Aloha! The first week of 2019 has come and gone and I’m excited for a year of new opportunities, dreams and most importantly…travels!
The thing spurring me on most to get those dolla dolla bills is the excitement behind exploring new cities and places. I want to get lost and I want to do it on foreign ground.
2018 was a brilliant year me for in terms of travel as I got to see the beautiful India and get in touch with my roots. Gujarat and Rajesthan are such different places to London and it was good to experience life in an alternative community. I also visited Zadar in Croatia with the family which was a new experience as I had no idea what to expect on that trip as Zadar isn’t as well documented or touristy a location as say, Dubrovnik or Split.
My 2019 travels will depend heavily on my bank balance as at the moment I am unemployed. -insert crying face-
As of now, I have a trip to Copenhagen which I am very excited about. The Danish city boasts great architecture, cycling and lovely Scandinavian culture which I can’t wait to get my teeth into. My recent read The Little Book of Hygge has motivated me to love all things Danish and I am also intrigued to see their way of life up close!
I also have another trip booked in November to see Miami!
Beaches, cocktails and cruising through the streets blasting Will Smith’s Miami…I can’t wait!
I also plan to explore more of London, I live in such an extraordinary city and I think I take it for granted a lot of the time. I need to step out of my comfort zone a bit more and I believe 2019 will be perfect for this
On the way to Jaipur our driver stopped off at Elephant Village ‘Hathi Gaon’ as me and my sister had mentioned we were fans of the cute trunk carriers. We were told that the the things we could do here ranged from riding, painting, bathing and feeding the elephants. Personally, the thought of painting elephants for entertainment made me uneasy and I oppose riding them because of the incessant cruelty these poor things are put through! Here’s an article on elephant abuse.
Another thing which concerned me were the reviews I read online about this place. It seemed that a lot of tour guides were teaming up with the owners and scamming tourists by charging more than what was necessary. It seems tourists are also not getting what they paid for e.g. riding the elephants for less time than what was agreed. This is disgusting and I felt sorry for the poor elephants as they were forced to carry families and endure abuse.
So instead the owner just let us feed and stroke them and I got to get up, close and personal with Nelly and her friends.
I loved the short but sweet time spent with them and in the future I’m definitely going to go to some more ethical elephant sanctuaries.
Taj Mahal Day was here!
I woke at the crack of dawn (
sorry 8 AM) today because it was the day we were going to see one of the most renowned sights on Earth. As a designated UNESCO World Heritage site, Emperor Shah Jahan definitely went the extra mile to create a memorial mausoleum for his wife Mumtaz.
The palace was a short walk from our hotel and we reached there in about fifteen minutes. We queued up, received our audio guides and began our sightseeing.
Once we got to the main viewpoint of the Taj Mahal we were able to take in all of it’s beauty. Ivory marble, the architecture was mesmerising with a view like that it was obvious why so many tourists flock to see it. However, that was also a negative as I was pushed and shoving trying to get a photo that I wished I had extra limbs at this point as being both short and British was not helping! Picture me attempting to find a decent angle while fending off hundreds of other people: “Excuse me, sorry, could I just squeeze past?”.
We made it to the front and took in the formation up close. If the view was amazing from the previous angle it was certainly something here. Every little detail was rich and intricate and a magnified image of perfection. It wasn’t just a case of building something beautiful no, it was carefully planning out and assembling every little structure, design and corner. Traditional patterns and mosaics covered the insides and surrounded the tomb of Mumtaz Mahal. Romance is clearly not dead.
Learning so many facts about the Taj Mahal in itself was great as I wasn’t that knowledgeable about the history so it was good to pick up some unique bits of Indian history. All in all, I enjoyed seeing the Taj Mahal in all its finery but didn’t enjoy the crowds and the hassle that comes with big tourist sites!