10 must do things when you are in India

 

  1. Attend a festival – We have so many festivals in India that every month you can count a few.  India is the most colorful land when it comes to festivals. No matter which month you go, there is always something going on. Although few big festivals are Holi, Diwali and Dussehra are the main festivals.
  2. Attend a marriage – Indians have big fat weddings and some of the riches are famous for show off as well but it’s worth attending a marriage when you are there as it is an easy way to immerse yourself in the culture and get the feel of the soul of Indian culture in short time that too with a lot of fun.
  3. Cook an Indian meal – You will learn so much about different spices that Indians use in their food as well as the reason to use them. Ever spice has a property that helps either in digestion or healing or something else in your body that you will discover when you try cooking some of the stuff. Do learn how to cook ‘daal’ and ‘saag’. You would be able to boast when you go back that you can cook some Indian food and guess what lots of people around the world love Indian food.
  4. Watch any classical dance performance – We have many
  5. Go to temple and worship in traditional way. Every evening devotees gather to sing praise in temples and it is music to ear and one of the things that you must experience
  6. Eat at the stalls by the side of streets – Give it some more time when you arrive in India as you might be new to this kind of non-hygienic way of eating but locals eat on such place almost every day. Even the corporate professionals walk down the street from their work place to enjoy some snacks every now and then. Make sure that you eat something that is cooked in front of you and not sitting there for quiet a while. There are some hygienic but little expensive options to try the same things in good restaurants like Haldiram where hygiene is guaranteed. Although many Indians think it doesn’t taste as good as the roadside food but it should be fine as long as you can get the feel of various food here. Like everywhere else you can also get McDonald here but with an Indian touch. Although I would suggest to avoid that if you are not feeling home sick.
  7. Shop from the street market and bargain the price – One of the surprising experience you might have when you buy something less than 20% of the actual cost. You need to know that most of the times shop keepers rise the price when they think you are a foreigner. So make sure not to get ripped just because you are travelling. One of the tricks to get a good bargain is not to show much interest otherwise they are smart enough to know that you like the stuff and you might be happy to pay any price they ask for.
  8. Live with a local family – This is the closest you can see and live the soul of the very culture in any country. And India is no different. So make friends and try to live with some one’s family and eat home made food. I bet you wouldn’t regret it.
  9. Get a pic on a rickshaw and bus – You will see the difference immediately from other places. It’s fun though.
  10. Travel by train – I know its is a little bit tough and scary at first but after listening to many fellow traveler I can say one thing. You can see true India here. Just few hours of journey and you will make lots of friends and hear many stories. But make sure you keep your bags around you all the time in case something is not insured.
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Chaos is how I will describe my life

Chaos is how I will describe my life,

No time to rest, no time to step back and reflect.

Just the daily activities that I am involved in as a robot,

From the moment I get up and go to work till I am lying in bed to get some sleep.

 

I try hard to fight with the system and get out of it,

Every now and then and go for a retreat.

But its hard at times – it’s hard changing your life,

Specially when you are so busy doing the same thing over and over again.

 

Yes, it does make me think of my situation,

What can I do to make the most of my day,

So I do catch up with my friends and try to attend something,

I try to write to keep my creative edge alive since I have started.

 

Still I want to make a living doing something worthwhile in life,

Not that what I am doing now doesn’t make a difference as it does.

But other than keeping my analytical brain at work,

It does not give the sense of satisfaction in life irrespective of the money it generates.

 

Why in the first place we devised such system called – work for living,

I know, because that is a smooth way of running the world without chaos.

And here I am in the midst of this so called perfect system,

Finding this life more chaotic than it can ever be.

Second day at Byron Bay…the weekend was yet not over

I didn’t have any plans for rest of the day after the Hot Air Ballooning adventure of mine. Once I was back in my hostel, I came to know about this monthly market that was held today in town. I felt excited once again to see something new so I checked out of the hostel, as my train back to Sydney was in the evening, and headed to the town with my backpack with me. I was again on my way for some more sight seeing. I was lucky that I got to visit this market and it was a nice way to explore more about the culture of the place as well. Market was more like a fair in this little town and there were colors everywhere. I did try some ice-cream and enjoyed some live music with the locals. It was a true authentic experience that makes you feel almost a part of the place.

