Infinity pool at the Leela Kovalam Kerala India (photo by Sheila Scarborough)

Infinity pool at The Leela hotel in Kovalam, Kerala region, India (photo by Sheila Scarborough)

Where was the jet lag that was supposed to help bounce me out of bed early in the morning?

The poofy pillows cradling my head tried to deny the day, but I could see plenty of light even through drawn blinds, and with a full schedule ahead attending India’s ICTT travel technology conference, I kept saying to myself, “This is your only chance to swim in that pool, so you’d better get your carcass upright and put on your suit. Let’s GO.”

Morning in Kerala with Ganesh and palm tree (photo by Sheila Scarborough)

Morning in Kerala with Ganesh and palm tree (photo by Sheila Scarborough)

I’d walked past the infinity pool at The Leela Kovalam several times already, and admired the view that spilled out from its edges and extended for miles across the Indian Ocean. On a minivan ride to a conference social event the night before, another attendee said that he’d jumped into the pool early in the morning the previous day, because he knew that would be his only chance to enjoy it.

This was advice that I needed to take.

I pulled on my swimsuit, threw a hotel robe over it and walked down the stairs to the pool. There was no one around except for a bored-looking security guard, some squawking crows and several snappy-tailed chipmunks chasing each other during their rodent breakfast.

The water was not heated, so at 6:30 a.m. it was a little chilly, but I’d come this far so I made myself keeping walking down the pool stairs, and ignored my own mental protests.

“It’s not cold, it is refreshing!” I kept chanting while wading in deeper and deeper.

Like a fish in a tank, I motored back and forth along the infinity edge of the pool, floating magically above the monsoon-wracked ocean below, feeling quite unplugged and a little disoriented to be swimming all alone in the world in a pool in India, 9,600 miles from home. There were a few slender, long fishing boats out on the water, but no other humans as far as I could see.

My Indian hosts say that tropical Kerala is “God’s own country,” and that “when you telephone God here, it is a local call.”

Floating serenely above the world, I believed them.

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I'm a writer and speaker specializing in tourism, travel and social media. NHRA drag racing fan. Co-founder of Tourism Currents. U.S. Navy veteran. Caffeinated.