Travel Diaries of a Pondicherry Fanatic

The Republic Day weekend saw a flurry of excited plans from all around. Two of our closest friends were celebrating their anniversary on 25th. He decided to surprise her by getting us friends to go on a trip with them. She being too intuitive for his good, picked up that something was wrong and that Vizag was not where they were going, as against what he had led her to believe. Of course she was right. But the story of how we got there is one for another day.

For now, the beauty of Pondicherry, its beaches, and its general atmosphere is one that needs to be dwelled upon.

Pondicherry is tiny. You can finish touring it in 2 days if you rush. But we had decided to have a relaxed trip. So over 4 days, we explored the beach town from almost every corner and returned satisfied. And despite the relaxation, there was the general tiredness that comes with traveling.

Though the number does not quite match up to what Goa has, Pondicherry has quite a few beaches, the most beautiful being Auroville beach. The waves crashed on to the surprisingly slant shore with a ferocity that we didn’t quite expect. They would sneak up on us when we were posing for a picture, the shock and surprise of which I don’t think we’ll ever be able to forget.

img_20170128_140253

The trees lining the shore were a blessing! You can frolic in the water, come and sit down in the shade of the trees to get yourself some respite from the sun, and then rush back in once you are charged. Oh, and the horizon! When the distant waters meet the horizon as if to lure you in there, there’s nothing more enticing or seductive!

Paradise Beach, though quite attractive on its own, isn’t relatively as attractive or compelling as the Auroville Beach. That doesn’t take away its beauty, though, for the waves slam onto the shore with equal fury. I remember thinking that I could sit there all day and watch the waves crash and blend. I chose to sit down on the sands as the rest of the gang indulged the waters, the panoramic view in front of me almost took my breath away. I’ll have to say, the Paradise Panorama is much more gorgeous than the Auroville Panorama!

Promenade Beach, named after the Promenade hotel on that stretch, is locally known as the Rocky Beach. Kissing the waters and the rushing waves is the longest stretch of haphazard rocks I have ever seen. Romancing these rocks is the strip of elevated concrete on which you can walk as you admire the view. A road separates this concrete from the rest of Pondicherry.

dscn3696

Parking our vehicles on the opposite side of this road, we crossed it and climbed the two steps to the concrete. Being the “adventurous” lot, we decided to descend on to the rocks to enjoy the waves from up close. It’s the most wonderful feeling to have the waves spray themselves on you; not the drenching spray, but a gentle one: just enough to help a rain-hater like me enjoy it.

Talking of rains, there were spurts of it, though there was nothing as plan-altering as the ones we usually have in Hyderabad. I actually enjoyed them for a change because that meant we were keeping cool. The sun coming out in full force would be a different story on a whole new level.

Pondicherry has two places that you must absolutely visit for its food: Auro or Auroville Bakery, and Spice Route.

Auroville Bakery sits within Auroville, the self-sustained colony that thrives within Pondicherry. It’s a haven for food connoisseurs and heaven for the taste buds. The cakes, the walnut brownies, and the cinnamon rolls are the most amazing I’ve ever had! The first bite and Paradise is yours. And I am in no way exaggerating. It is indeed that good!

We chanced upon Spice Route on Bussy street as a last minute risk when all other restaurants were full. Even this one was full. But luckily, thanks to the three musketeers, we got them to give us a table on the upper deck that had previously been closed. And what a wise decision to not go to Madame Shanthe’s! Every morsel of food they put on the table was heaven in itself! And four of us went back the next day, just to get that taste one last time.

Pondicherry is cozy and comfy to relax in. The people are somewhat helpful, ‘somewhat’ being because of the language barrier we had. Either way, you can spend two days or ten, and you would still wouldn’t get enough of it. At least I am hung over from the crazy trip and am definitely going back there again!

The Oyster I Fell In Love With!

Oh, how beautiful you are, my historic city!

I don’t think you know your own charms. You, the eloquent oyster of the Nizams!

In the welcoming of the brilliantly harsh Sun, you give us the confidence to make it through a thousand sandstorms. To keep standing and not give up. To look up into the glaring Sun and believing that all is not lost.

