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My 2013 Travel Breaks Recapped

Not too long after I started earning did I realize what I wanted to spend my savings on. Not clothes, not shoes, not bags but on travel. With work pressures steaming up and city life in Mumbai spiralling out of control for me, travel was my only relief - it became something I pampered myself with and something I gifted myself every now and then. I surely deserved it. 2013 turned out to be a great year for me on the travel front...I ended up doing a lot more trips than I had planned.


January 2013 - Bangalore


Crispy dosa drenched with that divine chutney
I've been to the city a number of times. But every time I go, it's always a treat because of the  friends I meet and the dosas I eat. Yes I love these lentil pancakes, I can live on them! Here's a picture of a supremely crisp dosa I ate standing with my friends at a typical udipi joint by the road on the very sunny morning that we reached the city by an overnight bus. 

February & March 2013 - Goa

The serene ambiance of La PlageI never liked Goa. You heard me. I went there twice between 2004 and 2007 and didn't quite understand the hype around the place. But I went back there this year and decided I should might as well try out the best Goa has to offer. Especially the food. I had some great-tasting 'tomato and goat cheese bubbles' at La Plage, the beach-front restaurant when it suddenly started pouring and how! We also visited this church you see below - a site that's starred in many a movies and I had to see it for myself. It was a mighty sunny day when we visited and the white of the church was so stark I couldn't fully stare at it.


That's me up there...

April 2013 - Turkey


View from the hot air balloon in Cappadoccia
After months of cooking up a dreamy international trip, family members from two different continents congregated for the big vacation in Turkey! Last minute panic calls always add to the adventure of it all, and only when I received my passport with the visa in my hand on the day of departure, did the excitement kick in. We did Istanbul, Capadoccia, Pammukale and Antalya in 8 days. A hectic itinerary, 9 flights, a lot of bread and cheese and barely any sleep, but we returned with 600 pictures all postcard-worthy and a bank of memories to last a lifetime. 

May 2013 - Delhi + Dharamshala/McLeodganj

A beautiful temple we came across on a short trek in Dharamshala
I am blessed with friends who enjoy the thrill of travelling as much as I do. I am also blessed with friends who had the time to plan out the entire trip (do research, figure out an itinerary) while I was frantically typing away at office. This was my 4th visit to Delhi and we had two days to spend there but we covered so much - Humayun's Tomb, Nehru's House, Rashtrapati Bhavan, Lotus Temple, Indira Gandhi museum and the National History Museum. We also squeezed in enough time to savour THE best Butter Chicken at Pindi. After an overnight bus journey to Dharamshala, we experienced a welcome shift in mercury levels - hot to cold in 15 hours. City roads gave way to mountains. 3 very amazing chilled out days spent in this hill station were marked by our visits to beautiful temples and monasteries like the Norbulinka Institute and Kyoto Temple, and to cafes and restaurants like Carpe Diem and Moon Beam!  

July 2013 - Bangalore (again!)

My friends from college and I
A three-day trip to celebrate my exit from Bombay and reunite with my college buddies is what Bangalore was all about. My trip to that city is NEVER complete without a meal at The Only Place - one of the city's popular food stops where the food does all the talking. Things always balance out eventually and this happened with a very average meal at a not averagely-priced restaurant called Caperberry - all fluff no flavour. 

September 2013 - Delhi + Manali

This is a click I'm really proud of...a view to kill
for on our bike journey from Manali to Rohtang
I cherish a fancy for mountains, hill stations and cool weather. That just makes me feel all the more that I'm on vacation - perhaps because I've spent a majority of my life  in places where temperatures don't dip lower than 20 degrees. While Dharamshala was a cute little place, Manali was far more commercial. Sad. The main town was dotted with way too many concrete skeleton structures and there was a dusty haze in the air during the day. If you are on a budget, you would pretty much have to rely on those good ol legs to take you from place to place - a great way however to explore the place. The highlight of my trip was not the food or the town as such - it was riding to Rohtang pass...we encountered the biting cold, chilly winds, pelting rain and sun rays all in a span of 4 hours. Quite an adventure and so worth it. This picture here was captured on the right was captured on the ride. Truly, it was nature at its artistic best on that route. 


And that was 2013 in trips for me. Credit goes to my lovely friends and family, gracious bosses and a decently healthy wallet for making my travels possible. A great year I reckon and I'm already working on what my first trip in 2014 trip should be, just because...


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