PENDOWN wishes you a hale and hearty ‘Happy New Year’! I hope you had a meaningful and magnificent 2017 and I bet 2018 will be better in many more ways. I want to believe that it is going to be an year of greater aspirations and stronger mindset and we will all find our secrets to peace, patience and prosperity. Let us keep our fingers crossed for things to fall in place. But before the sheen of the past year fizzles out to the shiny days of the new year, we must not forget to count our blessings of the year that was. I had a fabulous year and this post is all about showing gratitude towards it.
2017 was exciting, luxurious and adventurous!
Taking in all the highs and lows of the 365 days, I ringed into 2018 in Sri Lanka and the final trip of 2017 wrapped up the year in the most amazing way. With 6 international trips and 19 domestic ones, I still can’t believe that I got lucky with 25 trips this year. It was literally an year of realizing my dreams from taking that shikara ride on Dal lake in Kashmir, of overlooking the tea estates of Kurseong while sipping tea, of visiting Patan’s spectacular Durbar Square post 2015 earthquake, of spending a day in five villages of Mysore, of revisiting Bali once again, of exploring heritage village like Garli, of chugging the train from Wellington to Lovedale, of exploring home-stays in Uttarakhand, of seeing whale and dolphins in Indian Ocean in Sri Lanka.
It started with a bang and went on that way….
In January, I started with discovering Koh Chang with Thailand Tourism and since then, there was no looking back. The year was extremely diverse in terms of the experiences that I got. From spending 8 royal days on a luxury train- Golden Chariot to discovering a life of a diva on the gorgeous Princess cruise to exploring the best of hotels like Khyber, ITC Grand Bharat, Le Meridian, AVANI Sepang Goldcoast Resort to living in a luxury houseboat in the backwaters of God’s own country, it was an year of luxury too. And there, I shouldn’t forget to mention that it was the year of many firsts as well as repeats too. I attempted snorkeling for the first time, I spoke extempore at an International bloggers conference in Nepal for the first time and not to forget, I did my first solo trip too. Yes, I traveled to Penang all by myself to explore its street art because I was extremely fascinated with it.
The freaking weeks of 2017
It was for the first time that I had gone to collect my test results alone and when I saw the results, my hands started to shake. The reports said that there was a small lump. The first thoughts were scary. I went blank. My whole life could change if it was a cancerous lump. Thankfully, the doctor said there was nothing to worry and I only had to begin with medicines for three months and observe. I did that religiously. I have had two tests. The lump is still there but I know I am fine. The doctor says it isn’t cancerous for now. I do get freaking thoughts on the low days but its all good for now. Trust me, the travels have kept me busy and they have kept me calm and composed. I haven’t talked about this to many people except my husband who knows it all. A few friends who know about too are already keeping me in their prayers. I must thank everyone for the support and love! I will always remember 2017 for this.
It was the year of fitness too!
For the last six years that I have been traveling, I have literally fallen in love with the idea of travel. It is such a beautiful feeling to see the world that exists. And every trip teaches me more and makes me evolve as a better person. Of the many good things that I have learned this year, the most important realization was that it is extremely important to be fit. Suddenly, it hit on me that if I have to travel more, I have to be hale and hearty. And of course, who doesn’t want to look like a diva? Hence, the last three months have only and only been about good eating. I have learned to watch every meal. And the result has been absolutely encouraging. I am definitely not giving up. 2017 was the year of changed lifestyle for me. Fitness has become a part of my life after I have lost 7 kgs.
The best was going back to my school ‘Seth M. R. Jaipuria’, as a travel blogger
December was my favorite and special month. It gave me the most amazing day of 2017 when I returned to my school not as a student but as a successful travel blogger. I couldn’t stop smiling ear to ear when I visited the premises of my favorite school after 20 years. I had studied in Jaipuria Lucknow for only 3 years but it became a part of me for ever. The alumni meet was a great opportunity to connect back with teachers and friends. I am glad some of the school friends made it happen and they also invited me as one of the panelists for discussion around non traditional career options in life. I totally loved baring out my heart to the younger batches, parents, teachers, principal. I felt proud to talk about the fact that I was an ambitious student all my life but I am very happy and satisfied with what I do. It wasn’t easy to give up a well paid job and take up travel blogging and writing but I did it and I am loving every bit of it.
I not only delivered the speech in my true elements but I also spoke from my heart. It was the same school and same stage where I had picked my first speaking and writing skills and this was a great way to give it back to them.
I am super thankful to 2017 because it channelized my love for art. Ever since I was a kid, I would love to stop by to admire the street art. Now, my travels take me to places all around where I get to see art from local as well as international artists. I am super glad that I started a travel and art series this year. I will carry it forward in 2018. Keep following Pendown.