2016 – Our Travel Diary

As we bid good bye to the year 2016 and enter into the year 2017, lets reflect on our fabulous year of travel once more. Most of us start new year with lots of new thoughts, resolutions, goals etc. As the year progresses, we meet many of them and some are carried forwarded for the next year. For us also beginning and welcoming of the new year is no different. We start with new resolutions, new plans and various new goals to achieve. And among set goals, one of the most important goals that we set is for traveling. We set goal on how many places to cover and what to cover this year. Definitely we want to add uncountable number of places in our done travel list. But being on a day job and parents of a little angel daughter we have to divide our time among all these wisely.

Arpora flea market

2016 was special

Each of us has some motivations based on which we opt for traveling. Every one of us want to accomplish or achieve something at the end of a trip. For many it may be just to relax and rejuvenate. And for others it may be to explore and learn new culture, civilization and places. Whereas , for some it may be a blend of both. And we also fall in the last category.

Now as we have already stepped into 2017 and at this point if I look back on my travel milestones for 2016, then definitely it brings a smile on my face. But also it ignites the desire of covering more and more. So through this post I attempt to revisit my travel experiences of year 2016. 2016 was a special year for our travel, since for the first time, we travelled so much in a single year. And, we also shared our stories with our readers. Our travel journey of year 2015 had ended with a trip to Shimla and Manali. It was an enthralling family trip which included three generations of family together on one of the most memorable trips. Also, this marked the revival of our travel blog.

Read: The story behind our travel stories to know more about how our blogging journey started, got halted and then restarted in 2016.

And then, we almost got unstoppable with our travel in 2016. We tried to put to use every holiday, every chance that we got. So, here goes our travel experience for 2016.

Goa

Year 2016 started with a trip to Goa. Goa, the name itself gives goose bumps to many travelers.Only by thought of a trip to Goa many start running through various imagination on how to fully utilize each and every minute of their stay. For us it was a self-planned family trip – me, my wife, daughter and a close friend. This trip was full of enjoyment and refreshment.

Beleza by the beach 2
Nazare and the beach beyond

As most of us know Goa provides us option of staying either in North Goa or South Goa. While North Goa is most suitable for crowd who are looking for a young and more vibrant Goa or looking for convivial atmosphere all the time. On the other hand if you are looking for a peaceful stay or a quite walk on the beach or on the streets then South Goa will be a better fit.

On previous occasion we had stayed in North Goa. This time we were looking for a quiet and peaceful stay in a secluded environment. Hence we opted for South Goa. Just before the trip, our little one had fallen sick and the trip was jeopardized. But, day by day she recovered and got almost fit for the trip. We packed her required medicines and packaged food.. just in case.. and went ahead for the trip.

Beleza by the beach & Arpora

We stayed at a beach side resort – Beleza by the beach with private access to the famous Colva Beach. This place definitely helped in meeting the goal of this trip. One important highlight of this trip was a visit to Arpora flea market. At this moment I will just say, what a lively market it is. Rest I will leave up to you to explore here. In conclusion, our kid thoroughly enjoyed the beach, the resort and the whole trip. She also recovered well while on vacation and finally we came back to our home with double the energy. Of all the trips, this is the one that she remembers the most.

Beleza by the beach 8
A night view of tentaco across the swimming pool

Mysore Zoo & Brindavan Gardens

(dedicated to our little one)

In the past we have taken day trips to Mysore many times. But this trip’s whole purpose was different from the previous ones. Our little one has now started getting a new level of excitement on encountering animals or birds on television screen or in books. And, inquisitive that she is , she keeps asking more and more questions about the animals. So we planned to give more acceleration to her excitement as well as real solution to here inquisitiveness.

So we started looking for such places that would serve the purpose. And, we zeroed down to Mysore Zoo. It is one of the largest zoo in Asia and can be covered in a single day from Bangalore. Hence we planned a Mysore trip, dedicating it to her by spending major time in Mysore zoo where she could live to her excitement by seeing live species which she used to see in TV or books.

