I love traveling. Pondicherry, Ladakh, Munnar, Goa, Jabalpur, Konark, Sikkim, Mahabaleshwar, Kedarnath, Rajasthan - you name it and I've been there.
Heartfelt thanks to my parents for this proud achievement of mine. They took me to most places and allowed me on my own to the rest. My uncle and aunt have also been kind enough to take me to Kenya with them where I enjoyed many wildlife safaris. Takes sheer luck to be me!
No surprise then when I choose to take my family for a vacation to someplace exotic and beautiful. Lazy and adventurous, spendthrift and generous, religious and trendy - I have them all in my family, which ensures that I enjoy all possible experiences in a single journey.
Where would I like to go, I wonder.
My humble dream is to visit every destination in the world, big or small. Two names that cross my mind are New Zealand and Europe. Somehow, I have a soft corner for NZ. And since less than 2000 people from India go to New Zealand every year, let me add to that statistic and let Europe be for a while...
New Zealand - also called "God's own country" due to its gorgeous landscapes and unparalleled natural beauty. Creating a happy vacation here shouldn't take much, because for a traveller, nothing beats novelty. And who's better at that than Mother Nature herself?
"I dislike feeling at home when I am abroad" said George Bernard Shaw.
I couldn't agree more. Which is why I detest all the tour guides that boast about serving Daal Baati in Australia and Khichdi in America. Thanks but no thanks. Roast kumara or pies, pav or seafood - that's the fare I will choose to woo my palate. Be NZ-ian and eat NZ-ian. (Of course, my mother could be thoroughly inconvenienced with this cuisine leading to my discomfort. But we'll figure that out. She's forget her hunger pangs when she sees the whales in Kaikoura or walks on a glacier at Franz Josef!)
My dad loves fine wine and my husband is a lively teenager at heart. We will cycle between vineyards and enjoy the magnificent scenery as we taste wines at Waiheke island. Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, Central Otago Pinot Noir and so many more! Woohoo!!
The more daring amongst us will try our luck at bungie jumping later - something I always desired to do but didn't want to risk in India! The adventure capital of the world - hurray! We would be spent and adrenaline-challenged come dusk. So, to take it easy in the evening, we will hit the clubs in Queenstown and take some pictures to remind us of our memorable vacation in Kiwi land.
North Island and South Island - we will be spoilt for a choice of activities. My uncle wouldn't want to miss a taste of Maori culture and we would head to Rotorua - the cultural heart of New Zealand. Whether we like the "hangi" feast remains to be seen, but it would serve as a reminder of our awesome time drenched in the tribal culture of Africa. Goes without saying that we would also check out the bubbling, steaming & hissing geysers and volcanic craters. Being a lover of massages and spa treatments, I would opt for a pleasurable thermal therapy while my hiking-crazy mother goes for a walk to the stunning sights around the Pacific Ring of Fire.
Bay of Islands and Auckland harbour, so many places to sail away to Paradise! Tucked in a corner, I would enjoy the wind on my face and gaze at the beautiful ripples in the water thinking of days bygone and ambitions to happen. We would alight at a new beach whenever our hearts said so and dig into dreamy dinners on a yacht.
Wellington, Christchurch and Nelson, we wouldn't miss those either. But that's about specific locations and sightseeing itineraries. The mesmerising prettiness of NZ can be explored even without an agenda. I and my family would go for scenic drives without a destination in mind. The spectacular waterfalls, national parks and snowy peaks we see on our way would give us many sleepless nights and high definition dreamy visuals.
My uncle can have a relaxing time watching birds, while my brother swims with the dolphins and seals. My sister in law can got for a Lord of the Rings (LOTR) tour and see the actual locations in the film and my dad can watch a live rugby match. My aunt would love to sit in a hot air balloon even as my husband goes mountain biking. There's something for everyone.
“A good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving.” ― Lao Tzu
No offence, but hey mister, this promises to be a marvellous holiday irrespective of everything!
When, oh when will this dream come true?!!
http://www.yatra.com - Will you be our wish fulfilling angel?!!
... written for the "Creating Happy Travellers!" contest by Yatra.com