Starting from September 2015, I have been travelling every month. Like in last more than four years now, in 2019 also I took 12 journeys in my quest to understand the world and its people a little more. Last year, I travelled to six Indian states and one Balkan country. The 12 trips included six solo trips, three trips exclusively with my bestie and three trips with others. 2019 taught me a lot. I faced some of the toughest challenges, but because of my incredible journeys, I was able to persevere with my highest life force.
Travelling has taught me something wonderfully beautiful yet very simple—to have gratitude for every single day of my life. I wouldn’t be the person I am today if I didn’t start travelling. I always learn something new when I hit the road.
While most of the people are trying to find a home for their heart in a person, I am trying to travel the world and call every place my home.
Travel-wise, here’s a glimpse of my 2019…
January: For my birthday celebration
I thought of celebrating my birthday doing what I love the most— Travelling. My Strolling Shoes took me to Pushkar and I explored Pushkar Ghat & Lake, Brahma Temple and its lively streets for local shopping and munching. Two days in the holy city of Rajasthan was everything I could ask as a birthday gift for myself, but unexpectedly, I witnessed the dark side of Pushkar. The whole experience was a cocktail of adventures and emotions.
I travelled to Pushkar on my birthday and got to know its shady secret
February: My 1st European trip
Not a popular tourist destination, a week spent in Serbia is a lifetime of magic for me. I did a road trip and drove across Belgrade, Fruška Gora, Novi Sad, Zlatibor, Tara National Park, Potpeće, and more. On my way, I also saw River Vrelo, which is one of the shortest rivers in the world. The most memorable incident was when I saw Bosnia and Herzegovina while standing on the Serbian land.
Serbia Diaries Part 1: Belgrade - the City That Reminded Me Why I Love Travelling
Serbia Diaries Part 2: This Road Trip is an Ultimate Idea for your Travel Bucket List!!
Serbia Diaries Final Part: Not Touristy But Unquestionably A Traveller’s Dream
March: My favorite place with bestie
In 2019, I travelled four times with my best friend, and this trip was the first one. In 2016, I took the first solo trip of my life to Landour and since then, it has become my favorite place. This time, I wanted to see it through my bestie's eyes. It was a weekend trip and we ended up learning so many new things about each other. It is quite sure that when travelling with someone close, you are going to learn some little things about one another that you have never encountered before—nothing bad, just different.
For instance, she walks unimaginably slow. She prefers a window seat on the bus. She likes honey lemon tea. She gets scared when a speeding vehicle passes by her. Because of our journeys together, I know very tiny things about her and that goes for her as well. Travelling together is the best way to find out if someone will drive you nuts!
10 Reasons Why You Should Travel With Your Best Friend
My first Solo Trip: The journey to Welsh town (Landour)
April: To witness royalty at its best
“Put yourself in the way of beauty”, quoted by Cheryl Strayed, always inspires me. I tried to do the same and took an unaccompanied trip to Venice of the East. I spent 3 days in the City of Lakes and explored this historic capital of the former kingdom of Mewar as much as I could. The city is an architectural gem and never ceases to astonish. The lakes, palaces, tradition, culture and everything else made me fall in love with it.
Udaipur Diaries- Solo Trip to Venice of the East
May: When I gave tears of separation to a stranger, who didn’t even know my language
My Strolling Shoes took me to Bangalore, Mysore, Coorg, Gokarna and Hampi during “My Eager Eleven Days”. A lot happened there ranging from getting invited to a south Indian family to meeting two first time solo travellers. In Coorg, I met someone very special who gave me happiness in the truest sense. Bhoomika, a 12-year old girl, gifted me the best day of my whole vacation. The best part is that we are still in touch with each other. Moreover, the journey strengthened my faith in “What you seek is seeking you!”
11 days in Karnataka (Part 1): From Beaming Bangalore to Mesmerising Mysore
Coorg: 2 Days of Coorgi Hospitality, Elephants, Coffee and Spirituality in Scotland of India
No Beach Bum or History Buff Should Miss These Two Places in Karnataka!
June: When I met an extremely humorous girl, who shared her funny incidents of solo Euro trip
I travelled to this beautiful hill station without any plans and got to know about not-so-famous yet superb Dainkund Peak trek. Going for at least one trek every year, I found this one to be relatively less exhausting and a lot more gorgeous.
