Lifetime Experiences

Life is full of experiences & there are many ups & downs. But, still few experiences leave a mark on life. Such experiences are very rare & very memorable. These are such experiences which one remember while sitting alone & thinking about the life. Everybody has their favorites. Some related to life, some with people, some with a job or any other reason. But, as this is a travel blog. I would like to share some of my lifetime experiences related to travel thus far. I have just started my travel life & I hope there are many more experiences I will have. The instances are in chronological order from the date of occurrence.

Pachmarhi:

This is probably the first trip I had with my friends. First time without any senior guidance there were nerves & fear of an unknown place. The trip went all good, but the fun we had during the trip was just epic. The place is nice & still not commercial. I have seen some of the best waterfalls in Pachmarhi.

Mount Hua:

Most of the people are not aware of this mountain. But, there is a very particular thing about this mountain & that is plank route. A wide plank where only one of your feet can be kept & below the plank is nothing seriously nothing. One has to cross the route which is approx 20 to 25 Mts only. But, rather than walking on that plank, one has to walk through his or her fear. The fear of not looking below & fear of being cold feet at such a great height. It sounds scary & it is scary. But, this is one of those experiences which is engraved on my life forever. Check the post here.


Partying in Khao San Road:

Imagine a street hardly 100 Mts long which is being occupied by only a few people till 9 o clock & you say to yourself, this place is so dead. Then you went back to your hostel & came back by 11:30 pm & the place is completely transformed. There is music playing on both the corners of the road. The crowd is hopping from one place to other. There are plenty of offers on food & drinks. The crowd slowly getting wild, everyone is on the streets & dancing like crazy. The environment is just electric. Khao San Road is one of the most popular names one can ever come across. Whomsoever is traveling to Bangkok surely must have visited the place.

Riding Bike In Bali:

Bali has supreme landscape & riding bike on those curvy roads are one of the fun things to do in Bali. The lush green & magnetic sceneries are just amazing. Riding between the hills, mountains & villages will give enough diversity during a tour. If tired of riding bike stop on the side of roads & take few minutes to enjoy the wonderful beauty handed on a platter by nature. Too good to be missed.

Bungee Jumping In Spain:

Bungee jumping is one of the sport which raises the adrenaline. I was in Barcelona where I saw a tag of Jump from the highest point in Spain & once this is stuck in the mind, then it can’t be kept silent till the time it has been done. I booked the activity through Adrenaline Hunters & went to the place. There I saw a truss standing over the ground which eventually was a bungee jumping site & without wasting much time I boarded the lift & started ascending to the top. The trick to the jump is JUST JUMP. No thinking no nothing just the jump. I did the same, without looking down, I just jumped. The heart runs at a supersonic speed, everything passes in seconds. There is fear & there is thudding of heart. But, the moment you come down & think about what have you just done. It is an accomplishment. It doesn’t matter if the whole jump took 10 min at max. But, the memories of these forever engrave in the life.

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These are some of the best moments of my life so far. I could have written more, but I will wait for some more time before posting. Every now & then people come across difficult roads. The choice of doing or not doing or traveling to a particular place or not traveling. There is always so much going on. But, during such time just fast forward your life to the end & think if doing this was worth while or not & then play accordingly.

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Bangkok On A Budget

Bangkok is the capital of Thailand. The place is on the list of every traveler. Throughout crowded with tourists & travelers, the buzz of this place is amazing. When traveling to this wonderful place; it is very easy to lose an account of money. I went for 4 days & spent around 15K INR inclusive of everything. The place is dirt cheap according to western traveler & I too feel the same. Here is my guide to cover Bangkok On A Budget.
I have covered 3 countries till now (out of India) under INR 1 Lac cumulatively. When I circulate this fact, their eyes pops out.

So the big question

How I managed to keep my expenses low?

This post is the guide for Bangkok on a budget. However, the main principles to save money while traveling remains the same for each & every place.

