It is that time of the year when most of us introspect and relook at what the year has been like. Pretty much like most of you, I traveled back in time to realize that this year has literally been as they say “from Kashmir to Kanyakumari”. I also, noted that I nursed my itchy feet almost every month, except for November. I did use the month for something useful, which I shall not disclose right now but itchy feet are itchy feet. And I had this really bad bout this month that I cured with my last travel of 2017. With the hope that this cure and trend continues for me, let me take you through my best travel moments with this Travel Flashback 2017.
Travel Flashback – January 2017
The year started with a memorable interview of one of the heroes of Kanha National Park, Madhya Pradesh. Bajrang the tiger, shared his stories about his home and neighbors – some of them quite Pesky. This is one trip that I will hold dear to me for the company of my fellow travel blogger – Divyakshi Gupta (Divsi as I call her). She has this innate sense of animal spotting and quite predict who we are going to see and when. A skill that was tested in the forests of Chitwan later in the year.
Travel Flashback – February 2017
February was all about fulfilling a cherished dream of traveling in a Golden Chariot – except that this one was better than the traditional chariot. A luxury train travel through South India literally took me to Kanyakumari through Chennai, Mahabalipuram, Pondicherry, Tanjore, Trichy, Madurai, Kovalam, Alleppey, Kochi and back to Bangalore. A journey that gave me so many experiences that I am still to write about. The journey will remain special to me for that once in a lifetime experience that was further enhanced with the company of bloggers – Abhinav, Swati, Deepti, and Medhavi. The journey gave me the opportunity of traveling with them in person after the multiple virtual interactions that I had over the last few years.
Travel Flashback – March 2017
March was all about bikes, cars and glamour ;-). It started with a trip to Delhi for the launch of Tata Tigor. While I got behind the wheels, I also, sneaked out for some time to visit the famous Qutub Minar in the company of my blogger friends – Vyjay, Shrinidhi, Indrani and Divsi. I think we really got high on glamour with our memorable photo session post the launch party – something that we all will always remember.
The latter half of the month had me deciphering clues in a treasure hunt organized by Goa tourism on a gearless bike – Honda Navi. Over two days, we rushed through the lanes of Goa to discover and rediscover the various gems that this state had to offer. The Goa Hunt that had us do yoga on the beach, discover the unique churches, speak to the tourists and locals and literally brew a cocktail. Side effects: I was baked brown – something that I discovered I do not really like!
Travel Flashback – April 2017
My Birthday Month was a treat as I made my first travel to the unexplored gem of India – the North East. Meghalaya with my family was an absolute pleasure as I discovered the cleanest village in Asia at Mawlynnong, walked across a natural wonder – the living root bridges, squeezed through the caves of Arwah and Mawsmai and went waterfall hopping across Shillong and Sohra.
Ask my daughter, she will always rate the caves as her best experience. My hubby – the time at Mawlynnong. Ask me – both these would possibly fight with the fairy tale river – Dawki. A memorable trip that became perfect, thanks to my friend – Rajiv Verma, who helped me with all the accommodations and travel arrangements for this trip. All credit to him that I don’t have that one picture that we clicked together when we visited. Grrr.
Travel Flashback – May 2017
An epic road trip took me to another country from Delhi. The Indo- Nepal Road trip along with ScoutMyTrip helped me earn a new nickname – Indiana Jones owing to my adventures at Bara Imambara and The Residency in Lucknow. I further acted my role as I initiated an unplanned detour to Faizabad before we reached Gorakhpur. I had the team convinced that I was none other than Indiana when I roamed the lanes of Patan and Bhaktapur Durbar Squares in Kathmandu before I went ga-ga at the Agra Fort and Taj on my return back to India. Truly an epic trip where we started as strangers but eventually, became friends for life.
Travel Flashback – June 2017
June was a little muted but not completely as I made that trip to visit my parents. My family, especially my brother knew the case of itchy feet and before I could say anything arranged for a quick day trip to Mapro Farms in Panchgani. This is where I re-visited my college days with a return to the famous tableland and a few other sites of Mahabaleshwar. All on Instagram and a series I promise to finish soon on the blog.
