As many of you may know I am planning to be on the road again for quite a long trip soon, and all I have done in these last 3 weeks (apart from a hectic office and everyone unwell at home) is to plan, eat and sleep this trip. Things finally reached such a saturation point, that nothing seemed to be working and I just had to shut my brain and go for some form of spa therapy. And thankfully I came across the Four Fountains Spa.
The Four Fountains Spa’s USP is that it is one of India’s largest spa chains with a variety of spa therapies at affordable prices. This was a big criteria for me as my frequent travels always leave me with quite depleted (nearly empty) bank accounts. Also as I am always saving for that next trip, the first few things to take a cut are such seeming luxuries. 🙂
Photo Courtesy – shopping.rediff.com
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.
An important aspect of any successful travel blogger is the art of capturing and posting beautiful photographs. As all well written posts need actual photographs to enable the readers to relate to the post. So I decided to invest in a good quality digital camera and searched for options online –
Just a quick initial search threw up more than 2000 options and the sheer variety and number of options available were mind-boggling. Reading up more on this topic confused me further and a chat with a couple of camera enthusiasts just killed the purchase process as all the individual views, physics and mechanics of camera parts threw me into further indecision. And the more I researched the more the word “digital camera” became a monster from my school physics classes that I never got the hang of. Things reached such an epic proportion that I decided to give up this entire process and continue photographing with my iPhone camera.
However before I gave up the search, I decided to speak with a friend who is self-trained in photography and is pursuing a career in this space. A chat with him really helped me clarify this whole process so much so that I was finally able to purchase my own fabulous digital camera and also create a kind of questionnaire that has been helpful in simplifying this process for a lot of other people I know. While I am no authority on this subject, I felt that there are a lot of practical aspects (apart from the actual camera features) that one should consider before investing in a camera. Hence I decided to write this post and share the same with you today in case you are in the same boat that I was in then.
With my increasing urge to travel all year round, I have found myself always pondering over the question – What is the right time to inform your boss that you plan to go on leave?
In an ideal world, the process would be fairly simple – drop in a leave application to the boss and viola its done. But unfortunately this world is not ideal and the leave application process does not work this way. In my case even with the latest technological systems (that provide for less human interface and more automated mechanisms) i.e. you can just send an auto request to the million bytes of codes and they auto approve the request – has not worked. 😦
For all of my friends who will see this title and say, “Oh no, more coffee… Havent you written enough posts on coffee already?”, I have to respond and say – “You can never write enough about coffee. It’s like chocolate or mangoes”.. Do you ever feel that you have written / eaten / appreciated enough of chocolates or mangoes or anything else as sinful for that matter?
My friend Sridhar, another coffee lover (but much much worse than me in fact) sent this really nice email forward on the said subject and I just couldn’t help myself and had to post it… It’s by theoatmeal.com and you can check their site for more such posts.
Any award or recognition received no matter how, what, where, for etc etc is always an honor and a big encouragement because it reinforces the fact that you seem to be doing something right…
Last week, Gypsy Life nominated my blog Getsetandgo for my first blog award – the Versatile Blogger Award. I would really like to thank her for this nomination and the honor. You should visit her blog at http://pommepal.wordpress.com/ to follow her amazing pictures and interesting stories on her travels within New Zealand and Australia.