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Traveling the world with weak Indian Passport!

Traveling the world with weak Indian Passport!

International travel is such a fun loving lively dream that everyone who loves traveling wanted to do more and more of it, but is it as easy as it sounds for everyone around the world?

International Travel
International Travel
Travel the World
Travel the World Concept

I got my first opportunity to do a business trip to Europe in 2013. At that time I have no understanding or know-how to travel abroad, but with my curiosity I wanted to learn more and more about it. So like every other person, I started searching โ€“ watching you tube videos, blogs, articles but most of the success stories I read about were mostly from the people with a strong passport which I believe by default were already given the perks of International traveling. It was as if, they donโ€™t have to worry about that first very foundation of it.

Today in my Indian passport, I have a valid tourist visas of US (10 years), Canada (5 years) & schengen (4 years) along with travel history of all strong visa checking countries like Japan, UK etc. Sounds like an easy-peasy? Well for some people this could be far fetched dream and for some people might not even know the essence of it (because all they need is to pick up the backpack and just hit these destinations anytime).

Indian passport at present is one of the weakest passports in the world, with bunch of only few Visa-free OR visa-on-arrival countries options, its even far more difficult to get a visa especially when you are applying in the developed countries. On top of it, every-time you apply for a visa the cost may vary anywhere from 90$-160$ which is also non-refundable if you get a refusal. (and yes there are so many people here who get refusals everyday).

Indian Passport concept
Indian Passport concept
Indian Passport concept
Indian Passport concept

And if you get a refusal on your passport, the credibility of your passport goes to rock bottom when you apply elsewhere next-time.

Besides, the amount of documentation that had to be arrange for any single application takes a load of time and efforts itself. A general thumb rule of documentation includes at least the following:

  • Cover letter & Application form duly filed, signed with latest photos
  • Salary slips (3-6 months)
  • No Objection certificate from Employer (if you are employed)
  • Bank statements (3-6 months)
  • Income tax returns (2-3 years)
  • old & Current passports and visa copies
  • Confirmed Flight tickets (yes they have to be confirmed!)
  • confirmed Hotel/accommodation bookings.
  • Marriage certificate (if you are married)
  • Detailed Itinerary plans

It varies a bit from applying country to country. But mostly some will require more than what is mentioned on the top list. There are some countries though which allows you to enter with valid US, UK, Japan, Schengen visas like Taiwan, Turkey, Philippines etc but it really doesnโ€™t solve much of your travel needs.

The real question however, for people with weak passports is how to get long validity visas or how to increase the credibility of their passport, something I did for myself as I mentioned earlier!?

Honestly, as simple as it means, you have to travel more and more to maintain the best travel history. US is the only country which allows Indians to provide 10 years multiple entry visa at a cost of 170$-175$. It sounds expensive, but with the US visa, the credibility of your passport increases a lot. Afterwards, once you started to travel and apply visas in more and more countries, eventually you build a trust factor with your passport and so the journey becomes a bit easier later on.

But really you have to be a travel freak to get to that status. After getting about different 10-15 Schengen Visas stamps in the past 4-5 years (along with actual travel which were even more times) I was able to grab a 4 years long term tourist one but most of the people told me I was simply lucky.

For someone who loves traveling, they always found a way to work things out. I always try to see things from the positives side sometimes. Having a weak passport push me out of my comfort zone to find ways and learn new things everyday. It broadens the vision to see both the hard and easy sides of the travel and simply to appreciate what we get in life is best for us! ๐Ÿ™‚

Do you have a strong or weak passport? Does visa applications play important role in your travel? Do take a moment to share you comments!

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Best 3 airports in Asia for sleepovers and entertainment!

Best 3 airports in Asia for sleepovers and entertainment!

I love airports! โ€ฆWell, but this is not applicable to every other person who is stranded for long layovers, finding a place to fit and sleep off the night. And sometimes you tend to find a bench or recliner but eventually you are woken up one of the security staff and then you have to wander again with your shady eyes wondering can I really afford a good sleep today!

Its true that you cant really bet on every airport for your sleepover, but there are and always exist some airports where you can really plan you sleepover trips with free mind! Below is the list of the famous one which exist in Asia:

01.ย Singapore Changi Airportย 

Singapore changi is one of the huge airports consisting of three terminals (1,2 &3) all of which are interconnected with each other. Its is one those modern airports where entertainments is literally free for the visitors, which means, you can watch movies in theaters, explore there beautiful gardens and greenery or hover around the never ending shopping mall and shops. Wi-Fi is free and unlimited so you dont need to worry about burning your data as well!

