Travel Stories Week 25

Travel Stories Week 25

Backpack & Explore

What's your favorite place you have visited?

That’s the most difficult question to answer as there are so many to choose from. My favorite country so far has been Netherlands though I could only explore Amsterdam, Zaanse Schans and Lisse. Amsterdam is somewhere I feel I’d love to just go and settle in. I love the spirit of freedom and acceptance in the city. No matter who you are, and how crowded with tourists the city is, you will always feel welcome here. The extensive network of canals and beautiful bridges lend it a dreamy appearance. Amsterdam is a big center of business and a busy tourist hub, but it still retains an old-world charm. We were also fortunate to feast our senses on the vase tulip fields of Lisse in Spring. Even our daytrip to Zaanse Schans was awe-inspiring. I look forward to spending another holiday in Netherlands exploring the fairytale village Giethoorn and the beaches across the North Sea.

What’s the best thing you have seen while traveling?

We keep seeing so many new things every time we travel, often, in the places we least expect. If I must pick just one, I would choose the elusive creature that I tried to see so many times but could never catch a glimpse of, till that one lucky day. I am talking about seeing the great Indian Tiger in the wild right in front of my eyes, up-close in the Bandipur tiger reserve. It was one of the most fulfilling experiences of my life to see the gorgeous, mighty beast at her best. Well a close second would be the stunning landscape of the Dochula Pass in Bhutan with the temple at the hill top. That was a sight to remember indeed.

Backpack & Explore
Backpack & Explore

What’s your best travel story?

My most memorable travel story is my first trip with friends to Bhutan when I was pursuing my MBA. It was the first time I was going “abroad” even if it was just a neighboring country closer to my hometown than most other Indian states and my first ever interaction with the great Himalayas. It was an all-girls trip done on a pocket-money budget in the land of dragons. Bhutan is one of the least visited countries in the world, because the government has restricted tourism to a large extent to protect the rich natural biodiversity of the place. I’ll remember the trip as much for the breathtaking beauty of the Himalayan terrain as for the friendly people and the fun with friends. I remember being terrified like all others as our driver cruised speedily in the most dangerous roads on the hills we have seen, and we also realized that he was a bit drunk. Turns out the drivers in the region drink every day because of the cold weather, but that hardly impacts their driving skills. Our fear might come across as silly now, but for a group of 8 girls, raised in conservative Indian families, this was indeed our first taste of absolute freedom and a test of our sense of responsibility.

Tell us about your blog?

We are not digital nomads, we live in our own homes, work full-time and travel almost every other weekend in search of unexplored places. We also use our paid vacations both for travelling to new places as well as for spending time with our parents in our hometown.

Backpack & Explore is a blog about travel stories of common people like us with full-time jobs who love to explore the world, while having a job and a family. Stories about first-hand experiences to inspire people to get on the road and to make them believe that it is possible to make your travel dreams a reality. As our tagline goes – there's a story behind every destination, every journey. So, join us as we explore life through travel, and uncover new stories to tell.

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