20 Indian Female Travelers to Follow on Instagram

20 Indian Female Travelers to Follow on Instagram

Who doesn’t need a little inspiration from time to time? I know I do.

I have been traveling for many years but it wasn’t until last year that I quit my job to travel the world. While traveling, many people were surprised when I told them I was from India because they said they had hardly ever met women from India who travel so much. It did annoy me at first but later I realized that even I hardly ever met women travelers from India. Yes, there are some but not enough if you compare the size of our country’s population to many other countries, haha!

Anyway, today being International Women’s day, I wanted to take this opportunity to celebrate Indian female travelers. Last year I published an article about some amazing Indian women who travel solo and this year I was to  share some of my favorite Instagram accounts that I love following for my daily dose of wanderlust. If you love to travel and like seeing interesting pictures, then be sure to follow these accounts that have been handpicked by me, purely based on the content and not the number of followers.

Why Instagram and why not Facebook? Well, firstly sharing a link of someone’s personal FB profile is a little intrusive to sharing someone’s “public” Instagram profile where they share travel photos. And secondly, Instagram is way more awesome than Facebook. We all know how big Facebook is, but c’mon, it stopped being cool when literally everyone on earth joined the social network. Yes, from your primary school teacher to your neighborhood dukaan waala created their FB accounts and started sending you friend requests.

Ok fellas, enough of random chat and below is the reason why you opened this post in the first place. Let me share a list of my favorite Indian female travelers on Instagram.

List of 20 Indian Female Travelers to Follow on Instagram

Click on each image to follow on Instagram

01 | Shivya (@Shivya)

Shivya Nath on Instagram

Click to follow Shivya Nath on Instagram – Indian Female Travelers to Follow on Instagram

Shivya Nath is a vegan nomad without a home, who has been traveling non-stop since a few years. She also runs a successful travel blog called The Shooting Star and has been featured on BBC travel and NDTV. I love her night photography and those are some of my favorite shots on her Instagram.

A post shared by Shivya Nath (@shivya) on

 

02 | Overrated Outcast (@overrated_outcast)

Overrated Outcast (Trishita) on Instagram

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Trishita Bhattacharya a.k.a., Overrated Outcast is a 20-year-old girl from Mumbai, who is a pharmacy student and a very talented photographer. Almost all of her shots are captured differently and have a story to tell. She’s also a brand ambassador for GoPro from India (yes, I’m jealous) and she definitely knows how to get the best out of it. You will find pictures of Indonesia, Goa, Mumbai, Nasik, etc on her profile.

03 | Drifter Planet (@DrifterPlanet)

Sonal of Drifter Planet on Instagram

Click to follow Sonal DrifterPlanet on Instagram – Indian Female Travelers to Follow on Instagram

Wait, the name sounds familiar! Of course it does because it’s my account. Just because I’m writing this post doesn’t mean I’ll skip my own account. I love experimenting with my camera and have been told that I create good phtos. My account has been featured on the several global platforms such as HuffPost Lifestyle, Girls Love Travel, Femme Travel, etc. In fact, I even received a 360-degree camera from Insta360 as a gift because they love our photos. In 2016, I instagrammed 10 countries and 5 music festivals. Why don’t you take a look?

Read: 11 Indian Girls That Are Totally Rocking Solo Travel

04 | Jeny Goes Places (@jenygoesplaces)

Jeny Goes Places on Instagram

Click to follow Jeny Goes Places on Instagram – Indian Female Travelers to Follow on Instagram

Jeny Rajkumari, also known as Juju is usually on the move and posts really cute pictures from all over India and a few neighboring countries. She’s a nature lover and it’s evident because most of her pictures are green! I love all her photos so much that I have even featured her twice on my account.

05 | Mridula (@mridulablog)

Mridula on Instagram

Click to follow Mridula on Instagram – Indian Female Travelers to Follow on Instagram

Mridula is an IIT-ian and ex professor but is now a travel blogger. Don’t get me wrong, she is not a new blogger but has been travel blogging since a while. Her blog – Travel Tales from India is very popular and one of the most respected travel blogs from India. She is an excellent photographer and all her pictures are stunning. She rarely ever posts her own pictures but I wish she’d change that because I love seeing the person behind the camera, don’t you?

A post shared by Mridula Dwivedi (@mridulablog) on

06 | Gerbz the Nomad (@gerbz_the_nomad)

Gerbz the nomad on Instagram

Click to follow Gerbz the nomad on Instagram – Indian Female Travelers to Follow on Instagram

Gauri Adettiwar or “Gerbz” says she’s “Just another Boulder babe flitting her way around the world”. If you see her instagram account, you will instantly know that she loves adventure and you can go on a joyride by just watching her pictures.

Read: 10 Beautiful Spots in Bali that are Instagram Worthy

07 | Wander With Jo (@wanderwithjo)

Wander with Jo on Instagram

Click to follow Wander with Jo on Instagram – Indian Female Travelers to Follow on Instagram

Jyotsana of Wander with Jo is a girl from Delhi who is a globetrotter and a thrill seeker. She also runs a travel blog called WanderWithJo. She loves posting pictures of waterfalls, viewpoints and street art.

08 | Lavina (@continent.hop)

Continent Hop on Instagram

Click to follow Continent Hop on Instagram – Indian Female Travelers to Follow on Instagram

Lavina is a girl from Goa who loves clicking colorful destination. Her newsfeed has a lot of pictures from Europe and some of them look like they are right out of a storybook.

09 | Sam Wanderlust (@sam_wanderlust)

Sam Wanderlust on Instagram

Click to follow Sam Wanderlust on Instagram – Indian Female Travelers to Follow on Instagram

Samita is an engineer from India who lives in the UK. You will find pictures of many European destinations such as Switzerland, Iceland, Austria, etc, on her profile. Her pictures are simply stunning!

A post shared by Samita (@sam_wanderlust) on

10 | Soumya Travel Books Food (@soumna_travelbooksfood)

Travel books food on Instagram

Click to follow Travel books food on Instagram – Indian Female Travelers to Follow on Instagram

Another engineer on this list, Soumna’s pictures will take you on a trip with her to Europe as she explores Spain, Portugal and France.

11 | Wandering Dreamcatcher (@wandering_dreamcatcher)

Wandering Dreamcatcher on Instagram

Click to follow Wandering Dreamcatcher on Instagram – Indian Female Travelers to Follow on Instagram

Whether it’s dancing in the middle of a trek or pictures of her furry friends from the road, Ann Mathias of Wandering Dreamcatcher’s pictures are sure to make you smile.

12 | Travel See Write (@travelseewrite)

Travel, See, Write on Instagram

Click to follow Travel, See, Write on Instagram – Indian Female Travelers to Follow on Instagram

Archana loves traveling, seeing and writing about offbeat places and experiences. The fact that she’s living in the beautiful Philippines definitely helps. You will find pictures of Japan, North East India, many places South East Asian countries on her Instagram profile.

A post shared by Archana (@travelseewrite) on

13 | Lakshmi Sharath (@LakshmiSharath)

Lakshmi Sharath on Instagram

Click to follow Lakshmi Sharath on Instagram – Indian Female Travelers to Follow on Instagram

Lakshmi is a traveler who has been blogging about her journey since the last 12 years. She is a good photographer and clicks pictures of faces, architecture and nature. On her profile, you will find pictures of literally every place in India.

Read: 7 Colorful Flea Markets of Goa

14 | Medhavi (@ravenouslegs)

Medhavi, Ravenous Legs on Instagram

Click to follow Medhavi, Ravenous Legs on Instagram – Indian Female Travelers to Follow on Instagram

Medhavi is a girl from India who is a solo traveler and loves adventure. She is an ex techie who is living in the Himalayas at the moment. She loves scuba diving and high altitude trekking amongst other things.

A post shared by Medhavi Davda (@ravenouslegs) on

15 | Rutavi (@rutaagayire)

Rutavi on Instagram

Click to follow Rutavi on Instagram – Indian Female Travelers to Follow on Instagram

Rutavi Mehta is a travel blogger from India who has traveled to many destinations all over the world. At the moment she is in New Zealand and is instagramming some amazing pictures from her journey.

16 | Monkey Inc (@monkey.inc)

Monkey Inc on Instagram

Click to follow Monkey Inc on Instagram – Indian Female Travelers to Follow on Instagram

Ankita Kumar calls herself a “hyper travel monkey” and has a blog called Monkey Inc. She is in love with bright colors and strange food, which you will figure out from her Instagram profile.

A post shared by Ankita Kumar (@monkey.inc) on

17 | Raksha – the Roving Heart (@therovingheart)

The Roving Heart on Instagram

Click to follow The Roving Heart on Instagram – Indian Female Travelers to Follow on Instagram

From mountains to beaches and everything in between, Raksha is on a mission to explore the world. You will find pictures of many destinations within India on her Instagram page.

Read: 11 Hippie Destinations in the Himalayas

18 | Avii – apocalypstickk (@apocalypstickk)

Apocalypstickk on Instagram

Click to follow Apocalypstickk on Instagram – Indian Female Travelers to Follow on Instagram

Avii from Delhi loves mountains, campfires, sky gazing, long winding roads and golden trees. Her pictures will take you on a journey to the Himalayas and around.

A post shared by Avii (@apocalypstickk) on

19 | Tanishka – Tani Travel Tales (@TaniTravelTales)

Tani Travel Tales on Instagram

Click to follow Tani Travel Tales on Instagram – Indian Female Travelers to Follow on Instagram

The girl in red jacket, Tanishka is an adventurer, traveler, crafter and storyteller. Her pictures will take you to some offbeat locations in North East India.

20 | S Divya (@s.divya22)

Divya on Instagram

Click to follow Divya on Instagram – Indian Female Travelers to Follow on Instagram

Divya is a founder of the famous girl travel group of India called Globetrotting Girls India. She’s a globetrotter herself and her pictures will take you on a journey to many places in America and Asia.

Read: 25 Instagram Accounts to Spark your Wanderlust

So, what do you think of this list? Do you know of in the comments if you know more Indian female travelers to follow on Instagram that I may have missed in this post? Oh and if you like this list, do share it. We definitely need to see more female travelers from India in this world, so let’s do everything to encourage and celebrate the International woman’s day!

20 Indian Female Travelers to Follow on Instagram
20 Amazing Indian Female Travelers to Follow on Instagram
20 Awesome Indian Female Travelers to Follow on Instagram
A hippie travel writer with flowers in her hair, Sonal Kwatra Paladini should have been born in the 1960s! Bitten by the infamous travel bug, she has an itch to explore resort-free destinations, offbeat islands and small villages. Join her and her husband (Sandro) on their journey as they hop from one music festival to another and explore the beautiful world that they are in love with! Follow them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Sonal Kwatra Paladini

20 Ideas to Celebrate the New Year’s Eve

20 Ideas to Celebrate the New Year’s Eve

New Year’s Eve is around the corner and is that time of the year where the party goes on for a very long time. How about you skip the same old celebration in your hometown and do something different? To help you plan, we have a lot of ideas for you under different themes. Weather you are looking for a non-stop music festival or want to be one with nature, this post has something for everyone.  Cover art picture by Digital Thangka.