Mysore Zoo
Giraffe at Mysore Zoo campus

And this trip served our purpose. Our little one enjoyed to the fullest. She went through different wave of emotions – excitement, curiosity, inquisitiveness, dilemma and many more. We encountered many questions – some interesting, some confusing – from her. At the end of day we were quite satisfied that this trip served its purpose. Our little one enjoyed this trip thoroughly and learned a lot through real life exposure.

We went to Brindavan Gardens and Mysore palace as well. But the main focus was of course the zoo. If you are interested in a day trip to Mysore, you can checkout our recommended itinerary here.

9 days in Rajasthan

This was one of the most memorable trips we took. As, for a long time Rajasthan was in our travel bucket. Many times we worked on to materialize this trip but due to various reasons it did not happen. Further, for us covering complete Rajasthan in a single trip was not possible. If one thinks of doing so then one whole month may also fall short. So we divided our Rajasthan trip in few buckets, with each bucket including some number of places to cover. And this was the chance to empty the first bucket.

During this trip we covered Jaipur and Udaipur – the two major cities of Rajasthan. We had got much awaited chance to feel and understand Rajasthan culture and heritage. This trip was divided in 2 parts: half of the time in Jaipur and 4 days in Udaipur. We get chance to cover various heritage site which depicted the glory and aura of old India and Indian kingdom.

Amer fort trip to rajasthan
The grandeur of Amer fort

 

This trip to Rajasthan went through a self-defined journey, including old forts to palaces to shopping to having dine out under the influence of tradition Rajasthani village culture. Each site we visited during our trip has its own story to tell. This story was not just about glory of Indian history but also was about mistakes made, lesson learnt out of it, and how rise and fall of any kingdom and power used to happen. It told the story of struggle between might and right. Overall this trip was quite rewarding where we got to understand different culture, mesmerize architectural marvel, and soak into color of one the most colorful civilization of India.

Things that we did in Rajasthan

On this trip, we visited the Amer fort, Nahargarh fort and Jaigarh fort on the first day in Jaipur. We also visited Hawa Mahal, Jaipur Palace and Jantar Mantar. Finally, we got to visit Chokhi Dhani – an experience to remember. In Udaipur, we stayed at the beautiful Ram Pratap Palace hotel and dined under the stars in it’s beautiful restaurant Raj Bagh. We took day trips to Kumbhalgarh fort , Jain temple Rakankpur and Chittorgarh fort from Udaipur. In the city itself we visited the Fateh Sagar Lake, Lake Pichola, City Palace, Jagdish Temple, Bagore ki Haveli , Sahelion ki Bari, Shilpgram and many other sites. Finally, Neha concluded this trip with a crazy shopping spree.

Gorukana, BR Hills

BR hills is small and beautiful hill station located at a distance of 180 KM from Bangalore. It is famous for its wildlife and local tribes. This place is generally considered as weekend getaway for Bangaloreans. In BR Hills there lies an eco-resort named Gorukana amidst lush greenery . This resort has multiple cottages to accommodate the guests. Also, the whole resort is full of various kind of trees and plants. And this gives a feeling of staying amidst some forest. You will get a chance to wake up to symphony of Birds chirping and this continues throughout the day. Also, you will get to encounter monkeys at various occasion, but this interaction will be gentle.

cottagesoutside1_rv

For us the purpose of this trip was to rejuvenate ourselves after many tiring weeks that we had devoted to our ever demanding job. Although, this was a short and crisp trip, it served its purpose very well. We could restore new wave of energy after spending 2 days amidst nature. Read : our complete trip to B R Hills .

Mahabalipuram (also known as Mamallapuram)

Now the year 2016 was about to make its closure. We wanted to bid adieu to 2016 in our most preferred way – by exploring a new place. Before zeroing down to Mahabalipuram, as usual we had brain stormed for many places. This time our criteria was something like – preferably a beach destination, not overcrowded (as we know, during year end time frame most of the tourist destination becomes over crowded), a destination equally suitable for our parents as they were joining us, and that holds something new to explore.

