Life Well Lived is Life well Travelled – Yours Truly
As I settle down at home after 3 weeks on road travelling, I look back & reflect on the past year 2015. It has been a roller coaster year for me, with many ups and downs – professionally as well as personally and my takeaway has been to be more ‘resilient’ in tougher times.
In terms of Travel, 2015 was a remarkable year for me. I must have spent 100 days of the past year in travelling, most of which have been due to my work. I have travelled 3 countries and 5 states in India. However, I am not writing this post to brag about my travel time clocked in the past year. I feel incredibly grateful for the opportunities for travel experiences as they have given me some amazing life experiences. For me, great travel experiences is not about destinations and sightseeing (well, a part of it is) but about amazing life experiences that touch my mind & heart, leaving unforgettable memories (and also teaching my life lesson or two). And I may have such a travel experience on my walk in Lodhi Garden in my city Delhi and may not experience it on a ‘high profile’ overseas destination.
Sharing my top 10 travel experiences of 2015:-
1. Gol Gumbaz, Bijapur, Karnataka (India) – Visiting Gol Gumbaz in Bijapur Karnataka, has been my most amazing travel experience of 2015 and one which I neither planned nor expected. In happened on a work trip, literally overnight (read here full post). As a kid, my imagination was caught by the textbook descriptions of Gol Gumbaz and this was definitely a bucket list destination for me. Gol Gumbaz was everything I imagined it to be and much more!
2. Lamma Island, Hong Kong– I spent better part of November 2015 travelling solo in Hong Kong. One of my serene travel experiences in Asia’s World City was a day trip to Lamma Island, hiking all by myself. I totally wished I could live on this island, leading a laidback life like other residents here.
3. Disneyland Hong Kong – which child doesn’t want to visit Disneylandand when in Hong Kong, I had to visit this incredible magical place. It was a day of being a child again, forgetting worries and screaming with delight on my favourite rides and with my favourite animation characters Winnie the Pooh, Mickey & Minnie Mouse.
4. Big Buddha & Po Lin Monastery, Hong Kong – As a practising Nichiren Buddhist, a visit to Big Buddha in Lantau Island,
Hong Kong was a blissful experience. I gazed and gazed at the Big Buddha (also called a Tian Tan Buddha) and found an inner peace I rarely experience as an adult.
5. Jim Thompson Museum,
Bangkok, Thailand – In the month May 2015, I got to visit Bangkok for a week on work trip. Thankfully, it was a training program and I got to sightsee in the evenings. While I liked everything I visited in Bangkok, the best sightseeing experience for me was a day tour in Jim Thompson Museum.
The Museum is one of the best showcases of traditional Thai Architecture and house building. The charismatic Jim Thompson was an American who made Thailand his home and made Thai silk world famous; it was interesting to learn about how he travelled all over Thailand and bought traditional Thai homes, assembled them and made it into one sprawling home estate for himself.
6. Wat Pho Temple, Bangkok,
Thailand – One of the best temples I visited on my Bangkok trip was Wat Pho temple. I was completely mesmerised by the Reclining Buddha in this temple.
7. Walking around WashingtonD.C., U.S.A. – Work took me to Washingdon D.C. and again I made the most of my work trip during evenings/lunch hours. While White House wasn’t exactly what I imagined it would be, I completely loved walking around the downtown Washington D.C. by foot. As someone who studied city & town planning in Masters, it was interesting to experience this heritage city which was a pioneer city at the time of its development. Also, as I walked around the Washington DC area, it occurred to me that the city planning seemed so similar to Lutyens Delhi; I did not think it was a coincidence. After going back and researching on Edward Lutyens (chief architect and planner – New Delhi), I learnt that he lived for many years in Washington D.C. and was greatly influenced by the city planning.
8. Canoe Safari in SatpuraTiger Reserve, Madhya Pradesh , India – I visited Satpura Tiger Reserve, on invitation from Forsyth Lodge and it was an amazing experience. The most incredible experience of the weekend getaway was Canoe Safari, which turned a water phobic me into a canoe safari lover!
9. Exploring Shekhawati Region of Rajasthan on family road trip – I love heritage and Shekhawati region in Rajasthan is famous for its heritage havelis having amazing frescos. This was a family road trip and I cannot thank the husband enough for planning this winter travel; it also meant we ushered in 2016 on the road! Posts and Photos will be up soon J
10. Walk in Cubbon Park,
Bangalore, Karnataka – I travel to Bangalore twice in a year atleast, but never got to visit Cubbon Park before. In July, thankfully I put up just opposite Cubbon Park and it was a great experience for me to walk in Cubbon Park.
I hope my 2016 would be a great travel year too J