After visiting the market, I called one of the friends that I made yesterday to catch up before I leave and he was generous to give me a nice tour of the nearby beach and then a small town called ‘Bungalow’. If you are looking for some peaceful and small place to stay then this is your destination. It is more like a countryside with a road full of greenery leading to it. It is a nice 15 minutes drive from Byron Bay with nice cafe and small market of its own. Also there are many art galleries and shops at this place. We came back to Byron Bay and as there was an hour left before I could catch my bus so we though of getting something to eat and drink in a nearby cafe just across the bus stand while still enjoying the sunset. It was 5:00 PM when I saw a bus with the Country Link logo waiting at the bus stand. I checked my itinerary and the time to board the bus was 5:15 PM on it. I still thought it’s better to board the bus in advance so I started getting my stuff together in order to get to the bus stand. The moment I arrived the bus stand the bus left. What? This can’t be happening I thought in my head. My friend was still with me so he offered me a ride to the next stop to catch the bus. Soon we were chasing this bus but soon it disappeared. I panicked thinking about the incidence last morning when I missed the station but this time I was angry thinking how can the bus leave earlier than the time mentioned on the itinerary. Suddenly my friend realized that the direction we were going was not correct and it was leading us to Brisbane (in the opposite direction to Sydney) and we saw another bus coming from the opposite direction. We quickly took a U-Turn and drove back to the bus stand as we realized we were chasing the wrong bus altogether and the bus to Sydney was on time. That’s what happens when you panic and when you have already missed your bus/station in past. I said good by to my friend and finally boarded the bus to Sydney (its a break journey – bus to Casino and then another train to Sydney from there). This time I didn’t miss anything and got home the next morning before going to work. So overall it was a weekend full of fun, adventure, thrill and excitement I must say. Hope you enjoyed it with me 🙂 I will be back with some more stories as I plan my next destination which is not far but only two weeks from now. Where? That I will reveal in my future posts.  Till then enjoy life and keep smiling my friend 🙂

Concussion couldn’t stop me from skiing – Pain is temporary, but if I quit then it will last forever

Now that you know after my last post (Concussion on a Ski Trip – Lost few memories but gained many more) that I fell bad on the first day of my ski trip in Snowy Mountains.
Pain is temporary. It may last a minute, or an hour, or a day, or a year, but eventually it will subside and something else will take its place. If I quit, however, it lasts forever. – Lance Armstrong

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This quote was all in my head when I got there the next day and was about to decide to take rest and give up on skiing the next day. But then we arrived there and I quickly thought to give it a go. My aim today was to practice whatever I had learned and take lesson to improve upon my techniques. I took a  lesson and guess what it paid. It was good and I didn’t fall all day other than once in a lesson when I was taught to actually life my leg when putting pressure on the other leg while taking a turn. And I did a bit too much and fell. It didn’t hurt though and I was able to get back on my ski quiet quickly. And I had a lot of fun which even made me forget the pain in my brain and neck. I was trying to make sure that I do not fall as it was the hardest bit to get up with so much pain around my neck and brain. So I did manage not to fall until a girl dragged me down while getting off the lift and fell on me. I hit my bottom hard and took a while to get over it and start skiing down the mountain again. I am really happy that I did manage to ski the other day as it made me learn more about myself that day and now I really feel proud of myself I can say. I did earned some respect as well I would say in that tour from rest of the people. And now I am happy to go back once I get better and once this head injury heals completely. Here are some pics for you to enjoy my friend 🙂

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Concussion on a Ski Trip – Lost few memories but gained many more

‘What am I doing here and how did I got here?’ This was my first question when I found myself in this windy and cold place where there was snow all around me. I felt like it was a dream and all I remember was that everything was black & white and no colors at all. There was this guy who was helping me to get up and all I could say was – ‘How do I know you?‘ It felt a bit awkward but I did ask how did I meet him and where? It then occurred to me that I do not remember a lot of things – for example I had no memory of getting here at the top of this mountain, in the midst of snow. It started to scare me a little and that’s when this guy asked me to ski down when and I thought it’s a dream so I didn’t take it seriously and skied down straight and fast. Again I have no memory about what happened after that. Next thing I remember is that this guy was taking me to this cafe and asking everyone where he can find a medical personnel. It started to scare me now as I told him that I am fine and we can go and have coffee or something but he insisted on taking me to a doctor and we finally found a medical room and he left. I felt bad as he was nice and the only person I knew for at least few minutes of whatever memory I was left with.

