Long ago, when I adopted a nomadic life, I imagined that traveling responsibly meant slumming it out.
I’m going to remember 2016 as the year I imprinted myself into the sky.
I had no idea what it meant to call a river “alive”.
The first thing I noticed about him was the fresh blood stain on his shoulder rag.
These are all the reasons I want to make 2016 the year of Africa for me, and hopefully for you!
Somewhere deep in the Caucasus mountains, I sip a glass of fine Georgian wine, watching the clouds playfully swirl around the snow-clad Mount Kazbeg and my gregarious Georgian hosts lovingly tending to their vegetable garden below. I’ve spent my days indulging in the country’s sumptuous gastronomy, drinking mineral water right off the spring, lounging in my remote mountain home as though nothing else in the world matters. The mist descends on our postcard village of Stepantsminda, a woman in a traditional black dress carries fresh lavash bread from the neighbourhood bakery, the valley echoes with the laughter of men, children and horses. This isn’t the Hobbiton trail in New Zealand, but the closest you can get to life in the Shire (Lord of the Rings style) – where people live beautifully, eat well and be merry. Two weeks ago, I landed in Tbilisi, Georgia’s photogenic capital city, with a friend, a one month visa and no fixed plans. The rugged mountains, chilled out locals, Soviet-era homes, underground wine taverns, artsy cafes and quirky cultural vibe instantly cast a spell on me. I …
There are airlines that fly you from one part of the world to another. And then there is Virgin Atlantic. I consider myself one lucky soul to have journeyed from India via London to New York City on Virgin’s Upper Class.
On a rainy Goan afternoon, wrapped up in my blue poncho, I drive my bike past verdant rice paddies, abandoned railway tracks and sleepy hamlets, to cross over to little-known islands in the interiors of Goa. On the empty ferry, the surprised driver asks me why I’m going there. Why? Because these islands are covered in mangroves and mist-laden meadows, adorned with old Portuguese homes, and home to large populations of colourful migratory birds and tiny populations of people who, far from the beaches and revellers of Goa, exemplify the susagade (content) way of life. I’ve spent two blissful monsoons rediscovering Goa. Take my list and go, and soak in experiences you never could have imagined: 1) Discover the sleepy Chorao Island. In the heart of North Goa, this quaint little island is serenaded by gentle backwaters, loved by migratory birds, and home to the friendliest locals. On a weekday afternoon, when a friend and I ferried our bike to its shores, the locals were all tucked in for their afternoon siesta in their old Portuguese homes. We chanced upon La Fayette, a little neighborhood eatery, and knocked on its doors, …
There are some trips that make you want to give the world a big hug. South Australia was that trip for me. On my long journey back to India two days ago, I couldn’t stop feeling overwhelmed by the pristine beauty of the things I had experienced, the warmth of the people I had met, the softness of the sands I had walked on, and the love that went into every glass of wine I had tasted. These are moments that will always make me nostalgic about South Australia: 1. Winery-hopping on a bicycle in Mclaren Vale. In the verdant wine country of Mclaren Vale, we pedaled our way along the trail of an old train track, amid vineyards that stretched into the horizon. The aroma of fresh grapes lured us into some of the oldest family-run wineries in these parts, for a taste of the finest Shiraz and Moscato wines. That warm afternoon felt like poetry to me. 2. Spotting kangaroos, koalas, echidnas, penguins, seals in the wild! I never imagined that one day, I would be …
Over 2 years ago, when I quit my corporate job to follow my dream to travel the world, I didn’t imagine I would one day land up in a township dedicated to the same ideology. Auroville is it. A place where people come to live their dreams. I’ve come across countless stories; of a market researcher turned organic farmer; a policeman turned village school headmaster; a corporate honcho turned teacher; a teacher turned mechanic. It’s a place to ditch the life you’ve lived, and live the life you’ve always wanted, even if for a few days; here your conviction to follow your passion holds more value than your salary or title (Read: Auroville: Utopia or Something Like it).