 

Here are 20 travel ideas for you to celebrate the New Year’s Eve, starting from typical parties to finding solace in nature:

 

Theme 1: Party the Night Away

01 | Celebrate the World’s First New Year at East Cape or Auckland, New Zealand

– Robin of Backpacker Guide NZ

Celebrate the World’s First New Year at East Cape or Auckland, New Zealand

Celebrate the World’s First New Year at East Cape or Auckland, New Zealand

The country that is the first to see the sun every day is also the best place to spend New Year’s Eve. Pick your option: From East Cape that has the first sunrise in the world, and a huge festival on New Year’s Eve to the massive Auckland fireworks without forgetting a wild and remote east coast beach where you will be mesmerized by a stellar sunrise.

02 | Enjoy a Luxurious Upscale Beach Party at Punta del Este, Uruguay

– Barbara Wagner of http://www.jet-settera.com

Enjoy a Luxurious Upscale Beach Party at Punta del Este, Uruguay

Enjoy a Luxurious Upscale Beach Party at Punta del Este, Uruguay

Punta del Este, a small but upscale beach town in Uruguay, is a popular New Year’s Eve destination for many wealthy South Americans. This town’s clean, white, eclectic architecture resembles Miami. The town is also called as the Monaco of South-America, as many of the big yachts dock here during the summer. It is one of the most expensive holiday destinations in South-America during the holidays. The nightlife is amazing, clubs around the port are open until 6-7am in the morning and the party rocks every night. Many tourists come here to enjoy gambling. The Conrad Hotel has one of the largest casinos in Uruguay and it is the favorite hot spot for many Brazilians. Huge fireworks make New Year’s Eve very memorable in Punta del Este.

03 | Party Non Stop with Backpackers in Huacachina, Peru

– Danielle Ditzian of Like Riding a Bicycle

Party Non Stop with Backpackers in Huacachina, Peru

Party Non Stop with Backpackers in Huacachina, Peru

Huacachina in Peru is a tiny town entirely on an oasis, it’s not only gorgeous, but if you stay at Casa de Arena, they have an amazing club to party the night away. In fact, I went to bed at 6 am on New Year’s Eve the year I was there… and was the first person in my 20-person dorm room to crash! Plus, if the partying gets to be a bit much, you can always go chill in the sand dunes looking at the beautiful oasis.

04 | Attend the infamous Full Moon Party at Koh Phangan, Thailand

– Rishabh & Niralee of GypsyCouple

Full Moon Party at Koh Phangan

Full Moon Party at Koh Phangan – Photo by Priyanka Kwatra Bajad

Koh Phangan is arguably the party capital of South East Asia boasting of a monthly iteration of the Full Moon Party inviting revelers from all over. Scale it up to have double the audience, better music (if it’s possible) add in the New Year to the mix and you have a winner. The island is only approachable by ferry and has its Haad Rin beach as the epicenter of the partying wave (though other beaches have smaller parties running during the time). You can tick off insane music, fire twirlers, drinking games, a whole lot of multi ethnic revelers to make it an epic way to send off the old year and welcome the new one!

 

Theme 2 – Enjoy Regional Traditions and Cultural Events

05 | Burn Papier Mâché Characters at Salinas, Ecuador

– Dane of HolidayFromWhere

Burn Papier Mâché Characters at Salinas, Ecuador

Burn Papier Mâché Characters at Salinas, Ecuador

There is a tradition in Ecuador to build big Papier Mâché characters and then burn them to get rid of evil spirits for the New Year. They put dozens of 5-meter high infernos on the entire beach area. People celebrate by throwing massive fireworks into them. Note: Be careful because this nice traditional ceremony can sometimes cause massive fires. When I was there, it was the most chaotic, uncontrollable, yet memorable New Years Eve I have ever been a part of.

06 | Watch Apsara Dance in Siem Reap, Cambodia

– Nisha of Lemonicks

Burn Papier Mâché Characters at Salinas, Ecuador

Burn Papier Mâché Characters at Salinas, Ecuador

There are many destinations around the world where I would want to celebrate New Year’s Eve. Till now wherever I have celebrated it, it has given me much joy and fond memories. One of my favorites is Siem Reap in Cambodia. I have great memories of the place. I had gone there to volunteer for three months and celebrated Christmas and New Year in the process. The place is close to me not because it is a touristy place but for all those kids who gave me happiness and shared their joy. Otherwise also, there is no dearth of tourists in Siem Reap, so one cannot feel lonely. Go to Pub Street and celebrate in style relishing good food, drinks and watching Apsara dance.

07 | Shake Your Booty at Feria de Cali in Cali, Colombia

– Ruben Arribas of Gamin Traveler

Shake Your Booty at Feria de Cali in Cali, Colombia

Shake Your Booty at Feria de Cali in Cali, Colombia

One of the best places I’ve ever been to celebrating New Year´s Eve is in Cali, Colombia. Cali is the third largest city in Colombia and famous for being the Salsa capital all over the world. Last week of every year, they celebrate Feria de Cali, which is famous for the Salsa marathon. During this, everyone dances the streets, both the young and old, locals and visitors alike. During the day you can see huge colorful parades with flowers, people, animals and of course the most important, good and lively music. At night, there are many bands playing salsa and thousands of people dancing. Don´t know how to dance salsa? No problem at all, just visit Cali and people will teach you how to do it.

Theme 3 – Attend a Music Festivals

08 | Attend a Psychedelic Music Festival – the Experience Festival, Koh Tao, Thailand

– Sonal and Sandro of Drifter Planet

The Experience PsyTrance Festival, Koh Tao - Photo by Digital Thangka

The Experience PsyTrance Festival, Koh Tao – Photo by Digital Thangka

The Experience Festival is Asia’s most popular PsyTrance Music festival and it occurs on December 30 to January 2 in Koh Tao. This festival features a chill out stage and a full on PsyTrance main stage where you can dance for days to welcome the New Year. Moreover, Tao Island’s warm tropical weather makes sets the perfect mood for hours of dancing and camping. This island is also known for its beautiful beaches, viewpoints, and colorful marine life, which can be enjoyed before or after the festival.

09 | Watch a Firework Show or Attend a NYE Music Festival in Sydney, Australia

– Dave Anderson of Jones Around The World

Watch a Firework Show or Attend a NYE Music Festival in Sydney, Australia

Watch a Firework Show or Attend a NYE Music Festival in Sydney, Australia

While most of the world is in the middle of winter, it’s actually summertime down in Australia, which makes it perfect weather for all sorts of outdoor activities. The NYE Firework Show over the Sydney Harbour Bridge is truly spectacular, and should be on everyone’s bucket list. There are also so many different nightlife events and party cruises that are epic, or you can make the journey out to one of the music festivals in Australia that have 3-day events during New Years Eve! Trust me, get yourselves to Sydney at the end of December, and you won’t regret it! See you down under mate!

 

Theme 4 – Watch the Magic of Northern Lights

10 | Enjoy the Peace and Try to spot Northern Lights at Norway

– Lavina of A Capricious Compass

Enjoy the Peace and Try to spot Northern Lights at Norway

Enjoy the Peace and Try to spot Northern Lights at Norway

New Year has always been about extending the festive spirit and welcoming new begnnnings with a nip in the air! Coming from a tropical country, winter always meant temperatures around 10 degrees. However, a recent trip to Norway changed my perception of winter. Temperatures below zero blanketed the earth with a sheet of snow. It was mesmerizing! Silence for miles, the Auroras dancing in the sky at night, some warm toddy and people who matter the most, for company. Time to reflect and look forward to beautiful things! After spending many years partying at New Year’s eve, I can now say no one does winter like countries in the Arctic Circle and Norway especially so!

11 | Enjoy Lapland’s Winter Landscape and try to spot the Northern Lights, Finland

– Céline Simon of Je Papote

Enjoy a Surreal Winter Landscape and try to spot the Northern Lights, Finland

Enjoy a Surreal Winter Landscape and try to spot the Northern Lights, Finland

Who has never dreamed of spending New Year’s Eve in a beautiful winter landscape? At that time, the magic of Lapland makes sense. I suggest rent a confortable cottage with friends in the forest to be near the beautiful nature. After that, it will be time to enjoy the great white landscapes offered by Lapland. You can enjoy a lot of activities such as dog sledding, snowmobile or cross-country skiing. And when the day ends, you will absolutely end with a sauna to warm you. And if you’re lucky enough, you can see at night, the magic of the northern lights!

Theme 5 – Get Spiritual

12 | Experience a Spiritual Rejuvenation with monks at Tawang, India

– Siddhartha Joshi of Sid the Wanderer

Experience a Spiritual Rejuvenation with monks at Tawang, India

Experience a Spiritual Rejuvenation with monks at Tawang, India

Nestled high up in the Himalayas in the northeastern state of Arunanchal Pradesh in India, Tawang is not your usual destination to ring in the New Year. Home to world’s second largest Buddhist Monastery, the town, however, offers a beautiful blend of spirituality and adventure. If you are in town for the new year’s eve, I would recommend visiting the Monastery and spending time with the monks on the first day of the year. Follow it up with hikes around in the high mountains, and a visit to the numerous frozen lakes in the region. The days will be short and peaceful, and the nights would be long, yet Tawang will fill you with unbridled energy, which will last at least an year

 

Theme 6 – Hit a Famous Party Street

13| Enjoy midnight runs and Fireworks at New York City, USA

– Natasha of The World Pursuit

Enjoy midnight runs and Fireworks at New York City, USA

Enjoy midnight runs and Fireworks at New York City, USA (Image Source)

NYC has to be one the best places in the world to celebrate New Year’s Eve. Everyone knows that Times Square is the famous place to ring in the new year, however, there are even better places in the city to celebrate. Partying and dancing take place all over the city, but some of the best spots to waste the night away are in Central Park, Bowlmor Lanes, and the Brooklyn Bridge. In Central Park, there are even fireworks accompanied with midnight runs. As someone who lived in New York, I wouldn’t recommend anyone go to Times Square for the bash. It’s cold and you have to stand jam packed with other people for the entire day. Don’t ask me where you go to relieve yourself.

14 | Be a Part of a congregation on Siem Reap’s Pub Street, Cambodia

– Mar Pages of Once in a Lifetime Journey

Siem Reap, Cambodia

Siem Reap, Cambodia

Siem Reap is an always busy and often crowded destination. Gateway to the ruins of Angkor Wat, the town is filled with tourists during the dry season. But here is the tip: go for New Year’s and you are likely to have it all to yourself: the good weather, the ruins and the culture. For New Year’s Eve, everybody congregates on Pub Street, where all the bars are, and do the countdown together. The street does get incredibly packed and you will be stuck wherever you are unable to move forward or backwards. Some people on the higher floors might throw much needed water to cool everyone down and the spirit of party permeates. It is a different and fun way to spend the last night of the year and then carry on to the temples with less crowds than usual.

