As 2016 came to a splashing end, I decided to jot down my top travel experiences to dwell on the year. Due to the launch of my travel blog, this was perhaps my best year so far, with a multitude of exciting opportunities, challenges, and 15-hour work days! Here’s why this year was worth all the hard work and what I’m looking forward to in 2017.
Table of Content
- 1 Best Travel Experiences of 2016
- 2 Travel Goals for 2017
Best Travel Experiences of 2016
Game Watching in South Africa
Our South African escapade was beyond words, as we watched lions next to our resort, four cheetahs preying on a deer, a black rhino family charging our vehicle, and the elusive genet on a night safari. Spending six days in the Zululand Rhino Reserve was surely one of the highlights of 2016.
Exploring Offbeat places of North East India
Northeast India was always high on my bucket list. As an Indian, I always thought I would visit in the future and focused on faraway lands instead. In 2016, I did a lot of traveling within India and immersed in the beauty and the act of rediscovering my own country. There, I ventured into off-the-beaten-path villages and some of the most exotic spots in the country.
Covering monsoons in Wayanad, Kerala
This trip was very special as it was my first monsoon getaway, my first time in Kerala, and my first press trip. As a new travel blogger, I was excited to start working with brands. Since I had to turn down a trip to Bosnia and Herzegovina due to visa issues just a month earlier, this was the perfect pick-me-up. It was amazing to walk around in rain boots with my rain jacket, umbrella, and GoPro, capturing shots and videos of my adventures.
Being a Part of Trip of Wonders
Trip of Wonders is an Indonesian Ministry of Tourism initiative to reintroduce this country to the world. I was part of a team of over 30 bloggers and photographers invited to experience Indonesia firsthand. Since I had spent 11 months in this beautiful land in 2015, I was very excited to return. Not only was it a great travel experience, but it also offered a good opportunity to learn. Living and traveling with a bunch of like-minded and motivated bloggers and Instagram superstars was just epic.
Spotting Hundreds of Birds in Zululand
As an avid birder, South Africa was a highlight for me. The Zululand Rhino Reserve is so rich in animal and bird life, and the birds were very different from those in the Indian national parks. In South Africa, almost every bird was a lifer, or a new bird, for me.
Exploring North Thailand
Even after six trips to Thailand, I had never visited the northern part of the country. I’d heard great things, though. Thankfully, the Thai Tourism Authority awarded me a trip to North Thailand, where I joined five other bloggers to explore Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai. I was simply floored by the Thai royalty and the amazingly friendly faces and exotic places I got to visit.
In addition to these, I did plenty of shorter trips, including the amazing trek to Kheerganga to gaze at the supermoon. However, the seven experiences above simply stole the show for me.
Travel Goals for 2017
This year, my goals are not just an extension of my bucket list destinations. They also include changes to my traveling style. I plan to do more meaningful travel and also look for best locations for digital nomads to live and work.
I plan to jot my goals down here and return to edit each as I complete it. So bookmark this page if you want to stay posted about my goals and achievements this year.
I think volunteering is the best way to experience living in a new country. Volunteer jobs are easy to find if you pick something that interests you. I’d love to be involved in animal welfare activities or teaching English to children. To ensure that I meet this goal, I’ve joined WorkAway and applied for volunteer work in my upcoming destinations.
To make sure that I have the best place to work, network, and brainstorm ideas with fellow entrepreneurs and nomads, I want to explore coworking spaces in top digital nomad hubs around the world. If I’m headed to a destination that offers an opportunity, I’ll buy a day pass and spend a few days meeting people and living the laptop lifestyle.
Bucket List Goals
I want to try to experience at least half of the places on my overflowing bucket list. I’d like to visit Iceland for the Blue Lagoon, waterfalls, and Northern Lights; Jamaica for the beautiful Montego Bay; Rwanda for gorilla trekking; and Europe to explore both Eastern and Western Europe.
Hiring a Campervan
Renting a campervan and driving around on a monthlong road trip with family is just what the doctor ordered. I’ve never experienced this and would love to try camping, cooking, and exploring new places without having to worry about accommodations or timelines.
My goals might be too aggressive, but like I always say, dream big or go home! I’m off to pack my bags and prepare for new adventures on the road. What about you?