If someone told me that I would travel a lot in the first six months of 2017 I would not have been surprised. After all, I traveled a lot in 2016 too. What I didn’t expect was so many foreign trips. This year I have already clocked two personal trips too! So here is where my travels took me in the first six months in 2017.
Bikaner with Narendra Bhawan (Blogging Trip)
I am a big fan of Suryagarh an when I heard they have a new place in Bikaner, I had no hesitation in accepting the invitation. I loved my stay at Narendra Bhawan and I enjoyed exploring the havelis of Bikaner!
Sharjah with the Tourism Board (Blogging Trip)
Our trip coincided with the Sharjah Light Festival which was pretty amazing. I enjoyed the Sharjah Desert Safari. Sharjah is close to Dubai and you could combine your trip as the visa is the same for the entire UAE! You also need to check out the museums in Sharjah!
Singapore and Myanmar with the Accor Hotels and Scoot (Blogging Trip)
I revisited Singapore after 18 long years. Singapore was my first foreign trip and it is always going to be special. I went to Myanmar for the first time and came back totally smitten. I have always been a fan of Accor and on this trip I realized they have so many hotels that I can do a multi country trip by entirely staying in Accor properties.
Prague with Double Trouble (Personal Trip)
Chhavi, Vasu and I went to Prague for a vacation! The girls have grown up since Hong Kong and they now create mischief in different ways! They walk like pros though, they never complain about walking.
Oman with the Tourism Board (Blogging Trip)
Oman was a wonderful surprise. I had a great time dolphin watching, turtle watching and taking bath in sink holes! I went in May when it is supposed to be hot. It was like Delhi and there were less tourists.
Spain with the Tourism Board (Blogging Trip)
It was my first trip to Spain and I loved it. I visited the Catalonia region and while Barcelona is grand I fell in love with the smaller places like Cadaques, Pals and Girona. I attended the Girona Flower Festival. Spaniards love their food and drinks!
Mauritius with my School Friends (Personal Trip)
Four of us, Anshu, Sonu, Shweta and I, who have studied together in KG decided to take a trip abroad. After a lot of deliberations, we decided to go to Mauritius and what a time we had! We should do more such trips together!
Bandhavgarh and Kanha with Taj Safaris (Blogging Trip)
I have stayed in the lodges of Taj Safaris before and I love them. If I could afford luxury like that I would gladly choose it. But I can afford it only as a blogger. I don’t know what I like more, their attention to detail, their food, hospitality or their naturalists who are thoroughly knowledgeable about the jungle! If you are looking for luxury you have to check out Taj Safaris. And if you are lucky you will see a tiger too!
I hope there are some exciting trips in store for me for the rest of the 2017. I certainly want to take my sister abroad before 2017 comes to a close!
I feel a lot of gratitude for 2016, it was a fabulous year travel wise, so much so that I have changed my new year greeting. I used to say may we travel more but now I say, may we travel well! So here is the travel roundup 2016!
|Umaid Bhawan Palace||Jan, Sponsored|
|Mumbai Oppo||Jan, Sponsored|
|Spicejet Bangalore||March, Sponsored|
|Rajasthan Diwas, Jaipur||March, Sponsored|
|Google Maps Kasuli||April, Sponsored|
|White Peaks||April, Sponsored|
|Alpana Haridwar||May, Sponsored|
|Sri Lanka||June, Sponsored|
|Pepper Trail||November, Sponsored|
I extended two of my trips in UK and Thailand. I did one personal trip to Jaipur with my parents-in-law. In all I did 27 trips this year, a vast majority of them sponsored. I feel immense gratitude for the year that was 2016.
May we all travel well in 2017. If you desire for something other than travel, may your wishes come true.
As for new year resolutions I think I am good with what I thought of in 2017. I just need to keep the same things in my thoughts in 2017 too!
I have been so busy traveling that I didn’t even think of writing a travel roundup for the first quarter of 2016. I am late by a month, but I decided to still do it! The trips have been short but many. So this is where I went till March 2016.
Ladakh in Winter
Photo Credit Himalayan_Canavas on Instagram
Ladakh in winter was just the start that I could have hoped for 2016. There is something magical about Ladakh, doubly so without the crowd. There were just a handful of tourists at Spituk Gustor. There were no visitors at Alchi except our group. It was bitterly cold but it was fun. This trip was sponsored by the Grand Dragon Ladakh.
When I stayed in a Palace!
The invitation for the trip came in a mysterious way! The young girl at the other end of the phone told me, “Ma’am we want to invite you on a trip but we can tell you the hotel we can’t tell you the destination!” I am glad I said yes, because the hotel was the Umaid Bhawan Palace at Jodhpur. The secrecy was to protect the announcement of the Tripadvisor Reader’s Choice Award. I knew the results a few days before but under strict embargo!
And what a trip it was, completely out of my league, more so for my one night stay at the Maharani Suite, one of the most expensive hotel rooms in India. The trip was sponsored by Tripadvisor and Taj Hotels.
OPPO F1 Launch in Mumbai
When I started blogging cell phone reviews (or any other gadget for that matter) used to make me nervous. I now accept gadget review requests without batting an eyelid. I attended the OPPO F1 launch at JW Marriott Sahar in Mumbai. I got to use the phone on a returnable basis and it is a decent phone for its price range! This trip was sponsored by OPPO. And that was all for January.
Sanghol, Punjab for an Academic Conference
Attending a conference at Sanghol was the only touch I had with academia so far! OK that is not strictly true, I review articles for two international journals even now. It is getting on close to one year since I quit my job and I show no signs of going back to work. Along with the conference I was happy to explore the Buddhist heritage of Sanghol.
Gujarat with the State Tourism Board
I had great time in Gujarat with the tourism board. I re-visited the Great Rann of Kutch. Then I explored the Little Rann, Rani ki Vav and the Modhera Sun Temple. Ahmedabad saw me going on a heritage walk. I really liked the trip because Gujarat Tourism Board did not put us up in any shabby hotels. Many state tourism boards cannot get their hotels right. No such problem in Gujarat. Neither did they waste our time. I saw a lot and I had a great trip!
Women’s Day with SpiceJet
Like many other airlines did on the Women’s Day, the Delhi-Bangalore flight also had an all women crew including the service engineers. But the day was special because SpiceJet invited women who were former prison inmates to join the celebrations. There were women from rural background too. Other than one lady, it was a first flight for everyone from their group. It was an experience completely out of my comfort zone. And that brings us to the end of traveling in February.
March saw Chhavi and I spending two nights at the Abbotsford Heritage Homestay in Nainital. It is always fun to travel with Chhavi! We had a gala time at Abbotsford enjoying home cooked food and taking long walks. The hot water bottle in bed on the cold nights was just super awesome! The trip was sponsored by Abbotsford.
Rajasthan Diwas, Jaipur
The last trip in March was to Jaipur to join in the Rajasthan Diwas Celebrations. It was fun to photograph fashion shows and celebrity singers like Arijit Singh and Salim-Sulaiman. But the show stopper was the army pageant. And I found a beautiful baori near Amber Fort! The trip was sponsored by the Rajasthan Tourism Board.
April has seen me do more trips and there are a few lined up each month as far as August. I can’t complain for the travel bit after quitting my job.