Just like life, travel is unpredictable. I always say that I don’t choose my destinations, but my destinations choose me. Well, that’s (pretty much) the way it was this year too. When the year 2013 began, I had some destinations in mind, but I got to visit totally different ones. And I am not complaining! I am happy to visit any place as long as I am visiting.
So, the year has been exhilarating, adventurous and rewarding. It was a city hopping year for me and my family, which let me have a deeper sense of travel. Although the very idea of moving from one city to another is strenuous, it turned out to be an enriching experience in the long run.
Here’s a round up of my travels in the year 2013 –
I played a tourist in Delhi
|I enjoyed capturing the spring colors in Delhi|
Delhi had been my home for the last ten years or more. I have dedicated a post to the city - 5 Things To Love About Delhi, which talks about what I love about Delhi. I wouldn’t say that I loved living there, but I certainly liked it as a tourist. Yes, I often played a tourist in my own city. When we, as a family, were contemplating moving to Hyderabad, I got more conscious about exploring Delhi. I thought to myself that I should extract the best of Delhi before I leave it. To an extent, I did.
Top 3 Experiences -
3. Capturing Khan Market – its class, old charm and the aura.
Check out the photo essay – Khan Market
2. Visiting Humayun’s Tomb and witnessing the fact that it is loved by the tourists worldwide.
Check out the post – 10 Interesting Facts About Humayun’s Tomb
1. Capturing the blooming spring in Delhi – the area around Rajpath looks beautiful when all kinds of flowers have festooned the street.
Check out the photo essay – Beautiful Spring In Delhi
So, Delhi is a city that deserves lots of attention. If you ever get a chance to be a local in Delhi, make the most of it.
I ‘picked’ Jodhpur and Jaisalmer
|In the desert of Rajasthan - my solo camel safari|
In the month of March, I headed to Rajasthan. Most of the times, my destinations happen to me, but it was one of the few holidays when I picked my destinations. It was my dream to visit Jodhpur and Jaisalmer. I was too fascinated by these places to wait any longer. I thought I should be done with at least Rajasthan as soon as possible.
Of course, there is just a bit that I have explored (Udaipur, Jodhpur and Jaisalmer) and there is a whole lot to be seen, but I am happy that I managed to start my tryst with Rajasthan.
Top 3 Experiences –
|That's the sunset at Mehrangarh Fort|
3. Watching the sunset at Mehrangarh Fort in Jodhpur.
2. Riding on a camel in the desert with two strangers.
Check out the story Thar Desert – A Safari To Remember
|Wandering the alleys of Jaisalmer Fort aka Golden Fort|
1. Wandering the alleys of Golden Fort in Jaisalmer.
I lived like a local in Mumbai
|Soaking in the morning quietude at Marine Drive|
Yes, I got a chance to experience Mumbai like a local. I travelled on its (much talked about) chaotic local trains, gazed the horizon at Marine Drive, got drenched in the rains and stayed out late in the night.
The four month sojourn in Mumbai was my taste of slow travel. Although I went there with an excuse of a job (which didn’t last long), I ended up vacationing there. I intended to live in Mumbai, while my family was moving to Hyderabad. But I didn’t know that Mumbai was only a passing phase in my life. Being a voyager, I took it in my stride and embraced the unpredictability.
Top 3 Experiences
|South Mumbai - (left) Mumbai University (right) Colaba Street|
3. Passing over the Bandra-Worli Sea link and feeling the wind in my hair.
2. Waking up early and soaking in the quietness of Mumbai.
Check out the photo essay – Mumbai Mornings
1. Wandering through South Mumbai – Church Gate, Colaba Causeway and the surrounds.
Weekend Escapes – Matheran and Pune
|Outskirts of Pune|
I got Matheran and Pune as a bonus while I was in Mumbai. On one of the rainy weekends, I set out for Matheran by a local train. I must say, it was quite an experience! Travelling on a local gets even messier during the rains. But I just focused on Matheran.
Pune came about when my friend had to visit it for an important work. I simply tagged along.
Top 3 Experiences
|Matheran during the monsoons|
3. Exploring the outskirts of Pune – the Paud Village. Pune has immense hilly beauty to refresh a city soul.
2. Interacting with the locals in Matheran. People are simple and warm.
1. Trekking through the hilly forest of Matheran.
Check out Matheran – An Inviting Monsoon Trek
Hyderabad – Our new home
|Hyderabad - The city of Charminar|
Initially, I had a slight tussle in my mind about leaving Mumbai and settling down in Hyderabad. Of course, I was happy about the idea of a new house and living in it with my family, but somewhere I was hooked on to Mumbai.
It would be interesting to read A Tale Of Two Cities – a post where I expressed my nomadic heart.
Now when I have spent almost four months in Hyderabad, I feel settled here. Since I have been procrastinating touring Hyderabad, I currently don’t have anything new to share. But my blog is going to have ‘lots of Hyderabad’ soon!
Winter break in Bangalore
|Bangalore - A city of beautiful trees|
December turned out to be a great month for me! I, along with my mother, visited my sister in Bangalore. I had visited Bangalore a couple of times earlier, but never got a chance to explore it closely. I could just comprehend that it’s crowded and polluted.
Well, I have to admit that this trip changed my opinion about the city altogether. I simply loved the city! I did not visit any tourist hotspot, but I liked the feel of the city. I liked its comfy weather, the traces of the old world in the form of classy architecture and scrumptious food.
Dandeli fell into my lap as a Christmas gift
|Quiet reflections in Dandeli|
While I was in Bangalore, I also headed to Dandeli, which is a small town in North Karnataka. I was hosted by Dandeli Travel Partners for this two-day trip. Strangely, I was a bit edgy before this trip. I don’t know why but I lost my ‘zest’ for travel momentarily. Well, that was just an emotion. I must say that the trip turned out to be even better than what I had expected. Dandeli is the best bet for nature lovers.
Top 3 Experiences –
|A nature lover's paradise|
3. Hiking down to the Syntheri Rocks and infusing the melody of the reverberating river and the waterfall.
Read more about my Dandeli experiences Dandeli – A Foray Into The Wild Nature
2. Relaxing at the jungle camp resort, sun-soaking and sipping tea in the afternoon.
1. Trekking through the forest in the morning.
Check out the photo essay The Divine Dandeli
Phew! So, that was my year recap! 2013 has been an unusual year for me. I had a lot of professional setbacks, but I grabbed every little opportunity to travel. Thus, it was definitely a substantial year as a traveller.
With this special post, I’d like to express my deepest gratitude to everyone who has stopped by on my blog, commented, shared my posts and sent me emails about my work.
Thank you so much!