I had my first experience with pad Thai at a shack on the way to a beach on a Thai island.
They served a plate that looked much like noodles from back home, but not quite. Apart from the sticky noodles, there were copious amounts of mung bean sprouts, peanuts sprinkled all over and half a lemon. I didn’t quite know what taste to expect. This was a territory unknown to me. I squeezed the lemon over the plate, wrapped some of the noodles and sprouts around my fork and put it in my mouth.
The sprouts crunched, the sweetness in the noodles complimented perfectly the sourness of the lemon and the nuts cracked between my teeth. Continue reading Anthony Bourdain: The man who inspired me to move
You’re out drinking with friends and discussing the wonderful time you had in Bali during your recent trip when one of them asks, “Did you go to Ubud?”
“No,” you say. “But I really liked my time at Sanur and Lovina.”
“What! Those are the boring parts of Bali,” he laughs. “Didn’t you party?”
“I did. I was in Kuta for three nights. It was so much fun. I especially liked Skygarden,” you say. That had been a great night. Continue reading Let no one tell you how to travel
Someone I know keeps a lot of birds as pets at home. He was recently jesting about how many animal-lovers complain about people keeping birds in cages.
“But you do realise it restricts the movement and freedom of the birds, don’t you?” I said.
“But it’s a huge cage,” he argued.
“Certainly not as big as the open skies,” I said.
This conversation got me thinking. Continue reading You are fortunate if you are able to travel
In many parts of India, if an unmarried Indian couple went looking for a hotel, they would encounter problems.
Many hotel-owners would flatly refuse or say they had no free rooms. However, if the traveller couple is from a foreign country, the hotel owners couldn’t care less if they were married or not.
There are a lot of people with double standards everywhere. While they see themselves as moral guardians in case the travellers are from the country, they believe foreign couples were governed by a different set of moral values and it was not their responsibility to implement that. Continue reading How travel sets you free
A lot of people ask me how I manage to travel alone.
Don’t you feel unsafe in a foreign land when there’s no one to watch your back? Don’t you get bored? These are two of the most common questions they tend to ask.
I’ve realised, most people just don’t get the fact that travelling alone doesn’t really mean being alone all through the trip. In fact, it increases the possibilities of your meeting new people and making friends. I have gone on many trips with groups of friends and not made a single friend on the road. On the other hand, I have made loads of friends while on solo trips. Go figure. Continue reading How to make friends on the road
I have often wondered about the best ways to experience a new place that I am visiting. Over the years, I have worked out how I like it best. I don’t know if this works for everyone — it probably doesn’t. But here’s how I ideally like to go about it.
What I typically do after I reach a new place is dump my luggage at the guest house or friend’s place where I am staying and go out for a walk. Continue reading How to experience a new place best
That time I was chalking out my itinerary for western Canada, I chose Saturna island because I didn’t know anyone — not a single person — who had been there. Later, when I landed in Canada, I met this person who’d been there twenty years ago, on work.
Ninety per cent of the people I know who are going or have visited or are planning to visit Australia, go to the Gold Coast, Uluru and Tasmania. I wondered why not many explore Western Australia extensively because when I looked it up, it sounded incredible. Continue reading Why I go when no one else is
Before I go into why “yes” is so important, let me clarify that there are instances when the best thing you can say is a “no”. This post does not undermine “no” but stresses on the importance of “yes”.
“Yes” is a powerful word and when used right and intelligently, it has the power to open doors of opportunities and possibilities. In this post, I will talk about some instances when saying “yes” to an idea turned out awesome for me. Hopefully, it will inspire you to say yes more often. Continue reading Why you should say “yes” more often
Do not go gentle into that good night
— Dylan Thomas
I was running up the stairs to the first floor of our house when it struck. I didn’t notice it at that point. Once I got to the first floor, I noticed my mother sitting on the floor of the kitchen.
“Am I feeling really dizzy or is this an earthquake?” she asked me.
I stood still for a bit. The building was certainly shaking! We walked out of the house and stood there for a while before things seems stable again and then we went back in. Continue reading What the Himalayan quake taught me
A brand new year is here and I’m very excited about it. I am looking forward to several things in 2015 and I am sure, you are too! But of all things I am looking forward to, topping the list is travelling more.
At the risk of sounding like a pessimist (which I definitely am not), the completion of a year means you have one year less on the planet. And I’m sure there’s a lot that you want to see and do. Continue reading Why you should travel more in 2015