The travel bug in me started when I was 10. My parents rented a car, an old ambassador, to cover many places in Andhra Pradesh in India. We did not stop there. We travelled to Delhi, Haridwar and Rishikesh 6 months later. I don’t know why, probably because of the age I started seeing things differently, understand the diversity of cultures, was fascinated by new languages and many more things happened to me.
Once I am out of home for higher education I started exploring different places on my own, sometimes with friends and sometimes solo. Travel has made me wiser, sensible, confident and the list goes on. This travel bug did not stop even in 2019 and will not in the near future. Below are my travels I had made in 2019. But there is one thing that is special in 2019. Before going there, let me give you a brief background.
From 2018 I started running long distances like 10km, half marathons and soon to full marathons. So slowly participated in races from Mumbai, Bangalore and various other places. This gave me the opportunity to travel for a vacation and then run on race day. Such scenarios are popularly called as Runcations. Runcations are becoming popular these days. More about these in my coming posts. So 2019 is one such year and it will continue…
- My best trip this year has been to Ladakh. It was a Runcation where I had participated in Ladakh Marathon running 21 kms on the hills around Leh. It was an amazing experience to visit many beautiful places like Nubra Valley, Pangong Lake, Hanle and Leh City. It’s great to see such a beautiful part of the country.
- Just 2 weeks before Ladakh I happened to visit Trivandrum and Kanyakumari. It’s like visiting south and north of India within 2 weeks. Being in the same country it is amazing to notice the differences in landscapes, lifestyles and cultures.
- Visiting Ooty in April was just a chance as I was preparing for my Ladakh Marathon. This is again a Runcation where this was just a practice run before the ultimate Ladakh Marathon. But at the same time when I visited Ooty after many years, I felt a little nostalgic and sad at the same time. The once beautiful city is slowly seeing commercial face of it losing its beauty.
- Coastal Karnataka was on my bucket list for a couple of years now. This got fulfilled this year. The beauty of Udupi, Murudeshwar and Gokarna in the backdrop of western ghats is worth mentioning.
- Last but not the least, I got an opportunity to visit the “City of Joy” for the first time after these many years. It’s weird that all these living in many cities and travelling to many places in India, I had never got an opportunity to visit Kolkata. This has come again as part of runcation. I loved this place and I am happy that I made it to this place. I will definitely visit Kolkata in years to come.
Like I have mentioned there are many firsts and there has been some sad parts as well.
Whenever I visit Delhi I always hit with the reality of pollution. It has many forms; air, water, lights, noise etc. I still remember from my childhood when I stood at India Gate I could clearly see the Rashtrapati Bhawan standing elegantly across the Rajpath. Now all we see is the white haze across the city be it summer, winter or any season. This made me think many times What are we doing to ourselves? Will the great and grand cities of India become the curse we will have to live with? Now it is Delhi, slowly this will engulf other cities like Mumbai and Bengaluru which are rapidly expanding without any plan and preparation. Now it’s time for action; not for discussing ideas and delivering speeches.
So what is in plan for 2020 then for me?
- The most exciting travel plan I have is trip to Australia in Nov’2020 for the Cricket T20 world cup. I have always had a fantasy to watch a cricket in the one of the oldest and the largest cricket stadium, The MCG (Melbourne Cricket Ground). Also it’s a good feeling to mention “Watching 20-20 World Cup in year 2020”. This is a great opportunity for me to visit the country. Also I have been saving money for the trip like I have mentioned in my earlier posts.
- I will be starting with a travel fund for myself and I will be saving part of my income in that fund. This will help in spending for any of my future travels without burden on my finances. This is one discipline which I wanted to bring in my life.
- Also I wish to travel to many other places in India like Gujarat, Rajasthan, North East etc. I will continue sharing my experiences with you all through this blog.
Let me know about anything which you want me to write or share on travels.