Friday, March 30, 2018

Why Do You Love The World? ~A Family Vacation to Goa~

Goa, a city where you show the wild side of the Indian that you are. Can you imagine a family vacation here? Oh, yes its possible. My next travel inspiration of travelling with seventeen members of my family and just having the time of your life. Its certainly a new experience and I am guilty of enjoying it throughly. It really gave me an open-minded perspective to what travel is with a large group.    

Day One was finding your comfort zone in a new place. North Goa rushed us and still was a good beginning, despite being a world travel, Goa was it! The Sinquerim Beach was great if you want to just relax on a boat ride. 

 We watched the dolphins dance around us, in pauses of course. But the excitement got us going. 

The Sinqquerim Beach

As we rested our tired legs

Aguada Fort

Since may of us were going to Goa for the first time, it was some time to see the most famous Calungate beach. It was over crowded as expected and as we sat down for some nice lunch at a restaurant, some of us could wait to get into the water. Unfortunately, the beach isn't how it used to be a few years ago. It has been abused literally by a lot of tourists and with garbage smell, drunkard men lying around abandoned, beer bottles here and there, I would not recommend this beach s a family beach anymore. If you love shopping though, do explore the market. Its good to window shop but this would be my last visit to North Goa. 

Paloem and its mystic waters

Cranberry mocktail

Shopping time!

However we didn't let that dampen our spirits because we did book a large traveller and headed towards South Goa the next day. Paloem was truly a tourist paradise. The entrance had an old structure as a gate and the soft sands touching our bare feet, let us feel free. We made ourselves comfortable somewhere near a shak where we could eat and drink without having to get up. With the kids who were only interested in being the water, we took turns to be with them. The best part about a family is they truly help out with the kids. Three of us also just headed out to shop little kick knacks for ourselves. From getting some wrap around skirts, tops and some aloe vera creams, we were actually having fun trying the clothes. Some shopkeepers were friendly towards us as Indian tourists. Many had their regular customers who were foreigners so they didn't try too hard to sell us their things. Honestly it takes a while to actually find clothes that fit your Indian structure. Not that anyone was complaining. 

The next day after a heavy breakfast at the Kamat hotel, that served piping hot idlies, dosas and vada with filter coffee, we headed out quickly towards the Spice Garden that also served us homemade food that included fish fry, chicken curry, rice, dal and papad. I absolutely gorged on those fish though. It was just so fresh and juicy. The claypots just added to the simplicity. Also I did pick up a few spices for my kitchen. It really didn't cost a lot. So don't forget to pick up your bit of shopping from this place. We had a guide throughout the tour and she showed us one by one the spices that were being grown, and the effort they put to keep them alive and thriving. The weather wasn't the best that day, so the coolness just soothed us while we followed each other.

A canal running through the spice garden

We were welcomed with hot lemon tea

Spice garden walking tour

As a couple we did take out a little time for ourselves to check out the clubs near Candolim. The beach was not very safe for the kids, so we stayed for a while and moved on to check out the market again. 

Despite the exploration within India, I understood the true value of a family. How travel can bring us all together despite us being so different from each other! My love for the world only increased because of this experience of a lifetime. I am looking forward to doing more such group travel because without family there is no life at all. 

Click below to understand different perspectives on why do you love the world? #SayYesToTheWorld

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Thursday, March 29, 2018

Why Do You Love The World? | Singapore~Malaysia Cruise

Life as it seems doesn't give you a lot of opportunities until you create them for yourself. Time is just going too fast for us to wait and see. What needs to be done is to just take the bull, literally, by the horns and just go for new adventures because that would never fade. The world as you can see it, not in a magazine or internet, not through your friends Facebook posts but all by yourself. Breaking away from your shell can be your greatest enemy because its not the money that actually matters in the end but memories.

I have been bought up with a lot of love and care by my parents and then later my husband who became my greatest friend ever. I have hardly known pain and suffering but as you will read further, life won't be the same for me because there are certain experiences that will make your heart tear apart. It happened when I lost my baby, lying the hospital bed, getting out of anaesthesia after a D&C when I realised that I cannot let this make me. This experience of having a life grow inside me and then loose, made bitter for quite sometime but it also made me different. It made me want to take care of myself more, I started my change with travel. And choose Singapore as the city of my travel inspiration. I wanted to be a part of a world traveller. 

