Why I Love Travel.

Let’s talk about travel today.

Lately,I’ve been getting horribly jittery because I’m in dire need of a vacation,of going to a new place and exploring it.It’s quite impossible to take a holiday these days for me due to my extremely busy schedule so I decided to take all my pent-up travel frustration and make a post about travel and just think and talk about why I love travelling so much.

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Buddhist flags at Sikkim,India.The picture was taken by me.

If you’ve been following my blog a little while,you might have seen me do quite a few travel posts.I enjoy doing those, as it helps me in  reminiscing about my holidays and preserving the memories forever,or however long the internet exists.Simply put,I love travelling.I am quite an impatient and adventurous person and someone who really enjoys adrenaline rushes,(My first post was actually about this, click here to read that) so for me travelling is one of the best activities there is.It makes me happy to meet new people ,see new places,learn new languages.As John Green has aptly said, seemingly about me,”I am in love with places I’ve never been to and people I’ve never met.”

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Chang La Pass,Ladakh,India.The picture was taken by me.

Travelling makes me a different kind of happy,that nothing else can ever do.All parts of  it; the getting to the place,the walking around,the newness,the beautifully unique things that make that place what it is, are things I absolutely adore.For me,travelling gives me a high that lasts for quite a while,leaving me cheerier,happier,fresher and just all round more positive with a new perspective on life and making me a person  quite different from the one I was.

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Sikkim,India.Taken by me too.

I love the new flora and fauna,the new food,the new faces and the new atmosphere.I yearn to see so much of the world,to learn so many languages,to learn about so many cultures and just explore the world,for it is quite a beautiful place and there’s so much of it to see.I have just started on really seeing the world,I’m young and the world is a huge huge place and I want to continue it all my life.I really truly and deeply hope to be able to do that in life,I consider it one of my dreams and goals for when I have grown up to see the world ,to travel,to explore and to really just live life to the fullest.

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At Darjeeling,West Bengal,India. Taken by me.

When I go on a vacation,my biggest lookout is for some experience that belongs just to that place,something that cannot possibly belong to some other place,the thing that only that place has to offer because that is what makes travel so amazing for all the travel lovers.These little moments that make you realise your worthlessness,or worthfulness,whichever way you look at it, and just how much of a miracle it is that you,in all your behaviours,features, with all your experiences and quirks have come to exist. It is a beautiful realisation and a lesson in humility that though needed, doesn’t hit you quite often,so if looking at a mesmerizing sunrise(My post about it is here) or parasailing (My post about that is here.)above the world can make you realise that then really, my inner voice asks me ,why not? Why not see this gorgeous world we came to exist in through that special crossing of stars? Why not love the thrill,the action that travel brings? Why not travel?

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Early morning in Sikkim,India.Taken by me.

THIS POST’S QUESTION: Do you like to travel?If so,why? Comment below with what you think about it,Id love to hear from you!

The Best Ecotourism Ever!

Lets talk about what I liked the most about Singapore and Malaysia.

On my recent vacation to Singapore and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia  there were many wondrous, new things I saw. Some exotic, some beyond description. What struck me the most was, despite being cities and urban and  modern, a major chunk of the tourism was dedicated to the flora and fauna of the islands and bringing together nature and technology in a perfect harmony by using technology to make the experience comfortable for both visitors and the animals.

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A white peacock I caught posing at Underwater World.

These were truly wonderful and are what sets these places apart, which is what I feel the point of traveling to a place is.What’s special about it, what cannot be found anywhere else. What is uniquely its own and is what it boasts of. So, this post is an appreciation, a dedication and a review all rolled into one for the ecotourism at Singapore and Malaysia.

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Tulips at the Flower Dome Conservatory.

Some of these places were:-

  •  River Safari, Singapore.

A wonderfully executed collection of the river ecosystems of the world, of animals that thrive in and around rivers.

  • Night Safari, Singapore.

A greatly efficient safari that shows you the night time wildlife in rainforests. A great animal show called “Creatures Of The Wild” takes place here that should not be missed.

  • Underwater World, Sentosa Islands, Singapore.

A beautiful aquarium world, which takes you in the oceans around the islands and the beautiful aquatic life here. A fun “Seal and Dolphin Show” takes place here that is definitely a must-watch.

  • Jurong Bird Park

Probably one of the oldest bird parks, Jurong is a bird watcher’s heaven. Here you can be one with the many winged messengers that dot the skies and the ecosphere around the islands and other places. An exciting “High Flyers Show” with many exotic birds is one of the best things to attend here.

  • Gardens By The Bay ,Singapore

This complex includes three waterfront gardens, two beautiful cooled conservatories called the Flower Dome and the Cloud Forest, the Supertree grove with many other gardens is one of a kind and truly amazing. The various flower scents mingling, the scenic view of the whole city and the beautiful sea make it a wonderful place to be at, especially in the night.

  • Singapore Zoo

Singapore’s beautiful national zoo, which the aforementioned night safari is a part of. It boasts of many species of animals.

