2013: Best Travel Moments

Travel 2013

It’s finally happened. The Earth is rotating on its slightly tilted polar axis for one last time before it begins the arduous journey all over again, albeit slightly faster. 1.6 microseconds faster, to be exact, ensuring that 2014 reaches us just a bit sooner. Though this year had its share of ups and downs – a lot more people died in 2013 than the last three years combined – it’s been in many ways a fascinating 365 days. Personally, we think it’s been the best year of our lives so far.

Usually, a tribute post like this has a long list of names – people who have made our year so memorable. This time around, we thought we’d share the ‘moments’ that have left an indelible mark on us, and made us feel safe, secure, happy and peaceful.

Peace is something that the both of us have been struggling to attain in the past – an ethereal wisp of hope that used to vanish as soon as we neared it. We have both struggled against the tide and tried hard to stay afloat in a chaotic world filled with insecurities and temptations. But we never lost hope. More importantly, we did not overlook the signs that the Universe showed us. A lot of strange, seemingly unimportant incidents played their roles in succession, triggering a chain reaction that resulted in us meeting each other, falling in love and getting married to each other within the span of these magical 365 days.

We tested each other’s TQ (Travel Quotient) over quite a few trips, and decided we liked what we saw. And what a journey it has been! Incidentally, it’s the first time we both have traveled with the same person on consecutive trips. Many consecutive trips. And we love it!

So, here they are, some of the best moments of this year, from Mansi’s point of view, where we have fallen irreversibly more in love with each other, and deeper into the pit of peace:

Swimming in a lake in Vangni – Learnt the unpredictability of swimming in a natural water body like the lake  as against the controlled environment of a swimming pool.

Delhi – Introduced Delhi to Nikhil through my happy goggles and introduced my folks to authentic  sambhar chawal made by a kannadiga.

Gokarna – My first trip to Gokarna, back in 2012, was spent at the Namaste Café tattoo parlour or in the cottage resting my tattoo wound. So this year, the trip was spent rediscovering Gokarna, swimming in the spotless beaches & talking about life over numerous cups of coffee with our good friend Rohit.

Hampi – This trip to Hampi was especially memorable because this is what will be my last South Indian meal at the Mango Tree. But cycling around the ruins and cooling our heels and eyes under a massive boulder makes up up for it.

Goan weddings – 2013 also witnessed two weddings in the Mendes family (my Goa in Gurgaon). My best friend Joanna began the year by snagging a groom and Stalin ended it with a bride. And if you thought Goans are laid back & love their siestas, wait till you attend a Goan wedding. Boy, can they get any more hyper!

Bangkok – As a traveler I like being proven wrong about a place I had written off earlier. Bangkok was precisely that; I loved it for its exotic Thai street food. It’s tasty, cheap & clean. The only place where even the clear soup is tasty

Phuket – Phuket was heaven because we were tired, battered from the wedding & this place let us have what we were missing for weeks – Peace

PhiPhi Islands – We completed a circle with Phi Phi. Nikhil asked me out on a rainy Bombay night after having watched The Beach. I said yes because I was stoned.

Well, there you have it.

A relationship that began amidst the haze of a marijuana-induced banter went on to entrench itself in us, and fill us with those elusive things we were both searching for.

If nothing, this year will always be special for the both of us because of this one moment of truth:

Mansi and Nikhil

Just Married

Happy holidays everyone. May your roads never end.


  1. Thanks Alka, wish a great year ahead 🙂

  2. whywasteannualleave

    Love the concept of your blog! Hampi was one of the most surprising places I visited in India – I went there several years ago and even though I had been toIIndia several times to see family, I knew nothing about hampi until my visit and was blown away by the beauty of the ruins and the water at sunset!

  3. Very valid, pithy, suticncc, and on point. WD.

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