I was then asked a lot of questions from the doctor. I did remember that I am from Sydney but had no clue what I am doing here or even where I am. It scared me a little but soon my fear was replaced by curiosity of seeing so many medical personnel around me asking me so many questions and making calls. I kept seeing new faces for a while before I fainted for a while again and they woke me up quick enough as that was the most dangerous state I could be after the concussion I had I was told. Now I knew what had happened to me – Concussion. So here I was lying in the medical room till they arrange to take me to the hospital in the town. Now the issue was they couldn’t take me back via lift as there was a chance that I had broken something around my neck due to the pain I had in my head and neck. So they decided to ski me down in a body bag (as my friend called it later). I felt like a dead person every time she reminded me that I was brought to hospital in a body bag. Here is a picture of how they usually ski injured people. I was in the similar situation as well with a lot of snow on my face till I got to the bottom with my heart pumping hard every time I would see the slopes they were going through and the edges from where I could see deep down to the forests covered with snow. But finally I got to the hospital where Kelly, the girl I met a day before on this trip was waiting for me. She was a very good friend by now and funny too as she was taking her own picture lying in the bed next to mine when doctor had kept me under observation.

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This is me just before I had a fall

Ski Down

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was hard enough to walk but then we decided to take pictures while going back from the hospital as the view was just stunning. Here are the pics of me and my friend Kelly after the whole concussion episode.

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We got back to the bus on time before it left back to the hostel and I had the story of the town by now as everyone knew in the bus that I had an accident and people started asking me what happened. But that was a difficult question to answer specially when I didn’t remember much. So what happened the next day? Did I ski anymore or not? Lets wait for my next post and see what do I do. Some more pics and some stories to come 🙂

Strange but Fun Facts & Laws to Read

I was reading this post – Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast from my friend Jill London and in order to send her some more weired facts in addition to the one in her post, I stumbled upon few really strange facts that I felt I can share with you all. Hope you find something new in these may be not so strange facts 🙂

  • Tablecloths were originally meant to be served as towels with which dinner guests could wipe their hands and faces after eating!
  • Tourists visiting Iceland should know that tipping at a restaurant is considered an insult!
  • Until the nineteenth century, solid blocks of tea were used as money in Siberia!
  • When glass breaks, the cracks move faster than 3,000 miles per hour. To photograph the event, a camera must shoot at a millionth of a second!
  • There are no clocks in Las Vegas gambling casinos!
  • All polar bears are left handed.
  • No word in the English language rhymes with “MONTH.”
  • “Dreamt” is the only English word that ends in the letters “mt”
  • In the White House, there are 13,092 knives, forks and spoons!
  • Slugs have 4 noses!
  • About 3000 years ago, most Egyptians died by the time they were 30!
  • In space, astronauts cannot cry properly, because there is no gravity, so the tears can’t flow down their faces!
  • In Bangladesh, kids as young as 15 can be jailed for cheating on their finals!
  • The elephant is one of the few mammals that can’t jump!
  • America once issued a 5-cent bill
  • A man named Charles Osborne had the hiccups for 69 years! Wow!
  • Chewing gum while peeling onions will keep you from crying!
  • Bats always turn left when exiting a cave!
  • Honolulu is the only place in the United States that has a royal palace!
  • More money is spent on gardening than on any other hobby!
  • The fear of vegetables is called Lachanophobia!..
  • A toothpick is the object most often choked on by Americans
  • Men are 6 times more likely to be struck by lightning than women!
  • Most dust particles in your house are made from dead skin!
  • Bulls are colour blind, therefore will usually charge at a matador’s waving cape no matter what colour it is — be it red or neon yellow! – Now that makes me think twice as I always thought that Red colour does make a difference and if I stand wearing may be white then I might hide from his eyes.  Good to know this fact I think
  • Apples are more efficient than caffeine in keeping people awake in the mornings – Wow I might carry an apple now as two coffee a day is something that is needed at the moment to keep me going otherwise which is not so good for health really
  • Smelling bananas and/or green apples (smelling, not eating) can help you lose weight – Everyone trying to reduce weight, read this as it might be of some help in reducing those ounces
  • The poison-arrow frog has enough poison to kill about 2,200 people!
  • The original name for the butterfly was ‘flutterby’!

There are some really strange laws also in place around the world that made me think for a while.

