Love at first sight – Grand Canyon

I literally didn’t have a better heading to give this time due to lack of words to describe my experience of Grand Canyon. It is one of those moments where youvfeel overwhelmed by the magnificient view and the magnitude of this beautiful place.

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Hobart – 7th most famous cities in the world in 2013

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Leaving Sydney for Hobart, Tasmania

Awesome breakfast made by Sam (host)

Awesome breakfast made by Sam (host)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hobart – When I went to Tasmania, I wasn’t expecting much to be honest as the trip to Sunshine coast a few days before this made me a bit tired. And as it was going to be extreme change of weather from hot to cold so I was a bit nervous about my health as well. But then how come my trip can go without any adventure or a story to tell after all. So yes, I did have an awesome time with a lot to do in 4 days of my stay in Hobart that included meeting some really amazing people from Hobart.

The moment I arrived in Hobart I wrapped myself with scarf, beanie and a lot of clothes to make myself warm before leaving the plane and that worked really well. It was a dramatic entry to the city in the dark and cloudy night. This time I was about to experience my second couch surfing experience after Adelaide. I was a little bit nervous as this is something I am not very experienced after all and although I love meeting people but living at some one else’s place does throw you out of your comfort zone a little bit specially when saving money is not your priority.  But now when I look back I am glad that I did take the risk and did go ahead with my decision of being a couch surfer for one more time as otherwise I would not have met Sam, Steve and David. The most amazing and wonderful hosts in Hobart you can live with and have all the fun in the world. I cooked with David, learned salsa (I end up spinning in the wrong direction most of the times though) from Sam and Steve, did kayaking with  Steve and Sam, partied with Sam and his friends, watched a movie with Steve and Sam and so much more. I didn’t even feel that I just met them and rather felt like friends/family living at their place.

Seriously if you have never tried couch surfing then I would suggest to try it at least once in your life as this is such an amazing experience and if you meet some wonderful hosts like I did then you might have life time of memories to think about. Alright so what is about Hobart that makes it special. So here are some things that you should do when you are there:

  1. Visit Mona, museum of old and new art – This place defines art in some way. It is moreover based on the concept of death and sex so you might not like to take kids everywhere or may be just don’t give them Audio if they are very young. The owner, David Walsh, has described this museum as ‘subversive adult Disneyland’. This place gives you the feel of Hobart as art dominating place and it will also its opening date is same as the third MONA FOMA festival (21st January 2011).
  2. Salamanca Market – Every Saturday this famous market is held next to the beautiful dockland of Hobart. You might like to just walk around this area in case you have other plans on Saturday morning. Also this place lit-up in the night and is very famous among the party goers during the weekend due to many famous pubs and bars around.   20130808_101242      20130808_101502       20130808_102650
  3. Trip to Bruny Island – This trip usually takes three hours if you have your own car to get to the point from where the ferry leaves for the echo adventure tour otherwise day tours are also available. There is a seal colony at another edge of this island. You can spend some time knowing more about seals at this place.
  4. Mount Wellington – 1,271 meters high, this mountain is also referred as ‘The Mountain’ by the locals here. Hobart is located at the foothill of this mountain. And good news is that you can drive to the top as there is a road build by the many hard working people right up to the top for those who either don’t have enough time for trekking or don’t want to walk due to the bad weather. It was winter when I was there so I was able to get some snow at the peak of this mountain. There is a lookout near the summit from where you can get some really good views although it was raining and sky was a cloudy when I was there so I wasn’t able to spot much other than fog from here. You can read more about it’s history on the various steel slabs in this lookout and feel the part of this place itself.  20130809_16295420130809_162714 20130809_163056 20130809_163122 20130809_163605 20130809_163650
  5. Kayaking in the Derwent river around Hobart is an amazing way to explore the beautiful surroundings of Hobart

Also for more attraction other than the above you can use the below links.

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.

What will be my gift to the world…

What will I give back when I have taken so much from the world?