15 | Check out the Party scene on Bangkok’s Khao San Street, Thailand

– Lina & David of Divergent Travelers

Bangkok’s Khao San Street, Thailand

Bangkok’s Khao San Street, Thailand

My husband and I don’t price us on being partiers but there are certain experiences you should have at least once in your life. This is why, when we found ourselves in Thailand for New Years Eve, we decided to party the last hours of the year away on Kho San Road. The experience was interesting with a rave type atmosphere. The streets were so crowded that moving from one place to another required a shuffle but man, was it a good time. There were stages set up with live performers, fire throwers and music blaring from every bar on every corner. The experience of coming together with people from all around the World to celebrate a common holiday was an experience we will not soon forget.

16 | Party on the streets in Bali, Indonesia

– Jyotsana of Wander with Jo

Party on the streets in Bali, Indonesia

Party on the streets in Bali, Indonesia

Bali garners millions of visitors every year for it’s excellent beaches, temples, party scene, surfing, food, culture and more. However, New Year’s Eve attracts at least half of those millions, or so it seems. It is crazy busy on the streets and there are people – everywhere. I am not a big fan of humongous gatherings like these but if you want to party hard and just let your hair down – this is IT! My NYE at Bali was pretty epic. It just so happened that as soon as the clock stuck 12, everyone (yes, everyone) gathered on the streets (From their respective pubs on Legian street) to dance, hug and clink beer bottles with each other. It also started drizzling a bit and the whole vibe was surreal.

 

Theme 7 – Romantic

17 | Get Romantic and Enjoy Live Music in Vienna, Austria

– Karolina & Patryk of KarolinaPatryk.com

Get Romantic and Enjoy Live Music in Vienna, Austria

Get Romantic and Enjoy Live Music in Vienna, Austria

The absolute best place to celebrate New Year’s Eve is Vienna. It is the most romantic city of Europe, with a beautiful old town and many awesome monuments. At the last day of the year, it turns into a huge party zone! People from all over the world are coming to the capital of Austria to celebrate. The most important event takes place in the morning though. New Year’s concert in Vienna performed by the best musicians on this planet is famous all over the world. It’s broadcast live to 50 million people from more than 70 countries. Can you imagine anything better than being there and watching the concert in the flesh?

Theme 8: Attend a Live Concert

18 | Attend a Live Concert at Madison Square Garden

– Danielle Desir of The Thought Card

Attend a Live Concert at Madison Square Garden

Attend a Live Concert at Madison Square Garden

One of my most memorable New Year’s Eve celebrations was spent at a JackU concert in New York City’s Madison Square Garden. Over 18,000 people brought in the new year at Madison Square Garden that night. The stadium was sold old and the energy was electric. Not only were the DJ sets phenomenal, but there was also a humongous New Year’s Eve countdown. As the clock struck 12:01 a.m., the entire crowd went in a frenzy. Balloons and streamers fell from the sky and there were lots of joyful tears and kisses. For the next week, I had a permanent grin on my face and I haven’t been to a New Year’s Eve celebration of that magnitude since.

Theme 9 – Head to the Sand Dunes

19 | Enjoy a “Maharaja Style” celebration or Watch Thar desert’s Starry Night at Rajasthan, India

– Natalia Shipkova of My Trip Hack

Enjoy a “Maharaja Style” celebration or Watch Thar esert’s Starry Night at Rajasthan, India

Enjoy a “Maharaja Style” celebration or Watch Thar esert’s Starry Night at Rajasthan, India

I wanted to celebrate a New Year away from the usual high-pitched parties of big cities, thus I decided to choose Rajasthan – the land of Kings in India. On 31st Eve I was watching the fireworks lighting the sky at the Hill Fort in Jodhpur from one of the rooftops. It was spectacular to see the big picture of the city during the celebration. First days of January I’ve spent in a group of eight people in the Thar Desert roaming around endless dunes, lying on the sand under one million of stars and talking on different cultures. That was one of the most extended and memorable New Year experiences till date.

20 | Experience an Exotic​ “r​éveillon” at Erg Chebbi Dunes – Sahara Desert, Morocco

– João Leitão from Nomad Revelations

Experience an Exotic "réveillon" at Erg Chebbi Dunes - Sahara Desert, Morocco

Experience an Exotic “réveillon” at Erg Chebbi Dunes – Sahara Desert, Morocco

If you’re keen to experience an entirely different way of spending your New Year’s Eve, I think the Sahara Desert is the ultimate travel destination. Completely off-the-beaten track, Erg Chebbi Dunes in southeast Morocco is a great place to experience the most exotic​ “r​éveillon” party possible and to jump into a new year full of optimism. I have done it four times at Hotel Café du Sud, and I can’t wait to go back. Sahara is deeply involved with a particular type of mystic, and it represents our most profound perception of how a magical and mysterious place should be. Erg Chebbi holds the highest sand dunes in the country, and along with a unique musical heritage keeps visitors amazed and thrilled to visit. All around the region, several families pursue a millenary nomadic way of life and persist on remaining non-sedentary.

So what are you waiting for? Book your flights NOW and celebrate!

What was your best New Year’s Eve celebration? Let me know in the comments.

20 Ideas to Celebrate the New Year's Eve
Celebrate the World’s First New Year in New Zealand
50 Surreal Travel Destinations That Should Be on Your Bucket List

50 Surreal Travel Destinations That Should Be on Your Bucket List

Ever been to a place that was so beautiful that you had to pinch yourself to make your you were not dreaming? Well, this is exactly what we asked our travel blogger friends and look at the results! If this below list of 50 surreal travel destinations from around the world doesn’t motivate you to travel more, then there’s no hope.

01 | Antarctica

By Patti of The Savvy Globetrotter

Antartica - Surreal Travel Destinations

Surreal Beauty of Antartica

Best described as “hauntingly beautiful”, Antarctica was simply stunning.  There was never a moment when the scenery became mundane or merely a backdrop.  It was beautiful all day, every day.  I hardly slept then entire trip as when not on a landing, I was glued to the deck, the bridge or the cabin porthole watching it all go by.  Fortunately, with 20 hours of daylight there was plenty of opportunity to take it all in.

02 | Hallerbos, Belgium

By Sarah of My Gipsy Soul

Hallerbos, Belgium - 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

Hallerbos, Belgium – 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

The beautiful Hallerbos is about half an hour South of Brussels. In the middle of April, a few acres of woodlands on the edge of this forest are covered by an amazing carpet of wild bluebell hyacinths to make for a breathtaking purple blanket. With the early spring weather the forest canopy is covered with new leaves, sunlight pours through the branches and thousands of purple flowers spread as far as the eye can see. And the smell, oh you will just have to go for yourself!

03 | Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia

By Ruth Johnston of Exploramum & Explorason

Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia - 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia – 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

Uyuni Salt Lake in Bolivia is the largest flat salt expanse in the world in Bolivia. We drove over this for over 100 km, stopping and playing in the salt piles, and even seeing a museum where things were carved out of salt blocks. Other times we chased after llamas and alpacas for photo moments. We spent the night with a traditional family in a Pousada – the bed, walls and furniture were all made of salt. It was incredible!

04 | Leh, Ladakh, India

By Suman Doogar of Nomadic Shoes

Leh, Ladakh, India - 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

Leh, Ladakh, India – 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

Leh is in Jammu and Kashmir state of India with mountains that are crowned with Buddhist Monasteries and landscape that is beautifully barren.  At 3505 meters above sea level, it’s important to take thing slow while visiting this enchanting destination to avoid altitude sickness. With the highest motorable pass (Khardung La), magnetic hill, Nubra valley, Pangong lake – this area has many otherworldly attractions that can keep a visitor gasping in surprise.

05 | Annapurna Circuit, Nepal

By Stefan and Sebastien of Nomadic Boys

Annapurna Circuit trek in Nepal - 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

Annapurna Circuit trek in Nepal – 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

Why? Well at over 5,000 metres (16,400 feet) altitude, you start to push yourself to the extreme. Not only is it freezing cold, the altitude sickness makes you feel like an old man, stopping every 5 steps to catch your breath, as well as the occasional headaches – your heart racing away as it rushes to pump more and more blood around the body to cope with the altitude. But the views of the Himalayas made up for everything. You just can’t beat that.

06 | El Nido, Palawan, Philippines

By Sabrina Iovino of Just One Way Ticket

El Nido, Philippines - 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

El Nido, Philippines – 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

El Nido in Palawan, Philippines left me speechless. This is how I imagine paradise. It was certainly the most beautiful place I have ever witnessed. An archipelago of tiny islands, sugar white beaches, crystal clear turquoise waters and an underwater world, so colorful and diverse – it’s incredible!

07 | White Dunes of Sahara (Dakhla, Western Sahara)

By Monika of Bewildered In Morocco

White Dunes of Sahara - 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

White Dunes of Sahara – 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

The white dune of Sahara is one of the must-visit spots once in Dakhla. This place is amazingly extraordinary because the white sand of the desert meets the crystal-clear waters of the lagoon. When you stand on the coastline, in front of you, you see blue water and no horizon. When you turn, you see mysterious, peaceful dunes and nothing behind. Just the sky above. I found it magical and so relaxing, there’s no sound of civilization. Just the waves, wind, and grains of sand in the air. Surreal experience!

08 | Whitehaven Beach, Australia

By Luke Marlin of Backstreet Nomad

Whitehaven Beach, Australia - 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

Whitehaven Beach, Australia – 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

Whitehaven Beach is home to some of the whitest sand in Australia, and is situated on a protected part of Whitsunday Island that stretches for 7 kilometers. It is in the middle of the ocean and only accessible by boat a 5 minute walk will lead you to your own serene, (almost) secluded slice of paradise. However, Hill Inlet at the northern end of the beach is the real star. It’s an inlet of water covered in swirls of this perfectly white sand at varying depths to create gorgeous patterns through the clear, turquoise water. It is only truly visible at mid tide though to you have to time if well to see it in its full surreal glory.

09 | Cappadocia, Turkey

By Rhoni Speed of Living Our Life

Cappadocia, Turkey - 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

Cappadocia, Turkey – 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

Cappadocia is cave hotels, fairy chimneys and “ruins” of old churches, monasteries and underground cities. The common denominator is the landscape. Everything is built in the sandstone. The chimneys themselves, created by mother nature, with a white sandstone base and a black basalt top, give the illusion of giant mushrooms. Goreme is in the middle and provides easy access to all the sites. You can pretty much guarantee a cave hotel, in any budget. Weather has eroded and created a beautiful unique area.