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Looking at all these animals and birds of various different kinds, coming in different shapes, sizes and forms coexisting together makes for a experience that teaches you two things.One,  how much the little things we do is threatening the very existence of this animal world and two, a lesson in unity. In the light of the many issues plaguing the world today, its a lesson we still have a long way to learn.

All pictures have been taken by me.

 

The Best Universal Studios Ever!

Lets talk about Universal Studios,Singapore and my day there,today.

I visited Singapore and Malaysia with my family this summer and can officially state how much I’m in love with these beautifully amazing places.The next few posts will be about my vacation and things I saw during the vacation that were unique and something I’d never seen before. This one,I dedicate to my favorite part of the vacation,the day we spent at Universal Studios,Sentosa Gateway,Singapore.

I’ve talked about my love for new experiences,adventure and movies before and Universal Studios,being the coming together of all three,was something I was anticipating going to with unmasked excitement.And,it ended up living up to the anticipation,expectations and was much more than I could have imagined.

Universal Studios is a theme adventure park in many places across the world that takes you to the world of movies, fantasy  and things beyond real life. Contrary to popular belief, Universal Studios is not only a place where children or teenagers can enjoy. Moreover, I felt like everyone, whatever age they may be will find something at Universal catering to their interests and enjoyment. We also found people from all parts of the world and of all ages there, enjoying themselves, only concreting this belief.

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The entrance :Hollywood.

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Here is my list of the top 10 rides and attractions that I feel everyone can enjoy and shouldn’t miss if they go to Universal Studios :-

  1. Transformers:The Ride at Sci-fi City.(This is the best.Repeat it,if you can afford to.)

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    The Transformers characters we met right ousdie the ride.
  2. Rapids Adventure at Jurassic Park.
  3. Puss In Boots Giant Journey at Far Far Away.DSC_0647

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    Welcome to Far Far Away.
  4. Waterworld,the water show at Waterworld.
  5. Revenge Of The Mummy at Ancient Egypt.(This is a high-speed indoor rollercoaster with many sudden drops,twists and turns.Just a disclaimer.)

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    Entrance to Ancient Egypt.
  6. Lights!Camera!Action! at New York.(Hosted by Steven Spielberg.)
  7. A Crate Adventure at Madagascar.
  8. Canopy Flyer at the Lost World.
  9. Battlestar Galactica:Human(This and the next are a pair of high-speed outdoor dueling rollercoasters with drops,turns that turn you upside down at many instances.Again,a disclaimer.)
  10. Battlestar Galactica:Cylon at Sci-Fi City.

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    The rollercoasters at war.

Apart from these,there are many live shows,character meet and greets and themed food services to avail from.The atmosphere at Universal Studies is electric and it feels like a completely different world where you forget all your worries and only enjoy yourself to the fullest.For me,the amount of fun I had at Universal is hard to put in words but the adrenaline rush,the sheer amount of joy and happiness you feel there,the constant ever helping smiles on the faces  of the ride operators and other staff and  just the amount of love I felt for the place are forever treasured and stowed away somewhere in my heart.

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The Live Show outside Mel’s Drive In.

 

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Far Far Away:An accurate representation of what I felt like at Universal Studios.

 

To make my adoration of the place obvious, in conclusion,I will say only two things. I felt so sad while leaving because it felt like stepping out of the best dream I’ve ever had. I also feel like my version of heaven is probably a Universal Studios. You get the idea.

All pictures have been clicked by me.

The Best Rainbows Ever!

Lets talk about the time I saw two rainbows together and one of them was round.

Rainbows are, to put it in one word, fascinating. A break from the usual monotony of blue in the day and dark in the night, a whole spectrum of 7 colours  to observe, these days they’ve become a rather rare phenomenon. I have,in my life seen a total of 7 rainbows, three slightly visible ones,2 huge ones over the city and 2 together in the midst of snow capped hills and brown mountains,next to the sparkling blue waters of a lake and one of them was round. It is definitely the best one I’ve ever seen and currently also the most recent.

In the summer of last year, my family and I went to Ladakh, Jammu and Kashmir, India for a trip. I saw many wondrous and exotic things there but today, I limit myself to the coloured wonders, the two rainbows. We went to Pengong Lake, the world’s highest saltwater lake situated at 14,000 ft. above the mean sea level and were going to spend the night there, at a camp. We went through an absolutely breathtaking road, covered and surrounded almost wholly with and by snow. Eventually, from the distance we saw Pengong Lake,its blue waters glittering in between the mountains, a jewel in the cold desert.

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The road to heaven.
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The view from the road at 17,000 ft. above mean sea level.
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The first glimpse of the lake.

 

Believed to be what remains of the Tethys sea today, this beautiful blue saltwater lake was extremely enchanting, a marvel for the human race, who’ve come so far and yet are nullifying their effects by a tenfold. We had fun on the lakeside, enjoyed the view and admired the water birds who made crow like sounds(I haven’t been able to find their names out) and retired to the camp. The next morning, we went to the lakeside again and saw, to our wonder, two rainbows in the sky. One was fainter and the other, around the sun, like a ring. It was absolutely picturesque. The water too, was a different shade of blue that it was last evening. In that moment, I knew that if heaven existed, it had to be right here, right now in this place that fills me up with so much peace and happiness in amounts I thought I wasn’t capable of feeling.

