It feels like yesterday when I was waltzing down the quiet beaches of Diu on India’s west coast, and sipping tea at a blacksmith’s workshop in Turkey. 2012 has been the kind of year I dreamed about everyday, before I bade goodbye to my life in the cubicle. I feel as though I’ve come of age as a travel writer this year, having written for publications like Lonely Planet and The Times of India, and having found gratification in press invites from the likes of Spain Tourism Board and Turkish Airlines.
As the New Year lurks around the corner, I often go to sleep wondering what opportunities might come my way in 2013. Maybe I’ll mend my ways and end up saving a fortune for a trip I’ve (secretly) been dreaming about. Or maybe, I’ll be tempted to spend what I’ve saved every now and then, and land myself in adventures I had never imagined, like I did in 2012. Maybe some unexpected press invites or sponsorships will come my way, or that mysterious uncle will finally appear and leave me a handsome inheritance!
In a country where people love their kebap as much as Turkey, finding vegetarian food was a delight in itself. Treating my taste buds was a welcome bonus. While I expected to be eating a lot of mezze and aubergine, I didn’t find any till the tail end of my trip, when I landed in a small village on the outskirts of Capadoccia. I did however, sample delicious Turkish vegetarian dishes in small towns and villages along the Black Sea coast in the north of the country, and I’ve found myself salivating as I reminisce about the indulgences!
I must admit I was a tad disappointed when the NASA video on “Why the world didn’t end yesterday” got out. No, I’m not a doomsday planner; I haven’t been waiting for 2012 all my life. Nor have I have checked everything off my bucket list in anticipation of the d-day. But while I’ve laughed at jokes about the end of the world, a small part of me wishes that the world would indeed, end in two days.
We all wish we could we could grow money on trees, or inherit an inheritance we didn’t know we had, or rub a magic lamp to take care of all expenses for that next dream trip. I can almost hear the excitement in the emails and tweets of people who stumble upon my blog for the first time, because as one of them put it, reading about my travel adventures can make it seem like I’ve discovered the secret of always having enough money to travel! Unfortunately, the truth is far from it, and saving money for travel is a conscious effort I’ve been making for the past many years.
[Update September 2018]: I’m excited to share that after 7 years of travelling the world – 5 of those without a home or permanent address – I’ve written a book about my journey! Called The Shooting Star, this book charts my journey from the cubicle to the road and from small-town India to remote corners of the globe. Order your copy on Amazon or Flipkart now, and drop me a note if you do so I can send you a virtual hug! After my recent trip to Spain, many of you have written to me to ask questions like what’s the best time to visit the country, and whether it’s really possible for a vegetarian to survive without eating supermarket food. I’ve written travel tips for a first trip to Europe before, but I thought it would be a good idea to dig specifically into Spain this time. So here goes, ten travel tips to make your life travel planning to Spain simpler: 1. What’s the best time to go to Spain? I skipped Spain …
While boarding my flight from Barcelona to Delhi a few days back, the familiar heartache crawled its way back to find me. My month-long adventures in Spain were ending; I already missed the gorgeous olive countryside, the long lunches, the longer siestas, the best sangrias in the world, and the cobbled streets of sleepy old towns that first made me fall in love with Europe. Admittedly, getting upgraded to business class on Turkish Airlines helped nurse the pain, but it wasn’t until I started chatting up my co-passenger on my second flight from Istanbul to Delhi, that I knew I was on my way to new adventures. Before you start getting ideas, this isn’t about that Bollywood story where girl meets boy and the rest is predictable!