Tungrymbai, is an absolute delight," shares Larissa D'sa, enthusiastically reminiscing about her gastronomic experiences in Meghalaya.

Embracing Adventure

An adventure junkie at heart, Larissa relished the thrill of spelunking. She revelled in the opportunity to explore the region's hidden gems, including a thrilling cave experience that left her craving for more.

A key highlight of her trip was visiting the Living Root bridges in Nongriat village for which she had to climb down close to 3,500 steps one way to reach the destination. These incredible structures, formed by the intertwining roots of the rubber tree, are a testament to the ingenuity of the local Khasi people. "Meghalaya is a true adventurer's paradise. Exploring this region requires excitement and preparation, as some locations can be challenging to reach. Take the Nongriat root bridge, for example—you have to descend over 3,000 steps to get there. Doing a bit of research beforehand is essential," Larissa shared. Reaching certain destinations in Meghalaya can be quite an adventure, but when travellers finally arrive and witness the breathtaking beauty of the place, every ounce of effort feels truly rewarding.

Yet, it was the unexpected that left the biggest impression on Larissa. During their stay in Cherrapunji, the group encountered a torrential downpour that left some of their tents in shambles. "We stayed at this place in Cherrapunji, the night before we went to the cave, we stayed at a homestay and it rained like crazy that night. Some people's tents also fell apart. It is not a memory people will like but I loved that night," Larissa recalls. "The sound of the rain pounding on the roof, the chaos of the collapsing tents – it was all part of the adventure."

Connecting with the Local Culture

Wherever Larissa goes, she makes it a point to connect with the local people and immerse herself in their way of life. While exploring the sacred forest, Larissa came across a local who regaled her with a tale so beautiful, it gave her goosebumps. "A local had shared the story of the sacred forest, and that was so beautiful," she said. “I always love indulging with locals, especially those who are rooted in their culture and spirituality. I also got a chance to wear the traditional Khasi costume and dance to their folk music.”

The Genesis of a Travel Dream

Reflecting on her journey to becoming a travel vlogger, Larissa recounts, "Ten years ago, I posted online that I wanted to travel the world, and I knew someday I would. I've always seen travel as the ultimate life goal and the richest asset one can have. Now, I'm living that dream."

The 32-year-old shared an endearing anecdote about her father, who played a significant role in nurturing her love for travel. She remembers how it was a ritual with her dad to watch travel shows. “My dad is a big-time travel enthusiast. Although he hasn't travelled much himself, he has a deep love for geography and has always encouraged me to explore the world. I often wondered how I would make it happen, but I always envisioned myself living that life. Slowly and steadily, I turned that dream into reality. This is now my gig on TV.”

Larissa made her first YouTube vlog in her native place in Goa on November 24, 2014, using a simple setup. The vlog garnered 100k views, which surprised Larissa and affirmed her belief in maximizing available resources.

Larissa described Meghalaya as a place that has something for everyone. Whether you're a food lover, an adventure junkie, or a culture enthusiast, this state will captivate you in ways you never imagined.

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