10 | Sossusvlei Desert, Namibia

By Tracey Pictor of Journal of a City Girl

Sossusvlei Desert in Namibia - 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

Sossusvlei Desert in Namibia – 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

Most people have never even heard of Namibia and don’t have the faintest idea where it is. A simple search will return an overwhelming number of photos, of sun scorched camel thorn trees, surrounded by towering red sand dunes, with the clear blue backdrop of sky. But nothing prepares you for the surreal reality of actually walking through the oldest desert in the world, Sossusvlei. As you stand, insignificant, in the middle of the desert surrounded by the mountainous dunes, the arid land, the air silent and still, one can only be left humbled by the immense vastness.

11 | Jökulsárlón, Iceland

By Jennifer Melroy of Made All The Difference

Jökulsárlón, Iceland - 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

Jökulsárlón, Iceland – 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

Jökulsárlón is a glacial lake near Vatnajökull National Park which is fed by the Breiðamerkurjökull glacier.  The lake started to form in the 1940’s as the Breiðamerkurjökull glacier recede.   The lake is growing as the glacier shrinks.  Icebergs of all sizes break off from the glacier and fall into the lake.  The glaciers float around the lake until they make their way into the Atlantic Ocean.  During the winter, the ice is a clear pale blue.  In the summer, it is possible to take a boat tour of the lake. Make sure to watch the water, seals, dolphins, and small whales have been seen in the lake.

12 | Mt Tongariro, New Zealand

By Anita Hendrieka

Mt Tongariro, New Zealand - 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

Mt Tongariro, New Zealand – 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

The Tongariro Crossing has been called the most beautiful hike in New Zealand and that’s for a good reason.  The landscape is so beautiful and ‘out of this world’ with some parts looking similar to something you would see on Mars!

13 | Manarola, Cinque Terre, Italy

By Jeremy of Escapist Atlas

Manarola, Cinque Terre, Italy - 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

Manarola, Cinque Terre, Italy – 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

Only a few places can compare to the sheer beauty of the villages that comprise the Cinque Terre. Manarola is a village that looks exactly like it does in the Instagram photos.  I spent hours just gazing out at the buildings, seeming to defy gravity as they dared jut out over the sea beneath. Walking through the vineyards winding up the large hills that surround the towns seems to take you to an alternate reality where you can lose yourself in the beauty of the towns and be swept away by nostalgia for a life you haven’t lived.

14 | Koh Lipe, Thailand

By Hannah Lukaszewicz of Getting Stamped

Koh Lipe, Thailand - 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

Koh Lipe, Thailand – 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

I still remember the first time I laid eyes on Koh Lipe, Thailand. I had taken a ferry from Langkawi, Malaysia to Koh Lipe an island I knew nothing about heck I just heard about it from a poster in Malaysia. A 1.5 ferry ride away was the Thai island of Koh Lipe, I wondered around the white sand beaches until I found a $30 beach villa and woke up to the waves crashing just feet from out porch. I really did have to pinch myself, this was too good to be true. Koh Lipe has some of the prettiest turquoise waters in the world, it’s nicknamed “The Maldives of Thailand.”

15 | Larung Gar, China

By Christian of Unusual Traveler

Larung Gar, China - 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

Larung Gar, China – 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

Larung Gar in western China is a strange place and one of a kind. It’s not mentioned in any guidebook but it’s yet one of most amazing and surreal places on Earth. It will take you 3 days of rough traveling to reach the area, with the last 120km taking more than 14hours in a jeep, but it’s worth it. The first glimpse of this Tibetan Buddhist Institute that’s home to no more than 40 000 with take your breath away! It’s a sea of red, not only is every single building red but every single monk is also dressed in red robes.

16 | Bagan, Myanmar

By Ludek Jirous of Coddiwompling

Bagan, Myanmar - 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

Bagan, Myanmar – 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

This ancient city is located in central Myanmar and boasts with over 2200 temples rising from the green plains with hazy mountains towering in the distant background. It is a magical place and it seems like time has stopped here. The horse-carts trot to and fro between the well preserved temples decorated with carvings and Buddha-statues. The spectacle starts with the first sun-beams when hundreds of scattered temples emerge from the dark and dozens of hot air balloons levitate above this spiritual place. The atmosphere gets under your skin and these feelings double when the sun sets and the temples are suffused in an orange flare.

17 | Galápagos Islands, Ecuador

By Lance and Laura of Travel Addicts

Galápagos Islands, Ecuador - 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

Galápagos Islands, Ecuador – 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

For us, one of the most surreal destinations on the planet is The Islands of the Galapagos in Ecuador.  Being both geologically unique and geographically remote, these islands have spawned voyages of discovery.  The islands of the Galapagos are so isolated the animals have evolved into whole new species and are some of the most unusual on the planet, something Charles Darwin observed on his voyage.  The Galapagos is so unique and surreal that it was recognized as the very first UNESCO World Heritage Site.

18 | Tulip Fields, Keukenhof, Netherlands

By Criz of Crizzy Kiss

Tulip Fields, Netherlands - 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

Tulip Fields, Netherlands – 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

Keukenhof was my dream destination and when I finally got to visit, I had to pinch myself to make sure I wasn’t dreaming. Standing in the middle of the tulip fields and millions of other flowers, as far as my eyes can see, was surreal. Although I was already seeing tulips when I got to Norway and other parts of Europe, it still never failed to amaze me. The place is just so magical and fascinating!

19 | Torres del Paine National Park, Chile

By Jon Algie of Jon is Travelling

Torres del Paine National Park in Chile - 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

Torres del Paine National Park in Chile – 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

High winds, rough terrain and lung-busting climbs make the hike to the “towers” of Torres del Paine National Park challenging, but that’s the price you’ll have to pay to see one of the world’s most surreal vistas. Three massive stone towers rise above a milky green lake, surrounded by rocks and a hint of snow — there’s nowhere else like it. Patagonia is home to some of the most dramatic mountain scenery in the world and hiking is the best way to see it. It’s not always easy but those views make it all worth it in the end.

20 | Rotorua, New Zealand

By Gia Kristel De Guia of MismatchedPassports

Rotorua, New Zealand - 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

Rotorua, New Zealand – 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

Hues of green, orange and yellow – it was like a work of art, a display of bold colors I had never seen upon the ground. Rotorua, New Zealand is one of the world’s most unique landscapes with colorful hot pools and rocks that seem out of this world. Wai O Tapu Thermal Wonderland, one of the geothermal parks in the area has some of the best volcanic formations. Take a deep breath and face the hot steam coming out of the Champagne Pool, the star of the show. The spectacular formation has a rust orange rim with deep green boiling water at the centre. The Devil’s Bath, a pool with bright green shade and the Artist’s Palette, a splatter of mineral laden water are also incredible.

21 | Hakuba, Japan

By Anne of Traveltheglobe4less

Hakuba, Japan - 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

Hakuba, Japan – 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

Imagine standing on a plateau covered in snow soaking up the view of vertiginous mountains topped by a deep blue sky, the air so crisp and fresh its intoxicating. Deep breaths chill your throat, but every atom of your body feels alive, as though super-charged with energy. Your eyes cannot take in the magnitude of the endless Alps stretching to the horizon. Don’t be deceived. These are not the Alps of Europe. Oh no! These are the Alps of Japan and damn they are so worth the 24-hour journey to get here by train, plane and automobile. Moments like this almost reduce me to tears, reminding me of how fortunate I am to be able to travel and see marvels such as this. I’m feeling blessed! If only this moment would never end….

22 | Ribbon Falls, Grand Canyon, USA

By Cindy Barks of Near and Farz

It is not exactly easy to get there. In fact, it might be one of the toughest trips you’ll take. But the payoff? Amazing. It is Ribbon Falls, located in the depths of the Grand Canyon in Arizona. To get there, you have to commit to either a day of full-on hiking on the Rim-to-Rim hike (24 miles on the Bright Angel and North Kaibab Trails), or a mule ride to Phantom Ranch, located along the Colorado River, and then an 11-mile round-trip hike. Either way, it’s almost guaranteed to be a hot and rugged trip. Once you do make it to Ribbon Falls, you’ll wonder why it took you so long to visit. Through a gap in the massive red walls is gushing water, gorgeous water. Green moss clings to the rock, and mist billows all around. Walking under the falls and looking out at one of the wonders of the world is a truly surreal experience!

23 | Pamukkale, Turkey

By Clelia Mattana of Keep Calm and Travel

Pammukale, Turkey - 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

Pammukale, Turkey – 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

Pamukkale is a surreal destination by definition. The travertine creating a huge white valley in the middle of nowhere, the bright turquoise color of the warm water in the pools and the surreal silence (this is if you go very early in the morning, which I highly recommend!) make this place one of my favorite destinations where I can really fantasize about an “out of this world” experience.

24 | Zaanse Schans, Netherlands

By Grietje of Travel Gretl

Zaanse Schans, Holland - 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

Zaanse Schans, Holland – 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

While exploring the world, we tend to forget the beautiful things our own countries have to offer! I am a Dutchie from the south, so the famous flower fields and windmills (western Netherlands) were no part of my childhood. But last year, I finally got to see the places so many tourists would describe as ‘typically Dutch’. And to be honest, I was quite amazed! This picture is from the Zaanse Schans. The mills are very well preserved, and seeing them besides the water in all their glory is definitely worth a detour when you’re in the Netherlands.

25 | Bayon Temple, Angkor Cambodia

By Ashley Erickson of The Traveling Gals

Bayon Temple - Siem Reap, Cambodia - 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

Bayon Temple – Siem Reap, Cambodia – 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

Bayon Temple in Siem Reap is part of the ancient city of Angkor Thom and close to the famous Angkor Wat. The most remarkable part about this temple is the 216 carvings of the same smiling, serene face. It is almost slightly creepy when walking around to see this face over and over again keeping watch over the Temple. When I was there, it was also very quiet walking around, making it feel even more surreal. The face is believed to be Jayavarman, a former Buddhist King in the 13th century, but no one knows for certain.

26 | Horta, Faial, Azores

By Jessica Johnson of MJ Sailing

Horta, Faial, Azores - 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

Horta, Faial, Azores – 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

The Azores are an archipelago of islands 800 miles off the continental coast of Portugal.  Faial, to the west, is referred to as the Blue Island for the number of blue hydrangeas that line everything from windowsills of shops to its green country roads.  It’s largest city, Horta, is a popular harbor for sailors to stop on their way across the Atlantic. With spectacular views of the towering volcano of Pico just across the bay and a tradition of painting your yacht’s emblem on the sea wall, it’s easy to see why so many yachties make a visit here.  Non sea folk also flock here for these same sights as well of tours of Faial to see its caldera (a large volcanic crater) and the Capelinhos. A volcano complex that includes 20 scoria cones and lava fields, as well as a refreshing pool of enclosed Atlantic water to take a dip in after your hike.

