In the past year, I covered seven countries in six months and then I went in and out of India and Oman three times so that’s a lot of traveling, but hey who’s complaining?
As far as travel goes, 2016 was absolutely the best year for me, a veritable dashing in and out of airports, relaxing moments at departure lounges, breezing through duty free shops and collecting miles across air space.
My spring soled sketchers and my catwalk flats were faithful companions to my ‘prone to aches’ feet, as I walked for miles across airport levels, hopped on ramps and escalators and trudged in and out of hotels. Then there were the endless and absolutely breath stopping moments as my sightseeing took me to places I’d hitherto only imagined in my dreams.
The first four months of 2016 were pretty quiet as I travelled between Oman and India a couple of times to see my aging parents. Then in May, we lost our faithful companion of 12 years – our beloved lab Caesar. I had to get out of the house, the town and the country and so I went. Traveling somehow eased the pain of my loss, a loss not many people understood. It made me feel what a tiny insignificant speck I was in the big scheme of things. As the world expanded around me, I felt myself shrinking and though the sense of loss remains to this day, the pain that accompanied it lessened enough to make it bearable.
This year of travel was filled with beautiful moments that were governed by nature and God. There were drives through stunning mountainous country-sides, treks through woods and forests; serene moments spent floating on kayaks on calm waters and lying on beaches bathed in warm sunlight.
I fondly cherish those long conversations with trusted friends, especially during the late evenings when our high spirits were in perfect sync with the accompanying spirits in our glasses. Also unforgettable are those sampling sessions of new culinary delights and the boisterous toasts to future travels.
And best of all – moments spent with loving family members.
I started my travel blog in September 2016, spruced up my Instagram and Pinterest accounts, dumped my old redundant twitter account and started a new one in November. I also wrote a number of reviews on tripadvisor and opened up my own facebook page on request from some of my new twitter followers. The best part of having a travel blog is connecting with fellow travel bloggers, exchanging travel tips and travel stories and learning new things every day. The travel blogging community out there is simply awesome.
I got on a plane and a bus and a boat and a tuk tuk!
Here’s where my feet and heart took me…
California – I left Oman for Sacramento, the capital of California, end of June just in time for the July 4th celebrations. Drove to San Francisco (my third time in SFO), Big Sur, Carmel by the Sea and Santa Cruz. It was a lovely trip with precious time spent with family members. Blogs up on the following links –
Nevada – I also went on a short memorable trip to Lake Tahoe in Sierra Nevada. Blog here- https://traveltoes85.wordpress.com/2016/09/09/lake-tahoe-sierra-nevada/
Malaysia – Flew to Kuala Lumpur in September to meet up with friends for a college reunion. What can I say about this trip except that I was back in college with these great friends of mine, having the time of my life reminiscing about old times.
Thailand – All of us said friends flew to the island of Krabi for three days of pure fun. Krabi was not warned of our arrival. Blogged about it here: https://traveltoes85.wordpress.com/2016/10/05/krabi-shades-of-blue/
Jordan/Israel/Egypt – This was a ten day trip that a group of ten friends embarked upon. Prior to going, we did plenty of research on the internet on airlines, bookings, hotels, places to see, restaurants to visit, safety tips and local guides to hire. The information we gathered all came to good use. Jordan travelogues are up on – https://traveltoes85.wordpress.com/2016/10/25/the-jordan-trail-petra-on-the-rocks/ and https://traveltoes85.wordpress.com/2016/10/30/jordan-amman-madaba-bethany/
Egypt travelogue – https://traveltoes85.wordpress.com/2016/11/08/egypt-the-cairo-experience/
Ended the traveling spree with a 10 day trip to my hometown in Mangalore, South India and returned back to base in Oman.
Trips in 2017
End of January, I will be traveling to Cochin, Munnar and Thekkady in South India, this time on another reunion with a different group of friends. On returning I have two trips planned – one to USA and one to Scotland. If possible, I will try to fit in a trip to Prague, though it’s too early to plan that one.
In 2016 my travel bags and suitcases have been within easy reach for every trip. God willing that will not change in 2017. I know there’s at least one more mountain out there that’s waiting to stare down at me.