Saturday, 28 December 2013

Looking Back At 2013

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 -  

Khan Market

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.


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.

Check out the photo essays – Mehrangarh Fort Part One & Part Two

2. Riding on a camel in the desert with two strangers.


Wandering the alleys of Jaisalmer Fort aka Golden Fort

1. Wandering the alleys of Golden Fort in Jaisalmer.

Check out the photo essays – Jaisalmer Fort Part One & Part Two

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.

Check out the photo essays – Colaba Causeway & South Mumbai Wanderings

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.


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!

34 comments:

  1. What a rocking year you had ! And a perfect finish at Dandeli. Hope 2014 is even better ! :)

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    1. Thanks Puru :) That's really kind of you. I really hope 2014 is even better. :)

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  2. amazing :) hyderabad is my hometown .. no place like it for me :D hehe looking forward to visiting delhi though :) i totally agree about the part where you said destinations choose you. been experiencing a lot of that this year :D hehe .. wishing you tons of more travel for future :)
    http://nomadfashionista.wordpress.com/

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    1. Thanks nomadfashionista :) Glad to know that Hyderabad is your home town! Suggest some good places please. :)

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  3. Lovely experiences. Wish you a travel filled 2014!

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    1. Thanks Niranjan :) I wish you the same!

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  4. What a great time you had, Renuka! Pics speak :) All experiences wonderfully expressed too :)
    Have an equally eventful 2014! Best wishes :)

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    1. Thanks Anita :) Glad you enjoyed the write-up and the pictures. :) I am keenly looking forward to 2014...!!!

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  5. have become a fan of yours , in love with you seeing your daily posts :) , alwys waiting to see your posts on my wall!! love your work !!

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  6. Great place to travel in a year! :0
    Wish you more for 2014.

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    1. Thanks Indrani :) Best wishes to you too!

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  7. Beautiful pictures and you have had quite a year Renu! Wish you many many more adventures in 2014. I love reading your travelogues :) Have a great year ahead!

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    1. Thanks Pallavi :) I think we share a mutual admiration society. I love reading your experiences too!

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  8. Fantastic round up Renuka! Your posts are becoming more and more interesting. Not to mention your experiences which are quite good or maybe because you put it up so nicely! Either ways - its excellent!!
    I hope in 2014 you visit some more lovely 'new' places & the voyager in you keeps updating us with those trips. here's to 2014 then!!

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    1. Thanks Akash :) That's so kind of you! I sincerely hope to bring on better travel stories in 2014.

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  9. Wow! That was a beautiful rewind, Renuka! Loved the way you have described all your highlights of travels this year! Wish you many more lovely memories like these in 2014! Happy New year. :)

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    1. Thanks Arti :) So kind of you. :) I'm glad you enjoyed the recap.

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  10. Loved your year recap! You had a refreshing year and shared wonderful posts with us. Thanks. keep on Travelling, Smiling and Writing for we love to read what you write :)

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    1. Thanks Anjum :) You have been the most loyal support! Thanks again for being there! I really hope to write better stuff on my blog.

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  11. Amazing 2013 recap. It was a fruitful year, hope to read a lot more from your blog in the coming year.

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    1. Thanks Jeff :) Glad you enjoyed the recap. I too hope to have better travel experiences in 2014 and translate the same on my blog. :)

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  12. Happy New Year !!! Renuka

    Your amazing.... you and your others photo are so pretty/cute


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  13. wow! beautiful Delhi definitely. Really hope go to visit soon as soon I can :D
    Thanks Renuka!

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    1. Welcome Nugroho :) and thanks for stopping by! Yeah, Delhi is beautiful during spring.

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  14. That's one fantastic year! Wishing you more and more travels and adventures your way in 2014!

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    1. Thanks so much, Anu :) I'm looking forward to a great travel oriented year ahead!

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  16. So glad, I came across your blog. Looking forward to the reading the new and old entries and get inspired!

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    1. Welcome to my blog, Gurdish! :)

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