Throwback 2017: The Year Gone By
Year 2015 was a very modest year for me in terms of traveling and writing blog posts. Or so I feel today when I look back, realizing how much I have started to travel more and write more today. 2015 was simply 2 International Destinations namely Thailand and Sri Lanka and 5 Domestic Destinations including Pondicherry and Amritsar for the first time ever. Took 12 Flights and flew 12,915 Miles. When I ended 2015 with these figures, I was glad I did so much, may be because it was next to NIL before this.
Travel Statistics Summary of Year 2016
15 Flights | 11,969 Miles | 3 New Places in 3 Indian States | Max Travel Time of 84 Hours in One of the Train Journeys | 2 Journeys to Places having a mention in Guinness World Records
By the time 2016 ended, it made me realize that suddenly 2015 statistics started to appear modest. I also vowed to do even better in 2017 and with each year as it came. And this is how 2017 looks like:
Travel Statistics Summary of Year 2017
21 Flights | 13,184 Miles | 4 New Places Visited First Time, Including One International Destination | Invited in Bangalore & Kodaikanal on Account of my Professional Collaboration as a Blogger
Year 2017 Throwback In This Very Order
2017 has been the best year, in my opinion, as compared to any of the years in the last decade or even before that. I, honestly, haven’t traveled before the way I did in this year. By far the best and satisfying to me at a personal level. So, here it goes:
1) Varanasi (Uttar Pradesh)
Varanasi was my first trip of 2017. This was also after a long time in many years that I had the company of my father and my younger brother on this trip. From the all-popular and most sought after event of Varanasi (Ganga Aarti as shown above), to having boat-ride in River Ganges, exploring various Ghats, understanding facts & various stories associated with those Ghats, visiting Kashi Vishwanath Temple, wandering through nearby Sarnath to finally seeing Banarasi Sarees, it was awesome ! Varanasi is good to go to in winters, rather than in summers.
2) Bangalore (Karnataka)
As a part of professional collaboration with a Construction Company in Bangalore, I was invited in February 2017 to visit their most recent township having new homes for sale that was coming up in Eastern corridor of the city. I was excited because of this being my very first collaboration as a Blogger. They appreciated the fact that I can contribute to their idea of marketing & promoting this township to several people through my blog. My job was obviously to take some great pictures and write about the township as it is.
Additionally, it was an all-expense paid trip as well. The township was made wonderfully well. I felt it was a little too far from the city centre but equally, I enjoyed exploring the whole area & great facilities provided therein.
3) Celebrating Holi in Mathura & Vrindavan (Uttar Pradesh)
I don’t recollect having heard too many things about unique Holi celebrations being carried out in Mathura and Vrindavan before I started blogging in January 2015. Only after I started following some of the popular fellow bloggers, did I realize the magnanimity of the event. And this is when I decided that I want to experience this too first hand. So, off I went to Mathura & Vrindavan in March 2017. With the “Radhe, Radhe” chant, the atmosphere at Baakein Bihari Temple in Vrindavan was really electrifying. Great positive energy all around. And… well, some perverts eyeing & laying hands on women too !
4) Spending Time & Strolling Goa in April Heat
Most people don’t visit Goa in April heat. I do ! With nothing to do much in office, that urge to head somewhere struck sharply. I actually ended up booking flight tickets from Pune to Goa & back – just a 3 day short trip. I can find a million reasons to head to any place, even when I have visited that place before 3-5 times. Chapora Fort, popularly known as DIL CHAHTA HAI Fort, was on my bucketlist. So there you go. 1 reason already. Apart from this fort, I also enjoyed my time in Arpora Night Market and at Spice Plantations. Read my Places To Visit in Goa here.
5) Jabalpur (Madhya Pradesh)
Every once in a while, going to this quaint little town in Madhya Pradesh fills me with positivity. Apart from it being my wife’s hometown, some of the tourist attractions like the Dhuandhaar Waterfall & Bhedaghat Marble Rocks are worth going to, every time you are here. I truly enjoy spending some time boating in the lake and just sitting a little away from the waterfall.
6) Kodaikanal and Madurai (Tamil Nadu)
My second professional collaboration was with GRT Hotels, which is a premier hospitality brand in Southern India, having hotels & resorts at all popular tourist destinations there. As a part of the Bloggers’ Delegation, I was invited at Kodaikanal and Madurai to review their family resorts and I thoroughly enjoyed their hospitality spread over 3 days & 2 nights, all expense paid (of course). The hotel authorities made us feel at home, took care of all my needs, took us for sightseeing in & around Kodaikanal and Madurai both, including at Meenakshi Amman Temple. Great fun !
7) Dubai (UAE)
I visited Dubai by the end of September and was there till early October, for about 5 days. It was very hot & humid. For the first 2 days, I thought I won’t be able to cope up with that sort of heat. Having stayed in Pune for quite some time, I hadn’t been tested, I felt. From the 3rd day onwards, I was okay. Dubai, from what it used to be in 1990s, has changed remarkably and for good. With all the awesomely built skyscrapers including the Burj Khalifa, to “rich” areas like Dubai Marina and Palm Jumeira, it was sort of an eye-opener for me vis-a-vis their development.
There have been quite a few other places that I visited, on a personal level, but I am not sure if I should include them here in this list. Even then, I am content with the way I am doing things so far in my life and I aim to take it to one step higher in the Year 2018.
So happy to see my “cumulative travel statistics” of last 3 years, from 2015 to 2017:
48 Flights | 3 International Destinations | 21 New Places | 38,000 Miles | Train Journey of 84 Hours’ At A Stretch |
I am destined to make 2018 better 🙂