27 | The Laki Craters, Iceland

By Christina and Kevin of Wandering Wagars

The Laki Craters, Iceland - 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

The Laki Craters, Iceland – 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

The Laki Craters, also known as Crater Row is located deep in the heart of Vatnajökull National Park in Iceland and is the epicenter for Icelands most destructive natural disaster. Fire and lava spewed forth from the earth, tearing the surrounding land like a zipper for 25 kms and covering the country in ash. The nearby mountains offer a spectacular view that helps you bear witness to the scars ripped across the Icelandic countryside. Getting to the Laki craters is an adventure of its own that involves driving through small rivers and through the rough Icelandic interior. The area is filled with spectacular lava tubes and caves to explore as well as incredible opportunities for hiking.

28 | The Church of the Savior, St. Petersberg, Russia

By Marcela Faé of Fotostrasse

The Church of the Savior, St. Petersberg, Russia - 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

The Church of the Savior, St. Petersberg, Russia – 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

The Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood in St. Petersburg is an orthodox church and it was designed in the XVII century style by Alfred Parland with some elements of Classical and Modernist without forgetting the undeniable Barroque touch you can see around it. Inside the church everything is made of mosaics. I, myself, am a strong atheist but I have a crazy fascination with the beauty of every kind of worshiping center. The Russian orthodox churches took the 1st one position on “The most Beautiful Church I’ve Seen Awards

29 | The Buddha Park, Vientiane, Laos

By Nikki Godwin of Where is Noodles?

The Buddha Park, Vientiane, Laos - 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

The Buddha Park, Vientiane, Laos – 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

A beautifully strange and unique place, the park is home to more than 200 religious sculptures, which are peacefully located in a meadow next to the Mekong River. It is the perfect place to while away a few hours, just wandering around viewing some of the bizarre sculptures influenced by a mix of Hinduism and Buddhism. There is no explanation of the history of the sculptures and their anonymity kind of added to the surreal atmosphere.

30 | Lake Louise, Emerald Lake, Peyto Lake, Canada

By Gemma of Two Scots Abroad

Peyto Lake, Canada

Peyto Lake, Canada

How do they get those lakes so blue? If you have seen Lake Louise, Emerald Lake, Peyto Lake, etc., in the Canadian Rockies you will know what I am talking out. The color of the water is eye popping, making it one of the most surreal destinations we’ve stumbled across in the past eleven months on the road in North, South, and Central America. I was fully expecting jaggy edged mountains, tall trees, maybe a bear sighting but was not prepared for the beauty of that water. If really want to get close to it, why not try the Polar Bear Swim challenge in Bow Lake?! We did!

31 | Pololu Valley, Big Island, Hawaii, USA

By Alexandra Korey of ArtTrav

Pololu Valley, Big Island, Hawaii, USA - 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

Pololu Valley, Big Island, Hawaii, USA – 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

Pololu Valley is where the opening to Jurassic Park II was filmed, and indeed it is surreal. The view from the top is amazing, but it is absolutely worth the steep hike down the trail to the black sand beach, bordered by a thick forest. In the off-season you’re likely to share this place with just a few locals. I honestly think this is the most beautiful place I have ever been in the world.

32 | Kawah ijen, Indonesia

By Nina Ragusa of Where in The World is Nina?

Kawah ijen, Indonesia - 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

Kawah ijen, Indonesia – 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

The treacherous hike through a volcanic crater named Kawah Ijen is the epitome of a surreal experience. While here, you’ll encounter dangers like breathing in the sulfuric smoke that billows from the earth, the pitch black conditions and fragile rocks that fall apart under your feet. So why would any visitor put themselves through this? How about the chance to see blue flames flowing out of the ground, incredible views, a sunrise over volcanos, a gorgeous but toxic green acid lake, and phenomenal terrain like you’ve never seen before.

33 | Dyrholaey Coast, Iceland

By Cora of The Path She Took

Dyrholaey coast - 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

Dyrholaey coast – 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

The south coast of Iceland was completely surreal. I’m sure it already looks insanely beautiful all year round, but I got there just after one of the biggest snowfall ever, and it had transformed the whole coast into the perfect set for a sci-fi movie. The white waves, the black sand beaches and the sparkling snow, all the colors added up to create something completely unique and, frankly, very surprising. I still remember when I had my first view on the sea. The engine stopped and there was just a big silence in the car. “Wow” could not cover it.

34 | St. Basil’s cathedral, Moscow

Nic and Paul of The Roaming Renegades

St. Basil’s cathedral, Moscow - 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

St. Basil’s cathedral, Moscow – 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

Red Square was just as impressive and imposing as I had always imagined it to be. But as my eyes wandered to its far end I had to pinch myself. There is the glistening autumn sun stood the magnificent St. Basil’s cathedral. The colors just as bright as I had imagined and the onion domes just as wild and surreal. To be standing here almost didn’t feel real, this gingerbread like cathedral looks more like something from a fairy tale than harsh Russia. Venturing inside and the magic continued, we were immediately struck by the detail and intricacy of the murals and frescos that adorned every wall and ceiling of this maze like structure. A truly beautiful and surreal experience!

35 | Yosemite National Park, California, USA

By Carole of Berkley and Beyond

Yosemite National Park, California - 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

Yosemite National Park, California – 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

Being a native Californian, I have visited Yosemite National Park countless times.  And every time I visit, I am awed yet again by its spectacular beauty.  It is wondrous at any time of year, but my favorite time is the quieter time of fall.  Perhaps the best way to get a feel for the overall splendor of this park is to take a walk across the valley floor, with the tall granite walls surrounding you, but I also especially enjoy the trail up to the base of Yosemite Falls and the huge boulders found there.

36 | The Maldives

By Lauren of The Traveller’s Guide By #ljojlo

The Maldives - 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

The Maldives – 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

The vivid hues of blue, green and turquoise make Maldives mesmerizingly beautiful. Even on a windy day with a chance of rain the colors are oh so incredible. You often find yourself daydreaming not believing it is real or that you are actually fortunate enough to be lapping up the luxury that is the Maldives. The astonishing fact is you need to head under the water for even more beauty. Between the corals, colors, fish and sea turtles this is where the magic happens.

37 | Tellaro, Italy

By Jessica of Travel to be Alive

Tellaro, Italy - 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

Tellaro, Italy – 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

If there’s a surreal – and not crowded! – place in the world, that is “Tellaro”. It is a picturesque village situated on the west coast of Italy, kind of magic, with its typical houses and its sparkling view over the sea. What keeps it so special is that the wave of tourism has not swallowed the town yet and it has preserved its original look. The village is very little and truly romantic at the same time. Walking through the narrow alleys, watching the fishermen in the distance and waiting for the sun to set you’ll be transported back in time. This is Italy as you’ve always imagined it.

38 | Valle de Cocora, Colombia

By Taylor Record of Once We’re Young Travel

Valle de Cocora, Colombia - 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

Valle de Cocora, Colombia – 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

Valle de Cocora in Colombia’s coffee region is a place so surreal, that it will make you believe in mermaids, yetis, and the Loch Ness herself. Just outside of Salento, you can experience sky-high wax palms and watch as clouds swallow the surrounding mountains. Embark on a 5 hour trek to experience the wonder of one of the world’s most bizarre landscapes.

39 | Newfoundland, Canada

By Danielle Ditzian of Like Riding a Bicycle

Newfoundland, Canada - 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

Newfoundland, Canada – 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

This photo was taken in the middle of the summer in Newfoundland, Canada – a ridiculously stunning island in Canada with the kindest people you will ever meet! I was hanging out in a tank top and shorts, just checking out the icebergs. How much more surreal can it get? The icebergs float down from Greenland in the spring, and if you’re lucky, you can still catch a glimpse when the warm weather comes around in the summertime. It was hard to believe this was a real thing, and I couldn’t help but stare in awe, wondering how huge that iceberg was below the surface.

40 | Serengeti National Park, Tanzania

By Soumya Nambiar of Travel Books Food, Photo Credit: Nishanth Nottath

Serengeti National Park, Tanzania - 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

Serengeti National Park, Tanzania – 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

Africa changes you forever, like nowhere on earth. Once you have been there, you will never be the same. But how do you begin to describe its magic to someone who has never left it? How can you explain the fascination of this vast, dusty continent, whose oldest roads are elephant paths? Could it be because Africa is the place of all our beginnings, the cradle of mankind, where our species first stood upright on the savannahs of long ago?

41 | Spiti Valley, Himachal Pradesh, India

By Rishabh and Nirali of GypsyCouple

Spiti Valley, Himachal Pradesh, India - 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

Spiti Valley, Himachal Pradesh, India – 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

Think of untamed mountains, meandering rivers, treeless plains and a monastery in the middle of it. We aren’t talking about the mystical Shangri-La but an equally mystical land called Spiti. The still clear water of Chandratal Lake in Spiti Valley and the reflection on it gave it a feeling of a looking glass to a whole different world and we decided to pitch our tent there.

42| Sapa, Vietnam

By Elena Nemets of Travelability

Sapa, Vietnam - 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

Sapa, Vietnam – 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

If you plan your trip to Vietnam, you should definitely consider spending at least couple of days hiking in the northern part of the country and visiting villages near the town of Sapa. Mountains made by nature and rice terraces cultivated by hard work of local people together make a dramatic scenery (and fifty shades of green!). Sapa itself is worth visiting mainly because of the local market. Here the women from local tribes, wearing colorful traditional costumes which are different for each tribe, sell handmade clothing and handicrafts.

43 | Erg Chebbi, Morocco

By Kylie of Between England and Iowa

Erg Chebbi, Morocco - 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

Erg Chebbi, Morocco – 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

The Sahara Desert is a landscape that looks like it should belong on another planet.  No matter what direction you look in, it’s just miles and miles of bright orange sand dunes, there are no roads, paths or human creation (other than the Bedouin tent that’s home for the night), even footprints are erased almost instantly.  It makes you feel so small and peaceful, you can’t help but just sit and stare out at the vastness.  When the sun comes up, shadows are cast across the dunes, the light and dark meeting at the peak in a defined line.  The wind blows rippled patterns on the flatter parts of the dunes, it’s a constantly changing environment.  It’s an amazing place!

44 | Bay of Fethiye, Turkey

By Sophie Nadeau of Solo Sophie

Bay of Fethiye, Turkey - 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

Bay of Fethiye, Turkey – 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

The town of Fethiye is built on the site of ancient Telmessos and is surrounded by rock tombs, cliff cut temple like tombs that rise high above the surrounding sea and villages alike. The bay is surreal: sandy beaches line the mountain studded horizon and in the sea, a bright turquoise, it’s not unusual to see turtles swimming along the surface of the crystal clear water.

45 | Wadi Rum, Jordan

By Aleah of Solitary Wanderer

Wadi Rum, Jorden - 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

Wadi Rum, Jorden – 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

Wadi Rum in Jordan is one place that stands out in its magnificance. Its vastness and surreal beauty can definitely make any visitor gawp in awe. I was especially lucky in that I got to witness the sunset there, and the glorious sight of the sun turning the desert as red as the land in Mars rendered me speechless. Witnessing such magnificence of nature is indeed the reason why I travel.