When we landed, I started out with the Gardens By The Bay, the most amazing horticulture wonder I would ever see on earth. And as your wander around, the sweat began to take a toll on you. It doesn't have the best of weathers but as you make your way towards the cloud falls, the artificial water fall that touches your face the drops easing you into the place, and you just cannot help but fall in love with the city already. A city that creates wonders. The tulip garden show, that we could luckily see at the time, was just mind boggling as was the handmade art exhibits displayed here and there for the sheer pleasure of the visitors.  The little cafe where we had some nice coffee, beer and chicken just added to the touch. The entire area is air conditioned, so you would not feel tired at all. All you would want to do is go on. Do check out my first day in Singapore that I documented in my Youtube channel. 

My second day was all about Universal Studios. The child in me just got crazy over the rides. And the rollercoaster just gave me a tiny nervous breakdown. But isn't this why I am here? As the ride started, I think my heart sunk big time but as i got out of it, i got a feeling of euphoria, it was going to be the experience of a lifetime. And I got out of being called a chicken! All this counted as my experience as an open minded traveller. 

I did it!! Behind me the dreaded roller coaster
Universal studies. On our way to Adventure Cove
A long shopping experience in China Town because I really wanted to buy a lot of souvenirs for the people I love back in India. I got to taste the (in) famous Durian, their national fruit, that stinks and is not allowed in local trains and flights. I honestly didn't have a stomach to eat it all. I tried the coconut water with some softest coconut inside it. Trust me, pure bliss! after we walked so much. 

Last but not the least, how could we avoid the clubbing scene in Singapore. A city where liquor costed more than your ticket here. But the blast of air conditioning in your face while you have your choices of alcohol, is something you have to try once. There was live music as well so whats not to love while we romanced the streets of Clarke Quay. Love the world as you go because this day won't come back to you. 

Street food. Don't miss the crab!

ECP. A beautiful view
The final bit of my travel was taking a Star cruise ship. That was certainly new for me and i wanted to make sure that touched Malaysia. Its the ultimate luxury that you could give to yourself after walking tours in Singapore. If you want to put your legs up, soak in the jacuzzi, listen to late night live music, have live shows at your disposal, rain dance at a time then you have reached heaven on a ship. What amazed me is Singaporeans singing in hindi and punjabi! 

As we entered, we were handed over a scheduled eternally for the day and each day we were given one till we were completely booked. They even offered us an hour or two workshops for kids where you could just leave your toddlers for them to learn so many different thing like pizza making and ice-cream toppings. As our exploration continued, so did our hunger for more. 
Star Cruise on its way to Malaysia
Up the deck we go!

We took two tours to Malaysia. We really didn't need a visa for the country because the ship arranged for that. Penang was certainly something that you would love to linger around. Its a small town with a feel of something special as you see the street art, the monastery and try the local food. Our life seems so puny when you witness these flourishing cities. And meeting new people was one of the best things of the trip. And how can we go and not touch Kuala Lampur? Though its more a city, crowded yet culturally so very rich!

Kuala Lampur Tower
Petronas Tower

Beautiful street art and walls in Malaysia

Life seems like piece of cake once you step out of your home. When you take that one flight that will take you somewhere, to the land of unknown and what I got from this experience is so much  richer than just clothes or jewellery that we buy at times. Life is almost always full of troubles, but its how we take it is what that matters. Building relationships, getting a stamp in your passport, stepping out of your comfort zone is all that makes you the person you are. So, stop procrastinating and do something that you never did before. You own it to yourself. 

Do check out this link to book your tickets and experience a new world. Don't forget to say 'yes'. 

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Colours of Holi and Joys of motherhood.

When I used to think about all the times i wanted to stay back at home and never come out when the times comes for Holi. The most dreaded of all festivities because it involved getting cleaned up really well afterwards. Me, who loves to launder around and not bother much. But how times change when you have a child in your life. The joys of sharing colors, laughter and adapting a naughtiness that make them love you more. I would never ever abandon loving this festival as much as my son. Of course in the army, the group is bigger and there are other people around you with the same craziness. And though I have moved for a little while in the civilian mode, I love how this enthusiasm doesn't escape it a child or an adult.
So here are some of the memories of those times.

2010 Holi @ Jalandhar. Unit Life

2018 Holi @Hyderabad
When holi means serious business- 2018