Rain vortex at Jewel Changi Airport, Changi, Singapore
Rain vortex at Jewel Changi Airport, Changi, Singapore
Changi Airport in Singapore
Changi Airport in Singapore

Prominent sleeping options:

  • You can easily locate a lot of resting zones or snooze lounges, where they have provided reclining seats. Nevertheless, there are decent amount of benches, chairs and lounge areas which are good enough for taking a night sleep.
  • In each terminal, there are transit hotels available, so if you can shed some money from your pocket, then hotels can also be the another great alternative.
Snooze Lounge at Singapore Changi Airport
Snooze Lounge at Singapore Changi Airport
Snooze Lounge at L2 near GST Refund
Snooze Lounge at L2 near GST Refund
Ambassador transit hotel singapore airport
Ambassador transit hotel singapore airport
Aerotel Transit Hotel, Terminal 1, Singapore
Aerotel Transit Hotel, Terminal 1, Singapore

02. Seoul Incheon Airport

Seoul Incheon is also one of the largest airports in Asia. One can easily find good English speaking staff here and the airports itself have plenty of sleeping space and different activities to get involved in. Being one of the busiest airports, lot of travelers use this as their sleeping base and even bring along their pillows and blankets! As far as entertainment is concerned, they have golf courses, casinos, various gardens, museums and culture centers and even free tours to opt for!

Seoul Incheon Airport
Big hall with people in waiting areas, Incheon International Airport
Incheon International Airport in Seoul, South Korea
Incheon International Airport in Seoul, South Korea

Prominent sleeping options:

  • There are relaxation lounges for travelers. Other than that, one can easily find recliner chairs, massage chairs and seating throughout is decent, fine and comfortable.
  • Transit hotels and lounges are located inside the airports for all those people who can afford!
Seoul Incheon Airport relaxation zone
Seoul Incheon Airport relaxation zone
Seoul Incheon Airport relaxation zone
Trasnit Hotel & Matina Lounge at Seoul Incheon international airport
Trasnit Hotel at Seoul Incheon international airport
Trasnit Hotel at Seoul Incheon international airport

03. Tokyo Haneda Airport

The Airport has three terminals with two domestic (T1 and T2) and one international and all connected by a underground walkway. The airport has many facilities with convenience stores, shops and modern friendly areas for sleeping and the staff there are usually co-operative for tourist sleeping overnight. Most of the eating joints all available 24-hours so one really donโ€™t need crave for hunger pans in the middle of night. In addition, the airports itself have huge markets spaces available and one can really enjoy their time exploring those places itself. and yes, they also have free Wi-fi with mobile charging spots, so no worries burning your data!

Tokyo Haneda Airport
A peaceful scene at Tokyo Haneda Airport
Edo Market Place in Tokyo Haneda Airport
Edo Market Place in Tokyo Haneda Airport

Prominent sleeping options:

  • There are sleep cabins inside the airport where you have a sound night sleep. Besides that, they are good amount comfortable couches and armrests where you can lay down and relax.
  • They have an interconnected hotel inside the airport and some of them are located not far away. There are best suitable for affordable travelers.
First Cabin Haneda, capsule hotel
First Cabin Haneda, capsule hotel
First Cabin Haneda Terminal 1
First Cabin Haneda Terminal 1

For the people like myself, who really love traveling to distant locations, long hauls sleepover at airports can really save a lot on your pocket and at the same time you get to travel the world. But having a general awareness of which are the best airports suitable for your needs, you can really make your journey pretty easy and comfortable!

Have you ever slept in airports? (I am sure most of you must have). So please share your experiences of which airports have you done sleepovers, how was your experiences or which are the ones you would recommend from your side! ๐Ÿ™‚

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Does traveling have a stereotype? How much time you spend in a place on your travels?

Does traveling have a stereotype? How much time you spend in a place on your travels?

A question I have encountered a lot of times during my travel.ย  Everyone travel with their own freewill, thatโ€™s true and everyone of us plans and decides what travel plan is best suited for us! Most of the travelers out there take a good decent break for months, even years, pick up one or two countries, get settle and explore the life out there. However, there are some people who only stays for a shorter time span in a city and travel to multiple countries and destinations.ย 

Does traveling have a stereotype that one should follow?

I recently attended a meetup in New Delhi initiated by โ€œWandering Earlโ€œ. I have been following Derek for sometime as he has been traveling the world since 1999 and it was really great to finally meet him in person. During the discussion, one of questions I asked him was how many countries he has traveled so far and as I remember it was 100+. However, he then explained thatย it doesnโ€™t matter to him the number of places he has been to but what more valuable are the experiences and people he met along the way!