  •  In Virginia, chickens cannot lay eggs before 8:00 a.m., and must be done before 4:00 p.m. – wow how do we control that now
  • In North Carolina, it is against the law for dogs and cats to fight. – We are making laws for animals as well now
  • In New Jersey, cabbage can’t be sold on Sunday. – What’s wrong with that ?
  • In the State of Kansas, you’re not allowed to drive a buffalo through a street. – Yes that makes it safe now
  • In Kentucky, it’s the law that a person must take a bath once a year. – That makes a state less stinkier
  • In Louisiana, a bill was introduced years ago in the State House of Representatives that fixed a ceiling on haircuts for bald men of 25 cents. – Do they even need it?
  • In Tennessee, it is against the law to drive a car while sleeping. – Do people do that all the time otherwise?
  • California law prohibits a woman from driving a car while dressed in a housecoat. – Man that’s not fair now
  • In Illinois, the law is that a car must be driven with the steering wheel. – Really??
  • In Miami, it is forbidden to imitate an animal. – I need to be more careful now, not that I have ever done that
  • The law states that more than 3000 sheep cannot be herded down Hollywood Blvd. at any one time.
  • In Missouri, a man must have a permit to shave. – really??
  • In Michigan, it is against the law for a lady to lift her skirt more than 6 inches while walking through a mud puddle. – Man I am not going there wearing a skirt now 🙂

Second day at Byron Bay – Hot Air Ballooning with a bunch of Sky Divers

 So far you have enjoyed the last two articles about my adventurous weekend in Byron Bay, Australia. Now I would love to share my experience of day 2 which was also full of excitement and joy. In case you missed my other two posts then here is the link to the same for you my friend.

Hot Air Ballooning with 7 Sky Divers

Hot Air Ballooning with 7 Sky Divers

Alarm went off around 4:30 AM and first time in weeks I was not frustrated as I had enough sleep this time so I quickly jumped out of the bed with excitement. Today was the day I was going to experience Hot Air Ballooning. So many times I dreamt of doing it but every time I felt I should wait for some one special to do it with. But finally I decided to do it on my own after one of my friend suggested that it is an experience that you get to feel individually anyways so why wait for some one when you can do it by yourself. So here I was waiting at the gate of the hostel to get picked up around 5:15 AM. A car pulled up next to me and I confirmed that it was from the Ballooning company. After a warm welcome message from the guy driving the car, I fastened my seat belt and we headed to the location for base(the office for ballooning ). It was still dark when we arrived at the base. I could see many people getting ready in their gears for sky diving. I felt as if I was the only one in the balloon staying back and almost everyone else was going to jump. I wished I could jump with them for a moment and this thought was interrupted by one of the sky divers. She introduced herself and a formal round of introduction kick started for few minutes. These were professionals with more than few hundred and even few thousand jumps. My goodness, I almost freeze to digest this information now. I was excited and felt a bit naive to talk to these people now as whatever jargons they were using I couldn’t understand half of them. I met Thomas, the chief pilot of Byron Bay Ballooning (http://www.byronbayballooning.com.au) and signed some forms as part of the formal process. Thomas was quiet reassuring as I was a bit nervous as well excited, this being my first balloon flight.

Thomas after successful landing

Thomas after successful landing

Soon we started for Casino, place from where the balloon was supposed to fly. I was cold but super excited. I chose to sit with other sky divers in the first van to listen to some insightful information they would like to share during this one hour journey. It was a nice ride till the patrol station where the drivers stopped to fill patrol. I was told a lot of things and these people were very nice to explain me a lot of new concepts that made me look a bit puzzled. I shared rest of the way with other set of people and got to know some more people on my way to Casino. It was an overwhelming morning I must say, so much that I kind of forgot that I was here for ballooning really.

Once we arrived in Casino, the process of unloading the balloon and setting it up started. It was such a huge balloon, I guess all of them are but I was witnessing it for the first time. It was like preparing for a festival, with so many people helping in the process and some of us trying to shoot the process or take pictures of the location. As the balloon rose, it was such a mesmerising view with all the colours rising in the sky with the bright light of  the sun. Then we climbed into the balloon and Thomas started to fill the balloon with hot air and the balloon took off. It was so smooth that we didn’t feel anything but only the view started changing as we gained height. Just so that you know Thomas has been flying since the age of 22 and has also won many awards.  So if you are in Byron Bay and feel like ballooning then he is your guy. I was trying to absorb this whole experience while also taking a lot of pictures at the same time. The basket is divided in three compartments and the middle one is reserved for the pilot with some gas cylinders. We were almost 12 people, 6 in each baskets on both the sides and out of which 7 were sky divers. Soon we rose to the height of 6000 feet and it was an amazing view. It felt so light and beautiful to see the whole area at this hour of the morning. It was around 8:45 AM. The divers were all ready to jump and soon we hit the height of 9000 feet from where they were supposed to jump. It was more scary to look at them standing on the edges of the basket. And I guess I was more excited and worried than them. Some of them were doing it for the first time which I thought was very brave and increased my respect for all these divers. Soon before I realised they started jumping from the balloon. It was so fast that I didn’t even get chance to take many pictures of them jumping and soon they disappeared from the sight. We started moving towards the destination, Thomas was co-ordinating with rest of the team to make sure all the divers are safe and have been located after reaching the ground.