In the leftover rubble of endless constructions that line the roads, you wield a power that never gives up. To never stop improving oneself. To never entertain thoughts of loss.

In the millions of speed-breakers around every corner of your anatomy, you teach someone that it is, at times, good to slow down and take a deep breath. To know that Life is too short to rush through. To save someone’s life.

In the hordes of ditches and potholes that dot your arteries and veins, you teach someone the power of never letting a little harsh criticism get to you. To know that one can pick oneself up from the depths and hurl oneself into the future. To build oneself into a stronger person.

In the rushes of erratic drivers zooming forward on your skin, you teach someone about the existence of ruthless competition. To know that it can get bloody sometimes, but one can always pull through. To learn the futility of resisting competition.

In the waterfalls of your tears that have formed your heart, you teach someone that one can absorb all the negativity in life, but even from up front can radiate positivity like none other. To inhale the scent and simply enjoy its existence. To know that there is no bigger joy than to live in the moment.

In the abusive looks of the guilty yet arrogant automobile-wielders, you teach someone the ineffectuality of the existence (or nonexistence) of royalty. To learn that blue blood is not about that which flows through one’s veins, but in the nerves in the cranium. To learn that as against popular belief, it is not how a man is born, but his attitude that defines him.

In the thousands of winding one-way streets, you teach someone the importance of direction. To know one’s direction in life. To know the final destination.

In the blaring honks and the risqué maneuvers of the autos and monstrous buses, you teach someone the undesirability of impatience. To stay on the path, even if it means getting to the destination a few minutes late. To save someone’s life. Again.

In the waters flooding through you after incessant rains, you teach someone the significance of enjoying the showers. To soak in showers of joy and ecstasy. To take it all in before the drought begins.

You have a lot of flaws, my love. But to use an analogy that fits snugly, you are an oyster. You might be dusty and angry, entertaining a snarling traffic as your soul, but within you are hidden pearls that terrifically and breathtakingly attractive. Biryani, chaat, pearls, shopping and what not! You are my home. You are my alma mater.

Oh, how much I love you, my lovely, lovely city!

banner-32-725x300

Picture Courtesy: ieeehyd.org

Why Santorini Could Be The Perfect Getaway For Me

There are probably millions of things that would bring me down. For instance, crowds. Oh, God! They give me a headache. People jostling for space, elbowing others out of the way and speaking continuously for hours together are just the stereotypical faces of a “crowd”. But a crowd is also when a large hall, enough to seat ten thousand people, is actually filled with ten thousand people. The more the number of people, the more the buzz, the more the headache. Yes, crowds can be fun, too, like at a concert or a wedding or a night’s clubbing. But fun cannot always be equated to being at peace with oneself. My point is, it is difficult to gain peace in this crowded, chaotic world.

So how can you actually overcome the difficulty? How can you escape the din and the monotony of everyday life? And for how long can you do that? Answers to these questions are varied, vague and blurry. But I think I know how I can overcome it, given the chance and the time, both of which are a little hard to find.

My ideal getaway from the noise would be a quiet weekend at home, doing nothing, sleeping in all day long, reading an awesome book, watching TV or movies on my laptop, writing poems or blogs, lounging about, munching on snacks or just lying down staring at the ceiling. But since that is impossible (I am a very restless woman – woman, can you believe it? Where did my childhood go?!), and newer dreams have already invaded my psyche ever since I took one look at a description and a picture posted on a blog about this wonderful Greek island that is the subject of this blog, I think I know what would be the perfect getaway from the crowd for me.

Santorini-Night-Wallpaper

Santorini. I have only read about it and seen its pictures. I admit I have not read extensively, but I do have an explanation for it. It is captivating and mind-numbingly beautiful, so much that the very thought of finding something that will put me off is revolting (not that I will, though). There are so many reasons Santorini is a dream destination for me. For one, there wouldn’t be any crowd at the top of the island where I am standing with a bar of chocolate (Can’t help it!) in my hand and gazing out into the blue waters of the Aegean Sea. There wouldn’t be work pressure to pester me to do this and do that. There would be pools of clear water behind me as I let my mind wander wherever it wants to, without any distraction. An analogy, perhaps. As I turn around and gaze at the white walls of the beautiful island, be it Oia, Akrotiri or Imerovigli, the domes of the buildings come more into focus, allowing the eyes to feast on the sight.

