Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Ice cold in Mumbai...!

If you can't head to the mountain regions to see ice, well, the ice can come to you....!

World over ice sculpturing is a stunning art. Ice bars are a rage as well. If you want to enjoy a icy cold environment and have a drink too, head to 21 Fahrenheit at Oshiwara, Andheri (W) , near Mega Mall.

The bar is barely enough to hold a group of 15 comfortably. Wednesday is free ladies entry post 8:00 PM and no you cannot have snow fight here :P

I went there with some of my girl friends...! Super fun experience....especially having a drink out of ice shot glasses :)

Sunday, July 17, 2011

What the travel blogs write about most....?

I have read more travel blog entries than I could ever imagine writing. It's alot.

Having said that (^) let me take you through some of my observations of what is being blogged about at these travel blogs. The pointers mentioned here are chosen due to their frequent appearance on travel blogs, more like must have travel entries...

  1. About page - there is the about the blogger (usual blah) and then there is my story (stuff you should read!) The latter is inspiring especially if the travel blog is a backpacker! You learn a lot about how the travel bug bit them, their first backpacking trip, how they plan etc.
  2. Travel Map - more group travel sites have this than individual blogger websites. Exceptions maybe a blogger who has traveled across continents and the dots on the world map fascinate the readers! Most maps either have dots or lines connecting places. I prefer the dots. I like to figure out the lines from the travel chronology page, if any.
  3. Twitter status- these tweets keep the blog alive even if no entry has been posted recently. It is also real time and a bonus for fans of avid travel bloggers who are always curious about where there guru is headed!
  4. Planning & Saving - most bloggers have detailed entries about how to plans trips (what books/websites to look up, airlines, accomodation tie ups, etc) and how to save for trips (particularly the backpacking sabbatical...!)
  5. Earning online/offline at your travel destination - interestingly most die hard travelers earn - online through advertising, technical work, freelance writing - and offline - teaching english world over, volunteering work or short terms jobs. And most blog extensively about it to inspire others to take the plunge to satiate the travel bug, after all money = travel!
  6. Bucket list - A whimsical list. But these bloggers actually make it happen! One of the pages that keeps me fascinated, especially the number of ticks against the tasks or the number of scratched tasks on the list.
  7. Packing List - extensive coverage about rucksacks, footwear, essential gadgets, safe keeping of documents etc. Some even photograph the usual contents of their rucksack, complete with labelling each item!!
  8. Dealing with not wanting to travel - i know the feeling of not wanting to travel its paradoxical to maintaining a star travel blog, but hey too much travel may get to the most passionate of travelers. Most blogs have atleast one entry about this phase.
  9. Lifestyle design - life baffles each one of us. People turn to the concept of lifestyle design in order to make the most of it. It is about choices, about you, your passions and the change which will drive you to the lifestyle that you designed! What sets apart stellar travel blogs from the many out there is that the blogger has a plan and is not afraid to change to make it work. I recommend reading about this concept.
  10. Not writing about it - Knowing what not to write is an art. Knowing your audience and documenting well is another. Whatever they do not write about is whatever they do not believe in. If the traveler/ bloggers believes in something, they inspire the reader.

Signing off,
an inspired travel blog reader :)

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Things we missed out in Kutch/ Bhuj

Having visited Kutch in our (then) Brand New Tata Indigo, I fell in love with this region, the sights, sounds, food and the colours that light up the multitude of barren-ness.

As I reminisce about the trip, there definitely are certain things/ experiences we missed out in Kutch/ Bhuj.Someday I shall get those experiences and correct the mistakes :)
  1. Click enough pictures of the people and their daily life - What sets apart seasoned travelers and travel writers is a lot more than talking about the tourist attractions in a city.  They catch the pulse of the city, the people and their daily life in their words and pictures. Now that I go through our photos from Kutch trip, people and their life are certainly something we failed to capture successfully. 
  2. Visit Kaladungar in the morning -We reached Kala dungar for the evening Aarti. Though we did witness the ritual and the jackals, the experience would have been better had we paid a visit to Kala dungar in the morning. Not only would we have seen and captured the Dungar and the Jackals in our eyes and in the camera more efficiently, it would have also helped us spend some more time enjoying the views on the Rann of Kutch!
  3. Rann of Kutch Tour - We had a packed itinerary. Most tourists do a one or two day tour to Rann of Kutch. We decided against it. We truly missed out on a major highlight and I hope I can do this tour sometime in future.
  4. Staying in Traditional Camp Hotel - Experience is a big part of travel. We were delighted to have a meal and get a tour of the Camp at Shaam-E-Sarhad at the Banni grassland. The acquianted us with the traditional Kutchi round huts called Bunga. At Sham-E-Sarhad, tradition meets modernity and tourists can stay in Bungas fitted with modern amenities. The bungas were lovely and I so wish we had stayed in them, but time and budget made us rule out the possibility.
  5. India Bridge, the last frontier - Our time estimate went wrong. We intended to drive all the way to the last BSF post, but couldn't do so due to time constraint and poor road condition. Fellow travellers told us we did not miss anything major, but then again who are they to decide for us?!


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