Thomas started to prepare us for landing and soon we were descending fast, not that you can feel it other than the height displayed on the system. We landed on a  farm with more than 50  bulls all staring at us in not so welcoming mood. Thomas waited for rest of the team to come to this location and get the permission from the farm owner before getting us all climb out of the balloon. Once the team was here, the bulls started heading towards their vans and soon we were out of this adventurous and risky zone. And next thing I remember, we were all rolling the balloon and packing everything back in the vehicle to head back. I was still floating in the sky in my thoughts though as it is a last longing experience and it takes some time to get back to reality I can say. Thomas stopped in a nice cafe on the way and bought lunch for all of us as part of the package. I chose Spanish Omelette and you know what, it was the best breakfast ever after such a beautiful start of the day. What else can you ask from life I thought with a smile. The day is yet not over my friend and I still have to share my experience of the monthly market, beach and one of the most beautiful town/village in the area before I finish my story. So keep an eye for another post after this 🙂 Till then have a wonderful day my friend.

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Fabulous Day at Byron Bay – Kayaking, Flying and some sight seeing

    So now that you know how it all started, you might be ready to know the best part of the day. And if you missed the last part then here is the link to it:
    It all happened so quickly when I was wondering about the plan for rest of the day in this new place. I saw the advertisement for Kayaking and one of my friends had told me about this awesome experience as must have in Byron Bay. And the hostel manager of Cape Byron Lodge(oldest backpacker in Byron Bay – http://www.capebyronlodge.com) was quiet nice to book it quickly for me and before I unpacked all the stuff I got the time for their pickup around 9:30 AM and within half an hour I was on my way for Kayaking (http://www.goseakayakbyronbay.com.au).

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It was exactly what I need, splash of water, a bumpy entry into the ocean through some rough waves that almost flicked me out of the boat and a serene beauty of the place to look at. I was almost lost in the place and this whole fun experience. It was a reward of all that hard work I felt and all that planning that went behind this. I was so relaxed that I almost forgot all about morning. We spotted so many dolphins while kayaking. Me and my buddy even went back to catch some more waves but the second time we got washed away by the bigger waves. It was great fun and the people in the kayaking company were super friendly that started this whole trip in a very nice manner. I met many interesting and friendly people on this trip and when I came back I couldn’t stop smiling thinking about such an interesting morning. Once I was back in hostel I requested the manager for some more information on hand gliding as I had heard that it is also a very nice activity that you can do and it was on my bucket list as well. He even booked one for me, although a different version with micro light plane as the wind was not good for flying otherwise. img_6072_med_hr img_6073_med_hrimg_6091_med_hr It was good to fly over the coastal line of Byron Bay with an expert pilot (http://byronbayskysurfers.com). And after my flight I made friends with few pilots and one of them offered me a ride but unfortunately I had to head back to hostel but I promised to come back to Byron Bay again for it. See, very nice people really. I love Byron Bay J After returning to my hostel I went to the light house and the hostel manager was very friendly to arrange the hostel van to give me a ride to the light house. And I had some cool shot of sunset after two of my other adventures. It was the best way to wind down the day really.

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 I was thinking to go out that night even though I have quit drinking but I can still enjoy with plain juice I thought. But then I had arranged the Hot Air Ballooning the other day so it made sense to get some rest before my pick up around 5:15 AM the next day. I made some noodles and had some baked apple for my dinner and went to bed with a happy soul J Best day after getting burnt out last week with hectic life and work not that this day wasn’t busy but I guess this is my way to relax 😉 So what happens the next day? Yes I am about to start writing about that so stay tuned. And here is the link to the next post.

