December, for some inexplicable reason, always ends up becoming a month of stock taking (of how the year went by) and planning for the brand new coming year (which is exciting). While I have long ago given up the whole resolution business (couldn’t keep any single one anyways) , I still like the chance to prepare for things to done in the new year, holidays to be taken and personal goals to be achieved. I guess this gives the control freak in me another chance to plan for things and be prepared in my own ways.
So when I has planned for the year 2012, I had decided to set up something for writing on my travels / sharing travel stories (though I hadn’t decided on a blog then), visit at least 2 new places in India and 2 new places internationally in and improve my photography skills.
So how did 2012 finally turn out? Well, 2012 was not a good year personally but it was otherwise a great year and I ended up doing a lot of new things. After reading an article on blogging, I set up this travel blog in late January 2012. I am super happy with it as in less than a year I have 92 posts, support of 950+ followers, 1200 comments, learnt of so many new places (through other blogs) and I have discovered a whole new world of blogging friends. On the travel front – for a long time it seemed I will not be able to visit the 4 new places, as all plans kept getting cancelled for various reasons. But luckily a few plans did work out and I am happy to say that in the end I managed to achieve these travel targets. I ended up travelling internationally to Thailand, Cambodia and Dubai and in India to Delhi, Pushkar and Bundi. Is this enough? Definitely not but I learnt a lot about better planning of holidays, managing more in limited time, improving my photohgraphy skills and discovering the joy in visiting those off beat simple places.
But the best things that I did and learnt this year are -
- Meeting and interacting with locals on all travels. This took our holiday on a whole new level by helping us experience places like locals and actually discovering so many more exciting things for ourselves.
- Experience of our visit to the Floating Village in Siem Reap.
- Breaking bones with a typical Thai massage (a must do though and I’ll go again if possible).
- The first ziplining / flying fox experience in Bangkok.
- Eating an all exotic yet completely vegetarian meal in Pushkar.
- Meeting the locals in Bundi who actually fed us free meals for just a conversation in return.
- Seeing the amazing number and variety of beautiful birds during the rural trail in Rajasthan.
- Window shopping for all glitzy and blingy stuff in the Dubai malls.
- Dune bashing in the deserts of Dubai.
All these experiences / related stories will really stay with me for a very long time to come. I have literally learnt many many new things and grown as a person with each new place.
Planning for the year 2013 – Now that I have learnt to plan better, for this year the targets are better defined and more ambitious. So, I shall try to -
- Visit at least 3 new countries.
- Visit 5 new places in India including at least 1 UNESCO world heritage sight.
- Explore a lot more of interiors of Gujarat and Maharashtra, which I have not yet done. I have been in Mumbai for so many years but apart from work, I have never really thought of exploring these states.
- Try a new adventure sports activity.
- Try one crazy local activity / tradition in any of the places that I visit.
Any other suggestions / ideas that you feel I should add to this To Do for 2013 list? If you do, please comment below or tweet @traveler_budget.
So for now, it’s a good-bye 2012. Thank you and it was good being with you….
And, welcome 2013 and all the excitement that follows a new year, with new plans, new ideas and most of all a chance of seeing many more new places and people..