I can’t really remember when I got bitten by the travel bug, but I do remember the fascination to travel began while I was studying in year 5 when I started writing letters to my first pen-pal Michael from Sweden. We exchanged letters regularly by post as internet or email was unheard of during the 80s. My letter took around 15 days to reach Sweden, so it took more than a month to get a reply from Michael. We started exchanging stamps, post cards and family pictures, and I wondered how different Sweden was to India as Michael mentioned how cold it gets there and rarely gets warm during summer months as I grew up Koppal in India which was very hot most of the year and temperature reached around 42 degrees centigrade during peak summer. I had never seen snow except in photos sent by Michael as television first came to my town in early 90s. The night temperature in my town rarely dipped below 12 degrees centigrade and it felt cold.
The first time I took my solo trip was after my graduation in 1994 and decided to venture on my own. I was scared to travel on my own to the capital city of India, New Delhi as I had never travelled to Northern part of India. The train journey took more than 2 days and there was no air-conditioning as I travelled in peak summer. Initially felt scared and tense but gradually started to enjoy my trip. I covered most of the tourist places in around Delhi by taking day trips or short 2-3 days trip. This trip gave me the courage to venture out of my comfort zone and I started to enjoy travelling.
The fun part of travelling I enjoy most is the planning as I get to research, read about the country and the places I will be visiting. I plan my trips well in advance as I never done impromptu travel as I tend to save money on flights and accommodation when I plan and book in advance. In my next blog I will be writing on tips on planning a trip overseas.
I work full-time as a Tax Analyst in Perth, Western Australia. I travel for pleasure a couple of times in a year and take advantage of holidays that fall on a long weekend. I plan the trips I intend to take during the year well in advance. I try to avoid the busy tourist season as its gets very expensive and also you will be spending time in queues and paying a premium price. Once I planned my trip to Italy in December just after Christmas so I was able to book some nice hotels especially in Venice and Rome at a huge discount as most of the tourists were returning back as the holidays were almost over. There were no long queues at various attractions and it took less than 30 minutes to get to the ticket counter instead of 2-3 hours wait time during peak tourist season. I was able to attend the Sunday service at the St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City as there were not many tourists at Vatican City as I was there by 9am as most of the most of the coaches get their by 11am. If you plan your day’s highlights a day in advance you will beat the crowds and get to enjoy the sights at peace or you will be stuck waiting at the queues or behind tourists with their long selfie sticks trying to block your view.
My future blogs will be mostly on when to visit and where to go in a particular season to avoid tourists and save money. There are simple things to look out for when you book your trip as we all want to have a good time.
I have come up with a challenge to write one blog each week so in a year I will have written 52 blogs. Please subscribe to my blog so that you receive notification when I have a new post on my blog.