46 | Abu Simbel, Egypt

By Laura Lynch of Savored Journeys

Abu Simbel, Egypt - 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

Abu Simbel, Egypt – 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

One of the most surreal places I’ve ever been is Abu Simbel in the dessert of Egypt. Built as a temple complex by Ramesses II sometime during the 1200s BCE, Sometime after its glory days, it was completely covered in sand and wasn’t rediscovered until 1817. In the 1960s, the building of the Aswan High Dam would have completely submerged the temples and they would have been lost forever if they hadn’t been relocated to a cliff side behind the original site. Abu Simbel is an incredible sight to see. It is one of the most dramatic and stunning temples in the world and we’re lucky many times over that it still exists for us to visit.

47 | Dunn’s River Falls, Jamaica

Howard Blount of Backroad Planet

Dunn's River Falls, Jamaica - 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

Dunn’s River Falls, Jamaica – 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

Dunn’s River Falls near Ocho Rios, Jamaica, is one of those rare waterfalls that flow directly into the ocean, or in this case the Caribbean Sea. Countless terraced levels and lagoons allow visitors to safely ascend from the beach to the top of the falls. Although I climbed the falls in the company of family and strangers, I found myself immersed in a confluence of sparkling sunlit droplets and multi-level cascades, all wrapped in lush tropical foliage. In one word: Otherworldly!

48 | Tawang, Arunachal Pradesh, India

Anna Phipps of Global Gallivanting

Tawang, Arunachal Pradesh, India - 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

Tawang, Arunachal Pradesh, India – 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

I’d been traveling around India for over a year and thought I had seen it all… and then I visited the remote, tribal regions in North East India. After a couple of days of a bumpy journey through the mountains we finally made it to Tawang. As I stood amongst the soaring Himalayan mountains, fluttering prayer flags and colorful monasteries watching the people go about their life as if the modern world did not exist it was hard to believe that I was still in India and not in Tibet. It did not surprise me when I learned that this region used to be part of Tibet and today in this unexplored part of India the people are still free to practice their colorful, peaceful and fascinating Tibetan religion and culture. It was like steeping back in time and a surreal, beautiful and serene experience.

49 | Panajachel, Guatemala

By Francesca Collins of Two Backpacks One Adventure

Lake Atitlan in Panajachel, Guatemala - 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

Lake Atitlan in Panajachel, Guatemala – 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

Panajachel, Guatemala, located on Lake Atitlán. Panajachel (known as “Pana” among the locals) is perfect for any traveler that craves calm, relaxing, good-for-your-soul vibes. Head out in your kayak for a sunrise tour of the lake and revel in the beauty of the three volcanoes that lie along its border, Volcán Atitlán, Tolimán, & San Pedro. When you aren’t taking in all of Pana’s natural beauty, take a walk around the local markets, get a bite to eat at a lake-side food stall, or grab your yoga mat and take a class at one of the many locations available around town or on the lake. There is no way that you can leave this town feeling anything other than totally at peace with the world and your life.

50 | Hampi, Karnataka, India

By Sonal and Sandro of Drifter Planet

Hampi, Karnataka, India - 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

Hampi, Karnataka, India – 50 Surreal Travel Destinations

Situated in lush green part of South of India, Hampi was the ancient capital of Vijayanagara, a.k.a., “A Forgotten Empire” and is famous for its ruins that are a UNESCO world heritage site. However, more than the ruins, it was Hampi’s bizarre landscape that took our breath away. The landscape is made of many miles of boulders heaps that appear to be precariously arranged.

How many of these destinations have you visited already? Have you visited a surreal destination that’s not on this list? Let us know in the comments section.

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50 Surreal Travel Destinations from Around The World

50 Surreal Travel Destinations from Around The World

A hippie travel writer with flowers in her hair, Sonal Kwatra Paladini should have been born in the 1960s! Bitten by the infamous travel bug, she has an itch to explore resort-free destinations, offbeat islands and small villages. Join her and her husband (Sandro) on their journey as they hop from one music festival to another and explore the beautiful world that they are in love with! Follow them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Sonal Kwatra Paladini

11 Indian Girls That Are Totally Rocking Solo Travel

11 Indian Girls That Are Totally Rocking Solo Travel

I’m not lost. I know where I’m going.

Yes, I’m alone. Doesn’t mean I’m lonely.

You think I’m gutsy? Thanks – feels good.

No I’m not traveling solo to nurse a broken heart. (But that’s a good idea).

No, I’m definitely not running away from anything.

No, I’m not rich, I know how to save.

Yes, I’m an Indian girl and I travel solo.

A little scared but excited, I hopped on a plane to travel solo back in 2009. My first hour was painful because I was frightened.

WTF, am I crazy to be doing this? 

Shit, what if something happens to me?

The guilt of having lied to everyone in my family made matters worse.

Sorry Mom, sorry Dad, I should have been honest with you that I was traveling alone.

In the course of the next hour I became extra vigilant of my surroundings and suspicious of random people who innocently glanced at me.

All of a sudden, it dawned on me that I was about to embark on one of the greatest adventures of my life and I should make the most of it. In that instant, my excitement ate my fear and I was ready to conquer the world!

It did turn out to be one of the best trips of my life, even though it was a little short.

It’s always nice to see a solo female traveler, but for me, it’s bloody AWESOME to see an Indian solo female traveler.

Why? Well, because we’re rare.

We grew up in a society where it’s unheard of a woman traveling alone. We live in a country with a high rate of crime against women. Obviously safety is always a concern.

I want to introduce you to 11 Indian Girls Who Travel Solo… Badass!

 *****Drum Roll*****

01 | Namrata Das Adhikary (Scattered Maps)

Namrata Das Adhikary - 10 Indian Girls That Are Totally Rocking Solo Travel

Namrata Das Adhikary – Indian Girls Who Travel Solo

Hailing from a city of extreme contrasts, Calcutta, I have always been a fan of extremities: Madness and solitude being my prime aspirations.

In 2014, when I first made it to the Mount Kun base camp all alone, I couldn’t obviously believe it. It was not my first visit to the mountains, nor my first time with the snow. Yet, everything felt strangely different. I was in a strikingly surreal landscape, with a few adventurous locals and some likeminded travellers to give me company. My mind was as white as the snow surrounding me- reflective of thoughts, with my warm senses helping me acclimatize my body to the subzero temperatures. We started our trek from Gulmatongo (110km. from Kargil), the serving base camp for the ascending peak. However, due to extreme climatic conditions in December, we had to extend our days in order to cross the Suru river over a slippery, ice-covered footbridge. What I received in the end was a magically changed vision of inner myself: I come, I see, I conquer.

Solo travelling has given me a friend. I’ve learnt to befriend myself in the most difficult of all situations. The world is definitely not big enough!

02 | Sushmita Haldar

Sushmita Haldar - 10 Indian Girls That Are Totally Rocking Solo Travel

Sushmita Haldar – 11 Indian Girls That Travel Solo

I wanted to travel and lack of company was not a good enough reason not to. As a woman you have to be cautious, but once you learn to follow your intuition you would know when it is fine to drink at a bar and sing with the locals, when a stranger genuinely offers you help, and when you are making a friend.

Each trip has helped me to find myself a little more – whether it was a trek to the mountains, exploring Bhutan with the locals, scuba diving in the Andamans, backpacking around Europe or trying to figure out what is it about USA. I won’t say solo traveling is always fun. Sometime you feel lonely and miss home. You just need to accept it and wait for another day. What it won’t be is regret. You will soon discover the community of fellow travelers. Each travelling for one’s own reason. Each trying to find one’s way, each unique with a different insight on life.

I have met many female solo travellers in the last one year, unfortunately hardly any Indian. All I can say, it may seem scary at first, the unknown, but a few trips, and you would wonder why you waited so long.

03 | Anisha Victor

Anisha Victor - 10 Indian Girls That Are Totally Rocking Solo Travel

Anisha Victor – 11 Indian Girls Travel Solo

I was born in Allahabad, raised all over the county (yup I’m an Army kid) and now l live in Bombay. (Sorry we call it Mumbai now). As clichéd as it might sound but I did not choose travelling, travelling chose me.

I recently decided to revisit Rajasthan on a solo trip. Convincing my parents surprisingly was not a problem. I hopped on the cheapest flight I could find to Udaipur (BTW Tuesdays are the best days to book flights. You can thank me later) as going solo means there’s no sharing cost. I started from Udaipur and traveled north to Ajmer and Pushkar from there I headed west to the beautiful city of Jodhpur (where I stayed for two years as a baby) and finally to Jaisalmer and San. I took state run buses to travel from one city to another – which was so much fun. I was sandwiched between two people most of the times but after a point it didn’t bother because they had interesting stories to tell.

I was skeptical about the entire thing because of safety issues but my doubts faded with every passing. Although people were very warm and welcoming but every time someone asked me about myself, I would make up stories! I was a newly wedded on my honeymoon, I was a second year college student on a field trip or a newly commissioned army officer posted in Jaipur. I thought it was funny!

The only problem I faced was when I had to use the loo and look out for my luggage. But who knew travelling solo could be so liberating. I’ve come back with experience, stories, a tan too and an appetite to just go and explore more…see more and travel more.

04 | Raksha Nagaraj (SoloPassport)

Raksha Nagaraj - 11 Indian Girls Who Travel Solo

Raksha Nagaraj – 11 Indian Girls Who Travel Solo

I am an Indian girl who loves to travel solo. My mantra is what Derek Walcott said ‘I read, I travel and I become’. Solo travel to me is like meditating. It provides me the control to calm my mind & bring stillness in my life, with an opportunity to do the most passionate hobby that I have – “travel”. Drama and I get along very well. All my travels have to be a tad bit dramatic. One such dramatic incident was during my first solo abroad trip to Dublin, Ireland. The lesson I learnt during this travel was that in Ireland, the bathrooms do not have water outlets on the floor and that they are carpeted for a reason. How did I get this knowledge? Well, by flooding my beautiful duplex service apartment on the first day of arrival.

Each of these dramas are ingrained in my heart as fond memories and experiences. These experiences make my life richer and better. And as they say “Life is not measured by the breaths we take, but the moments that take our breath away”.

05 | Priyanshi Singhal

Priyanshi Singhal - 11 Indian Girls Who Travel Solo

Priyanshi Singhal – 11 Indian Girls Who Travel Solo

My journey started when I opted to study architecture.  My wanderlust was further fueled by continuous site visits and educational tour. I had no one to travel with, so I decided to pursue my passion alone.

My first solo expedition was the Rann of Kutch followed by Mandvi and Bhuj. I decided to explore Mandvi on my own by walking. After walking for miles, I stopped to rest and realized I had reached a graveyard! I opted to stay in a family run guest house, who showed me with their generosity and showed me around. My next solo trip was to Varanasi. To my surprise, the locals there started treating me as a foreigner and soon I realized it was because the only people that were travelling solo there were not from India. I met a local Tibetan there who showed me Buddhist Monastries and Sarnath town.

