Shivada earned many fans with her role in film 'Su.. Su.. Sudhi Vathmeekam.' The actress is now busy with her career and family life, but finds enough time to travel.
The film personality says that while her priority is cinema, travel comes close behind. She belongs to a family which considers travelling as part of their lives and feels life is meant for travels.
The talented actress says that the thoughts about her childhood journeys comprise of family visits to their ancestral house on the banks of the Nila in Shoranur. Shivada had gone on some other trips during that time, but none of them memorable.
But the present situation is entirely different. After her marriage to Murali Krishnan, Shivada has been hooked to long trips. "We find ultimate joy in travelling. In fact, Murali Krishna is on the road most of the time for work. I accompany him in the car," she reveals.
However, these trips are never planned in advance. "Murali often asks me to get ready the evening before the journey. I hate that. It is not the travels that I detest – in fact I love them – but doing all the packing in a hurry," she says.
During her childhood, Shivada could travel only when her father availed leave from work. But she suffered from travel sickness. "That prevented me from enjoying the trips with the family. However, it was Murali who helped me overcome such hurdles and see journeys as an occasions to celebrate," says the actress.
"We prefer visiting destinations in India in our car and have toured numerous locations," she says.
Even though she did not set out on thrilling trips while young, Shivada recalls journeys to her native Shoranur fondly. "My father's ancestral house is located there. The picture of Shoranur on the banks of the Bharatapuzha will always remain with me," she says.
"As children, we used to gaze at the Nila flowing by, in awe. It still evokes feelings of nostalgia. My native place, which is steeped in history, is indeed dear to me," she says.
Seeking thrill on trips
With Murali, Shivada has travelled not only India, but also several amazing locations abroad. "Though I have visited interesting places like New Zealand, Singapore, Bali, Qatar and Dubai, I like New Zealand the most. It is where I would like to go again and again," she reveals.
New Zealand has a distinct topography that sets it apart from all other places. "The natural beauty of the country leaves you wonder-struck. Many Hollywood films are shot in New Zealand. With scenic mountains and picturesque valleys, the country is an ideal destination for adventure seekers," says the actress.
Among the most thrilling engagements in the country for Shivada was bungee jumping. ''Summer, which falls during December and January, is the ideal time to visit New Zealand. The country is close to Antarctica and comprises two parts – North Island and South Island,'' Shivada informs.
Each island presents a contrasting picture; while North Island is a volcanic area, South Island is a travellers' paradise. "I found the sights of Queenstown with its snow-clad mountains, glaciers and peaks most interesting. The beauty of the place is indescribable," she says.
An unfortunate incident
While almost all her journeys have been enjoyable, Shivada had to face a bitter experience too. The actress had not disclosed the incident even to her family members. The mishap took place during a trip to Kashmir after her wedding to Murali. Four of their friends accompanied the couple. The six-member group decided to drive their own vehicle from Delhi to Kashmir via Punjab.
They started from Delhi airport in a Mahindra SUV and reached Punjab. Tragedy struck the group there. When the vehicle was cruising along the smooth roads of Punjab, a bull appeared on the path from nowhere, forcing the driver to apply the brakes suddenly. "It was a narrow escape. None of us was hurt, but the SUV suffered extensive damage after hitting the bull. Moreover, the impact killed the animal instantly," reveals Shivada.
She felt terribly depressed as the trip had only started. But the group continued the journey by arranging another vehicle. The damaged SUV was hauled to a nearby workshop.
Food not an attraction for Shivada
The actress prefers vegetarian food even when travelling. ''I always look for vegetarian dishes on the restaurant menu wherever we go,'' she says.
''I order non-veg items only when I have no other choice. I am only trying fish dishes now,'' she adds.
Shivada's favourite meal comprises the rice gruel (kanji), pulses (payar) and chutney prepared by her mother. ''I don't go in for tasting various cuisines and like our own local food the most,'' she explains.
Even after touring the world, Shivada wishes to visit more places. ''There is so much more to see in the world. I am eagerly looking forward to more thrilling experiences,'' concludes the actress.