Travel Experience Concept

The second experience I would like to share -where I was recently traveling through Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and stayed there for 4 days. During my stay, I attended few travel meetups and met a lot of people traveling from all parts of the world. People of all different age groups ,believe me! With so many random plans which people where sharing most of them seems to be spontaneous. Many of them have quit their jobs, taken a break for an year or months and were traveling all across Asia and once they are back they had plans to hunt for another job. While some of them only had a short break for up-to lets say a month, and they had planned their trips accordingly.ย But finding so many people quitting their jobs and traveling long term in a place, made me wonder, is it the only best way to experience the charisma of traveling?

Quit job to travel long concept

A lot of travelers and bloggers, are mostly living a style of nomadic traveling and thatโ€™s the deal which has been booming on internet heavily. You know stories about people quitting the jobs, selling everything, and traveling all across the world. Well it seems kind a true to me after my recent experience of meeting people who kinda following the same footsteps in certain way. Although one of the topic of discussion in Derek meetup was also about the same where we discussed there has to be strategic plan for someone who really decides to take the style of nomadic traveling as most of people tend to give up or get bored along the way.

If I talk about myself, I am still in a phase, trying to discover how can you really enjoy the essence of traveling. While doing my regular work, trying to take as much trips as I can, I kind of have to usually adopt the short span traveling routing as I am still not totally convinced of quitting my work, finding another source of income just to survive my travels. So I keep experimenting all the different โ€œstylesโ€ of traveling which people are practicing around the world out there lately.

What I believe, which I totally agree with what Derek mentioned in the meetup, what matter mostly are the experiences. I have traveled to some amazing places in my last 4 years span, and even though I mostly stayed there for shorter time, I have collected numerous experience of my life. It really doesnโ€™t matter to me to set a specific stereotype to travel or to just follow what other people are doing, what matters is I just want to experience anything and everything when it comes to travel. I always tell the beginners who want to taste the travel life that dont think much. Whatever you can do, do it! whether its a day, month or years off, take it and go for it.

And maybe I think thatโ€™s the easiest way to experience travel as it comes, to free your mind of any preconceived notions, and find your experiences along the way. The more dynamic it is, the more enjoyable it will always be! ๐Ÿ™‚

What do you think? Do you follow a particular travel style? Feel free to share you comments!

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Travel Diary – Gothenburg, Sweden

Travel Diary โ€“ Gothenburg, Sweden

If you have been following the chronicles of my travel diary series , I would like to share my experience where I had spend two days exploring the astounding Gothenburg city on my own.

Set in the Swedish west coast, Gothenburg is the second largest city of Sweden. Most people would dream to visit Stockholm as their first preference when traveling to Sweden, but in order to seek something unconventional, I determined to hit Gothenburg this time and to my gratification it was no doubt a gorgeous experience. 

Scenic aerial view of the Old Town with Oscar Fredrik Church in the gorgeous sunset, Gothenburg, Sweden.
Scenic aerial view of the Old Town in the gorgeous sunset, Gothenburg, Sweden.
Central Gothenburg city in the evening.
Central Gothenburg city in the evening.

Sustaining its roots into Noe-classical architecture, beautifully designed around picturesque canals, the moment I stepped down, I was already fallen in love with the city. It was the month of March, still in the span of frigid winters, I was all set and ready to unravel this ultimate trip. My flight landed on Gรถteborg Landvetter Airport, I approached further to find my way towards my accommodation into this shivery night. There were two things I had kept notes for in order to make use of trouble-free transportation.

  1. Purchase a return ticket for โ€œFlygbussarnaโ€ bus which connects promptly to city from Airport. I directly went to Information center to get the ticket which included my valid return journey as well.
  2. Day tickets which in my case I had purchased 3-day ticket. It includes unlimited travel on buses, trams, ferries and trains. I purchased it directly from the โ€œPressbyranโ€ (convenience store) which you can easily locate at the airport.

The ride on the airport bus was calm and comfortable. Sinceย  I had reserve an Airbnb accommodation, I had to change and catch tram after two stops at โ€œGoteborg Korsvagenโ€. Infused with peculiar excitement in my heart, the first glimpse of the city was itself magical. Standing next to my tram stop among the group of people, the cold breeze rushing into my face, enwreathe by glittering mix of modern cum classical architecture, it was something pristine to experience. The tram finally took me to my accommodation which was a small walk from the nearby stop.

My Airbnb home, where I was sharing a studio room, was located in a serene and tranquil neighborhood of โ€˜Skรฅrโ€™ surrounded by some beautiful and delightful private cottage houses. Residing in such a place like dream in-itself.