Walking through the streets, taking the bus from one end of the municipality to the other and laying eyes on the finest sights: just the thought brings me peace. And I cannot wait to set foot on those islands to actually experience it, instead of just dreaming and writing blogs about it. Just imagining the peace when I find out that there is no dependency on anything or anyone gives me goose bumps. All I need to do is what I want to do. All I am going to do is follow the instructions despite not understanding a word of what people around me are saying. I’ll learn numbers, I’ll learn the basic courtesies and bam! I have a world of my own!

White represents serenity, doesn’t it? It also represents a beginning. Maybe in my case, a new one. Where I leave all the old mayhem and spin my life into what I want it to be instead of going on the journey that I chose to be on. Maybe Santorini, with all its white walls and blue domes will be to me what the open air was to Andy Dufresne. Maybe Santorini will forever remind me that nothing is unachievable, only thing I need is a break, time and again. And that is exactly why Santorini will forever remain a perfect getaway for me, even if I cannot go back there again and again and again, love as I might.

Picture Courtesy: wallpaper.ae

My List of 10 Must-Visit Beaches Abroad

Beaches. Waters. Sands. I don’t know what my latest obsession with water is. You can find me staring at beautiful pictures of beaches, of waterfalls and of large hotels with glistening pools. I also cannot help myself when a picture of my dream destination, Santorini, comes up in front of my eyes. I seem to look at dreamily at the white and blue walls as well as the blue waters that twinkle in the backdrop.

So instead on going on and on about the white walls, let me focus on the sandy floors and the tempting blue waters, where one does not have an option but to wade into them. India has some very beautiful beaches and I have covered all those that I would love to visit. Now it is time for me to spread my wings and fly over those that wait for me abroad.

So here are the top ten beaches that are on my must-visit list. I’ll let the pictures do the talking.

10. Venice Beach, Los Angeles, California, USA

venicebeach

Picture Courtesy: http://www.westland.net

9. South Beach, Miami, Florida, USA

southbeach

Picture Courtesy: thebentleyhotel.com

8. Secluded Beach, Furore, Almafi, Italy

secludedbeach

Picture Courtesy: pinterest.com

7. Key Biscayne, Miami, Florida, USA

keybiscayne

Picture Courtesy: keybiscaynemiami.com

6. Paradise Beach, Mykonos, Greece

paradisebeachmykonos

Picture Courtesy: layoutsparks.com

5. Tahiti, French Polynesia

tahiti

Picture Courtesy: Google

4. St. Lucia, Caribbean Islands

stlucia

Picture Courtesy: Google

3. Phi Phi Island, Thailand

PhiPhiIsland

Picture Courtesy: tourismontheedge.com

2. Whitehaven Beach, Australia

whitehaven

Picture Courtesy: letstravelmag.com

1. Baros, Maldives

baros

Picture Courtesy: maldivesexclusive.com

So until the beautiful sands beckon me over in reality, I’ll have to live and get by, by just looking at the enthralling pictures. And the best part of the wait is that I don’t mind it. I don’t mind it at all. 🙂

Travel Thoughts, Dreams and Wishes!

There has hardly ever been a day that has passed in which I haven’t dreamt of breaking free and hopping from one continent to another without a worry in the world. I have dreamt of snowy landscapes of the Himalayas to urban epicenters like Times Square to quaint little villages in the corners of Greece or Italy. I have dreamt of weightless travel and tensionless zipping from one city to another. I have dreamt of all lot of things, yet I know that there are many dreams that will be left unfulfilled, for how many places can I actually “definitely go” to?

There is only so much realism that a person can put forth. Beyond it, every thought and every word spoken is a dream, dripping with the hope that you can scrape through life with every last penny on you and yet live all your dreams. If you are ready to accept that, then THAT is realism.