Second day at Byron Bay – Hot Air Ballooning with a bunch of Sky Divers

 

Road to Byron Bay – Not so easy but worthwhile for an interesting weekend

About to start a long train journey to get to my next stop - Byron Bay

About to start a long train journey to get to my next stop – Byron Bay

That's happy me before the journey started..all excited for the trip

That’s happy me before the journey started..all excited for the trip

Queue for dinner in the train..yes I kind of liked this whole new experience after taking so many flights recently :)

Queue for dinner in the train..yes I kind of liked this whole new experience after taking so many flights recently 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was a long train journey and got worse when couldn’t get comfortable to get enough sleep. Yes, right I didn’t sleep all night to make sure I get down at the Casino to catch a bus to Byron Bay, even asked the guy working in the train to wake me up just in case. And good thing that it’s their job to wake people up otherwise in the night trains it might be chaos if people who board can’t get the seat because other people have forgotten to get down. I was able to get 1 hour nap and caught the bus to Byron Bay. And then I decided to watch a movie as the journey was only for 3 hours. So I started a dance movie that was downloaded on my phone. I watched some of it but then sitting in a bus where everyone was sleeping and there was not enough light at this time of the night so I felt a bit sleepy. I took a nap and put an alarm to wake me up as I was supposed to get down at Byron Bay around 5:55 AM. My alarm ran off and I realized its 4:55 AM and felt like having a 5 minutes nap which I do at home sometimes before going to work. I heard someone mentioning Byron Bay but I felt I was dreaming.

Suddenly I woke up and looked at my phone. It was 6:15 AM and I was supposed to be going Hot Air Ballooning before 6 AM (a guy was waiting in Byron Bay to pick me up). Shit! That was my exact expression. I ran to the driver and asked how far Byron Bay is. He looked at me in surprise and told me that Byron Bay station already passed. What? I didn’t sleep all night for this. What…I didn’t have words for few minutes and I asked him how far it is? It was 20-25 minutes away and I wanted to jump out of bus to catch a ride back but at this hour it was neither safe nor a very good option. The driver realized I was travelling by myself so he tried to help me out by dropping me in a safe place (it was the next town) and called the other bus driver from the same company who was supposed to go to Byron Bay via this place. I waited for one hour near this beautiful little town called Brunswick Head from about 6:30 AM to 7:30 AM.

Yes, that's me sad and cold in the morning when I missed my station :(

Yes, that’s me sad and cold in the morning when I missed my station 😦

It was cold but I managed to walk to the nearby river and get some nice shots before I realized that my shoes were wet with the dew on the grass. I looked at the sky and asked – What’s next? Hit me with a lightning now. I was angry at myself to miss the Ballooning today not knowing how the weather would be the next day. I was angry at myself to stand in this cold weather where not many options were available in the town even to get some hot coffee at this hour. But an hour passed quickly now that I think about it and I caught the bus while the driver knew me as the girl who slept and missed her station. Yes, that makes me a little famous now. But you know what I wasn’t wrong when I was thinking everything happens for a reason, and you will find out soon why.

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I got to my hostel which was way too far and even after getting lost on the way (as the road on which the hostel was located was not in the map I had with me), I managed to get there before 8: 30 AM with the help of some really nice locals. And after getting there I found the reception is closed and many people are waiting there including a couple whom I saw in the bus with me. I wished if they could have waked me up in Byron Bay station but of course they might not have known my station. Finally the manager of the hostel came and told everyone that he is still hung over and just found out that there is no one at the reception. When it was my turn to check in, I end up having a decent conversation with him as he felt a little bit embarrassed with the whole situation at the reception with so many people waiting to check in. He felt relaxed and I felt better after talking to someone in a light manner in spite of having a really bad morning. What happens next? How the day gets better and better? Yes, I am still writing that and want you to have this first part till then. I will be back with the awesome day after this soon my lovely friend.

Hot Air Ballooning with bunch of Sky Divers and me in the basket

I have more pictures on my Facebook page for this site. Please check more pictures there as due to increasing size restriction I didn’t upload more pictures here.

I will be back with the exciting story of this weekend adventure of mine. As you know it never is simple and this time wasn’t different either. But I would not like to change it for anything really 🙂 So stay tuned and look for my next post to read about how I missed my station and end up in another town and how I started my day with kayaking with dolphins and then flew in a plane. All unplanned but exciting things after which I end up flying in a Hot Air Balloon the next day for a adventurous morning with other 7 Sky Divers who were jumping off the plane.