Skรฅr District
Skรฅr District
Skรฅr District
Skรฅr District

Drizzle of breezing rain rushing across as I walk along these streets next morning to my way towards the tram stop, fancying in that moment, how a life in real would actually felt to live here. Since my childhood I was always fascinated towards the architecture and nature of the Scandinavian life, the essence of which is enriching yet calm in its own way.ย  As I walk further, I was thrilled with exquisite nature reserved within the vicinity of the neighborhood that I even decided take a small walk amidst them before finally making it to my tram stop.

A walk along the nature around โ€œSkarโ€
A walk along the nature around โ€œSkarโ€
A walk along the nature around โ€œSkarโ€
A walk along the nature around โ€œSkarโ€
A walk along the nature around โ€œSkarโ€
A walk along the nature around โ€œSkarโ€

After boarding the tram, my next stop was โ€œBrunnsparkenโ€ which is considered to be the prominent central square in Gothenburg. It also acts like a central junction where all the tram stops merges together and therefore also recognize as a famous meeting point for people.

I decided to take a quick nimble around the central square. The sight somehow reminded of places like Amsterdam and Germany. The elegant architecture all around, filled with the blend of alluring art and history, with lovely fountains and chirping sounds of birds, bold statues boasting Swedish history and cris-crossed by tram lines on the other side, a graceful canal with clean and clear water flowing away, apprached by steps in the front,ย  where I sat down to enjoy this spectacular view.

Brunnsparken
Brunnsparken, Gothenburg
Brunnsparken, Gothenburg
Brunnsparken, Gothenburg

The plan afterwards was to head towards the famousย Archipelago Islands, It was a direct ride from this central square only and it directly takes you to the ferry terminal. The short trip to the archipelagos was breathtaking. To know more about my short trip experience of Gothenburg Southern Archipelago islands, click here to check it out.

ย On return, I reached back at the same place of โ€œBrunnsparkenโ€ and It was already evening by then. My body was feeling a bit tired, freezing in the chilly winter, my heart was still striking the beats of excitement, I began to explore further this amazing city by night.

Gothenburg at night. trams and people in motion
Gothenburg at night. trams and people in motion
Architecture in the city of gothenburg, sweden
Architecture in the city of gothenburg, sweden

I kept walking and exploring the silent peaceful night, charting my ways amidst the calm and soothing nature and beautiful surroundings.

A night time view of Gothenburg
A night time view of Gothenburg
Gothenburg Haga at night
Gothenburg Haga at night

It was finally time to catch some dinner as I was feeling hungry and a bit physically exhausted by then, so I strolled all the way to the famous โ€˜Hagaโ€™ area where I discovered a delightful vegan restaurant known as โ€˜ Solrosenโ€™.ย  Haga is one of happening district of Gothenburg, which is particularly known for its magnificent wooden houses, and where also you could unearth some offbeat restaurants serving delicious food. The best things I loved about this restaurant was their free/buffet salad bar where you can have all types of various salads to satisfy your hunger pans.

Solrosen gothenburg
Solrosen, gothenburg

After enjoying my gracious food, it was time to head back to my apartment. My first day exploring this charming city had been just amazing and incredible. On the way back, I was already thinking about how I was planning to spend the second day of my trip, to visit the beautiful botanical gardens, to explore those pleasant central parks of โ€˜Slottsskogenโ€ filled with auspicious greenery and peaceful nature, to discover the famous โ€˜Hagaโ€ district and its spectacular architecture, and much more where my heart could follow and explore its own way.

Traveling for me is not only venture to new places but to explore and connect with the surroundings. To observe the nurturing the new life, the way the people live and more importantly the nature, the very source which has given the definition to our lives.

If you would like to know more about my journeys around the world, feel free to subcrise and follow and look out for my new upcoming post! And if you have comments, questions and any experience of your own travel you would like to share, feel free to send below. I would love to read them! ๐Ÿ™‚

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Gothenburg’s Southern Archipelago Islands In Sweden

Gothenburgโ€™s Southern Archipelago Islands In Sweden

The Archipelago Islands are spread along the coast of Gothenburg, Sweden and easily accessible by Ferry. I was doing my small Scandinavian trip in March 2017 where I stayed in Gothenburg for few days and decided to visit the archipelago. Although there were many small islands within the archipelago, due to rains and little bad weather, I only had time to visit one Island, so I decided to take the ferry to the farthest once known as โ€œVrรฅngรถโ€.ย 

March is usually considered as winter months, it is windy and cold, so it not exactly the right season to visit these islands. But for travelers like us, when it comes to travel and exploring, seasons doesnโ€™t matter and on the plus side since there arenโ€™t much crowds, you get to explore the places by yourself which is more fun and peaceful!