There are so many people who gave up their monotonous lives to see all possible corners of the world that they can fit into their lifetimes. They gave up all their belongings, city-hopping and experiencing a million cultures in the small amount of time that they have on Earth. And I envy them. They may not have a steady home or a steady source of income, but at least they are rich in experience. In the end, that’s what matters, doesn’t it?

There are some who fill their years with life by staying in one place and doing what they want to. And there are others who make moving around from one place to another and traveling their life, their years. Either way, Abe Lincoln was right. “It’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.” So does hanging in limbo really make your life worth living? Blurred vision is thy name, would be the sentence on the lips of whoever reads this (and I know it is a very small number).

Dreams hardly ever come true, and if they do, they are solely because of you. How hard can it be to give it all up and live your dream? It shouldn’t be so hard. Settling down is just a phrase used by people who have finally found what they love to and want to do in life. It may be working the sweat off in a single office for every day of your life, or by zooming around from place to place, from city to city, from village to village, in the murk, in the cold, in the heat and still loving the sound of your own footsteps.

So dream on.

Erase that frown.

Get up and go on.

Just. Don’t let the monotony catch up with you.

Travel into the greenery.

Travel into the blue.

Enjoy the scenery.

And more importantly, enjoy being you.

Travel Fantasies – How Wonderful it Would Be!

Oh, how wonderful it would be if I could fly away,

Fly away into the sunset and breathlessly wait for a brand new day.

How wonderful it would be if I could find peace,

Breathing it in and smiling with increasing ease.

IMG_20150603_095213470

Playing in the waves of the salty waters,

Waiting for the tide to show up like a million marauders,

Exploring the mysteries of the dark, yet appealing caves,

Escaping the chills, the ills and the close shaves,

Relaxing on the domes of the colorful Greek islands,

Looking out to the blue skies and seas, where the waters dance,

Sheltering from the heat under a tropical banyan,

Or strutting amidst the ridges of the sweltering Grand Canyon,

Trekking through the green, dense South American hills,

Or experiencing the spraying waters and the Scottish chills,

Drenching underneath the swooshing waters of the numerous Indian waterfalls,

Or enjoying a hot earthen cup of tea at one of the many roadside stalls,

Sitting beside the lapping waters of beautiful mountainous lakes,

Or chuffing up the mountains, despite a gazillion slippery mistakes,

Sitting back in a boat in the delightfully calm backwaters,

Or setting up temporary residence in green, bamboo quarters,

Folding hands in solemn modesty at one of the many temples,

Or walking through a street full of vendors with tinkling bangles,

Staring at the giants, with eyes and senses riveted,

And walking through the heat, looking open-mouthed at the pyramids,

Watching the hopping of the energetic, alert kangaroos,

And trying to sneak a look at the young ones playing peekaboo,

Splaying hands through the rows and rows of colorful flowers,

Or awaiting on the green grass, those beautiful meteor showers,

Entering the valleys of love and listening to apostles,

Or skulking behind the mock-cannons erected in various castles.

Sipping through lemonade and passing through multiple arks,

Or going on safaris in famous national parks.

Why could all of this not be reality?

Is it written down with a word or two of finality?

Oh, all these places I would, if I could, go and see,

But right now, I’ll just wonder, Oh, how wonderful it would be!

Why You Need To Travel Solo At Least Once In Your Life

Traveling in itself is a joy that not everyone likes to experience. For people who love traveling, the journey and the exploration bring them so much joy and exhilaration that they forget all the stress that awaits them back home. It helps them fall in love: with new places, new cultures, new cuisines and new landscapes. It is this falling-in-love phenomenon that is most important in a person’s life, especially if the object of the person’s affection is the person herself.

Traveling solo is a joy that helps you realize so many things about yourself. In addition to the exploration of the varied lands and cultures on Earth, it helps you explore yourself: your positives, your negatives, your strengths, your weaknesses, your capabilities, your handicaps! It helps you introspect about your decisions and about everything that you decided to bring into your life. It helps you improve your organizational skills and heightens your decision-making abilities. It builds on your strengths and gradually demolishes your fears. In short, it brings out a new you.

When you travel solo, you can be yourself. No dependencies on anybody, no thinking about what everybody else wants to do and no deadlines to adhere to if you choose to do so. You get to get up when you want to, you get to wander at your heart’s will and you can eat wherever you choose to. There is nothing whatsoever that will stop you from listening to yourself.

