I remember being blissfully lost amid the canals and cobblestoned streets of Amsterdam. Locals cycled along leisurely, quaint cafes with good-looking baristas tempted me in, charming houses adorned by vibrant spring colors lined the cobbled walkways. Time seemed to move backward. Even hours after the effects of the (happy) cakes had worn off, Amsterdam felt like a bubble I never wanted to burst! The year was 2011 and I was just another corporate dweller in need of a break. I didn’t know then that winning a flight ticket to Paris on Facebook and taking a month-long Euro trip would change so much for me. It was my first nudge in the direction of travel blogging. So when Lufthansa notified me of their latest contest, giving away a dream trip to Amsterdam, I couldn’t help feeling excited about the endless possibilities it could hold for my readers! What do you win? A return flight ticket on Lufthansa’s new premium economy from Bangalore / Delhi to Amsterdam (or on economy class from any other city in India). 4 night …
BIG NEWS: I hit 10,000 likes on my Facebook page, and 12,000 followers on Twitter – both in the same week! Right from the days when I was a vulnerable little fish in the big travel blogging ocean (which I still am, but just a little less vulnerable), my community of readers, travellers and dreamers – aka YOU – have been my backbone. It is to you that I turn to in happy days and not-so-happy ones, and for that I thank you! Now it’s time for me to give you a little something back. So I reached out to my favorite eco-luxury lodges in India and partnered with them to offer you a chance to win two unforgettable stays. Ready to hit the road? WHAT YOU COULD WIN 1) 3 days – 2 nights stay with meals for two at LAKSHMAN SAGAR, Rajasthan. Once a 19th century hunting lodge, Lakshman Sagar is perhaps India’s most creative expression of eco-luxury. Live like royalty on Rajathan’s untouched countryside, surrounded by the Aravalis; a bucket list experience. Read about my stay at Lakshman Sagar here. 2) …
I bring you this latest travel contest from my home in a pristine little village on the shores of Lake Peten Itza in Guatemala. I’m staying with a local village family that has adopted me as one of their own, and this morning, I joined them in making hand-rolled tortillas. Every time I land up in a place like this, I’m reminded of how much I enjoy a life of travel. And how much I wish it upon my readers – which is why I’m forever urging you to participate in exciting travel contests.
A week ago, I marked ONE YEAR of being on the road without a home. On my adventures across the globe, I’ve stayed with some special people and unearthed experiences that few knew existed. At a vineyard in South Australia, my host turned out to be a Polish refugee who had been sheltered during World War II by an Indian Maharaja. In little-known neighborhoods in Spain, Turkey, Philippines and Romania, I’ve sampled the way the locals live. And most recently, at a sprawling estate in the dense forests of Uttarakhand, I was hosted by a descendant of Burma’s royal family!
I tearfully parted ways with Ladakh over a month ago, but I feel like I’ve never really left. A part of me still wanders around the cold mountain desert, gazing at the stark scenery and merrily greeting jullay to the village folk. I might not be going back anytime soon, but I hope TWO of you, my readers, win a once-in-a-lifetime expedition by Ceat Tyres and Mahindra Adventure, and get to experience the immense beauty of the snow-capped Himalayas of Kashmir and Ladakh!
Three years after I moved out of Singapore, there is something about this little island state that still lingers in my mind. Most of us travel to find solitude in nature or to relive parts of ancient history. But Singapore, with its manmade beaches, solar-powered gardens and city lights glittering almost more magically than stars, is a glimpse of what travel might become in the future. When the world has culturally assimilated and technology surpasses even the wonders of nature, won’t we travel to witness progress?
You read that right. A free trip to New York from India is on the cards! Lufthansa is flying one lucky winner to The Big Apple, and offering 4 nights at iconic hotels in Manhattan. And you can win it.
As a little girl, I often dreamt of what I would become when I grew up. Travel blogging wasn’t in my dictionary then! I dreamt of becoming a detective; solving the Bermuda Triangle mystery would be my first priority. I dreamt of being a famous writer; my books would move people to tears (I was sadistic that way). And I dreamt of flying planes.
Guten tag from a cold and festive Germany! I’m on a train from Frankfurt to the quaint Bavarian village of Rothenburg as I pen this. Outside, the landscape is a stark contrast between bare brown forests and colorful countryside homes. It’s symbolic of winter in Europe; introspective and festive at the same time.
Dear Turkey, I left you with a heavy heart, etched with the magnanimity of your people. A kind lady in the small town of Safranbolu opened her doors to me on a late rainy afternoon, to feed my vegetarian self a special meal of Peruhi (Turkish pasta) and Pasta (cake in Turkish) prepared for a family gathering. An old man from a bakery in Ordu gave me a ride in his truck to the town’s chocolate factory, after I walked five kilometers and stumbled into his shop for directions for the remaining three. A family living in an isolated hut on Boztepe Hill invited me in for a meal of home grown aubergine. A blacksmith who found me admiring his creations invited me in for çay and proclaimed his eternal love for Hindistan even though he had never been there. A young otel (hotel) owner in Cide went out of her way to ensure that I boarded the right connecting buses to my next destination without losing money or time. A cafe owner in the small town of Ordu, where I impulsively got …