Gothenburg Archipelago Map
Gothenburg Archipelago Map

After reaching Gothenburg, my first stop wasย  Archipelago only.ย  Gothenburg has either 1 or 3 day transportation day tickets. Ferries are included in the both tickets. So I bought a 3 day ticket and took a tram 11 from center towards โ€œGoteborg Saltholmens Bryggaโ€ ferry terminal. All the ferries for Archipelago Islands starts from here. They have small information/ticket kiosk where you can also get free maps and guidance on the ferry times and they also explains you the preferred number of islands you can cover in the remaining time of the day. I waited for my ferry for almost half an hour to 45mins and finally boarded to head towards the last Island โ€œVrรฅngรถโ€. The time from the main terminal to the farthest island takes about an hour approx and you get to see the view of the other islands on the way.

View Of Archipelago, Gothenburg
View Of Archipelago, Gothenburg

Have you even been in a ferry marching towards the sea when its actually cloudy? and the more closer you go into the sea, the more you feel excited and scary at the same time. On my way to Vrango, every time I look outside, in the those moments of nature, I was filled with the feeling of excitement and adventure at the same time. As I sat closer to the window and saw the ferry gushing through the water, tiny small chunks of land untouched in the lap of nature in the middle of the sea, far somewhere few pitched houses resting on ground, and on the other side, the never ending extent of the ocean, as I moved forward , my eyes captured all these beautiful moments I havenโ€™t seen before in my life.

My ferry finally reached the Vrango terminal. It was raining and there were only few people along with me to step on the Island. I quickly saw a coffee shop next to it, so I directly went there as I was really craving for hot cup of coffee! I ordered a coffee with a small piece of cake, sat down close to window, outside it was still raining and inside the coffee shop, there were only 2 people who might have to come to visit but seems to be afraid to go out because of the rain.

While looking at the window and having the hot sip of the my coffee, watching the rain getting strong every second, there was bit of silence in that moment and I thought am I really scared? I donโ€™t have an umbrella, just a jacket with a hood, my passport in the pocket (unwrapped) and vulnerable to rains, I dont know the way inside and there is not a single person present on this small island I can see, maybe I will get lost, maybe by the time I come back I wont be able to catch ferry, maybeโ€ฆ.!? But then I thought, all my life I have been always scared to take chances and the only time I have felt happy when I actually took them. So, I finished my coffee, wore my jacket, put on the hood and went into the island to find the last spot where it ends!

But waitโ€ฆโ€ฆLets take a look what I saw on the way ๐Ÿ™‚

Cottage houses built on the Vrรฅngรถ Island in Gothenburg Archipelago

I walked by some beautiful houses on the way, it was as if walking into a canvas drawn in front of me and only me as there was not a single person I could find, It was still raining, the intensity was increasing every second I went further, but my heart was pumping with loads of excitementย  and all it desired to see more and more of what was coming!

After exploring, getting lost and coming back and forth, I finally managed to find a spot on the farthest point which was built on top of rocks. Although because of rains it was all wet, still I carefully find a way to climb the rocks (even slip for few times :D) but eventually after a bit of struggle I managed to climb on the other side and what I saw then was just magical! At that very moment, I forgot the rains, opened my arms wide spread and just enjoyed the view! I was just connected in that beautiful moment of nature and nothing else mattered to me at that time!

View from Vrรฅngรถ Island in Gothenburg Archipelago
View from Vrรฅngรถ Island in Gothenburg Archipelago
Ocean View from Vrรฅngรถ Island in Gothenburg Archipelago
Ocean View from Vrรฅngรถ Island in Gothenburg Archipelago
Ocean View from Vrรฅngรถ Island in Gothenburg Archipelago
Ocean View from Vrรฅngรถ Island in Gothenburg Archipelago
Ocean View from Vrรฅngรถ Island in Gothenburg Archipelago

It is breathtaking isnโ€™t it? well after spending a good time in the rains, I was already sneezing by then. As I turned around I had literally no idea how to reach back again on the other side. At least 4 times I climbed and came back to same spot and by then I was slightly getting worried a bit. But the good part was, I was still enjoying the views!.. Iย  found a small route between rocks but further again lost my way couple of times and somehow made it back to Vrango ferry terminal.

