So much of what you are is where you have been.William Langewiesche
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Welcome to my travel guide section, specially crafted for the independent traveller.
I am a compulsive planner. I scour the web for months in advance and make sure I know a fair bit about the history and culture of a destination well before I depart.
For me, that slow ‘discovery’ of a place, when random foreign names on a map begin to take shape and form, is as satisfying as the journey itself.
Our travel style is mid range to luxury. We generally like to have time to breathe in each destination and usually stay longer in a place than a standard itinerary demands. For those short on time, I will highlight in the individual guide pages where it is technically possible to trim itineraries.
WHAT TO EXPECT
All information and recommendations in the ensuing pages are based on our own experiences: what we loved about a place or didn’t, where we stayed, ate and wandered and what we’d do differently if we were to return.
While I include plenty of road-trip suggestions in the individual pages, high insurance costs (at our respective ages) and the non availability of comprehensive insurance packages in India, skew our preferred itinerary choices towards those using a mix of public and private transport over self drive. It requires a bit more pre-planning but it has worked brilliantly for us so far.
So where would you like to go?
BROWSE BY REGION
It is Africa that first comes to mind when I am asked to name my most memorable travel moments.
Witnessing the great migration in all its glory and rubbing shoulders with mountain gorillas in Rwanda are experiences hard to beat. Add Egypt and Morocco to the mix and this vast continent takes the meaning of ‘memorable’ to another level.
On our Africa wish-list: Ethiopia, Namibia, Zimbabwe. But first, a return to Morrocco…our three decade old escorted trip left much to be desired.
For all my love of Europe, it is the grit and the energy of Asian destinations that seem to inspire more stories and provide more atmospheric photo-ops, if not always pretty ones.
The largest and most populous continent is also the most diverse: from the skyscrapers and serene Zenness of Japan to the jaw-dropping scale of all that is China, the turquoise beaches of south east Asia, the simplicity of Sri Lanka or the extreme contrasts and colourful chaos of my own homeland, India. Asia might not be love-at-first-sight for all but I promise you, it will not be boring.
On our Asia wish-list: Bhutan, Indonesia, Georgia, Mongolia, Uzbekistan, Vietnam
Medieval culture and magnificent architecture aside, much of the Old Continent’s appeal lies, for me, in the small things. The crunch of a perfect croissant. Coffee breaks in charming stone paved squares. Immersive moments in amazing museums. Being intentionally aimless in idyllic old towns. The food. The wine. The bread!
On our Europe wish-list: Poland, Ireland. A return to explore more of France, Spain, Italy, Greece and Portugal
The Middle East, the cradle of ancient civilisations, religions, even democracy is by far my favourite region.
The ancientness of the Levant, the fact that you cannot take two steps without stumbling upon something of tremendous historical import, the tales of (never-ending) conflict between the sword and the scimitar, what can be more fascinating for someone as keen on history as I?
I would return to Egypt and Turkey in a heartbeat.
On our Middle East wish-list: Iran, Israel, Oman, Lebanon.
It was the mind boggling architectural feat of the Incas that first drew us to South America.
Then a volcano eruption in Chile left us stranded for an unforgettable week in Buenos Aires. Followed by Rio de Janeiro, initially an afterthought, that resulted in a love affair with this continent that continues to push North America out of our travel radar!
Our biggest regret is not having got there when we were young enough to fully experience the glory of it’s incredibly diverse landscape.
On our South America wish-list: Colombia, Ecuador and the Galapagos, more of Brazil, return to Chile (to catch up on what we missed because of a virulent virus.)
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