Eastern Caribbean Cruise with Norwegian

TopdeckIt’s no secret that I have an affinity for blue waters, sandy beaches and sunny days. Basically, paradise! Countless times have I had dreams of diving into unbounded turquoise waters, exploring the fascinating marine life, walking on white sand that tickles my feet, lounging on beach chairs sipping chilled fruity cocktails whilst the sun added some bronze to my skin. Days wearing straw hats, bikinis, sunglasses, flipflops breezing through streets of humid islands lined by coconut trees.

Continue reading “Eastern Caribbean Cruise with Norwegian”

Cruise : Bookings, Packing and Prep

BOOKINGS : ONE FISH IN THE SEA

After going through a bunch of cruise websites, we weighed our options and picked NORWEGIAN CRUISE LINE for our first ever cruise experience.

Continue reading “Cruise : Bookings, Packing and Prep”

El Salvador

Never in my wildest dreams had I thought I would land in El Salvador and attempt to explore it. On our flight back to New York from Costa Rica, we had layover in San Salvador, the capital of El Salvador. We took the 8 hours long layover as an opportunity to have a glimpse of life in San Salvador.

The only things I had ever heard about the infamous El Salvador country were it being a major drug trafficking and mafia haven. I was about to get a reality check. Continue reading “El Salvador”

Pura Vida in Costa Rica

Hola!
Buenos Dias!
Como Estas?
Muy Bien! A Tu?
Bien, Gracias!
Adios!
That was all the Spanish I knew before stepping foot in Costa Rica. Well, that and ‘Pura Vida’.

Christmas vacation and Costa Rica travel plans coincided this year. What made us put a pin on it was the geographic diversity it offered. Costa Rica has everything – mountains, volcanoes, rivers, ocean, rocky beaches, sandy beaches. What’s more, it also offers a new culture, new cuisine and a language that was new to us. Bingo! We had found our new destination. Continue reading “Pura Vida in Costa Rica”

All alone, first time and this!

One fine day my company asked me to travel to Toronto for a month to attend requirement meetings. Anxious, the first thing I did was what anyone my kind would do. Google! I looked up where Canada was on the map, searched further for Toronto and on and on until I narrowed it down to the hotel I’d be staying, location of my office and food arrangements nearby. My first international travel, it was natural to be anxious. Continue reading “All alone, first time and this!”

Best of Toronto – Top 10 things to do in Toronto

A city as big as Toronto houses a load of attractions apart from the usual museums, zoos and aquariums. Any travel plans to Toronto must include most, if not all, of the below locations. The Downtown is pretty easy to navigate and the landmarks are unmistakable. One of the safest city ever, Toronto has great nightlife to experience. People are extremely helpful so never hesitate to ask for directions any time of the day. Due to corporate offices, universities and markets, there are countless eateries, cafes and pubs in and around the city. If you’re on a budget, check for some free attractions below! Continue reading “Best of Toronto – Top 10 things to do in Toronto”

Toronto – Downtown and beyond

The day I arrived in Toronto, people were busy with preparations for the following day. All the corporate offices were closed for a long weekend. It happened to be Canada Day that weekend. I couldn’t wait to get immersed in this great big city and its culture.

After my hotel check-in fiasco, I shook off the whole thing and started chalking plans to explore the city. It was sunny and warm with a crisp breeze in air. The city was full of happy crowd waving and wearing the Canadian flag, cheering for the Blue Jays at Rogers Center. Another thing I deliberately noticed, maple trees everywhere. I was still loopy from sleep deprivation but there was no way I was going to let that get in the way. Continue reading “Toronto – Downtown and beyond”

Where it all began..

Sure I had traveled within India, but that was either a pilgrimage or just for the sake of a change from routine. Such trips would normally commence and end with an overnight bus/train journey and squeezed in were some(as many as possible) popular touristy spots from a list marked as “must see!”. Mostly these spots were recommended by friends and family, and otherwise due to my habit of frantically searching TripAdvisor for every minute detail about a new place. Call me skeptical, but I appreciated all the online information; it was first-hand.

Never had I thought of travelling as a hobby, because everybody I knew had hobbies like dancing, singing, sewing, cooking, reading and so on. Also, for a middle class person, travelling seemed like an expensive hobby. Forget about international trips!

My first travel opportunity came through two years ago. My company asked me to attend meetings in Toronto, Canada. A part of me wished it was US instead of Canada but that thought disappeared just as quickly as it had popped. Nothing could diminish my excitement of experiencing my first international travel. Continue reading “Where it all began..”

Canada

 

Somehow I associate Canada with a white pigeon clutching a twig in its beak soaring freely across snowy lands and white mountains, knowing no boundaries.
Your day starts with a ‘Good Morning’, passes between multiple humble Please’s, Sorry’s and Thank You’s and ends with a ‘Good Night’. Most polite people ever and a cosmopolitan bunch.

Canada is known for its serene lakes, picturesque landscapes, meandering roads, secluded trails lined by tall snow-dusted pine trees in dense forests guarded by enormous snow-capped mountains with a frozen lake in view. Dead silence everywhere except the soft plopping of snow flurries. Look at all the national parks in Alberta, British Columbia, Quebec. Every sight looks surreal, like a picture straight out of a postcard or a Disney movie.

It’s not just the landscapes that make Canada, what it is. The sprawling downtown and cities, modern skyscrapers, french influenced architecture, efficient infrastructure, latest fashion stores, best food joints, premium liquors and what not.

The most popular attraction in Canada is, without a doubt, the Niagara Falls. Hundreds of thousand people visit Niagara Falls every year, some for the first time, others for second or even third time. I myself have visited Niagara Falls twice from Canada and once from New York side. It’s quite an area to explore, especially with inviting casinos, endless pubs and eateries, line of tempting candy shops with incredible displays that you just can’t stop gaping at.
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READ: Toronto – Downtown and beyond..

Talk about the magnificent cities of Canada like Toronto, Vancouver, Ottawa, Montreal. Toronto is my first love. (READ: Where it all began..) This is the city where I started my travel adventures. I would love to move to Toronto, live in the downtown and grow old there. It’s so peaceful.
READ: Best of Toronto – Top 10 things to do in downtown!

Montreal is a complete different story. Being there simply doesn’t feel like you’re in Canada. All signs, hoardings, directions in French. Every alley and every building has its own character. Cobbled streets, quaint coffee shops, cozy breweries give it a Paris feel.
Coming up: Montreal and the Canadian French style.

My bucket list is incomplete sans the national parks of Canada. One of the summers, I wish to explore the scenic lands of Northern Canada, stay in a log cabin, light up a campfire and see millions of stars in the clear sky at night.
It’s not a dream, it’s a wish.