Let’s Start

Expenses are generally bifurcated into broad headings like flight tickets, Accommodations, Activities, Food & site seeing. Out of all these expenses, the major chunk of money goes into Flight tickets. If this factor is catered, then it is easy to manage other heads.
Flights: Here is the tip, a TO & FRO Flights cost less compared to two individual flights. The prices of tickets from India to Thailand has dropped dramatically. During offer, it is easy to find flight tickets at a price of INR 3.5 K one way. Yeah!!!! Just INR 7 K from India to Thailand. But usually, the offer is from one or two airports only. In my case, I chose Chennai for my departure. I got an offer of 5K INR from Chennai. Whereas, the same flight costs me approx. 11K INR from Mumbai. Thus, I traveled to Chennai via train & boarded a flight from Chennai. This way, I was able to cut down on my flight charges. The best place to find cheap tickets is SKYSCANNER.

Accommodation: Staying is another factor which can pull a major chunk of money. However, as Thailand is much cheaper than western countries &hence it is easy to find good accommodation at a cheap rate. Hostels price starts from as low as INR 150 & goes up to INR 1500 for a night. I booked a hostel through BOOKING.COM & stayed in one of the best hostels at the premium location of Khan Sao Road; at a cost of INR 250 per night. I prefer hostels for two reasons; one it costs very low & second it provides an opportunity to meet new people. I made several friends while staying at hostels.

Food: Being vegetarian it is difficult to survive outside India. One of the best ways to eat cheap & veg food is to have food on streets. I was able to eat noodles, rice, bread & butter, juices all on the street that to at the cheapest of prices. A price of noodle plate costs INR 40; whereas the same plate cost approx. INR 120 in some restaurants. There is not a major difference in the taste but there is surely a difference in prices. There is one departmental store in Bangkok which is 7 11. It is the best departmental store I came across ever. The place is open 24 * 7 & it offers everything on an MRP. Thus, no matter where you are, you can always find a good offer in this shop. This shop is located at every corner of Bangkok. So, the best way to have anything is from this shop only.

Public Transport: Bangkok has a very efficient public transport system, buses, metro & waterway all have a decent connectivity. The buses run from each corner & connect major points in Bangkok. I traveled mostly through Buses & ferries. I liked ferries more as it was a nice change for me as it also gave a feeling of some movie. The prices of bus tickets are as low as INR 2.

Also, I have not done activities which do not excite me, I am a person who believes in experiences, so rather than doing everything; I just did the things which were interesting enough for me. This is a nice way to keep cost on a check.
All these techniques helped me to reduce price subsequently. If on a single trip one can save upto 40% of the trip cost (which is a huge cost); it is always a blessing. There will be many people who will be against such thinking, but it is ok. I am here to share my stories ;).
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Why I Travel Solo

Traveling with friends is always fun. Before China became my first solo trip outside India, I used to travel in a group only. However, my perception changed after my first solo travel. I enjoyed it so much that now I prefer solo traveling, over group travel.

WHAT Solo Trip, R U MAD ???

Reason Mark My Adventure

This is the general answer people gets when they say the word Solo Travel.

Why is it still a taboo to travel solo in India?

Some of the reason I can think of are followings.

Fear: The fear of traveling alone is the most common reason. Fear of “IF”. What if you are lost, what if you are in some problem, what if you get sick, what if you die. But there is an interesting quote from Mark Twain he said “I have had a lot of worries in my life, most of which never happened”  which is true.

Unknown Territory: It is difficult to plan every move in traveling. Visiting an unknown territory always terrorizes humans.

Expense: While traveling in a group all the expense is distributed equally. However, while traveling solo expenditure has to be borne by a single person which can result in high expenditure.

Safety: Safety is one important aspect which possibly plays an important role in deciding. As being solo one need to be extra smart, extra active & extra observant to avoid any kind of mishappening.