But are these external factors the only ones that will help you while traveling solo? No. That’s because, now that you are traveling alone, you have to decide all the logistics of the trip that you will be going on. And this will make you a better organizer. For how else will you be able to go on that trip if not for your awesome organizational capabilities? You are the only one responsible for any successful outings or any disasters. It gives you a sense of responsibility. You cannot blame anybody else for your disasters and it will give you the experience that will show up in your future endeavors.

Above everything else, traveling alone gives you a sense of peace. It makes you discover what you actually want. You can have conversations with yourself, weigh out the pros and cons of anything that you are trying to decide and arrive at a decision, knowing completely that that decision is yours and yours alone, pure and uninfluenced by anybody else throwing their thoughts into the equation.

People give me a weird look or reaction when I say I want to travel alone. They do not understand why I say so. They say I’m mad to want to go solo, as though there weren’t enough people on the planet and around me to go with. But like I mentioned above, traveling alone is not everyone’s cup of tea. Maybe I enjoy my company and that is precisely why I prefer to travel alone.

This blog post might have been a little premature when it was written, as I hadn’t yet embarked on a solo journey at the time, but I have had the pleasure to do so since and to enjoy every moment of the time I had to myself. And I cannot wait to set foot forward to go on another similarly beautiful expedition!

Until the next post, Adios y vivir una vida buena!

25-10-2014 - Why You Need To Travel Solo At Least Once In Your Life

Picture Courtesy: Pinterest.com

My List Of 12 Must-Visit Beaches in India

So. I am back to that travel dream that I started nurturing a few months ago. It was going through a major lull, but now it’s back! And how! So, to go ahead with it, I decided, what better to start back on the topic than to dwell on golden sands, blue, twinkling waters, recliner seats and those bending palms. All I can think of is the gentle lap of the waters against the sandy shores, me sitting on that recliner seat that I just imagined and sipping on coconut juice. Too cliché? Or, I could just be writing words on the sand and watch the water wash them away. What better than this to let go of those few inhibitions that I nurture? 😉

There are a few that I have visited: Calangute, Baga, Anjuna, Vagator, Visakhapatnam’s RK Beach, Chowpatti, Juhu etc.

So, here is a list of the beaches in India that I have jotted down and will plan to visit sometime soon. Hopefully! 😉

  1. Kovalam Beach, Kerala: How could one miss the beaches in God’s own country? A dip in those cool waters would be so relaxing! And to top it off, there’s that lighthouse that I’m itching to conquer! 😉kovalam-beach

Picture Courtesy: focuztours.wordpress.com

  1. Varkala Beach, Kerala: Ditto! 😀varkala_tourism1

Picture Courtesy: keralaholidaymart.com

  1. Bangaram Island, Lakshadweep: Who finds the sight of those blue waters, the greenery and just the slightest strip of beach sand absolutely amazing? Me!Sea_off_Bangaram_island,_Lakshadweep

Picture Courtesy: en.wikipedia.org

  1. Radhanagar Beach, Havelock Island: There’s just so much one can do to not close one’s eyes and imagine oneself walking on those sands or frolicking in the blue waters.radhanagar-beach

Picture Courtesy: Shoesloose.com

  1. Miramar Beach, Goa: Situated in the heart of Panaji and one of the most frequented beaches of Goa, we were supposed to visit this beach to enjoy the sunrise as we were staying close by. But call it luck or call it pure laziness to wake up so early (it was summer), I am repenting not having visited it at the time.miramar-beach

Picture Courtesy: just-goa.com

  1. Kudle beach, Gokarna, Karnataka: Raw, earthy and serene, there is something about this beach that draws me to it. Ever since I saw a few friends put up pics, I have been wanting to go here.Kudle_beach_gokarna

Picture Courtesy: en.wikipedia.org

  1. Murudeshwara Beach, Karnataka: Named after Lord Shiva, this beach serves as a beautiful backdrop to the magnificence of the larger-than-life statue of the Lord sitting in all His glory.Murudeshwar-Beach