I again went into the same coffee shop, there was no one there by then. I ask the swedish lady if I can dry my clothes somewhere there and she was nice to help me out. Well there was no one else to help out otherwise. I asked her out of curiosity if anyone lives here now in this season and she told me she still lives on the same Island and I was happy to finally find a local person to ask questions! ๐Ÿ˜€

I sat down again on the same window side with a hot cup of coffee, trying to relieve my new cold I have recently catch upon, looking at window, watching rains, feeling proud to live the moment which I will always remember in my lifetime! ๐Ÿ™‚

Have you been to Gothenberg archipelago before? or what was your last daring cum magical experience? Feel free to share in the comments below as I would love to read them! ๐Ÿ™‚

โ€œLive for the magical unforgettable experiences, they are the only ones which will be there with you in your last moments of lifeโ€

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My 5 best travel experiences of Scandinavia!!

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My 5 Best Travel Experiences Of Scandinavia!

my 5 best travel experiences of Scandinavia!

Read about the 5 best travel experiences of the scandinavian destinations!

The best part of traveling are all those amazing experiences you collect and cherish along your journey. These are moments which brings an element of surprise, excitement and are ocassially filled with your own dreams and desires. Pursuing them sometimes even changes you from inside and open your eyes to see the world from a new perspective.

I love visiting Scandinavia countries. There is so much of nature to see and explore there. Below are my my 5 top favourite travel experiences of scandinavious destinations:

01. Watching incredible fjords in Tromvik, Tromso, Norway

Tromso, Norway
Tromso, Norway

As you may have read in my earlier posts, where I shared my all time โ€œWinter Bucket Listโ€ I want to accomplish in my lifetime, Tromso (Norway) was the first item on the do-list. So I visited this place in the March 2017. During my trip, I traveled on a full-day countryside tour where I was driven between breathtaking snow-cap mountains. I had the best time of my life watching those amazing fjords coming live in from my eyes. It literally felt a dream come true.ย 

02. Watching Northern Lights in Lofoten Islands, Norway

Northern Lights, Lofoten Islands, Norway
Northern Lights, Lofoten Islands, Norway

As they say, if you have not visited Lofoten Islands, then you have not visited Norway! It is indeed one of the most breathtaking places on earth. In winters of Feb 2019, during my Norway trip, I visited this amazing destination where I got the chance to witness the beautiful and mesmerizing view of Northern lights. It was like a different world altogether. Its something you should experience if you get the chance to visit Lofoten Islands.

03. Getting Immerse in Skรณgafoss Waterfall of Iceland

Skรณgafoss Waterfall in Iceland

Skรณgafoss is a beautiful and biggest waterfall situated on the south-coast of Iceland. I visited this astounding destination while completing my Iceland tour of December 2017. Most people dont try to get that close proximity of this huge waterfall, especially during winters, when all the area over the ground is super slippery, but I couldnt resist to walk over until the edge to experience the massive look of this giant waterfall has to offer. A great thing to see while on the trip to Iceland.ย 

04. Doing Glacier Hiking in Iceland

Glacier Hike In Iceland
Glacier Hike In Iceland

Glacier hiking is one the best ways to experience Iceland in winters. On my Iceland trip of December 2017, while visiting Iceland South-coast, I got a chance to visit the famous “Sรณlheimajรถkull glacier” which is a part of Mรฝrdalsjรถkull, Icelandโ€˜s fourth largest glacier! I was with a small group where I spend almost 30 minutes walking on the glacier, and was indeed one of the best moments of my life!

05. Going on a Cruise along the Norwegian Sea

Cruise in Norwegian Sea
Cruise in Norwegian Sea

Imagine going on a cruise during the winter along the Arctic ocean? Do you believe it to be exciting? Well for me it was the most exciting thing I ever did in my travels. In the winter months of Feb 2019, I went on a cruise along the Norweigan sea. Although it was super freezing to even step outside, but I was able to capture some of the breathtaking pictures along the ocean!ย  Every second of that journey was filled with spectacular views of fjords and snow covered mountains!

Before we Depart....

Traveling is I believe is that inspiration which ignites the soul of our heart, its gives a directions to explore life, its a meaning that give purpose to some and its a journey full of incredible experiences. The above 5 experiences of Scandinavia lets say are just the tip of an iceberg, there are many more I have been through and many more yet to experience.ย 

Have you been to Scandinavia? Do you have any such experiences on your travel? Or Do you wish to pursue them ever in your life? …I would be glad to know your thoughts, so feel free to share on the comments below! ๐Ÿ™‚

The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.
- Marcel Proust

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Travel Poems

My Solo Poem..

My Solo Poem...

