The #Take12Trips Challenge… 2015 Edition

If you’ve been a regular reader of the blog over the years, you would know that I’ve been on a bit of a personal quest… a way for me to try and travel as much as possible; to see as much of the world as I can!

Read: I Pledge to #Take12Trips in 2014

But with a full-time job and VERY limited vacation time, it isn’t always easy, I can tell you that!

2014 was the first year I undertook the pledge, and no one was more surprised than I was when I actually managed to pull it off!

Read: 2014 – The Year I Took 12 Trips in 12 Months

The successes of the first year propelled me to undertake the same challenge in the following year as well.
So how did 2015 pan out in achieving my goal? Did I manage to take 12 trips over the span of 12 months again? Let’s find out.

January 2015: Trip No. 1 to Jaipur, India

I kick-started the #Take12Trips challenge in 2015 with a weekend trip to Jaipur, Rajasthan to attend the Annual Jaipur Literature Festival, something I had looked forward to pretty much since it first started back in 2006. I never got down to blogging about my experiences at JLF, but I have to be honest, I was a bit disappointed. Not with the Festival per say, but by the crowds. I was overwhelmed by the sheer magnitude of people swarming around Diggi Palace, and I couldn’t be certain how many of them were attending because they were genuinely interested in the speakers and their talks!

But the weekend wasn’t a complete write-of! I spent time with one of my closest friends who lived in the city, and I went back for a meal at Anokhi Café, one of the most popular eateries in Jaipur and one I find myself at every time I visit.

February 2015: Trip No. 2 to Mumbai, India

In the second month of the year, I visited Mumbai not once, but TWICE! The first time was a super short day trip on account of work. I was supposed to fly in to the city in the morning, do a few meetings, and fly back to Delhi that evening itself, with no time for anything other than work. But my cousin saw my Airport check-in on Facebook, and as luck would have it, his workplace turned out to be right next to mine. What ensued, was a spontaneous plan to gorge on Seafood!!! When in Rome, right…! 🙂

The second trip was for a bit of a family event, but I managed to squeeze in an evening out with some friends. A lot of my friends have moved to Mumbai over the years, and I enjoyed every minute of catching up with them over drinks and nibbles at Café Zoe in Lower Parel.

We stayed at the Four Seasons Hotel in Worli on this trip, supposedly a business hotel in the heart of the city, but a super luxurious one. The rooms were amazing, some of them had the most gorgeous views over the Arabian Sea, service was top notch, and the food was delicious. They actually had one of the best hotel breakfasts I have ever had.

March 2015: Trip No. 3 to Samode Palace, Rajasthan

My Brother-in-law was getting married and his Destination Wedding served as my third trip of the year! Samode Palace is a 475-year-old palace in the Indian State of Rajasthan, and a comfortable three to four hour drive from Delhi.

Read: A Royal Retreat at Samode Palace, Rajasthan

March 2015: Trip No. 4 to Bangalore, India

Just a quick and spontaneous trip to the city of Bangalore in the state of Karnataka. I visited the city for my friend’s Baby Shower, so flew in on a Saturday morning, spent a super fun evening with a bunch of my closest friends, and flew back home the next afternoon!

April 2015: Trip No. 5 to Hua Hin, Thailand

The purpose of the trip to Hua Hin in Thailand was official and most of our days were spent cooped up inside a conference hall for the annual corporate offsite. We stayed at the Anantara Resort, which was everything you would want from a beach resort, from the delicious food & drinks, to its own private beach! Which reminds me, I should probably do a review of my stay soon!

May 2015: Trekking in the Himalayas for Trip No. 6

For the next trip of the year, I headed off to the hills on a spur-of-the-moment trip.


To THIS place…!

This trek pushed me so far out of my comfort zone, there were times I felt like my legs would buckle under me, and more than once I wanted to collapse on the giant boulders we were trying to climb across, just to break down and cry! But with the first sight of Kareri Lake, surrounded by the tall peaks of the mountains powdered with snow and its calm blue waters glistening in the sunshine, I was simply blown away! The sense of achievement I felt was indescribable, and it made the ordeal of the journey entirely worth it!

Read: A Trek to Kareri Lake in the Dauladhar Mountains

June 2015: Trip to NOWHERE

June became the first month in over a year that I did not travel outside of Delhi AT ALL. No work trip, no quick weekend getaway, nothing! So the #Take12Trips in 2015 challenge took a small hit. Luckily though, I had a few trips planned in the months to come, so that made it just a wee bit easier dealing with the blow!

July 2015: Trip No. 7 to Jaipur, India (again!)

For my birthday last year, Arjun and I decided to head out of the city! We wanted to relax and unwind, get away from the hustle and bustle of life, rather than visit a new city which would inevitably involve a fair bit of sightseeing. We chose to go back to Jaipur, a city we both have been to multiple times, separately but never together, and one that we both love! Even though sightseeing was not the agenda and lazing by the pool at the hotel or watching movies in bed was what the doctor ordered, we couldn’t resist a trip out to see Amer Fort. Everything about this fort is gorgeous, and if you haven’t been yet, I’d recommend you get right on it!