I consider above points as a prime villain’s against solo travel. I too came across all these points while deciding on my first solo trip outside India. In general, I take calculated risk. If I know 70% of things I will do that thing. (“At some point, I had even gone for far less than 70% as I really wanted to experience that thing even if the result was a failure”)

Leap of Faith

Conquering fears are the foremost thing while traveling. The moment mind is in control things seems to get in control. First time I was about to board the flight to China my heart pounded like anything. With no history of traveling outside the country,  my mind was covered with all types of thoughts. It was too hard to keep it stable. I took a deep breath drank water & promised myself not to react to any insane thoughts. I believe that“If you can’t control thing, you shall not worry; if you can then why to worry“. Sounds cheesy but I try to think of this quote in stress.

The World is there for taking 😛

So, while on the roads following were my observation.

Confidence: Stepping outside is always a challenging part. While on roads one needs to make several decisions whether it is good or bad needs to be decided in fractions of moments.  Small small decisions like taking a public mode of transport or taxi, staying in a hotel or a hostel boost confidence of an individual. The more decision we take the more confident we become. With confidence fear of unknown vanishes.

Observation: While on roads it is required to observe your surrounding as anything can happen. While coming back from Mount Hua to Xian I missed last bullet train, I was short on cash to check into a hotel or hostel, thus I decided to travel back. I took a taxi to a local station which was remotely located. I observed everything which driver did to be extra sure of the situation. Sounds scary but it is one good habit to develop while on the roads.

Company of the Self: I am not much of a social bug. While traveling my mobile phone is generally switched off. I believe “If you are not happy with yourself you are in wrong company 😀“. So, I stay away from the technology & spend much of the time to understand myself, to understand nature, to enjoy little things on road. I have watched people doing a group dance to invite customers to have food in China. Saw a kid playing some instrument while trekking to waterfall. I found out “the more you travel alone the more you start loving yourself rather finding yourself.”

Adventure: Traveling solo gives a sense of adventure. In this monotonous life, it is hard to break the norms. But, with traveling alone one can do the same. There is no one to help you no one to comfort you. For some this is scary. However, it is adventurous for me. I went to see waterfall by myself in Bali, I trekked Mount Hua solo.

Health: Health is an important criteria for current generation. There are some studies which shows that traveling makes you smarter, stronger & healthier. While browsing through some of the articles. I came across a very enlighting article about how traveling changes health. Read the article here.

P.S: I am smiling at present by remembering the glimpse of the same. This is how traveling solo shapes you up.

Faith & Trust: One need to make a decision by himself/herself. Whether it is good or bad you are the only sufferer. I took risk of traveling in the night at 11 pm in Bali. I trusted people to show me right path while looking for an address. While looking for my hostel in Pattaya local shop owner called my host to locate the exact place for me. All these are minute things but it builds the trust & faith.

A beautiful place: I was stranded in Mount Hua while trekking; a group of Chinese people went out of the way & offered me night torch along with showing me the path. I asked for a direction from a shop owner who did not know English in Bali but explained the direction with his gestures. These small act encourages humanity in the world.

New insight: Traveling alone has its benefit you tend to meet new people’s, you get to know about their story & their traveling experience. I met many people who were traveling for 6 months & planned to travel more. I enjoy talking to new people. It’s a worthy experience to know about different cultures.

Freedom: Solo travel often comes with a freedom to do anything. No more waiting for the group to decide on an activity. While solo you can decide for yourself. I relaxed on Gilli Air beach rather than opting for snorkeling.

Memories: You come back with million of memories. Even while writing this post, my memories of traveling to China, Bangkok & Bali came into my mind. I believe that fact that it best to COLLECT MOMENTS, NOT MONEY. While traveling alone “I forever engraved my solo experiences with me. When I am old I will tell about these stories to younger generation’s 😀 (Melodramatic I know)”

Drug: Solo travel is like a drug. Once this bites you, it’s hard to come back to normal life.I did my first solo trip on Nov 15 & the very next year I went to Bangkok & Bali. This year I am planning for Europe. I truly believe it is a drug.

If a solo trip has so many benefits why not do it now when you are young & free. I did mine & truly loved it. I hope you will do the same. Hoping to hear some inspiring stories.