Travel Flashback – July 2017
A place from my bucket list not completely ticked off – consider it a light tick for I hope to return here again. Ladakh – that captivated my soul. Another road trip by ScoutMyTrip that got me along with 14 other bloggers into India’s book of records. However, more than the accolade, it was the journey that I hold dear for the unbelievable beauty of India’s paradise. This is where from Kanyakumari, I reached Kashmir as I traversed through Sonamarg and then to Kargil, Leh, Khardung La, Nubra Valley, Pangong Lake, Tso Moriri, Keylong, Manali and back. 14 days in the company of bloggers – some who I befriended for the first time and some who I deepened bonds with following my Golden Chariot Journey. Special mention to my Scout – Samarth and my crazy car companions – Abhinav, Swati and Raza for some crazy moments of fun.
Travel Flashback – August 2017
2 road trips -back to back took me to Wayanad and beyond. The first was a personal trip with my family and friends that got me to secret beaches in Kannur. A weekend well spent with some memorable moments with my besties without any pressure of social media.
The first journey let me experience monsoons in a car drive as we drove through the forests of Wayanad but it was the 2nd journey to Wayanad on a bike that helped me soak in the rains. Wayanad on wheels with ScoutMyTrip, OnnBikes and WanderTrails allowed me to discover the delights of those misty monsoon airs complete with gushing waterfalls and colorful flora and fauna. If you haven’t seen it as yet, click on here to do so. Adding to the fun was the company of Shrinidhi – who got introduced to my constant travel companion – Choksi.
Travel Flashback – September 2017
The one thing about Nepal trip in May 2017 that I kept regretting was that I did not have time enough to visit the third Durbar Square and also, the other parts of Nepal. I think someone heard that for before I knew it, I was back in Kathmandu experiencing the annual Indra Jatra where I met the last Kumari – the living Goddess of Nepal before she retired. Thrilled to be back in the company of my blogger friends – Abhinav, Swati and Divsi, I also, managed to explore Pokhara, Chitwan and Nagarkot.
Adding to the company were Ragini and Dipanshu, of whom the latter was used to the madness displayed by the rest of us. The highlight of this trip for me was discovering Bandipur while I think for the rest of them except Divsi and me, was on how her prediction of spotting a mommy and baby Rhino came true at Chitwan.
Travel Flashback – October 2017
Come October, it was time to board a new flight – Malindo Air that whisked me to the gorgeous state of Penang in Malaysia. From the cute street art to heritage Chinese mansions and a bird’s eye view from the 68th floor, Penang gave me a good dose of heritage, culture and adrenaline. This was my first time with Jo and Snigdha who I knew from online. The latter was also, owing to her other half who traveled with me on the Indo Nepal trip. My favorite – oscillates between The Chew Jetty and the Street Art.
Travel Flashback – November 2017
I cannot imagine having just sat there doing anything. So, I used this break from travel to do something that I had been meaning to do since 2016. Clue – Andamans islands. More clues are hidden in my Reflections of 2016. Finale – hopefully soon I shall reveal. 🙂 Till then, just stay tuned.
Travel Flashback – December 2017
The year has to end with another journey that I have just done. A holiday with my family where I donned the hat of Indiana Jones again. Badami caves was another of my travel lists that I managed to tick off. The place was definitely a befitting close to my year with its stunning sculptures and legends behind those. I hope you have been tuned to the updates that I have been sharing online on my social channels. Blog post on this will be up soon!
Presenting my beloved Travel Companion
This Travel Flashback cannot be complete without a spotlight on my favorite and eternal travel companion. Named and Owned by Deepak, Choksi – the minion decided to settle in with me in Bengaluru, but only after I promised him a journey with me every time. Inflicted with a travel bug like me, Choksi knows that I will always stay true to my promise for only one that suffers from that affliction knows how the other feels. ;-). Poor guy, has to face the jealous overtures of many – my daughter and Abhinav included!
All in all – 2017 was definitely a satisfying year. I loved every moment – not just for the travel destinations and experiences but for the fact that it helped me forge a lot of bonds with people. How have your travels been the last year? Of my list – which is your favorite virtual travel with me? Go on and comment in – just for some good spirits and cheer. Here is to a lovely 2017 and an even better 2018 with you all. Happy New Year!