And then I turned a year older…!

#Birthday #Bubbly!! #Celebrations

A photo posted by Upasna (@upasna_lifeonmyplate) on

August 2015: Trip to NOWHERE

August became the second month in 2015 without any travel materializing. The only consolation I had to keep me going was what September had in store, the biggest trip of the year so far!

September 2015: Trip No. 8 to Russia

In September 2015, I traveled to Russia for a duration of 8 days. What started out as a travel plan for my annual mother-daughter trip, quickly mushroomed into a complete family holiday. My father and brother were both quite intrigued by the idea of visiting Russia and didn’t want to be left behind!

We traveled to the historic city of Moscow and the gorgeous city of St. Petersburg, and threw in a short overnight stay in the quaint little town of Suzdal as well!

Read: Russia through Instagram: A Photo Essay

October & November 2015: Trips to NOWHERE

Quite a few months went by last year, it seems, without any travel. But such is life I suppose, and I tried really hard to not let it upset me too much!

December 2015: Trip No. 9 to Satpura Tiger Reserve, India

In the month of December, I was invited, along with a few other Travel Bloggers, to live #TheForsthExperience at The Forsyth Lodge, located on the outskirts of Satpura National Park in the state of Madhya Pradesh.

We spent 3 lovely days experiencing the thrill of safaris, driving through the jungle, listening to the calls of the wild, and being sensitized to the realities of wildlife tourism.

Read: In The Jungle… With Forsyth Lodge, Satpura

December 2015: Trip No. 10 to Vietnam

We bid adieu to 2015 in Vietnam, where Arjun and I explored Hanoi’s Old Quarter and visited the stunningly beautiful Halong Bay on an overnight cruise, we fell in love with the charming lantern-lit streets of Hoi An Ancient Town and rang in the New Year Saigon-Style in Ho Chi Minh City. Vietnam is a country I had looked forward to visiting for years but one I hadn’t anticipated would quickly find its way into our list of favourite places in the world!

Read: Vignettes of Vietnam

So there it is, the final count: I took 10 Trips in 2015…

There was a corporate offsite in October I was unable to attend and a weekend trip to Mumbai for another friend’s baby shower that I was compelled to cancel at the last moment, which would have brought me to another successful year achieving the #Take12Trips challenge!

But 10 trips with a full-time job and just 24 days leave a year is not too bad I reckon! 🙂

So what about this year? Do I hope to take another 12 trips, big or small, near or far, in 2016 as well? Only time will tell!

We’re already 2 months into the year and I haven’t been anywhere yet (unless you count a day-trip to Pune for a business meeting)! There is a long 4-day weekend coming up in the month of March and I am really hoping to make something of it, but so far, I’ve got no plans! So will 12 trips work out? I really can’t say!

But life has a funny way of creeping up on you, so let’s see what lies ahead!

I’m linking this post up to the awesome #MondayEscapes Link-Up party with Packing My Suitcase!

Packing my Suitcase

About Upasna | Life On My Plate

A twenty-something Food+Travel Blogger, based in New Delhi, India

20 comments on “The #Take12Trips Challenge… 2015 Edition

  1. Exactly!! With only 24 days leave you really did a lot!!
    Soo many places I want to go too… Russia, Vietnam and Thailand!! How cool!!
    I love the idea of this challenge, I hope you take it every year 😀

    Thank you for joining #MondayEscapes 😀

  2. Some pretty fabulous trips in one year! You’ve brought back some of my happy memories of travelling around India after university. I loved the Himalayas and would love to trek there. I’m especially jealous of your trip to Vietnam! #MondayEscapes

  3. I’m impressed that you managed 10 trips with only 24 days holiday! I did Take 12 Trips in 2014 and it was HARD, well done you for giving it a second go!

    • Thank you 🙂
      I thought I’d give it a go this year too, but so far haven’t managed to kick off the challenge unfortunately!

  4. I would still call this a very successful year!! A lot of local travel and some bigger international trips! I need to catch up with you, but I’m so glad you made it to Vietnam!! I LOVE Hanoi too.. it’s one of my favorite places I’ve ever been to! I’m excited to see if you make your goal this year. 🙂

    • Thanks Anna … I’m really keeping my fingers crossed this year goes well too, 2 months into 2016 and no trips materialising, looks challenging! 🙁
      You seem to have a superb year planned so yay for you … !

  5. I think you can still call 2015 a win in the travel category. Russia is so different and a great learning experience! I am jealous of your Himalaya treking adventure!

    • I glad you think so Andrea 🙂 yes Russia was unbelievably exciting and unique in every way…. And the Himalayan trek was an entirely different level of awesome altogether 🙂

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