Finally we locked down to Mahabalipuram. It is a beach destination and is not so crowded like other famous beach destinations in India. It also has historical significance and many sites to explore related to ancient Indian culture and civilization. Thus, we got an option to explore something new and was also suitable for our parents.

What we did in Mahabalipuram

We stayed at a beach side resort. Beach was just a stone throw away. Thus, we got a nice beach view from our room and balcony. And, we bid adieu to 2016 by staring at the mighty waves that the sea was throwing towards the placid landscape. And , at the same time, we welcomed the new year 2017 staring at rising sun over the shining sea. It may be considered a near perfect experience of stepping into a new year.

2016 sunrise at mahabalipuram

We also explored various sites in Mahabalipuram which connect to the “Mahabharata” era, the era which holds very strong significance for Indian civilization. Although there are many such sites here and each one is great. But personally I liked Shore Temple the most. This ancient temple is located on the shore of the sea. And you must visit here to experience the charm of this place. We also visited two very famous museums – Heritage Maritime museum and Indian seashell museum. One of the newest attractions of Mahabalipuram, Sea Shell Museum is one of its kind in India and the largest one in Asia. This is a repository of different kinds of shells (as its name says) and educates the visitors about its details as well; the museum houses a collection of 40k specimens of rare and unique shells. We will soon write about our Mahabalipuram trip in details.

Welcome 2017

So finally we are now in 2017. It has brought new rays of hope and spark to achieve many more milestones. 2016 was not just about making travel but it was also about getting connected with many like minded people, getting to know story and achievement of many fellow travelers which kept inspiring us. And finally to learn from various actions to improve on future executions. The year started with a beautiful sunset at Goa and ended with an equally beautiful sunrise at Mahabalipuram. May the travel continue….

Currently in the process of shortlisting our 2017 destinations 🙂

2016 - travel memories

 

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102 Responses

  1. You seem to had an awesome time in 2016. Goa is one of my favourite destination. Wish you good health and lots of travel in 2017. Keep writing and showing us new places.

  2. Such a beautiful country. Certainly has been added to my bucket list.

  3. Soraya @ Hello Raya

    Goa is so totally on my bucket list! I would love to visit this place. And I think the South of Goa would be much better suited for me. Also Rajasthan sounds absolutely incredible! It looks like you had such a fantastic 2016, and I wish you an even better 2017!

    • Thank you so much Soraya. I must admit there is something about Goa that you never get done with it. We have been there twice and wanting to go again. As for Rajasthan, it is so fast and so full of beautiful things and places. We just couldn’t cover them all. We will definitely plan a trip for the rest

  4. I had a bittersweet 2016. I was able to visit beautiful places too just like you but of course, trials also hit me. Anyhow, I really love to see post of their 2016 particular for travel bloggers. I wish you more places to visit this year!

    • Thanks Zwitsy. I wish you all the very best for 2017. Hope the bitter part will be a thing of past and you will have only sweet memories from 2017

  5. Nadine Smith

    A year of travel sounds like a great year! I love that you really explore places in your own country instead of finding beauty somewhere else. I hope this year (2017) will be another great year for you!

  6. I am loving this round up of posts and travel of 2016. Looks like you had a wonderful travel year.

  7. This was a great round up of your travels in 2016! I really enjoyed reading about them. Looking forward to what you’ll do in 2017!

  8. You have a lot ahead of you in the new year! I haven’t traveled in so long. I need to make a list.

    • Did you miss something? This is the travel we did in 2016. We have also not finalized our list for 2017

  9. So many blogs have been sharing their travel review from 2016 (including me) and I have been enjoying reading them. You had very nice destinations on your list! I hope the year 2017 will bring you many more travel experiences, and happy new year!

  10. You’ve managed to visit many places this year and I am wishing you even more adventures and happy travelling moments. Rajastan looks spectacular and I would love to explore the local culture and my favourite – to explore the food!

    • Thanks for your wishes. Rajasthan is not yet completely covered by us. Hoping to return soon

  11. Your list of 2016 looks so beautiful. So many places explored in a single year is commendable indeed. We would definitely like to know about your bucket list for 2017.

