2014 was a rollercoaster ride of my life because of the fact that I struggled on the travel front and emerged as a winner. Therefore, this blogpost holds special meaning for me, perhaps the whole reason why I started blogging in the first place.
Lights. Camera. Action.
Jan 2014: I am super excited as I have planned three trips for Feb, March and April respectively after much cajoling and negotiating with my parents.
February for Rajasthan at a music fest called Ragasthan because I had never attended a concert. The magic of the music amidst the sand dunes in Thar desert was too hard to resist and a perfect spot to be in, in the New Year.
March was booked for a weeklong trip to Himachal Pradesh in the dry winter winds and mighty mountains for some self-reflection.
April being the quintessential month for summer holidays was booked for Hampi in Karnataka owing to its hippie vibe and warm people.
Back to reality, all these trips did not take flight due to various reasons.
But as they say life has its own way and pace to move in the right direction and yes it did. I had to be high on patience, faith and hope for positive things to come my way.
I have made 8 trips so far in this year, short and long. I am happy and full of gratitude to share this journey with all of you.
Mandwa in April: An impromptu trip to Mandwa set the ball rolling for this year’s travels for me. A couple of hours away from Bombay, it is a quiet serene place by the beach. Bunking office is a good idea once a while!
Sula Vineyards, Nasik, in June: It pays to have colleagues with the same interests as you. We all headed to the Sula Vineyards for the weekend. The journey of being with like-minded people is always cherishable in ways more than one.
Kashid beach in July: Another spontaneous plan was to head to Kashid beach to escape the drudgery called ‘Office.’ Two days, two people and two hours on a Saturday evening spent doing water sports are worth remembering for the next 20 years. The talks, the time spent and the memories made are far more valuable that an afternoon spent having lunch at a swish restaurant with the very same friend.
Ladakh in August: They say that the mountains change you. They indeed did a lot of good for me and I can comfortably say that Ladakh was a life-changing trip for me in 2014. It is the highlight because it changed something in me that cannot be defined or described but definitely be felt by people around me. The mountains, the roads, the people, the vibe and the energy of Ladakh can only be experienced. I would love to make it my once-a-year-travel-destination. We all can dream!
BTW, I started my blog after this wonderful trip to Ladakh. Now you know why this is a special trip for me.
Goa in October: A trip to Goa was pending since almost five years. This was it. I was a complete tourist in Goa to be hogging at famous restaurants, roaming around on bikes and wearing clothes that please me. I believe there could have been more to it. Nevertheless, there is always a next time.
Indore in November: Life takes you to places that you have not expected and Indore was one of them. Being a guest in Dewas, Indore, for a mere two days was enough for me to absorb the local culture and understand the functioning of the city. It is indeed a city but different in many ways than key metros. A quirky place with many things capture-worthy! Some clicks by me.
Pune in November: A birthday trip. A local experience. A music fest. A bunch of beautiful, warm and genuine people. One hell of a time. This is how Pune was for me.
Hampi in December: The aggression for not being able to go to Hampi during the start of the year unfolded in me booking a trip to Hampi to close 2014. It taught me what slow travel really is. It is a blessing in disguise when you observe things in their true sense at your own pace with no pressures of visiting the typical tourist places in a stipulated time. The sunrise at Matanga hills and the sunset at Hemkunda hill are peaceful and calming.
I take a breath of contentment and close my eyes for the memories of these trips to flash past me. I bet no visit to a mall, no expensive gift and no one can replace this moment for me.
This would not have been possible if some people were not around me. I thank these people who made this year what it is for me, in no particular order. Some people accompanied for these trips, some encouraged me, some inspired me and some declined to join me.
- My faith, belief and hope
- My Parents
- Krishna Ganatra, Harshil Mehta, Gayatri Raikar, Radhika Oguri, Uma Datye, Bharat Ramakrishnan, Nupur Mistry, Mulchand Dedhia, Samika Meshram, Dev Kotak, Nisha Darji, Kaushal Karkhanis, Sarang Kenjale, Jubaneshwar Mishra, Dimple Jamb, Sachin Bhandary.
Also, a big round of applause for those innumerable people, articles, videos that kept me on my toes and kept me motivated to travel and keep travelling.