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.
It is that time of the year, to look back and cherish! I should have actually been in Rishikesh with Chhavi and Seshadri but for a nasty cold! 2015 was not my year, I hope 2016 will be! Still, it gave me plenty to cheer for, and travel wise this was what it looked like!
|Sirpur, Chhattisgarh India||Sponsored||Group Travel|
|Kareri Village, Himachal Pradesh||Personal||Me with Sohan Singh ji|
|Fagu, Himachal Pradesh||Personal||Chhavi and I|
|Discover Thainess, Mumbai||Sponsored||Group|
|MHE Beach Camp and Bull’s Retreat, Shivpuri, Uttarakhand||Sponsored||Chhavi and I|
|Songkran, Thailand||Sponsored||Group Travel|
|Goa, India||Sponsored||Group Travel|
|Sai Vishram Beach Resort, Byndoor||Sponsored||Solo but met fellow blogger Prashanth and his family.|
|Jamadi Trek, Himachal Pradesh||Personal||Chhavi and I with Ramakant ji|
|Kumarakom Lake Resort, Kerala||Sponsored||Solo|
|Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia||Sponsored||Group Travel|
|Spiti, Himachal Prdesh||Personal||With Ramakant ji|
|JW Marriott, Mussoorie||Sponsored||Group Travel|
|Tbex Thailand||Sponsored||Group Travel|
|Thailand||Sponsored||All Women's Trip|
And here is to wishing that we all travel more in 2016! If that is not what you desire may your cherished dreams come true, whatever they are!
It has been a while since I quit my job! The year seems unusually long! It feels like another era when I went to Chhattisgarh, the first trip of this year! How do I feel? It is too early to say really, but I have been having a blast! And I forgot to update on my travels after March. As it is Skywatch Friday today, I present you skies from all my travels after March.
This was my incredible fifth trip to Thailand! It was extra special because I was attending Songkran, the water festival of Thai New Year! I was quite amazed to see how easy it was to join in the fun! It was a public festival where you could safely enjoy with the crowd!
I have never seen sea and backwater meet before. I was not ready to believe that someone can run a beach resort which is vegetarian and doesn’t serve alcohol! But they do and do it wonderfully!
It is fun to trek with Chhavi. I was just asking her why does she likes trekking? She told me, I like it but I don’t know why. Just write, “I love you trekking.” And I think it just about sums it up adequately!
Kumarakom Lake Resort is fit for royalty, indeed Prince Charles stayed there for his 65th birthday! I spent a wonderful time with them, it was so beautiful it was almost unreal.
So this has been the journey so far in 2015! I hope the travel trend will continue for the rest of the year too!