    • Thanks Sudipto. We haven’t finalized the list for 2017 yet. Since things are little unpredictable with the little one around. But we will share our stories as we head to the next destination

  12. Wow!! You had a great 2016 traveling! And sure 2017 is welcoming you with even more adventures and destinations!! Happy new traveling year! E

  13. You surely had a great year in 2016. I wish you another great year , full with travel and fun in 2017.

  14. Wow..you have had an interesting year. I want to revisit Rajasthan as well. With you many more travels in 2017.

  15. 2016 was well used 🙂 from traveler point of view 🙂
    I can relate to these places very well, and I liked how intensely you explored Goa!
    Wis you great travels in 2017!

  16. It’s been such a pleasure reading about your journeys this year. We’ve learned about many wonderful places and experiences especially in India. Can’t wait to see your adventures in 2017.

    • Thank you. We hope we will be able to bring as exciting stories for 2017 as well

  17. Rajastan looks amazing. It looks like you had an amazing 2016. Can’t wait to see what 2017 brings you!

    • Thanks Jean. The year started with a trip to Mahabalipuram. Yet to write about it. But yes, will continue on the travel spree

  18. What a great year you have had! I’m hoping to get to Belize myself this year. All the best for 2017, happy travelling!

  19. Nice travel yeah, Neha! Which destinations are on your list for 2017? Coming to Croatia maybe? 🙂

    • I am still brainstorming dear. With a job and a baby, it is difficult to figure out everything at the start only. The only thing I am sure about is definitely there will be more travel in 2017 🙂

  20. Looks like you had a great 2016 with so much travel! I have loved reading your posts too 🙂 Bring on 2017!

  21. Many great and interesting places that you have obviously seen already in 2016. Hopefully 2017 will be same or even more amazing for you as well 🙂

  22. That’s cool that you had such an interesting travel year 🙂 Rajasthan sounds like a dream. Happy travels in 2017!

  23. Courtney Jones

    2016 sounds like it was a pretty full year! Can’t wait to see what 2017 has in store!

  24. Wow what a year it has been indeed for you guys. A mix of everything I would say. What does 2017 have in store for you? Any international cities/destinations?

  25. Sounds like you had a beautiful year! I love how you are able to find time to travel with your little girl. Looking forward to seeing where y’all plan to travel this year!

    • Thanks Christina. We do plan to travel a lot in this year as well.. stay tuned for the stories

  26. Sounds like 2016 was a full and exciting one for you guys – I love the planning part of travelling, trying to decide which place to visit next. It’s so exciting to have an entire world to choose from – I’m sure you’ll pick some great places

    • Thanks emma for believing so much in us. Yes, we do have lots of plans for 2017 and there are destinations that we are still pondering over since they are all so beautiful and we can’t go to all of them.

  27. Great reflection on the past year. I think we’d enjoying staying at the resort in Mahabalipuram. The beach looks very pretty and quite relaxing.

    • Unfortunately we had a pretty bad experience with the resort. But the overall vacation went well, because we loved Mahabalipuram as a place and what all it has to offer.

  28. Such a wonderful year to reflect on! I am glad you had fabulous travels in 2016 and really happy to have read most of your entries! I am wishing you all the best as you reach new milestones this year! keep traveling and sharing about your travel experiences!

    • Thank you so much. We do plan to travel more this year and share our stories

  29. your post and photos evidently showed that you truly had an amazing year. I like the zoo, the photo of the zebras are just so amazing. I like zebra animals and I’ve seen some of them in Singapore zoo, though in the future, I’d love to see them in their own nature. More travels to you and to your family!

    cheers,

  30. You did a lot in 2016, i wish 2017 brings more travels in your life. 🙂

  31. Jenni Petrey

    Sounds as though you had a very full and exciting year. I hope that this year is just as exciting for you.

  32. I’m loving reading these kind of year review. These are inspiring and great to read. Looks like you had a great year for travelling. May you travel more and share your experiences with us.

    • Thank you Sandy N Vyjay. We are hoping to travel more this year and bring back more travel stories

  33. This seems like such an adventurous year!

  34. You visited such a beautiful places. All the best for this year i hope you going to visit more interesting places and share with us.