The best part is that I met a wonderful girl in the hostel who narrated exceptionally hilarious stories of her solo trip to Europe. She is basically from Kerala and works in Maharashtra. On the other hand, I have never left Delhi for studies or jobs. But mystically we met in Himachal Pradesh. We were destined to meet! We are still in touch and something amazing is happening in the near future. Of course, it’s related to travelling!
New to Trekking? This Hike near Dalhousie Is the Best Option for First-Timers
July: I shouldn't have travelled to this place in summer!
So what I was about to faint there because of the hottest summer I had ever experienced? I still had a great time in the ‘Camel Country’. I love camels, history, art and culture, and travelling to Bikaner was definitely a good idea. I spent two days there and witnessed a myriad of places ranging from forts to camel farms. Moreover, I also saw one of the only two models of the biplane used by the British in World War 1 in this radiant gem of Thar Desert. Isn't that interesting!
Travel Guide for ‘Camel Country’- The Radiant Gem in Thar Desert
August: When I travelled to the most beautiful place I have ever seen
Chitkul, the last inhabited village near the Indo-China border, is a place straight out of a fairy tale. There are snow-clad mountains, a swift river flowing down, dense-green forests and cute, colourful houses. I have always seen this kind of heavenly beauty in paintings and wallpapers, but last month, the splendour of this village left me awestruck when I saw everything in reality.
Want a Glimpse of Heaven? Travel to Chitkul - The Last Village near the Indo-China Border
September: Took a solo trip when my personal life was in chaos
At the airport and on the flight, I was crying like a baby. I was on the verge of calling off this vacation because of two reasons – first, my dog (whom I love the most in this entire universe) passed away just four weeks before the scheduled date of this trip and second, my personal life was going through hell. But then, I pulled myself together and did what was needed to be done to raise my spirits – spent nine days in the God’s own country to explore Kochi, Munnar, Alleppey, Varkala and Kovalam. Mystically, innumerable good things happened there that made me feel as if someone was taking care of me and doing everything to heal me. Probably the Travel God!
There is no heartache that Kerala can’t heal
During my Kerala Solo Trip, I found Lifelong Friend in a Stranger from 7 Seas Away
October: For spirituality, food and shopping
With huge confidence in my prayers and a strong belief that whosoever prays with a pure heart here gets all their wishes fulfilled, I visited the marvelous Sufi shrine—Ajmer Sharif Dargah. While I was there, I spent some time listening to Qawwali. The experience was really soothing and unique that is hard to be felt anywhere else. I spent 3 days eating yummy food and buying local handicraft items. Also, I met an inspirational woman from Spain who has been selling handmade customized felt brooches, magnets and key chains since 2008.
Ajmer: Wander Timeless & Spiritually Important Sights in just 3 Days
November: For Vipassana meditation programme that was the best gift I gave myself
If you ask me to sum up my whole experience in one sentence, then I would say it was like being born again. 2019 has been the toughest year of my life and I was suffering a lot due to multiple reasons. I had spent sleepless nights overthinking and crying. I was disturbed and wanted a way out. After completing the 10-day Vipassana Meditation Course, the biggest thing I have learned is to accept the truth of the moment with love and compassion, not with anger or hatred.
Vipassana Meditation: 10 days of Total Silence, Detachment, Mindfulness & Digital Detox
December: To experience blend of patriotism, spirituality and history
Wandering on the streets of this holy city in the bitter cold was the last chapter of my Travel Diaries 2019. It was an all-girls trip and thus, indulging in the local food and shopping was quite obvious. I had a fun-filled time hopping from one shop to another in search of the most beautiful Phulkari dupatta for my sister. From screaming my lungs out during the Wagah-Attari border ceremony to carefully observing my inner voice at the Golden Temple, I had a myriad of experiences during my last (12th to be exact) trip of 2019.
Backpacking in Amritsar to experience Cocktail of Patriotism, Spirituality and History
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did.” – This quote by Mark Twain always motivates me to travel far and wide.
I wish you a wonderful year ahead full of happy journeys :)
To know about my 12 journeys in 2018 and 2017, check out these:
From Pondicherry to Philippines, from MP to Andaman Islands, I travelled to these 12 places in 2018
12 months, 12 trips, 12 lessons (that no school will teach you)
If this hasn’t inspired you enough, then you should check out my Instagram page strolling_shoes and follow my adventures around the world!
Keep travelling :)