06 | Pankti Shah (www.crazywanderer.com)

Pankti Shah - 11 Indian Girls Who Travel Solo

Pankti Shah – 11 Indian Girls Who Travel Solo

Brought up in a very small village in Gujarat. I never stepped out of my home since childhood. Traveling was a scary stuff for me from childhood to teenage. I just had a dream cradling in my mind, I wished to explore the world. My travel expedition began after my marriage. With support of my husband and parents in law, I started travelling solo.

Rishikesh the Indian city of Yoga was my first travel destination. After my first solo travel experience, I was bold, confident and independent. Until now, I have traveled all major tourist destinations in India. Some of the Indian states I covered are Gujarat, Kashmir, Leh Ladakh, Uttarakhand, Kolkata, Himachal Pradesh, Kerala, Tamilnadu, Karnataka, Orissa, Maharashtra, and Punjab.  I am sharing my travel experiences and solo travel stories via www.crazywanderer.com

07 | Aditi Roy (My Dream Travels)

Aditi Roy - 11 Indian Girls Who Travel Solo

Aditi Roy – 11 Indian Girls Who Travel Solo

I am a 30-something solo female traveler and yes! I am an Indian (against all odds). In December 2013, I decided to give up my “stable job” and travel the world. I set up a blog to document my experiences even before I told my mother what I had planned. It took me a lot of courage and rephrasing of my so-called “I want to travel around the world – solo” speech. I can never forget what my mom said to me after I was done explaining everything (took me a few hours) – “Don’t die and don’t get AIDS”.  Thus, I started my first ever solo travel mission. In the past few years, I have travelled majorly around India (without getting killed or raped or molested or robbed) and I have loved every bit of my journey. I have met amazing men and women and children along the way, and heard brilliant stories. Last year, I took my first international trip and volunteered at a school in Chiang Mai for 5 months as an English Teacher. I was the first Indian expat in Chiang Mai (everybody said so!) and I seriously wish more Indians would know about the concept of Volunteering just as much as I would love to see more women travelling freely and extensively.

08 | Sahithi Pulivarthi (Just A Girl Who Travels)

Sahithi Pulivarthi - 11 Indian Girls Who Travel Solo

Sahithi Pulivarthi – 11 Indian Girls Who Travel Solo

I’m a 20 something traveler from Andhra Pradesh. I have travelled to 17 states of India. Travelling opened up my mind. It made me realize that I really don’t need much money in life to be happy and life is all about experiencing different cultures and meeting different people having nice conversations. I don’t even think about getting settled. I want to travel around and experiencing life in different countries.

09| Priyanka Bhattacharya

Priyanka Bhattacharya - 10 Indian Girls That Are Totally Rocking Solo Travel

Priyanka Bhattacharya – 11 Indian Girls That Travel Solo

When you can’t see a way out of all the chaos, when it no longer makes sense. ‘You climb a mountain…’.  Trekking to Savitri Temple was one experience that really helped me clear my mind, as when I came back I couldn’t recall the chaos, felt like I lost it along the way, it definitely worked for me. It doesn’t look like much but the route to the temple is quite troublesome, regardless I can assure you this the view is worth all the struggle, the temple is bestowed with spirituality beyond bounds. So when nothing makes sense or you are in chaos…Climb a mountain. People often ask me, ‘Aren’t you worried when you travel alone?’ and believe me when I tell you this, it is one of the weirdest questions I come across, the answer is obvious who isn’t? But the thrill of it gets you going, the yearning for adventure gets you going, the possibility to make it yet another wonderful vicinity makes all the worries worth it.

10 | Shubhra Sharma

Shubhra Sharma -10 Indian Girls That Are Totally Rocking Solo Travel

Shubhra Sharma -11 Indian Girls That Travel Solo

My solo first trip was when I was only 26 to visit my dad in China. Over the years, I have traveled solo quite often and have realized it is not just travel that makes you a different person – it’s what you go through during your travels that make you into a stronger person.

On my second trip to China, my return flight got cancelled. With 30-40 minutes to spare, Air China gave me another flight and asked me to check out my luggage and check it back in. I literally ran from one point of the airport to the other only to find out that my bag had been taken to Lost & Found. So spent another 15-20mins trying to find my bag and then ran to the gate to catch my flight which thankfully I was able to. These are the experiences I enjoy more as they teach me lessons on human behavior and how much strength I have to either accommodate myself to a situation or to fight for my rights. I ALWAYS believe my gut instinct. I don’t talk to everybody (old people and kids only) as friendliness, especially coming from a young woman, can be misconstrued very easily and I have made enough mistakes to know what to do now and don’t.

11 | Amrita Chowdhury (altertrips.com/blog)

Amrita Chowdhury - 11 Indian Girls That Are Totally Rocking Solo Travel

Amrita Chowdhury – 11 Indian Girls That Travel Solo

My first solo trip was to Paris. I didn’t know the language, didn’t know the city and had to place to stay when I arrived. On the first day I was very aware and super careful of everything, since I’d never traveled alone before. I couldn’t understand what the shopkeepers were saying. I walked down Blanche on my own, and a Frenchman with a thin mustache who was all dressed-up, caught hold of my arm, whispered something and planted a kiss on my lips! And yeah, I understand, many women in my place would have freaked out. I was just stunned for a second. And burst out laughing when he just winked and walked away!

Don’t you think they are awesome? Let’s spread this post and encourage other girls to travel solo too!

 

The world definitely needs more Indian girls who travel solo.

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Pin to save the post for later

11 Indian Girls That Are Totally Rocking Solo Travel

11 Indian Girls That Are Totally Rocking Solo Travel

A hippie travel writer with flowers in her hair, Sonal Kwatra Paladini should have been born in the 1960s! Bitten by the infamous travel bug, she has an itch to explore resort-free destinations, offbeat islands and small villages. Join her and her husband (Sandro) on their journey as they hop from one music festival to another and explore the beautiful world that they are in love with! Follow them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Sonal Kwatra Paladini

51 Reasons Why Life in India is AWESOME

51 Reasons Why Life in India is AWESOME

To other countries, I may go as a tourist, but to India, I come as a pilgrim.

– Martin Luther King, Jr.

Life in India can be joyous, tough, colorful, stressful, chaotic but never boring. You must have heard numerous times that India is one of those countries that you can love and hate at the same time. While I am an occasional victim of “i-hate-india” syndrome, for most of the days I absolutely LOVE living here (and you will too if you’re planning on moving here). Here’s why:

01) India is a food lover’s paradise – nothing beats Indian food – curries, pakodas, momos, samosas, dosas, naans, sorpotel, kebabs, paneer and so much more! For a change, the vegetarians will not miss out on the delicious fun.

Indian Food - Why I love living in India by DrifterPlanet.com

Indian Food – there’s something for everyone here!

 

02) Unity in Diversity – every city is different, people are different and there are many different subcultures. It is a lot of fun discovering new things about them even after living in India for years.

 

03) India offers interesting sights everywhere – it is a photographer’s delight!

Elephant Bath in Hampi - Why I love living in India by DrifterPlanet.com

Elephant Bath in Hampi

 

04) It is the land of mother of all the teas – Masala Chai, which is available in every nook and corner.

Masala Chai - Why Life in India is Awesome by DrifterPlanet.com

Masala Chai!

05) Holi, Diwali, Onma, Eid, Lohri, Pongal, Christmas and more.. more than 40 festivals in a year that are super colorful and totally psychedelic! Depending on where you live, you will get a chance to experience as many as you want. More festivals = more holidays!

Pongal Celebrations - why life in India is awesome by DrifterPlanet.com

Pongal Celebrations in Mumbai (Image Source: IBtimes.co.in)

06) You will seldom face a language barrier here, despite the fact we have 22 official languages and 1652 unofficial languages because English unifies all of India.

07) Kaam Wali, Maali, Phool Wala, Driver – the comfort of domestic help will spoil you for life without breaking your bank balance.

Domestic Help is affordable in India - Why Life in India is Awesome

Domestic Help is affordable in India. Image Source

08) Traveling in Indian Railways is awesome – from luxury of a 1st class to affordability of a general class, there is something for everyone.

Indian Railways Ride - Why I love living in India by DrifterPlanet.com

Me enjoying a ride on Indian Railways

09) India is a paradise for shopaholics with endless possibilities for every budget.

Shops in Jaipur - Why I love living in India by DrifterPlanet.com

Shops in Jaipur – India is a paradise for Shopaholics!

10) Mangoes! They are a gift of GOD – taste one in India and you won’t like them anywhere else.

11) Haircuts, manicures, waxing – beauty salons are affordable.

12) Want an AFFORDABLE tailor made suit that fits like a dream? India is the place!

13) India is a sensory overload – your senses of seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, and touching get bombarded with stimulation.

14) Beauty in chaos – India demonstrates that.

Beauty in Chaos - why Life in India is awesome

Beauty in Chaos! Image Source: Telegraph.co.uk

15) Living in India, you will always be around architectural miracles that will make your jaws drop. (Of course I was not gonna leave our beloved Taj Mahal in Agra out of this list). Every city has some history and landmarks that have their own story to tell.

Taj Mahal - Why Life in India is awesome by DrifterPlanet.com

Taj Mahal

 

16) Need your dose of mountain magic when you’re in India? There’s nothing like the majestic Himalayas!

The Himalayas - Why I love Living in India

The Himalayas

 

17) Or tropical paradise? The pristine white sand beaches with turquoise blue water of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands are some of the most beautiful beaches in the world – and yet not touristy!

Havelock Island - Why I Love Living in India

Havelock Island of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands

 

18) Or maybe you want a change of scene? Try the hauntingly beautiful sand dunes of Rajasthan.

Khuri Sand Dunes in Rajasthan - Why I love living in India by DrifterPlanet.com

Khuri Sand Dunes in Rajasthan

 

19) Want to ski? The ski slopes of Gulmarg or Auli are kickass!

20) And many, many undiscovered offbeat destinations within India. Seriously, India is a traveler’s delight!

21) Living in India will test your limits in every way and toughen you up. After this, you can live just about anywhere.

22) You can get almost anything delivered to your doorstep for free. Save the cell phone number of your corner store owner to open the world of possibilities.

23) Sarees! They make every woman look sexy!

Sarees - Why Life in India is AWESOME!

Sarees – they make Indian women look sexy! (Image Source)

24) It is the land of spirituality. You can learn Yoga for free in a local park or a temple. (Only if you can wake up as early as 5:00 am)

Yoga - Why Life in India is AWESOME

Yoga – Image Source

25) That awesome feeling with you hear people say how traveling in India has changed them for life.

26) Bindis on the foreheads, flowers in the hair and henna on palms – it is the land of hippie fashion!

27) The amazing sight of Rangoli artwork outside houses on festivals and special occasions – very Indian and very pretty!