Off I go today;
Into the planes flying in the ocean of wind,
Overwhelmed with the excitement to see a new life,
trying to live a dream I have just disciplined,
So off I venture today;
Into the darkness of the enormous sky,
searching for something with an empty sight,
that maybe there is still hope left in this life,
So off I wander today,
into the peaceful shores of sea,
I close my eyes and try to feel,
pain is all I got which only seems real to me,
So off I roam today,
into the colorful illusion of life,
I try to search for some pieces,
I may have lost in my time,
but only thing I know is nothing stays divine,
So off I finally try today,
to fly away with my broken wings,
sometimes I hurt,
sometimes I fall,
but in these wounds of time,
I think I found a reason of my living!

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Travel Volunteering – is there anything wrong with it?

Travel Volunteering - is there anything wrong with it?

Thousands of people go abroad to volunteer each year. Volunteer traveling is one of the biggest growth markets now. Even a lot of young people are send abroad hoping to experience something out of volunteering. And some of the people who are reading this post may have decided once or even may have pursued a volunteering program in their life. But, has anyone ask this question whether is there anything really going wrong with volunteer traveling? Whether the initiative we take when we travel to the other parts of the developing world hoping to trying to make a difference or make world a better place, is that really happening in the longer run?

Travel Volunteering

But first, let me be honest and put it straight, Iย  have personally not done any Volunteering travel yet, but being brought up in a country like India, I know a bit about how life actually works in a developing country and that is the reason I have decided to share my thoughts about it!

Well from the moment my passion of travel begin, I have been reading about volunteering travel quite a while and I thought lot of people travel every year to explore such opportunities so why not I try to do it myself. It make sense right? So, I started to google out all the volunteering options in India and began to read about them. I was having this conception that to volunteer is to give something to society, maybe you are expert in something that you will be involved in such similar activities or maybe anything random where you could help! Well partly it was true but what I didnโ€™t knew was for even doing that you will have to pay something in the end. These Volunteering agencies were like another set of travel agents who were making package tours for people to come and help the poor in need. When I tried to send inquiries to them to offer help, I never got any response! Wondering why? Well how would they be able to sell a travel package tour to someone living locally!? That was the first time it made me think that is it really one face of travel volunteering!

Lets keep this travel part one side and understand what do the people get to offer when they travel for volunteering.ย  Most of the time I have noticed is that they are offered to teach orphanage children related to anything, language, music, dancing etc. or even they are connected to some public schools in remote villages. When these young people get involve with these vulnerable children trying to teach them, they believe they are going through some therapeutic self conscious healing in their life. But little do they know what could be the reality happening in the shadows. What it does that it gives rise to โ€œOrphanage tourismโ€. Where there is money there is business and doesnโ€™t matter what shape or form it comes, it will happen! Thatโ€™s the cruel truth of developing countries. These volunteering agencies ties up with mere orphanages and invite travelers in lust of earning money. These orphanages then ties up with extreme poor living families to send their children to their orphanages or even abducts them in order showcase them to these regular hoards of travelers. And these vulnerable innocent children who are sometimes separated from their living parents just play along unknowingly. Well this is another part which makes me think sometimes is that what our young generation signed up for in the name of volunteer traveling?

I currently live in New Delhi and everyday when I am driving and crossing a red light,ย  small children beggars approaches me requesting to give some money to eat something. Sometimes I saw some ladies carrying small babies in their arms and begging for any money they could get. What do you think a normal light heart-ed person would do at that moment? you would want to donate some money to help those poor people right? or maybe that what people traveling from another corner of the world would think of doing at that moment! It make sense right? But if they knew the reality behind all this, they will do the exactly opposite. Those little babies which are carried in the arms of the ladies are drugged everyday so that they could remain calm in their hands all the time. Those vulnerable children are abducted and forced to beg everyday. They are fixed a daily cost which they have to earn from begging and give to the person who runs this entire begging nexus. So donating even a single penny would end up promoting this begging industry in itself. The only thing I give to these children when they approach me is some food which I am carrying with me sometimes which can be fruits, candies etc. anything I could get hold of! why? because they eat those things at the very moment and they donโ€™t have to give it back to their superiors.

So what we need to do to make volunteering possible? We really need to learn first before we can offer to help others. The reason why I have not participated yet in any volunteering exercise is because I am still on the learning phases, trying to find the right path rather than causing more harm than doing any good. And thatโ€™s what all the parents need to teach their kids this lesson before sending them abroad to participate in volunteering programs.ย  And that also applies to the young generation like us who wants to do something in life!

I recently visited an NGO named โ€œGoonjโ€ who seems to be doing a great job here in India. Though I still donโ€™t 100% vouch for them, but after visiting their service center, I was really amazed by the work they are doing within the community.

