When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you achieve it!
– Paulo Coelho
2014 is coming to a close, and while I most certainly cannot believe another year has flown by so rapidly, when I pause to reflect on these twelve months, I’m filled with nothing but pride.
I set a goal for myself at the beginning of the year. And believe me when I say this, no one is more surprised than me that I actually achieved it. 2014 has been nothing short of monumental for me.
People make Resolutions at the turn of every year, and usually break them faster than you can say Happy New Year! I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t guilty of the same transgression at least a few times in my life. But this year was different. This year, I actually did it!!!
I didn’t really call it my New Year’s Resolution but more of a Pledge to take, or a goal to achieve; perhaps that helped. By putting it down in writing, and posting it here on Life On My Plate for the world to see is probably what sealed the deal. The Blog, and you, my readers served as motivation to keep going; urging me on, delighting in my progress as much as I was. Thank you for that.
A special thank you to Clare of Need Another Holiday, the true inspiration behind this challenge. Thank you for creating this challenge, and for letting me be a part of it!
So here’s a quick look at this year past, my 12 trips in 12 months…!
Trip # 1 – Mumbai in January
To kick off the challenge, I took a quick weekend getaway to the city of Mumbai in Maharashtra, India; a city I have traveled to many times and one that I love dearly. I spent quality time with my brother who was living there at the time, caught up with friends, and met relatives. Mumbai is always good fun!
Trip # 2 – Mussoorie in February
The nearest hill station to Delhi and what we Indians like to call the Queen of the Hills, my next trip was 290 kilometers from New Delhi to Mussoorie, for a family wedding.
Trip # 3 – Something New in New Delhi in March
As part of the original challenge created by Clare from Need Another Holiday, our monthly trips didn’t have to be too far, too big or too exotic. The whole point of the #Take12Trips challenge was simply to explore something new, and we can do that without ever needing to take a flight / train at all. I took her up on her suggestion, and in the month of March, after my original travel plans fell through at the last moment, I spent a day exploring the National Zoological Park in New Delhi, also known as The Delhi Zoo.
Read: Exploring the Delhi Zoo
Trip # 4 – Europe in April
April was a BIG month for me in my quest to #Take12Trips this year. My first overseas trip of the year, what made it more special was that it was a mother-daughter trip ONLY. We spent beautiful spring days exploring Vienna’s many parks and palaces, a rainy but still gorgeous day in stunning Salzburg, and a few mesmerizing days in the perfection that is Prague. We also managed to squeeze in half a day in Bratislava.
Read: Monthly Instagram Roundup – April 2014 (The #Take12Trips edition)
Also Read: Vignettes from Vienna
Here’s one more: Sights and Sounds of Salzburg
The Best for Last: How NOT to Fall in Love with Prague
Trip # 5 – Shimla in May
By the month of May, summer in Delhi is at its peak and the unbearable heat is at its scorching best. In other words, it’s the perfect time to escape. Shimla or Simla is one of the most popular hill-stations in India and has been since the time of the British Raj. It was my first trip to this most colonial of hill-stations, and it charmed me so much that it wasn’t long before I went back for more!
Trip # 6 – Manila, Philippines in June
A work trip took me to Manila, the capital of the Philippines, in the month of June. It was an official trip after all, so I didn’t get a chance to sight see much at all; but I’m hoping there’s a next time!
Trip # 7 – New York in July / August
Paulo Coelho really knew what he was talking about man! I really wanted to travel this year. Like really, truly and genuinely wanted to travel, as much as I possibly could. Up until this time, I had thought Europe would be my only international trip in the year, hence I made it a big one. But then the Universe has its ways, after all, and not only did my job send me to Manila, but I landed up in The Big Apple!!!
My husband’s work had him unexpectedly traveling to North America for over two months, and how could I not follow. While the mister travelled to San Francisco, Boston as well as Toronto in Canada, I joined him only in his New York City leg, limited vacation days and all that. We spent 10 glorious summer days in July and August meandering around Manhattan and falling in love with Brooklyn; and I can’t wait to go back for more!
Read: 8 Fabulous Ways to Experience New York
Also Read: 8 Reasons Why Brooklyn is Pretty Awesome
One More: Meandering around Manhattan with Walks of New York
And Finally: Neighborhood Eats Tour of Brownstone Brooklyn with Urban Oyster
Trip # 8 – Singapore in September
The serendipitous travel from the past month spilled over into September as well; the mister’s work was now taking him to Singapore. With my annual leave balance pretty much exhausted, another holiday was simply out of the question. But as luck would have it, my firm has an office in Singapore and with bated breath and fingers crossed I requested my boss to let me work out of that office for a week. Lo and behold, there I was in The Lion City, Corporate Slave by day but Greedy Gourmand by night!
Trip # 9 – Shimla in October
I went on not one, but TWO trips in October. I first travelled to Shimla for the second time this year, for a huge family extravaganza, in celebration of our grandparents’ Diamond Jubilee Wedding Anniversary. This trip was more about family bonding and less about sight-seeing; but on an earlier trip there earlier this year, I’d done ample exploring.
Trip # 10 – Goa in October
I then flew to Goa later in the month on a company off-site.
Off-sites usually don’t allow much time to be out and about on your own; but despite the packed schedule of Conferences and Socials, I couldn’t stay away from the beach!
Trip # 11 – Hyderabad in November
A city steeped in history, and one which counts delicacies like Biryani and Haleem amongst its legacies to the world, is just my kind of city.
Trip # 12 – A Road Trip in December
No better way to cap off this great year of travel than by a road trip, and that’s just what I did! In December, the mister and I travelled to Bharatpur, a city in the Indian state of Rajasthan. About 180 kilometers away from New Delhi, Bharatpur is best known for the Keoladeo National Park and Bird Sanctuary.
I’m developing a bit of a fascination for Heritage Havelis and Palaces and there’s truly no dearth of some superb options here in India. A former royal palace belonging to the Kingdom of Bharatpur converted into a Heritage Hotel, I fell in love with The Laxmi Vilas Palace, which is where we stayed.
Stay tuned for a full review of the Laxmi Vilas Palace in Bharatpur.
So there it is, 12 trips in 12 months.
I think this proves that you don’t need to be a full-time traveler to explore the world. You CAN have a full-time job and still manage to travel.
I DID IT… and I did it with a full-time job and limited vacation days.
And to those who are skeptics, let me just say this…
If it is important to you, then you will absolutely find a way.
If not, you will find an excuse.
As I leave you with that thought, here’s to a fabulous 2015…!
“May your coming year be filled with magic and dreams and good madness. I hope you read some fine books and kiss someone who thinks you’re wonderful, and don’t forget to make some art – write or draw or build or sing or live as only you can.” – Neil Gaiman
Tomorrow, is the first blank page of a 365 page book. Write a good one…!
I’m linking this post up to the #SundayTraveler & #WeekendWanderlust blog link-ups, co-hosted by some awesome bloggers.