 

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10 Best Places to Experience the Serene Beauty of the World through Hot Air Ballooning

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Another article published of mine in ‘TheHostelLife’ travel website. Here is the link and also the information for all of you to refer: http://www.thehostellife.com/news/item/480

I wish I could fly! Have you ever felt like this? Then you know what you can and Hot Air Ballooning has made it easier than said in today’s modern world. Its a majestic feeling as the balloon lift in the sky and fills you with the feeling of joy and serenity. And when you encounter the first ray of sun in the sky it makes it worthwhile to get up really early in the morning. Here are the top 10 amazing places in the world for Hot Air Ballooning:

  1. Hot Air Ballooning in North Pole in Arctic with Quark Expeditions (http://www.quarkexpeditions.com/). It is called ‘The Ultimate Arctic Adventure’ which doesn’t really surprise as getting the balloon up in the air at such place definitely shows the adventure involved with it. More than 50 guests celebrated 50 years of the ship with 5 minutes of Hot Air Ballooning experience at the top of the world. It is really once in a life time experience. Next date can be checked at the site and costs somewhere from $24,965 – $37,965.
  2. Great Barrier Reef is one of the best places to see the reefs and beautiful coast line in Australia. Australia gives you a wide variety to experience Hot Air Ballooning but flying above one of the seven natural wonders in the world is an unforgettable experience in itself. http://www.hotair.com.au/cairns/tours/hot-air-balloon-and-great-barrier-reef-cruise-with-great-adventures.html
  3. Hot air Ballooning in Grand Canyon gives you the birds eye view of the remarkable desert landscape and the mountains. It is a feast for one’s eyes when you see this beautiful scenery below from a few flying balloon. http://www.grandcanyonballoonrides.com/
  4. What can be a better option than flying over the breath taking regions of Niagara Falls. It is a tranquil experience for your soul to see the nature on its full swing like this. And ballooning makes it easier to fly across the falls and let you enjoy the amazing scenery below.
    http://www.balloonsoverletchworth.com/
  5. Mt. Everest is one of the unique places to fly over around the world. The first Balloon Flight Over Everest 1991. Not only it was built with special oxygen breathing systems but also had differently designed burners to allow the balloon to fly in extreme conditions at almost 40,000 ft. Andy Elson was the pilot of this first pioneer flight. Leo Dickinson even wrote a book about it – ‘Ballooning Over Everest’. This is not run as a tourist attraction due to its risky operation and extremely high cost but it has been done once and keep an eye open, may be someone starts it in future again. http://www.andyelson.com/Everest.htm
  6. Would you plan to go for a fight over active volcano – Mount Bromo in Java, Indonesia. Yes, I am just joking as it is not safe to fly over this place for sure. But you can definitely boast about flying over Cappadocia, Turkey where the rocks and stone towers were carved into the volcanic lava almost 65 million years ago. One of the best and amazing site to witness in the world if you like the concept of Hot Air Ballooning and the leisure time it gives you to soak into the scenery. Cappadocia, also known as ‘Land of the beautiful horses’ is an hour away from Istanbul. http://www.hotairballooncappadocia.com/
  7. Sunflower fields and vineyards surrounding a beautiful village in southwest of France is a very compelling reason to come to Loire Valley. It has more than 800 castles with a beautiful river crossing the area. One of the famous and scenic places for Hot Air Ballooning in the world, Loire Valley, still maintains the authenticity of the place in the midst of the touristy feel to it. http://www.france-balloons.com/balloon-ride,val-de-loire.php
  8. When talking about ballooning, how can we forget about the International Balloon Festival organized in Chateau d’Oex. This festival is held in the last week of January and gives a perfect view of Alps with the spectacular ski slopes. http://www.festivaldeballons.ch/en/festival_en
  9. Napa Valley in United States still maintains the reputation for being a great place for Hot Air Ballooning. Celebration with champagne after a flight over the beautiful vineyards mixed with the fields of sunflowers is a real treat. http://www.balloonrides.com/
  10. Masai Mara National Reserve in Kenya provides a lifetime experience of Hot Air Ballooning. Specially during the migration season (from July to October) when over two million wild animals including zebra, wildebeest, eland and Thomson’s gazelle try to cross Mara River alive as the crocodiles in the river prey on them. This is the only place in the world where you can witness a massive and immense movements of wildlife. http://www.audleytravel.com/destinations/africa/kenya/things-to-do/hot-air-balloon-flight.aspx

What is it to feel like zero?

