Sunday, August 31, 2008

Free and easy

I was trying to figure out why I love to travel.
To start with, I am a Bengali, and Bengali's are famous for their love for travel. I have yet to have gone to a destination where I have not heard a smattering of Bengali around me.
It's in the family genes too. I guess as my parents had gone across Western Europe when they were at the UK. My dad used to like travelling and he would often go driving across the continent or in Iran. He had travelled quite a bit to various place including Japan and Philippines too. He had seen large parts of the world well before Indian's began to travel. My mom is quite a traveller herself. She once took us all to Shanti Niketan when we had gone to Calcutta at literally a day's notice. And she keeps giving us, not so subtle hints, about how she wants to Goa.
A lot of people travel because they like to experience new places or for the sheer adventure of it all. For Kainaz and me, holidays are a way to pamapers ourselves. To me it is an escape from the daily grind. We are big foodies and we love to explore new cuisines. We are fond of history too and love going to places of historical relevance.
I particularly like holidays as I know these are times when I don't need to bother about what's for dinner, paying bills, opening the door in the morning for the ironing guy and the car cleaner, waiting for the maid to clean up the house, waiting for her to come. Add to that the fact that in Bombay we have to live in tiny apartments often with peeling walls. A good holiday is a way to get away from it all and feel free.
Which is why it is not necessary that I always have to go to a new place. For example, I keep going back to the same spot at Goa, Baga. Nothing much changes there. But lolling on the beach, good food, the balmy breeze, friendly people, house keeping, room service, not looking at the watch...that's my idea of a good life.
I guess in an ideal world I would have lived the life of someone like Wodehouse's Bertie Wooster. In the real world, a good holiday helps me be there for a while.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Confusion galore

Travel is my other big passion. Right up there with food. I had opened this blog a while back but was yet to write anything.

I guess my entries in the blog won't be as frequent as that of my other blog, finelychopped. Still, there is a lot that I have to write about.

I love to travel. I discovered this fairly late in life. and my wife, Kainaz seems to be game. My favourite holiday spot, without doubt, is Goa. I have gone there to clebrate most of my recent birthdays.

I thought this was a good time to start the blog. Kainaz and I were in the middle of planning our next international holiday to coincide with our seventh wedding anniversary in October. The earlier ones were far easy. Our first trip was to Thailand. That was a fairly easy choice. We knew we wanted to go to the far east and that was the most affordable option. We ended up having the time of our life at Bangkok, Ayuthaya, River Kwai and Pattaya. Our next trip was to Malaysia where Kainaz joined me at an internal conference. We took a break last year as I went home to Calcutta. These trips coincided with our anniversaries. We went to the Sunderbans from Calcutta for our anniversary.

We are planning an international trip this year. We have had enough of the Far East with our last two holidays, Kainaz's work trips to Bangkok and Hong Kong and my recent trip to Singapore.
So we started with looking at Egypt. Egypt was always in our list but we had found it too expensive in the past. We set our site on the mummies this year and began our research. Then we hit a bit of a block as we came across stories off hotels which were apparently not too good and stories of squalor in the cities. Now we are both history buffs and were looking forward to taking in the wonders of Egypt. At the same time we haven't travelled that much and still need to squeeze our bank accounts to make the holidays possible. So we do like to get pampered in our holidays and this seemed a bit dicey in Egypt.

Which is when we begun to look at Turkey. The key selling point here is that you get a taste of Europe. In fact there seems to be so much to see at Turkey. the only thing is that it is not as iconic or famous as Egypt.

As we spoke to a few travel agents suddenly we veered towards Austria and Switzerland. However, our apprehensions about the costs and the weather pushed us eastward again.
So as the stakes go right now, it is Turkey first, with Egypt as a persistent second.

Ideas, suggestions, tips are most welcome

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