Do you have a bucket list for travel? Do you try to travel out of it? What all features on it? I have toyed with the idea of a bucket list but I never got around making it. I can see the uses of such a list, it would keep me busy for years altogether.
I wonder why I really never got down to make it. One answer that whispers back to me is that I like travel just too much and I would actually like to see as much as I can, so no lists for me.
When I started traveling I never thought I would travel much beyond India. I am also much of the independent and family traveler but I have started planning my trips using websites (like Make My Trip and Tripadvisor). But my best bet is still Google Images if I like the images I will go to the destination!
There is another recent change in my thinking. It happened due to my visit to both Nepal and Malaysia. I got quite interested in discovering Asia. Nepal completely hooked me with its mighty mountains. Malaysia is more eclectic with modern Kuala Lumpur, tucked away home stays and lovely beaches of which I have seen only one, Redang.
And in Asia on the top of my list are countries that don’t require visa or have visa on arrival. I already have planned a trip to Sri Lanka and I tried to plan one for Hong Kong but didn’t succeed. Then more places on agenda- Mauritius, Bali, Macau and Hong Kong and anyone else who would give me an easy visa. Mauritius Tourism particularly appeals to me because of its India connections and of course the beaches.
But I firmly believe in serendipity and all my carefully laid plans have often come to naught so I am not at all sure how I will fare with this one.
I am often on war with the world just before leaving the station. I am about to leave for Sri Lanka in a few days time. And it feels like a war right now. Some of the symptoms are-
But there is one good thing happening right now even though at the moment it adds to the war. I had left the month of May blank travel wise thinking that I would be too tired after back to back trips. But something exciting is cooking up right now. But details when all the chips fall in place!
I think I will have net connection at Sri Lanka, so I should be blogging live from there. otherwise there is another agenda for war, to schedule posts.
Do you also feel the same before leaving for a trip? I hope not. And final proof that I am at war? No picture with this post. Now when did you last saw that on Travel Tales from India?
I never booked a flight on Air India till the recent past. I still got to fly Air India and Air India Express on invitations but never with my own money. But this has changed now. When I was searching for Sri Lanka tickets the cheapest I got was on Air India so I had to book Air India. There was a difference of 14K (on two tickets) with the nearest rival.
This difference also includes a direct flight with the other airlines and an indirect flight with Air India. I was tempted to take the direct flight but I in the end went with Air India because their arrival time at Colombo was more convenient. IndiGo as of now is not flying Colombo and I could not find any tickets on SpiceJet which flies to Colombo. So my options were also quite limited.
Flights and Flight Plans!
After that I went ahead and booked a hotel too. I am visiting only one city and a beach so no rush for me. Also I hope I will like the place and will return back to the country. I am visiting Galle and Unawatuna. I used Makemytrip (MMT) to book the tickets (because their option was the cheapest I could find anywhere). I used Tripadvisor to book the hotel in the region. It is a budget option and rated highly there but let us see how it turns out to be. I booked with the hotel directly.
I did all this by last week even though the trip is in late April. And then I got a SMS from MMT yesterday that my Delhi Chennai flight has been rescheduled. My flights are Delhi-Chennai-Colombo. The Delhi Chennai flight was at an obscenely early hour. And now it has been shifted to an hour later! Now I guess that was lucky. I had seen the later flight combo going for 3K more and decided I would sacrifice sleep rather than money.
Now the layoff between the two flights is big so I am not affected. But I hope this is the end of the flight rescheduling and that I will later not regret flying Air India.
I am sometimes asked- when did I start to travel? Well there are two answers to it. One is that I started traveling after I stopped being active at sports. But these days a different answer suggests itself to me. And that is, I hardly travel! I have not yet started traveling, I want to travel much more.
Now if you ask me when I started travel blogging the answer is more definitive. I started blogging in June 2005. At that point of time I was stuck in a very lousy job and travel writing was an escape. At that point of time there were few India travel blogs. That was also the time when people used to ask you, “Who reads your blog?” Things have changed since then.
Blogging seems to have exploded. Some of my friends went on to quit their full time jobs and make a living out of travel. There is a new breed of bloggers who started in a better blogging landscape.
But I am most puzzled by a personal development. In 2005 or so I would probably travel 4 times a year, maybe even less. I remember in 2008 I went out only twice. In 2012 I traveled almost every month and I started this year thinking that would it would fine if I traveled every month.
Shovling the Snow, The Khyber, Gulmarg
This year also started fine, we traveled to Chennai for a family vacation, then we went to Alwar in Rajasthan. Now February went blank but I went to Gulmarg in March. And there are two more trips planned for March, of which I am sure at least one will happen. Chances are both will happen.
What caught me by surprise was the restlessness after the Gulmarg trip. I usually do not get restless after a trip for at least a month. But that is changing. I was restless as soon as I recovered from the tiredness of the trip! I wanted to go out again after two days! Now with a full time job and a young naughty child that is simply not possible. But the year is young and I hope I will get ample opportunities to test my theory.
I wonder if this is how things are going to be how long will I resist? Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy my work in academics but wanderlust is creeping on me and it is becoming worse with age! And I no longer feel sure, I no longer feel in control!