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The unnamed water birds.

 

I tried to capture the halo that is, the round rainbow (As I later found it is called) but couldn’t, due to the fact that I didn’t have the appropriate camera lenses. I read up on halos, much afterward and this is what they’re defined to be:”A halo, also known as a nimbus, ice bow or gloriole is an optical phenomenon produced by light interacting with ice crystals suspended in the atmosphere, resulting in a wide variety of coloured or white rings, arcs or spots in the sky. Many halos are near the sun or moon but others can even occur elsewhere in the sky.”

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The fainter rainbow in the sky.
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One of my numerous attempts to capture the halo, in bits and pieces if I had to ,to take it back with me.
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Another attempt.
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The best possible capture, which doesn’t even begin to show the actual beauty of the halo.

I feel glad, blessed and so lucky to have been able to behold this wonder of nature, this specimen of, or testament to its beauty, this captivating,alluring view. I would if given a chance, in a heartbeat go right back to Pengong Lake, the land of beauty and grace, where the gods descend and nature is having a celebration of life itself.

The Best First Time Parasailing!

Let’s talk about the first time I went parasailing.

I think everyone has dreamt of flying ; floating high up in the skies with the birds and up above the clouds.(Except maybe if you have a fear of heights) And we, human beings, happen to be such gifted and delightful creatures that we made aeroplanes and helicopters to achieve the same. We refuse to be satisfied by just sitting inside a machine and experiencing it, we keep trying to make it better and more real and thus we developed adventure sports like parasailing and paragliding. This is the one admirable quality about us, we want to make everything possible, the indomitable human spirit, just refuses to believe that impossible is a word.

We recently went to a quaint little coastal village in Maharashtra,India by the name of Shrivardhan .It was a beautiful,peaceful place right out of your imagination.The beaches there were so picturesque,so clean,so empty, so delightfully perfect the thalassophile in me was on cloud 9. Here, I had the wonderful opportunity to experience parasailing at the beach for the first time in my life.This was putting everything I love together; the beach,the ocean,the skies and the adventure, making it quite memorable.

It was an out of the world experience, so blissfully exhilarating! I could see the ocean extending indefinitely and kissing the skies at the horizon on one end and the coconut tree forest and the little village amidst the hills on one.I felt on top of the world(Literally!) and was humbled by the power and beauty of Mother nature,yet again.I’ve said this before about a sunrise I saw but this sentence of mine is the only way to express what I felt,yet again.”It made me feel so meaningless,so small,so powerless,I’d say it left a humbler person in its wake.”I felt that little mixture of emotions yet again,the one I’d felt at that point as I floated higher and higher, a mute observer to the glory of nature.

All pictures are clicked by me , are unedited and are of different beaches around the village.

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Flying. As close as it gets.
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Almost invisible in the vastness of the sky.
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We saw this beautiful scenic view of the Arabian Sea while traveling.
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Roads with hills on one side and the sea on another,so heavenly.
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I was trying to capture this little flock of birds that flew past the sun but couldn’t. They’re to the left of the sun if you look carefully.
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“The clouds lit up to bid farewell to the passing sun. For at that instant, they, the scattered ones, were one.”

 

 

 

 

 

The Best Sunrise.

Let’s talk about the best sunrise I’ve ever seen today.

I believe that almost everyone talks about sunsets. Everyone has seen loads of really beautiful sunsets in their lives. I have, too. But sunrises, at least for me, are special. They require actual effort and dedication. Getting up in the early morning and prepping just to see the rising sun peek above the horizon signalling the start of the day, making creatures all big and small begin their day, witnessing something that powerful makes me feel honoured.

In my 16 years of existence, I’ve seen 7 sunrises total.4 because I woke up too early at home,1 in a early morning flight, one in a desert as a child and one in the Himalayas. Of these, one is my absolute favourite and that’s the one I’m gonna talk about today.

The sunrise I saw in Tiger hill in Darjeeling, India, nestled in the lap of the Himalayas, in front of the third highest peak in the world, the Kanchenjunga was quite possibly the best sunrise I’ll ever see. I went to Darjeeling with my family and we woke at 4 to witness nature’s glory.

All pictures are unedited and clicked by me. Even though they are undoubtedly, heavenly they don’t even closely capture the beauty of the scene. It was, for the lack of a better word, magical.  Looking at it, I felt an emotion that I simply cannot transcend in words. It was an amalgamation of all the emotions, of all hopes, of all dreams that mankind has ever had. It made me feel so meaningless, so small, so powerless, I’d say it left a humbler person in its wake.

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All you could see was hilltops above the clouds.
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In the distance, Mt.Kanchenjunga in all its glory.

 

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The horizon tinting orange, then yellow to welcome the sun.
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Gift of the gods.
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The clouds looked as though they were threatening to spill over, one little push and they’d all fall out.
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Mt.Kanchenjunga,the third highest peak in the world.
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Slowly, the sun rose, multiplying the beauty of the scene manifold.
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The rising sun too bright in its eyes.
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Finally, the moment was over, the sun had risen, like it did everyday, but I,I wasn’t the one I was yesterday.