I came to this world with nothing (empty handed and naked baby) and had nothing but fortunately today I have everything one can live his/her life comfortably with. Give and take is like action and reaction. I am writing this post while sitting idle in the airport, waiting to go home once my friend confirms that his night shift at work is over. And makes it 2 AM in the morning. SO any mistake in spelling or grammar might occur looking at the time. But I don’t intend to edit this as its not about my knowledge of English language or anything so we can ignore it for now.

A thought regarding death has made me think while reading this book – ‘The Last Lecture’ by Randy Pansen. And I have just read 18 pages of the book so far. Sometimes we try everything to avoid the inevitable question. And this is the exact moment when I am confronting myself with the question – What have I given back to the world that offered me so much of everything I needed in this life so far. It might not be like taking a loan from someone where you are bound to pay back. But moreover it’s our moral responsibility . Its like when someone does something good for us and we feel grateful to them and want to do something in return. And at times we do something good for someone else if given the chance to show our gratitude towards the world and good souls living in it.

It is our moral responsibility that we can easily ignore if we choose so as no one is going to point a finger on it. It is one of those duties that we do when no one forces us to do. I think I have tried to do few things in life although I am not sure how many of them were selfless tasks and how many of them were performed in order to fulfil the need of self satisfaction within the limits of my comfort zone.

I can write a book if I start on this topic so I should better summarize it. Things that I have done so far for society:

1. Volunteer in Red Cross for a year in Visitor Scheme.
2. Opened an youth organization – ‘Prabhat’. We used to provide people suffering from leprosy with clothes donated by the people in town. Also by spending some time with the kids in orphanage and provide them some food or fruits during our visit. Although it could not go a long way due to the politics around the area and also because of lack of determination on our part where we chose our career in different city over this when time came. As it needed our sacrifice to stay in the town to grow the organization as we were just not ready for this.

These are just two main tasks that I can remember and other than this I think I do small acts of kindness at times but nothing really big. Oh that reminds me of my own thought of sponsoring a kid in some of the developing countries if I get another job (that obviously indicates that I am going to be jobless in next two days, resigned from my current employer).

And also here are few more things on top of my mind that I would like to do in near future:

=> Volunteer in Red Cross again after a year break for longer time once I am back in Sydney
=> Help someone personally and not just financially

Oh yes I am already giving back the money to society I have earned so far by travelling around 😉 (It was a joke). See I can still crack a poor joke at this time of the day with a coffee in my system. But joke apart I am going to give it a serious thought though and may write the findings here as part of self realization. Till then you might also find it interesting to do some analysis.

Please share your thought and views on this or the things you think you have done to contribute. I would love to hear back from you my friends.

Goodnight for now. Time for me to get a taxi home and get few hours of sleep before attending to the needs of regular like in India again (as I have just arrived in Delhi from Colombo, Sri Lanka).

Sweet Dreams,
Kavita

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Taj Mahal – Seventh Wonder of the world (just for you)

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More about Taj if you wanna read

More about Taj if you wanna read

Artistic roof of the entrance

Artistic roof of the entrance

Entrance to the Taj

Entrance to the Taj

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Peeking at the beauty

Peeking at the beauty

Feeling the grand design and its historical value with every step

Feeling the grand design and its historical value with every step

Looked up and found this welcoming sight

Looked up and found this welcoming sight

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Seventh Wonder

Taj Mahal - Seventh Wonder of the world (just for you)

Snoozing Period – Quiet before the Storm (What’s going to happen)

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You must be thinking I started my blog with all the self realization stuff and more regarding spirituality and now here I am only with reviews for movies and old travel stories. What happened to the self awareness journey? To be honest I am thinking the same as I was so happy for constantly 16 days since New Year or should say even from Christmas Eve when I went to my friends place for a celebration. But the truth is I am going through a negative phase now. It was the peak time to feel so light and now I am gone to the other side where I am again stuck with real life problems. Although it does not feel as bad as it used to may be because I am still aware of what’s happening so not much impacted by it. But being happy is not being easy really. There are times when I look at the world and it all feels the same and that is because inside it’s a storm that’s taking its toll.