Picture Courtesy: coastaltourism.in

  1. Maravanthe Beach, Karnataka: A National Highway runs between the waters of the Arabian Sea and the Souparnika River. It’s beautiful, awe-inspiring and as close to one can get of witnessing a one-of-a-kind union of river and sea!Saurpanika_river_Arabian_Sea_Kundapur

Picture Courtesy: en.wikipedia.org

  1. Alapuzzha Beach, Kerala: Okay, now who doesn’t want to follow the ruins of the sea bridge? I know I do!Alappuzha-beach

Picture Courtesy: keralatourism.org

  1. Kappad Beach, Kerala: This one has a history. And that is precisely why I have a strong urge to go and explore this place. Remember Vasco Da Gama? Yeah, that Portuguese explorer? Yeah. He landed here in 1498.KappadBeach

Picture Courtesy: gokerala.org

  1. Suryalanka Beach, Andhra Pradesh: I have been pestering my friends for more than two years now. And not once has a plan been made. 😦 Cottages on the beach. As soon as you open the door, sea breeze rushes to caress your face. And the fun that you’ll have with friends? Priceless.suryalanka

Picture Courtesy: tripabstract.com

  1. Paradise Beach, Pondicherry: One more beach that I missed visiting and I regret missing it. Ill health kept me out of the plan to visit this beauty, effectively robbing me of a bonus boat ride. So, wait up, Paradise. I’ll be there soon! 🙂paradise beach

Picture Courtesy: thinkingparticle.com

There’s nothing better than closing your eyes and imagining yourself stepping on the cool sands of a beach. Maybe only a Tropical Iceberg, but you get the point.

So. If you’ve read this, please tell me what you think. 🙂

Until you sight the sands, keep reading, keep dreaming and most importantly, keep smiling. 🙂

My List of 15 Must-Visit Places in India

“In religion, India is the only millionaire – the One land that all men desire to see, and having seen once, by even a glimpse, would not give that glimpse for all the shows of all the rest of the globe combined.” – Mark Twain

India is a land of many wonders, languages, scenic landscapes and beautiful people. There are so many things you can do here, that it would not compare to any experiences that you might have as you travel around the world. India holds many surprises, enchanting, exhilarating and energizing! And after a long and difficult period of mulling over the long and seemingly never-ending list of destination options that I had in hand, I finally came up with this list of astoundingly beautiful locations where you can just throw your head back and enjoy the sprinkles of happiness that Nature showers on you.

My dreams of roaming the world take a backseat when travel dreams in India come into picture, for there is so much to experience within India itself that the world will have to wait. Until at least half these places are covered. My travel to-do list grows by the day. As promised, here are 15 places that top my Indian travel list and what I see as I think of those places.

  1. Bekal Fort, Kerala

Standing atop those old walls, facing the Arabian Sea and feeling the waves crash against the rocks as the sun goes down, spraying salty water on you. Bliss.

bekal fort

  1. Chandertal Lake, Himachal Pradesh

Sitting at the edge, legs stretched out, just kissing the waters that gently lap against the earth, as the mountains loom around you. How could one not experience peace in such an atmosphere? 🙂

chandertal lake

  1. Indira Point, Nicobar

Looking across the waters of the Indian Ocean and knowing that I have touched the southernmost tip of India. I would love to get into that lighthouse there and throw a glance in all directions! What an experience that would be!

indira Point

  1. Sar Pass, Himachal Pradesh

Trekking up this pass, surrounded by snow covered mountains and breathing in the fresh mountain air, and gazing down upon the frozen Sar lake as the same mountains provide a breathtaking backdrop! Wow! 🙂

sar pass

  1. Kudremukh, Karnataka

Meaning “Horse-Face” in Kannada, this mountain peak provides a wonderful view on the lush greenery and the picturesque outlines of the cloud-covered mountains in the distance. Just standing on the edge of the peak would give an immensely satisfying rush.

kudremukh

  1. Belum Caves, Andhra Pradesh

Eerily lit, yet, it fills you with wonder as you imagine yourself walking through the paths that are shadowed by low hanging rock ceilings.

belum caves

  1. Matheran, Maharashtra

Hill stations in India are the best holiday retreats ever. Beautiful sceneries, clouds and cool breeze. All of it makes you breathe the fresh air in and never want to let go of the peace that shrouds you as you stand at the top and look down about the greenery.

MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

  1. Munnar, Kerala

Another hill station, this time, in Kerala. A beautiful hill station in God’s Own Country, this place gives me visions of myself backpacking across those wonderful paths and taking in as much Nature as is physically, emotionally and mentally possible.

munnar

  1. Chitrakoot Falls, Chhattisgarh

Makes me want to stand at the head of the waterfall and wash my feet in the rushing water, though definitely not in the monsoon season, where the water gushes like crazy and the region is closed off because of the force.

chitrakoot falls

  1. Gurudongmar Lake, Sikkim

Sitting on one side of the lake, on blankets, with a picnic basket open by my side, a book in my hand or lilting music singing in my ears and looking across the wavy yet steely surface of the lake to the clouds dancing around the mountainous summit. What would I not give you experience this!

gurudongmar lake

  1. Dandeli, Karnataka

Filled with promises of water sports and that of a proper wildlife experience, Dandeli has always been on my list. The swoosh of the water and the bellow of the elephant sound in my ears as I think of Dandeli. I am coming there soon, Dandeli! 😀

dandeli

  1. Wagah Border, Punjab

The attraction of watching a rehearsed showdown between Indian and Pakistani security forces brings goosebumps to me. I want to experience firsthand what the pictures of these elicit in me.

wagha-border

  1. Jog Falls, Karnataka

As I watch upon the four different streams of water falling from a height and becoming one as they touch the water body below, it makes me want to feel the water at my fingertips and get drenched in the coolness as it comes crashing down below.

jog falls

  1. Pangong Tso Lake, Jammu & Kashmir

Well… This lake has been on my mind ever since I watched Kareena Kapoor ride a scooter on the sands in 3 Idiots and Anushka Sharma take a dive in Jab Tak Hai Jaan. How wonderful it would be if I sat on the sands surrounding the lake, in the sunset, with pen and paper in hand and wrote about the greatness of the sceneries surrounding me!

pangongtso

  1. Dudhsagar Waterfalls, Goa

I have been to Goa twice. And both times, I could not make the time to go and watch this wonderful falls that fall at such a great speed and with such great hurry, that the fizz makes it look as white as milk. Hence the name “Dudhsagar” (Hindi for ‘Sea of Milk’). It is top on my list, for I want to watch the water come crashing down as the train chugs past it on the bridge that is in the foreground of this wonderful water body.

dudhsagar

My list of places to visit in India is never-ending. But I have listed out a few that I have made a priority to visit. Hope you liked these places and hope you would experience them, too.

Until next time, keep smiling, be happy and keep traveling! 🙂

All pictures courtesy Google Search 😀

My List of 15 Must-Visit Places Outside India

Not all those who wander are lost. – J.R.R. Tolkein

There are many things that give a person peace. Music, writing, friends, movies, etc. The list is endless. But there is one particular section of people who find peace in traveling and roaming the world. Seeing new places and learning about new cultures gives them happiness. Within this section is another small one. One that does not want interaction, but just finds happiness in soaking up the new atmosphere and the pure air. One that has dreams of having just their solitude for company as they travel and see new places.

I can happily say that I belong to the latter section of people. I have dreams of roaming the world. I have dreams of lapping up the experience of wandering to beautiful places. And there are a few that have caught my eye. Those that make me sigh as I look at pictures of them. Those that make me dream of setting foot in those areas. The list is never-ending. So, I have listed the top fifteen places outside of India on my must-visit list. Their beauty is enchanting and I have made visiting them a top task on my to-do list. J

  1. Tianzi Mountains, China

The wisps of clouds surrounding the steep edifices of rock jutting out of the earth makes me wonder how I would feel if I was standing at a vantage point and looking down at all the greenery snaking around those peaks.

tianzi

Picture Courtesy: spanish.fanshare.com

  1. Antelope Canyon, Arizona, USA

There is something about the sand colored walls of the canyon that zigzag in a wonderfully artistic fashion and lets the light in, in the form of straight beams that catches my attention.

