FOREST BATHING IN THE BEAR COUNTRY

A hike in Alaska’s Tongass National Forest is a chance to come face to face with bears and ethereal blue glaciers while slowing down and plugging into the therapeutic powers of the natural world

Hiking in the lush and inviting Tongass National Forest in Juneau, Alaska
The Tongass National Forest is a buffer against climate change, absorbing around eight percent of the nation’s annual global warming pollution and storing an estimated 10-12 percent of all carbon in USA’s national forests. However, it continues to be threatened by ongoing congressional attempts to clear-cut rare and valuable old-growth trees.

In the heat of idleness, I often envision myself in the middle of nowhere, lost in the deep, dark woods, full of magic and mysticism. Taking deep breaths to smell the fresh forest air and damp soil, placing my hands on the trunk of a tree, listening to the ambient sounds of birds, dipping my fingers in a stream to feel the chilled water and soaking up the sublime serenity, I am at the peak of bliss, calm and contentment. Such is the tonic called “nature”!

Read more

BIKANER – A CITY OF GOLDEN SANDS & STARRY SKIES

20190413_112924-01-01[1]
For me, the desert town of Bikaner has always been synonymous with famed Bikaneri bhujia! Overshadowed by its celebrity cousins – Udaipur, Jaipur, Jodhpur and Jaisalmer, the remote town in Thar desert remains fairly under-explored as a holiday destination. The ravishing red is lost somewhere, amid hues of blue, pink and golden! However, only when I happen to explore the vibrant city on a long weekend break with my partner, I discover that it has a lot more to offer other than the sev-like, crunchy snack packed in shiny foil packets.
After alighting the small Air India flight at Nal airport which is also the Bikaner Air Force Station, we are on our way to Narendra Bhawan which is around 16 km from the airport.
Local woman in Bikaner
During the drive, we see camel carts treading on clean, wide roads, independent houses (each one constructed in its own unique style) awash with colour and village belles sauntering in flowing skirts, with a ghunghat drawn over their faces, right till the chin. Our very first impression of Bikaner says a lot about the flavour of the city! We are delighted to see that it has a genuine untramelled vibe and a certain rustic charm.

Read more

“FALL”ING FOR QUEENSTOWN!

In fall, Queenstown puts on its best show, as though dressed for the red carpet. I rediscovered the essence of life through an autumnal trip to the alpine city
Rowa of lake-side houses in Queenstown
“Never let go of your window seat on a flight to Queenstown” is a quick advice given to me by a Kiwi as I am all set to board the flight from Auckland to Queenstown, a city in New Zealand’s South Island. And thank heavens, I heed the tip!

Read more

GLAMPING IN THE MYSTICAL LAND OF NAGAS

When in the north-eastern state of Nagaland, go beyond Kohima. Glamp at the foothills of Japfu, sample Naga delicacies and explore the unusung villages that will only foster your connection with nature

IMG_20181129_184234

A trip with my girlfriends is long overdue and I am thinking of a destination that offers it all – colour, culture and spectacular natural beauty. I, almost spontaneously, book three seats on a flight from Mumbai to Dimapur. Read more

4 BEAUTIFUL DAYS OF FAMILY BONDING IN BALI

IMG_20181002_101311Some of my favorite childhood memories are the joyful times spent with my parents on a holiday, isolated from ordinary everyday activities. Between work commitments, household chores and day-to-day busyness of life, it’s easy for the family vacation to take a backseat. However, breaks with your loved ones are essential to keep the bond intact while stepping outside the comfort zone and having some fun. As I am thinking of my long-due adventure with my husband and parents, Bali comes to mind.

IMG_20181004_120809 Read more

ROBBEN ISLAND – A DAY TRIP FROM CAPE TOWN

If you’re someone with a deep interest in politics, a visit to the former political prison on Robben Island should top your list of “must-dos in and around Cape Town”

DSC01463

Robben Island is famous, or rather infamous, as the place where South Africa’s anti-apartheid revolutionary and politician Nelson Mandela was imprisoned.

Read more

CAPE TOWN – A DELICIOUS SLICE OF THE “RAINBOW NATION”

Known as the most European city in South Africa, Cape Town is a magical melagne of art, history, culture, and striking topography

FB_IMG_1497526383631

Many talk about quitting the city life for the beauty and tranquility of the mountains, but very few end up taking the plunge. With a paradise like Cape Town in existence, you may want to change your plans. When you visit the city, you come to the realisation that you can savour the best of both worlds without having to give up on either. Yes, Cape Town is a jewel in South Africa’s crown that’s endlessly fascinating. While its beaches and mountains burst with flora and fauna, the harbour and streets are buzzing with contemporary coffee joints and nightlife destinations. This is where age-old architecture blends seamlessly with minimalist avant-garde designs.

Jaw-dropping scenery, immaculate beaches, delicious food, untouched wildlife, rich history, diverse culture, gorgeous hiking trails, world-class wine – Cape Town has it all and a lot more.

Read more