Recycling service area at Goonj
Recycling service area at Goonj
A photograph depicting ways of community interaction at Goonj
A photograph depicting ways of community interaction at Goonj

What it does is it recycles all the rejected clothes and household they get from people in donation and covert them into useful products to distribute it to the poor or in need. And by rejected means anything you think you want to dump in your home, literally anything! They have very thoughtfully made each and every section of how they utilize anything that comes to them in donations and properly segregate and recycles everything in a thought-provoking manner even the Sanitary napkins! Wikipedia says, it collects and delivers 1,000 tons of material every year through a network of 500 volunteers and 250 partners. And there way of donation/distribution is not simple as it sounds, they do that in the form of community interaction and self learning process where the communities has to work together in the benefits of their growth!

For me it was a learning process to understand how volunteering can be really done in life. How much thoughts and efforts and perseverance we have to put in to actually make that happen and it is not just a flip of coin. And that is what I believe people from the traveling community needs to do. They need to first learn and understand the complexities involve in the phases of volunteering and then implement them later in the most efficient ways possible!

So tell me what do you think? Have you done any volunteering in life? What was your experience? Or what is your thoughts on volunteer traveling? Please feel free to share any comments or even any stories you have come across on travel volunteering! ๐Ÿ™‚

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How much traveling have you done in your life?

How much traveling have you done in your life?

This is one of the questions I always ask every second person I met in my life. There are lot of facts one can easily find on internet or in various articles about how many people understand the meaning of travel but for me it always important to know from someone whom you meet in your everyday life. So what do you think how much traveling people actually do in their life?

Well to my surprise, almost more than 90% percent of the people I met have hardly done any traveling. Why? Because either they believe they donโ€™t have enough time for it or otherwise they simply cant afford enough money to do any traveling. Travel for them was simply a luxury or merely unwanted use of time. And when they really get time lets say once in year or two, to plan a vacation, they presume traveling to be as a black & white picture! What it means, that for them to travel, it has to be perfect scenario with best accommodations, best airlines, per-designed itineraries etc. and for that they usually pick any tour operator and opt for available group tours. I called it as a white side thinking. The black side would be opposite of it which means a totally low cost budget tour . For such people there is no grey area present for them. And they live with this mindset throughout their life.

How much traveling in life

What do you think how do these people find their happiness then? well the easiest answer would be shopping, movies, clubs, home decorations, beauty salons, spas โ€ฆlist can be really long or they would find their passion in boosting about high end luxury cars or their hoards of investments.

Lets talk about another 10%. These are the people who find their ways to travel from all the varying circumstances of their life. These people usually look life from that grey area where the travel part does not means to be a unique or expensive experience which only certain people can afford. But what led to these 10% help to change their outlook of seeing the life of travel?

When I started to travel couple of years back, I thought for that moment I was doing something out of the ordinary and unique. But when I went to new destinations and met new people, I realized travel is the most down-to-earth experience one can experience in their life. You will tend to see and meet people from all age groups and ethnic religion who are just traveling to experience the life on the other side. Every country or city has its own life and to experience that life in the form of buildings, nature, food, people was just life-changing in-itself. This very realization helped me changed my outlook to believe that traveling can be a part of living your life.

As far as money is concerned, its all about setting your priorities and changing the mindset. Spending less on materialistic approach and saving more for your travels, if you truly desire to travel, you will find your way out accordingly. There is no rocket science behind it. It simple willingness to pursue your travel dreams.

Our life as it says is a very small part of the whole universeย  merely a stardust. The future is always unpredictable, even though you try to work hard and save more today, you can never be sure in the face of nature how long you will live or how your life will actually turn up. Our life is really short, you only have chance to live once, so the question is, do you really want to live the same old usual life which you are living now and want to pursue a life full of amazing experiences!!

So tell me how much traveling have you done in your life?

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Why Do I Travel?

Why I Travel?

I travel to experience a life,
a life full of pain and smile, which is filled with rainbow of inspiration;
I travel to live an imagination,
Imagination which dwells the dreams of my life;
I travel to meet new people,
people who helps me smile through those moments of the life;
I travel to fill my voids,
voids which I have forgotten to replenish all this time;
I travel to face my fears,
fears which never allowedย  me to feel free spirit;
I travel to live adventures,
adventures which sparks the excitement in my life;
I travel to venture new places,
the beauty of which fills the passion in my life;
So why do I travel?
I travel to chase the dreams and follow my heart keeping the faith that no matter what happens along all this way, at the end, it will definitely be a hell of a ride! ๐Ÿ™‚
โ€ฆ..
So tell me why do you travel?

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