The curly-haired lass Mareena Michael may have acted in only a few films but is known to all Malayalam movie lovers. She became popular after 'Aby,' in which she shared screen space with Vineeth Sreenivasan.
It is for modelling that Mareena has a passion but she has proved her talent in acting too.
Apart from modelling and acting, Mareena finds most thrill in travelling. In an interaction with Onmanorama, the star describes her travel experiences and dreams.
"Though I love visiting places, travel sickness often haunts me. Long trips in a vehicle are bothersome but that does not deter me from embarking on a journey. I love travelling," says Mareena.
The star prefers destinations that are blessed with nature's bounty. However, wherever she goes, Mareena stops the vehicle at frequent intervals, enjoys the scenery and takes a sip of black tea to overcome her travel sickness.
Among the numerous spots Mareena has visited, it was the Australian trip that she enjoyed the most. It was as part of an entertainment programme that she visited the country. The programme was scheduled for only three days, while Mareena's visit lasted 15 days during Onam. After the event, the actress had plenty of free time and utilized it to take a tour of various local attractions.
"Even though a very busy place, each Australian city has plenty of greenery," says Mareena.
On normal occasions, the actress prefers places close to nature but still she visited the Opera House and environment park in Australia. "What attracted me the most in the country were the houses. Each house had a garden where flowers of several hues were in full bloom. A bonus during our trip was the sight of winter flowers as our visit took place during August," explains Mareena.
"What I was seeking there was greenery and flowers," she adds.
The wonders of Dubai
Mareena has visited Dubai several times and stays with a friend who lives on Dubai-Sharjah border. "Dubai is a very crowded place which has several high-rises and illuminations. The tallest among the buildings is Burj Khalifa that stands elegantly," she says.
There are countless shopping malls and Media City in Dubai but Mareena's favourite is Miracle Garden. "It draws tourists from around the world with a stunning variety of floral decorations," she adds.
The visit to Miracle Garden left her spell-bound. "Thousands of flowers in every colour present an amazing spectacle. A highlight of the place is the Butterfly Garden. There are around 50 species of butterflies that look entirely different and they flutter among the flowers, sucking nectar. I can never forget that sight," explains Mareena.
"This garden is indeed the miracle of Dubai," she adds.
A love for December
During every December, Mareena plans a trip. "Travelling during the cold weather not only cools the body but also the mind. My first choice is Munnar. I love enjoying the cold during December. Incidentally, the shooting of my film 'Happy Weddings' was wrapped up during a December," she says.
After the work of the film, Mareena packed her bags and started for Munnar. However, she lost the way. "By that time the night had set in. I didn't know my location, but a stunning sight awaited me. On a distant hill, candles of several colours were lit. I stayed at the spot for quite some time, soaking in that view," she remembers.
Though the exact spot where the candles were seen is still unknown to Mareena, she often recalls that charming incident during December.
Another journey that Mareena looks forward to is from Ernakulam to Kottayam. "I love several picturesque spots along the route that are thick with rubber trees. I have always enjoyed the trip," she says.
Once, while travelling on that route, Mareena visited the Iringole Kavu Temple, which is not a crowded shrine. "There are several sacred groves in that temple. I now go there often. The musical instrument 'edakka' is played at the temple during the evening rituals (deeparadhana). Hearing the edakka is soul-filling experience. The temple and its environs are among my preferred spots," she elaborates.
The Kollam beach is Mareena's favourite seaside destination. "It is one of the most popular places in Kollam. The sand at the beach is special. Several resorts and hotels line the beach and visitors can spend a day fruitfully," she adds.
After every trip to Kollam beach, Mareena heads to Appachan's shop at Ayoor. "Though it is small eatery with bare facilities, the taste of the items served there is superb," attests the actress.
"The lip-smacking fare is accompanied by the best quality," she adds.
Mareena, who chooses calm and quiet destinations, has been planning a trip to Bhutan for some time now. "Some of my friends who had visited the country told me that I certainly should visit that place. They say that the residents of Bhutan are excellent hosts too, welcoming all travellers with a big heart," she reveals.
Now Mareena is waiting for an opportunity to set out on a voyage to her dream destination.