DCF 1.0

Picture Courtesy: heritagedaily.com

  1. Bora Bora, France

Blue waters, huts, greenery, solitude. What else could enhance solitude and give it meaning than the soothing coolness of the blue waters?

bora bora

Picture Courtesy: fansshare.com

  1. Aogashima Volcano, Japan

You might crinkle your nose at first look. But the idea of standing on the lush green sides and looking upon the smoke billowing from the volcano gives me an immense rush.

aogashima volcano japan

Picture Courtesy: travel.wikinut.com

  1. The Dark Hedges, Northern Ireland

Backpacking across the road covered with branches of trees to which lush greenery clings, while listening to soothing music, and skipping and hopping as though I don’t have a care in the world. Wow!

Dark-Hedges_017_800x533

Picture Courtesy: hecktictravels.com

  1. Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany

At first look, this place looked pretty simple to me. But the architecture and the cobbled streets gradually grew on me, grabbing a place on my list of must-visit places.

Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Sieberstor(links) und Koboltor (rechts)

Picture Courtesy: traveleza.tk

  1. Sea Cave, Malta

Sands, surrounded by the shades of the towering seaside rocks, the cool waters and the lilting sound of the waves lapping on the sand in the light sunlight. This is what I visualize when I think of Malta.

sea cave malta

Picture Courtesy: imgur.com

  1. Saint Lucia, Caribbean Islands

The beaches of Saint Lucia surrounded by the lush greenery and the waters of the ocean bring to my mind a feeling of awe. I think of how wonderful it would be to sit on a reclining chair on the beach and read a book, occasionally looking down upon the dancing waves.

st lucia sugar-beach

Picture Courtesy: destinationweddingmag.com

  1. Bamboo Forest, Japan

This might be an unusual choice, but one look at the path amidst the tall bamboo trees that give me a feeling of peace and serenity, made my decision for me.

Sagano-Bamboo-Forest-Japan-Weijie

Picture Courtesy: amazingplacesonearth.com

  1. Sea Cliffs, Etretat, France

It has cliffs. It has beaches. It has the cool waters to wash away your tiredness. I picture myself standing atop the cliff and looking out over the waters, hands on hips, with a feeling of achievement. Yes, the feeling is extremely wonderful!

Etretat-of-Normandie-France

Picture Courtesy: planetden.com

  1. Cathedral Cove, New Zealand

It is similar to the cave in Malta, but this caught my attention at a higher degree, the trees peeping out of the rock formations, the wisps of cloud floating in the distance and the thin layers of water at my feet. My imagination went into overdrive, visualizing all this and a sense of calm and happiness descended on me.

cathedral cove NZ

Picture Courtesy: nztrips.co.nz

  1. Faroe Islands, Denmark

Tales of gore and cruelty on dolphins and sharks in Denmark might reach your ears, but there are places where you can actually look out to the skies and look down into the waters and feel an amazing sense of peace, for these places are as far out of the circle of cruelty as possible.

faroe islands denmark

Picture Courtesy: generaltrips.com

  1. Positano, Almafi Coast, Italy

Mountains in the backdrop and wonderful lighting that makes the city glimmer. Oh, to top it all, a scenic view of the Sea that brings my heart to a standstill every time I look at these pictures.

361_1positano__img_0559

Picture Courtesy: www.amalficoast-italy.com/

  1. Mount Roraima, Venezuela

Who does not want to live above the clouds, if even for a few hours? And about how I felt when I first set eyes on this sight? The picture says it all.

Mount_Roraima_Venezuela

Picture Courtesy: beautifulplacestovisit.com

  1. Santorini, Greece

I am obsessed with this place. Ever since I saw this place, I have made plans to take off to this wonderful place. Of walking through its streets, of having that peace that only colors like white can give you. But then certain essentials come to mind and poof! There go the dreams. Yes, this tops my list! I will go there some day! And yes, I am obsessed with this place.

santorini

Picture Courtesy: boomsbeat.com

That’s my list of 15 must-visit places outside of India. Until next time, keep smiling, be happy and keep traveling!