2016: Reflection Of The Year Gone By
I can distinctly remember how the life goals kept changing at various intervals, courtesy my thinking-back and reflection today of all the years behind. During MBA, the goal was to get ahead in life and career, secure an awesome campus placement with a good package. In 2006, after having secured a good job in a great company with a good package with an awesome learning exposure, the goal changed to buying a car on my own around 2009. Even if it’s a hatchback, never mind. Post this, the focus was on improving the overall house decorum and all those things that are not really required in one’s house but if you have them, your home looks great. This was around 2011.
Then there was a lull period from 2012-14 where I think (in hindsight), I didn’t do anything to improve the quality of my life personally. Apart from simply going to office, getting a good salary hike, doing some very funny-cum-enjoyable night outs with close friends, there wasn’t anything I will call “my creation”. But I am glad somewhere by the end of 2014, I felt the need to do something different. Some hobby… Pursuing something apart from my job and not anything from the point of view of merely earning money. And the idea of noting down my travel and life experiences struck me. May be such journey is noted by a lot of other bloggers but I wasn’t aware of blogging one bit, before 2014. All I knew of blogging was that Bollywood Superstar Mr Amitabh Bachchan was one of the early few, whom I heard, had got into blogging around 2006-07.
What better, easier, versatile way of noting experiences about than Travel & HR. And so it began… Firstly remembering all my travels & writing them down, and then traveling more to write more. Honestly, it’s actually been just like this. I travel more – somewhere also because I wish to write more. In between when there is a lull period of no articles or thoughts worth capturing related to travel, I write on my Corporate life’s HR experiences. But these are actually “Fillers”, since consistency in posting articles is one of the essential parts of blogging.
Year 2015 saw me travel to 2 international destinations close by i.e. Thailand & Sri Lanka, while domestic journeys took me to 5 places including Pondicherry & Amritsar for the first time. There were 12 flights and 13,000 miles of travel in 2015 – my highest till date.
With 2016, I had initially decided to take it a bit higher than 2015, but within my budget. My wife, mind you, doesn’t really get fascinated with traveling stuff. So, there’s only a certain amount of money I take from my monthly pay to enjoy my pleasures (don’t you think my wife & my 1 year old child has more right on my salary ? That’s why !).
Travel Statistics Summary of 2016
15 Flights | 11,969 Miles | 3 New Places in 3 Indian States | Max Transit Time of 84 Hours in One of the Train Journeys | 2 Journeys to Places having a mention in Guinness World Records
A Reflection on My Best Journeys From 2016
1) Travel on India’s Longest Running Train
So, in March 2016 I did some weird stuff – something not really intelligent – and my friends still question me on what I achieved out of this ultimately. There is no tangible benefit I could achieve, yes. But I wanted to do this, I did it. This journey was all about the numbers. Traveling on India’s Longest Running Train Vivek Express, from it’s point of origin Dibrugarh (Assam) to the last point Kanyakumari (Tamil Nadu), has been fascinating. I never imagined I could survive 83 hours & 25 minutes at a stretch in a running train, that crosses 7 Indian States and covers about 4,300 kms one way. I wasn’t allowed to shoot any videos or interviews I took of the TCs, Motormen and Railway Guards as I didn’t take prior permission from the Divisional Railway Manager (DRM). But I learnt that out of some 1,754 incoming & outgoing passengers all the time in that train, I was the only & only one who boarded at the first point and got down at the last stop. My luck ! This train is not just India’s longest running train but it also currently ranks No. 10 in the world for running for such long distance and long hours.
2) Ahmedabad (Gujarat)
[Photo: Gujarat Holiday Mart]
Having being to Ahmedabad City back in 2004 and again in 2005 for one of the Management Competitions, I didn’t see anything. So, you can say that blogging was just one of the excuses for visiting this beautiful city. Nice tourist attractions spots including Gandhi Ashram and Sabarmati River Front, but I would still not qualify it as a place exceptional enough for a special visit. If you are going anywhere in Gujarat state via Ahmedabad, I will say have a break here for 1-2 days.
3) Jaipur (Rajasthan)
Never had been to Jaipur before in my life, while my wife had been here a couple of times. So, a visit was about to happen in any case, especially where 3 days are sufficient enough to feel the city. Although the timing of the visit (June month) wasn’t an apt choice, with no sign of rains & overall atmosphere still being extremely hot, still went ahead and took great advantage of the off-season w.r.t the very low prices. Jaipur has some really nice spots worth seeing like the Amer Fort, Jal Mahal, Hawa Mahal, Jantar Mantar etc.
4) Palitana (Gujarat)
Palitana temple town is located in Bhavnagar district in Gujarat State. It is a very sacred place of worship for the Jain Community, who have always followed the path set by Lord Adinath, that of utmost devotion, patience and non-violence. Lord Adinath, also known as Lord Rishabh, was born here and was the first Tirthankara. Palitana temple town is actually a base town. The temples are located on nearby hill, called Shatrunjaya Hill. It is a widely noted fact that the Shatrunjaya Hill has 863 marble-carved temples, of varied sizes. One single hill having over 863 temples set on it, has hence rightly featured in the GUINNESS BOOK OF WORLD RECORDS.
With reasonable means to fulfill my goal of traveling to maximum places as I can, my reflection of the last 2 years (2015 and 2016) is that I think I am doing pretty good. I am actually content with the stats of these 2 years:
27 Flights | 2 International Destinations | 14 New Places | 24,884 Miles | 2 Journeys Involving Places Having a Mention in Guinness Book of World Records
I am destined to make 2017 even better 🙂