Looking back at the last 365 days, I am filled with lots of different kinds of emotions. But most of all 2019 came with surprise after surprise and we didn’t expect to be traveling so much in our wildest dreams.
Sometimes we are so busy counting the days to our next trip that we forget to appreciate all the places we have already been to. So I decided on a throwback to all the beautiful memories of 2019. But to tell you the truth, I want to assess where I spent all my money. :p
It’s the most beautiful place in the world, at least from the ones that we have been to. I don’t have enough words to describe this place and hence haven’t got myself to write the travelogue on Finland yet. But hopefully, soon!!
Both Manas and I had “watching the northern lights” on top of our bucket list and that was our priority in Lapland. But believe me, there is so much more to it. Among the best things to do in Finland is visiting Santa Claus, driving with an amazing panoramic view, staying in an igloo, fighting death at -30 degrees (Yes, it was worth it!), and lots and lots of adventure activities. But what we loved the most is that you hardly get to see many people around. OMG! That was THE best thing ever!
2. Canary Islands
A small teeny-tiny island in Spain, but oh! What a beauty. Famous for being the only winter beach destination of Europe, it hosts the second largest carnival in the world - Carnival of Santa Cruz de Tenerife.
We perfectly planned our holiday to coincide with the closing ceremony of the carnival at Tenerife, which is like one big street party. The whole city gets wild with colors, costumes and joy. Both young and old, hit up the streets for long nights filled with dancing, socializing and insane amount of drinking. It is the best place to visit if you are looking for a warm beach vacation in Europe during the winter.
Are we giving you travel goals already??! 😉
The so-called “Sin City” has more than it is infamous for. Amsterdam has beautiful streets, historical squares, canal sides, cute cafes and every spot is a picturesque one. From walking tours, hostel parties, windmill tours to cycling to the countryside, Amsterdam has something for everyone and makes it good for more than one visit.
Spend one day in Amsterdam doing nothing but walking where the canals take you. Spring is the best time to visit with the beautiful tulips painting the entire city in its shades.
Titled “Heaven on Earth” and “Crown of India”, Kashmir’s unparalleled scenic beauty is nestled between the snow-clad mountains and fluorescent green valleys. Contrasting all the media & news about the unrest, Kashmir is a beautiful and peaceful place to visit and the people there are very warm and chatty.
Though as eternal as its beauty is, I found the four valleys – Srinagar, Pahalgam, Gulmarg and Sonmarg very commercialized and touristy. If I had to take another trip, I would rather visit Ladakh, which is one of my favourites and among the most beautiful places in the world.
5. Pushkar, Rajasthan
We flew to Jaipur for a close friend’s wedding but again no trip goes without exploring. And because we have been to Jaipur before, we took a road trip to Pushkar instead. Spent 3 days exploring the place, a short visit to Ajmer and the Dargah, Pushkar lake and a lot of time relaxing by the pool at Hotel Brahma Horizon. (Btw it is beautifully surrounded with cliffs and desert.)
We took the phrase “Har Har Gange” way too seriously. Those dips in the freezing cold water of River Ganga? I can feel the shivers even now while writing about it.
Famous for Meditation and Yoga, Rishikesh has also become a hub for a lot of adventure activities. The best things to do are whitewater rafting and bungee jumping. The increasing crowds have opened many cafes around the city, most of them with a chilled vibe and a beautiful view of the Ganges and the surrounding Himalayas.
Fun fact: Dehradun airport is closer to Rishikesh than it is to Dehradun itself.
A vacation to Goa is one with minimal planning. I can spend days lying on a quiet beach with a beer in my hand and watching the sun as it goes down.
No trip to Goa is complete without a night with lots of booze and dancing till dawn, losing some money at...you know where, finding the hippie in you at one of those hidden shacks and endless bike rides with no destination in mind.
Goa is a perfect mix of natural beauty, happening nightlife and tropical environs. But it has been flocked with tourists over time and has become a victim of its own success. In Goa, don’t limit yourself to the crowded beaches when you can explore the offbeat places.
We will soon write about the best things to do and best places to visit in Goa for those who want to avoid the crowds.
8. Jaagir Lodge – Dudhwa National Park
Hidden in the interiors of Uttar Pradesh, Dudhwa National park is a tiger reserve and is home to tigers (Duh!), leopards, elephants, jackal, hyena and many more. Scary? Luckily we met none of them. Instead, we saw many calm deer, some beautiful birds and dancing peacocks. (Yes I know how that sounds. Don’t spoil it for us)
As disappointing as the Safari was for us, other guests at the hotel got amazing views of the big cat. What made the trip worth it was Jaagir Lodge, a hunter's lodge and a very luxurious home built in the 1940s that oozes of royalty in its make and hospitality. It is among the best places to visit if you are looking to celebrate a special occasion.
This small Himalayan country has our heart. And for the obvious reasons i.e. this is where we got married. Would you want a wedding with the Himalayas as your backdrop? If yes, Nepal is the destination.
One trip to Nepal is never enough and each time you come back with a longer list of best things to do. From trekking to the base of the highest peak in the world to one of the highest bungee jumping, the country has a lot more to offer than its beautiful sceneries and holy temples. And also, No one parties like them! So don't forget to pack your party shoes.
That’s a long list of places and I had no idea there were so many of them. And now you also know where I spent all my money. Like we always say – you don’t always need an expensive European Holiday. Go where your heart takes you!
Take a moment to count and tell us in the comments, how many places did you visit in 2019.
We are going to give you tons of travel goals and have lots of fun together!! Till then, stay tuned, keep saving, keep exploring and Happy Travel!!