I was seeing everything clearly only few days ago and now again it’s the fogginess that has taken over. I can’t see or feel anything all I can do is to save myself from feeling sick or bad about this phase. I am fighting with the negativity around me. And again to remind myself it’s just me nothing else has changed. It’s funny the same things that were source of happiness have turned into cold frozen objects today. Why, why I am going through this? I have so many questions. My soul sometimes wants to cry out loud and ask the universal power to come and merge into me. May be I am not completely ready that’s why it’s only in bursts that I am able to get the knowledge. For few days it was like a smooth stream of energy that was flowing in me from that universal powerful source and now I feel I am getting drained.

I have been seeing something floating in my room in the night for last couple of days on infrequent basis. I wake up in the middle of the night and see this image of an object or seem more like condensed white energy in my room that is floating around and feels like trying to get my attention. I know I might sound a bit weird but I promised to share all I am experience in life at the moment and here I am. Astonishing fact is that this energy is not scary at all. It has happened 5-6 times so far. I wake up in the middle of the night see this energy and go back to sleep and it feels like as if it’s just there and not to hurt me but just to be with me. Its white and I remember seeing some floating things last month and that was all black and it scared the hell out of me. I prayed in my heart and I was almost sinking in my heart all scared. But this time this energy is all white and it feels so pure. I am not sure whether it’s the lack of sleep as I have had enough for last few days at least or my sleeping pattern or the new place I moved into. But I saw the black energy/object in my old place whereas I can see the white ones here in the new place. I am not sure what is it all about really but my gut feeling is giving me an indication that my life is going to change and something big is going to happen and I am just getting prepared for it.

I am a science student and like to have a proof of everything that is real but I think I have also opened myself to see the truth and to be able to see beyond the obvious in the world. So I want to be ready for everything – if there is something I need to learn to achieve the peace and freedom in life. I told some of people I know at work about it and they laughed it off, not sure why I talked about it though may be because I didn’t believe it myself. Then today morning I told my flatmate and she advised me to throw anything that I might feel can carry some negative energy. I threw a teddy bear and few more things from my old place. Teddy I threw because the person who gave it to me was very depressed in life and often used to talk to the bear. And it might sound stupid but I thought maybe this might be carrying all the negative energy from that person to me. And when I don’t talk to the teddy (not many people do really) so it might be trying to get my attention. I know it sounds so odd and I can’t believe I am thinking like this as if it’s a script from a scary movie. But I like and respect my flatmate so I did as she suggested. She calls me an action girl as I act upon any suggestion very quickly if I think that can make any difference to make my life better. And I think that’s what I have learned in life to change things as soon as possible to make your life better as sometimes it gives you more pain not to change. Anyways I am hoping not to see anything anymore if it was because of those things. But part of me says that it was not the things it was something more that is trying to tell me something. Bigger than anything I have ever experienced. And it is only when I am sleeping I can see it because then only I am able to connect to my sub-conscious mind that knows it all. When we are conscious we think from our brain and decide on the basis of our most recent experience whereas when we are in sleep our conscious mind doesn’t interrupt the process of thought formation. That is also the reason we dream as it’s the sub-conscious mind that take over and starts working. I think this is enough for now. Let’s see how I go now and whether it was just a little malfunctioning of my senses or something real. I will keep you posted.  

Angry Bird – Burning with Fire

I burn, I churn, I stop and close my eyes,

I start again but it doesn’t go away.

I look around and the world is different,

I am at the other end of the wall.

The turmoil inside takes over,

I want to have a bubble around me.

I want to let this fire out of me,

I don’t hate anyone, I don’t want any harm

It’s just the feeling that is making me sick

I want to throw it up

It is burning me constantly and soaking my hope

The world is not yet over but it’s eating me alive

I want to run, I want to shout, I want to climb the highest building and hide there

I want to close myself from the world and sleep

Sleep and rest my soul for a while

I want to swim, deep in the water

I want to get rid of this fire and live again

Live a life of pure affection, live a dream of hope and passion