  35. What an amazing experience. I am hoping to travel more this year and enjoy more family time together!

  36. You had an amazing year!! your photos are awesome and they make me travel there… I hope the best for 2017!! 🙂

  37. stylishtravlr

    your 2016 look amazing ! you visited so many great places! I wish you many many amazing journeys in 2017 ! Best of luck !

    • Thank you so much. We hope to do even more travel in 2017 and bring interesting stories to our readers

  38. Aww this is great! Sounds like you had an amazing year. So many adventures! Hehe, I hope your 2017 will be full of a lot more travels hehe 😀

  39. Reading through your posts made me feel like I went to India to be honest. I realized there are too many places to see there apart from the famous Taj Mahal. I have a friend who is going there in March and I’m excited for her. I’m not sure if I can go, she is actually inviting me. The plane ticket is a bit expensive so I’m still thinking about it.

    And I wish you more travels this 2017.

    • Thanks Marge. There are so many places to see in India. Rajasthan has forts and palaces, hills, sand desert, folk art and culture, lakes, Kerala has unique backwaters, northern states amidst the himalayan ranges have so much of natural beauty with snow peaks, dense forests, south India has a huge coastline on both east and west side. There are so many national parks, water reserves, north eastern states with beautiful culture and islands of andaman and lakshdweep..to name a few.

  40. jadmacaranas

    You sure did get around 2016! More travels to you this 2017!

  41. Wow! It looks like you had a very busy year. Here’s to another year of travel and adventures!

  42. It’s hard to travel between work and children, but looks like you made the most of it! All the best for 2017.

  43. Sounds like you’ve had a great 2016, and I hope 2017 will bring you as much travel..if not more! Would love to visit Goa one day, maybe on the list for 2017 for me!

    • We did try to make the optimum use of the time at our disposal and visit as many places as possible. Hoping for more travel in 2017

  44. Even we loved Mahabalipuram, we drove down from Bangalore and had a lovely time there. You are right, Shore temple is amazing. We loved the sea food as well. Beautiful photographs, hope your 2017 is a beautiful as 2016. Cheers.

    • Great to hear that you enjoyed the place as much as we did. We are also 2017 will be as banging as it’s beginning and will open new avenues of travel for us

  45. Looks like you’ve had such a busy 2016! You have taken some beautiful pictures also. I have myself just got home from India and went to similar places to you, i absolutely loved it and looks like you guys did too!

  46. Sounds like you have been up to a lot the last year. Hope that 2017 will have even more to offer. Happy travels. 🙂

  47. We took our 2 year old nephew to Bannerghatta zoo too since he loves animals. Have you guys been there? Is Mysore zoo better than Bannerghatta zoo? I prefer South Goa too but I was not that big a fan of Colva when I went in 2015. Felt the beach was too crowded but the private access to the beach sounds ideal.
    Hope you get to travel a lot more in 2017.

    • Thanks Soumya. We have been to Bannerghatta zoo but not with the baby yet. Mysore zoo is much bigger, better and cleaner. Take your nephew there when you get a chance..he will surely love it there

  48. Wow! It must have been so interesting to visit Rajasthan! I loved your photos. Where do you think you’ll be heading in 2017? What’s your dream trip?

    • A few are planned – the grand one being to Europe, and a few more will follow. Haven’t really finalized all. But we do have so many destinations in mind

  49. Sid - The Wanderer

    You guys did great traveling with a full time job and the little one! What’s even more amazing is that you took the baby along everywhere 🙂 🙂 🙂

    All the best for the coming year and may you all travel even more 🙂

    • Thanks Sid. We can’t imagine traveling without her. She is the one most excited in the family as soon as travel packing starts now

  50. Gorukana looks fabulous! We usually prefer camping or staying with locals when we travel, and this looks like a nice option. It looks so peaceful.

  51. 2travellingsisters

    Happy New Year Abhishek!! Hope you have a year filled with lots of travel and adventure.. 🙂

  52. Glad you had such a great travel year 🙂 May your 2017 be filled with even more travels 😀

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