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Have you ever felt like this? Yes, I feel like zero these days. A lot of things are planned for future. I look at the calendar on my phone and every day is booked with some or the other thing to do. I cancelled my appointments last weekend as I wanted to sleep after few weeks of amazing fun with no sleep. I wanted to stay home and do nothing in the rainy weather. It was good but I felt like zero. In the midst of such a busy schedule all I could feel was void/vacuum. I felt nothing really. It was not bad or good or anything, just nothing. I am feeling it more and more these days. I do stuff when it comes to meeting friends, travel, plan a travel, work, eat and arrange other things. But other than than my mood is getting much calmer and neutral.  Why I am writing about it? I can’t help but express myself in front of you my friend. I might get some insight from a different perspective I hope as this is something new that I am not totally aware of and it is a bit unsettling to get into unknown state like this.

I think or rather trying to think but nothing comes, I am looking at my surroundings and nothing comes to my mind. I am hoping to bounce back to my bubbly self. But I don’t mind experiencing this state either as everything is much more clear. I can look at things and situations from an un-biased perspective. World around me seems like moving every moment without me being involved at times.

6 Months, 200 Posts, 1000 Followers and 20,000 Hits – Thanks You All (you made it happen)

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Here are few pictures in a frame that I took in Sri Lanka this year.

 

Hello My Beautiful & Motivating Friends,

My heart is full of emotions today as I reached few milestones in terms of statistics and felt overwhelmed with the people who are following my blog at the moment. I couldn’t have made it possible in little less than six months without your love, motivation  and appreciation my dear friend.

As I have quit drinking so cheers with a glass of water at my end and you can pour some bear/wine for yourself to celebrate this awesome day with me. Do write if you have some ideas of motivating things for my blog. I would love to hear from you if you can spare some of your precious time.

Once again, thanks a lot for making this journey much more beautiful for me every day and every moment of my life.

Hugs & Warm Regards to all,

Kavita Joshi

All lined up to throw up – Yes it was the case before diving into GBR

Yes it sounds gross to talk about throwing up and it is best not to discuss about it when you are going through some windy weather in a small boat for diving. Believe me it does make you throw up at the end. It was the day I was going for my dive in Great Barrier Reef and it was a 2.5 hours journey to get there by boat. I started talking to this American guy who was afraid of getting sick and in process of telling him various ways not to get sick I myself started feeling sick. Eventually I went to the front of the boat to look at the horizon (well known technique to stop you from throwing up). And soon there was almost a bunch of people who joined me and here is a picture that I took as it was the first time I found so many people all getting sick at the same time. And the people inside the boat were not in the great shape either almost half of the people were holding a bag to make sure they don’t get throw up inside the boat after listening to the embarrassing stories told by the guide in the boat. Anyways I guess getting sick is part of travel as well. There are few things that you can do as a precaution not to get sick but if you do then just better to throw up and move on to enjoy your holiday/trip and not to screw rest of it if possible.

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What do you do in the plane? Is travelling by air easy?

Did you say sleep? But not always right and if you travel very frequently then you would know what I mean. Who loves the window seat. I do but only when its a short flight. If it’s a couple sitting next to me then I prefer to take a aisle seat to make sure I don’t have to knock to go to washroom or a stroll in a long flight. People love the window seat from where you can see the view when plane is landing and taking off. But do you ever think the use of it when its a night flight. I see so many people booking the seats mindlessly as if they are going to watch a movie in a theater and the choice of seats are always fixed – center back. I have learned this lesson long back when people on long flight like to sleep and to go to pee you have to keep trying to wake them up in most polite way and then once again if they fall asleep till you come back. So what’s your preference for seat when you fly?

I like to keep a book handy in case I get a cheap deal with flights and then they would not have any movies to play without buying each one of them. Also I like to keep my camera handy as you get free view from the sky, like a helicopter tour in case you are sitting away from the wings. If movies are free and good quality then I don’t mind watching a few and keep myself updated. But then you would also want to get some sleep in a long flight, whereas people get a bit anxious in a short flight as its too much hassle for an hour or so flight to check in and then looking for checked in baggage. I travel light with only a carry on backpack which people stare for long when I get in the queue. And quiet a few times I have to either throw stuff (I do have spare things in case I don’t get time to check the weight in advance) or wear some more clothes. I do not prefer to let my backpack get out of my sight as it otherwise can turn into a loss of property which in turn might ruin my short trip anyways. And for few days we don’t need much anyways so carry on is a good way to save money and travel easy with no worry.

Do write about what you like to do when you fly. I would love to hear all about it.

Regards,

Kavita