The Year that was 2015
Another year has passed and it’s time to stop and look back; take stock of my journeys, not only in terms of travel but the journeys which opened a new horizon for me and helped me see the world with diverse perceptions.
I know it is so cliché to reflect back but it’s something I have been doing all these years…. to see how enriching my walk has been.
Did I achieve something in year 2015?
Yes and No. Travel wise you might think I travelled enough but it was a good year for me, not a great one. Once again, the year took me places & brought me laurels.
It’s a great feeling that I was appreciated and recognized as a professional travel blogger at international level. That also means I was paid in dollars for my blogging assignments besides taking care of all logistics!
The year 2015 took me to 7 countries (if you consider Macau & Hong Kong as separate entities) including twice to Thailand, Singapore and Indonesia. Some countries were new, some revisited.
My first international trip was to Thailand in January when I was invited to experience rustic tourism in the country. Journalists from Australia, Philippines, Indonesia, Dubai, Taiwan and Thailand gave me company. We travelled to interiors and enjoyed to the hilt. It was very enriching trip for me and I learnt a lot about living the Thai culture.
I painted my own ceramic, watched shadow puppet show, learnt to make palm sugar, Thai Herbal compress and intricacies of textiles & musical instruments made of coconuts, Dragon Jars and much more. You can read a few articles here. There is lot more to come. 🙂
Remember I told you about my husband Vasu leaving his job and joining me? Till now he was funding all my solo trips. Not anymore. Well, he decided we should travel together. If not now, then when? So, our first international trip together in this year was to Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong and Macau. We flew Malaysian Airlines for the simple reason that we got the cheapest tickets.
It was almost a month long trip and it will remain one of our best trips ever. We did not rush into things, pampered ourselves and cherished the moments. Lots have been written on the blog about this trip and more to come.
Oh yes, it also made a big hole in our pockets! 😀
In April, I was invited by Indonesian Tourism Board to cover the 60th commemoration day of the Asian African Conference. I was the only one representing India from the select international bloggers, instagrammers, photographers and travel enthusiasts from across the world on this weeklong trip. Of course, we saw other places as well.
This year I also went to Delhi thrice, all personal visits.
By now, you’d have known that I am associated with Ford to promote their newly launched vehicles. Ford Figo, Ford Ecosport and this year Ford Aspire. Need I say we were flown down to Udaipur for a pre-launch event ? 🙂
September saw me accepting the invite from Jordan & flying down to the exotic country. They had invited me in March also, but because of our month long trip, I had to decline it along with other international invites. It was my first trip to Jordan and I can say, I could just scratch the surface. The country has so much to explore that even a month is not enough. I cooked Jordanian meal, learnt a few arts and experienced Bedouin lifestyle. I wish to visit the country again.
When my two previous attempts to attend TBEX failed miserably (I lost much money in terms of air tickets and other expenses due to last minute cancellations), I had decided to go to Thailand for next TBEX in October, come what may.
So, we both registered ourselves, booked air tickets and landed there for the conference before any unforeseen stops us again. 😛 We stayed back after the conference to explore the place further on our own. We saw untouristy places which you would not do otherwise.
Bangalore happened immediately after Thailand. It was a personal trip again.
Indonesia invited me again in end November. When I returned in December, I had mentally decided one more thing…. that it would be my last international trip of the year.
In Indonesia we visited Jakarta, Bali and Bandung learning about crafts, culture, temples and dances among other things. Stay tuned, there’s lot to be written about it.
I was also interviewed and featured in several media outlets including Times World Travel Magazine.
Now you decide for me, how the year 2015 treated me. 🙂
If you want to travel places with me, I suggest you to join me on my Facebook travel page.
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