Beautiful Rangoli Artwork - Why Life in India is awesome by DrifterPlanet.com

Beautiful Rangoli Artwork

28) Sometimes when a yes or a no is not an acceptable answer, there’s a solution for that in India – the famous Indian head wobble.

Indian Head Wobble - Why Life In India is Awesome by DrifterPlanet.com

Mr. Bean shows how to do the The Famous Indian Head Wobble

29) Bhaang lassi – where else will you find a super potent marijuana milk shake that’s sold legally?

Bhang Lassi - why life in India is awesome by DrifterPlanet.com

Government Authorized Bhang Lassi Shop in Jaiselmer

30) Old Monk in winters and kingfisher beer in summers – Zindabaad!

Old Monk in Winters and Kingfisher in Summers - Why life in India is awesome by DrifterPlanet.com

Old Monk in Winters and Kingfisher in Summers

31) Watching the country’s obsession with cricket and how everyone turns overly patriotic when there’s a match against Pakistan – pure awesomeness. Yes, India has the best cricket team. Period.

32) Jets here, jets there, jets everywhere. In urban India, you will find jets in almost every toilet. In rural India, you will find floor toilets with “lota”.

Typical Toilet with a Jet of Urban India by Drifter Planet

Typical Toilet with a Jet of Urban India

33) The sounds of vegetable sellers on the street, vehicles moving, children playing – these background sounds of life will never make you feel lonely. 34) Indian marriages = week long festivals. All other marriages are too boring in comparison.

A Typical Indian Wedding by Drifter Planet

A Typical Indian Wedding

35) Indian traffic will make you an expert driver. I’m a living proof of that – I can now maneuver my car through ANY narrow or twisted lane that’s full of vehicles of different kinds, animals, people and what not.

36) The traffic and long queues will teach you how to be patient.

Traffic in India by DrifterPlanet.com

Traffic in India (Image Source: Indiatimes.in)

37) Oh and the state of traffic is always a good excuse for being late. No one ever doubts it.

38) Nothing can beat a good old underground psychedelic trance party of Goa. After all, “Goa Trance” originated here.

A party at Hill top (Vagator) Goa

A party at Hill top (Vagator) Goa

39) Random sighting of animals everywhere – cows, monkeys sometimes even peacocks.

Monkey on the street in India - why life in India is awesome by DrifterPlanet.com

Monkey on the street in India

40) The possibility of a “jugaar” approach if things don’t work out normal way.

Definition of Jugaad by DrifterPlanet.com

Definition of Jugaad

41) Autorichshaws! They are everywhere and make life easy. (commonly knowns as Tuk-tuks outside India)

Autorickshaws - why life in India is awesome

Autorickshaws make life easy! (Image Source: Economictimes)

42) Indian offices are like families – everyone eats lunch together.

43) Witnessing Diwali celebrations that begin a month before the festival – dandiya dance nights, Diwali Melas (fairs), Ram leela performances (play), card parties and beautiful decorations.

Diwali in India by Drifter Planet

Diwali in India by Drifter Planet

44) Watching how the entire country comes together during Ramzam month for iftar to experience delicious treats on the streets. Try Delhi’s Jama Masjid road or Mumbai’s Minara Masjid Lane, and Mohammed Ali Road.

Jama Maszid Lane during Ramzan - Why Life in India is awesome by DrifterPlanet.com

Jama Maszid Lane during Ramzan

45) Celebrating Holi with powdered colors, water balloons and water guns. You can color just about anyone that you see on the street. It’s a big, fat psychedelic party!

Holi - why life in India is awesome by DrifterPlanet.com

Holi – it’s a big fat psychedelic party where everyone’s invited (Source: Imgur.com)

46) Being a part of Christmas celebrations and parties with a dose of Indian-ness. Attending midnight mass and watching how the streets light up, especially in Old Goa, Shillong, Kolkata and Pondicherry.

 

47) Eating the langars of Gurudwaras! A full plate of delicious hygienic vegetarian meal can be enjoyed for free by anyone of any religion in these beautiful Sikh temples.

 

48) Are you a dog lover? There’s a lot of free love on Indian streets for dog lovers because killing of stray dogs is illegal in the country as of 2001. Most of these dogs are well fed and given rabies shot by the local residents and NGOs.

Stray Dogs in India - Why Life In India is Awesome

Stray Dogs in India

49) Indian street food has toughened up my digestive system. I can now eat street food anywhere in the world without any stress.

 

50) The number of people in your support system of family and friends is massive! It’s big enough to form your own political party if you want. This is kinda obvious considering the population situation of India.

 

51) Sab Kuch Milega! (Everything is possible) It’s true! See what Wandering Earl has to say about this.

Sab Kuch Milega - Why Life in India is awesome by DrifterPlanet.com

Sab Kuch Milega – India’s magical mantra

Need more proof that living in India is awesome? Ask his Holiness, the Dalai Lama, the exiled spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhists who lives in Dharamshala, India. If you nodded your head to a few or all of the above statements, please share this post with everyone you know! PS: it’s a light hearted post, so please don’t take things seriously!

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Goa – Why I love and keep going back

Why Holi is the Most Amazing Indian Festival

11 Indian Girls That Are Totally Rocking Solo Travel

Havelock Island – White Sand Beach Destination of India

Pin to save the post for later

Life in India IS AWESOME by DrifterPlanet.com

Life in India IS AWESOME by DrifterPlanet.com

A hippie travel writer with flowers in her hair, Sonal Kwatra Paladini should have been born in the 1960s! Bitten by the infamous travel bug, she has an itch to explore resort-free destinations, offbeat islands and small villages. Join her and her husband (Sandro) on their journey as they hop from one music festival to another and explore the beautiful world that they are in love with! Follow them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Sonal Kwatra Paladini

20 Travel Mistakes That Can Ruin Your Trip

20 Travel Mistakes That Can Ruin Your Trip

Whether you’re a full time traveler or a weekend tripper – at one point or the other, you are bound to make a travel mistake. We all do! While some mistakes can teach you what not to do, the others can seriously f*uck up your trip. Here is a list of travel mistakes that you should definitely avoid, so that you don’t end up ruining your trip:

1) Planning Too Many Things

While it’s good to have a general idea about what you want to do but planning your schedule from breakfast to nightcap can end up limiting your experience. Moreover, you risk missing out on places that no one wrote about on the internet.

Xam - Travel Mistakes by Drifter Planet

A packed itinerary can end up restricting you – Photo by Xam Julliarde

2) No Proper Research

Are you aware that there are many people that are denied to board their flights or are turned away from immigration because of things like passport expiry date in less than six months or not having booked a return ticket?  Even if you hold a passport that doesn’t require a visa for your destination country, you NEED to do some basic level research. Reaching the wrong airport terminal or not knowing about the scarcity of ATMs – these are situations that can be avoided if you read a few destination specific travel tips such as these travel tips about Myanmar or these tips about visiting New Delhi.

3) Not Buying Travel Insurance

While on the road, you never know what may happen.  Invest in a good travel insurance plan to guard you against thefts, lost baggage or medical emergencies.

4) Not Taking Vaccinations Seriously

There’s no better way to ruin your trip than getting a bout of flu on the road. Do take your vaccinations seriously to avoid such situations. Do you know that there are a few countries that you can’t enter without getting vaccinated?

5) Not Being Careful About Shampoo Caps

Let’s face it – this has happened to all of us at least once. This little “accident” can mess up your trip if your gadgets are in the same bag as your toiletries! This can be prevented by letting out extra air in the bottle, covering the bottle opening with two plastic bags and putting each product in its own zip lock bag.

Nomadic Boys - Travel Mistakes by Drifter Planet

A shampoo bottle leak can totally destroy your gadgets and your mood. Photo by Nomadic Boys

6) Over packing

I know it’s difficult to not pack all your favorite clothes but think about how much weight you will have to carry around if you don’t do this smartly. Additionally, your heavy luggage will restrict you from doing a few things, like what happened with me in Railay!

7) Not Alerting Your Bank before You Travel

If you try to use an ATM located in a new country without alerting your bank, it may appear to them as suspicious activity and they may just block your card. A few minutes of prework can save you hours of pain if you get stranded without money.

8) Not keeping enough time between connections (Flights / Buses / Trains / Boats, etc.)

Back in December 2014, I barely made it to Don Muang Airport from Suvarnabhumi Airport for my next flight because of a bad traffic situation. As I fidgeted nervously on my shuttle seat on the way, I cursed myself for not keeping enough time between these two flights. I was lucky that I made it on time but I promised myself not to take such risks going forward. It’s uncertain because of immigration delays, traffic jams or arriving at the wrong terminal. Don’t do it.

Keep Enough Time Between Connections - Travel Mistakes by Drifter Planet

Not keeping enough time between connections can sometimes go wrong

9) Keeping all your money in one place

If you keep all your money together, then you’re making things easy for the thieves. Do keep some emergency funds in a few secret spots in your hand luggage.

10) Drinking Tap Water

The fastest way to fall sick is by drinking unsafe water. In many countries, tap water may suit some locals because their stomach is immune to it but not you. Be safe and drink bottled water. Check out this infographic that will guide you where it’s safe to drink tap water.

Tap Water Travel Mistakes by Drifter Planet

Not all countries can guarantee clean, safe tap water.

11) Picking a Wrong Travel Companion

Traveling with someone who has a habit of cribbing, whining and being judgmental can turn your experience into hell. I recommend you check out this post about picking the right travel buddy, or just travel solo.

12) Not Carrying Comfortable Shoes

Your feet will hate you if you don’t carry at least ONE pair of comfortable shoes. Make them happy, because they have to take you everywhere! Even if you’re going for a bachelorette trip to a resort, you need comfortable shoes. I usually carry only one pair of flip flops and one pair of super comfortable flat sandals. I add on a pair of trekking shoes / ninja boots depending on the destination.

13) Being Clueless About the Local Laws

Yes, you may be from a country where it’s walk around with a can of beer in public and drink it, but in several other countries, you can get arrested for this! Do you want to spend a night (or more) behind the bars for this lack of knowledge about the local laws?

Travel Mistakes by Drifter Planet

Being clueless about the local laws can sometimes lead you into trouble. Photo – Santosh Kumar

14) Getting into a Fight with the Locals

This is common sense but I see it happening very often, especially when people get drunk. Do not ever get into a fight with a local wherever you are. You don’t want that local to bring a group of his friends to gang up against you.

15) Indulging in Unprotected Sex

This will cause you a lot of stress afterwards that will ruin your mood. You don’t want unwanted sexually transmitted infections or a pregnancy. Carry protection! You never know when you need it.

16) Getting Extremely Drunk and Overdosing on “YOLO”

Who doesn’t like a good party? I definitely do! I like drinking too! However, too much of anything is never good. I have seen many travelers that seriously injure themselves or do something stupid after getting drunk in a new country. Remember my post about the Full Moon Party of Koh Phangan where I wrote about people getting drunk and injuring themselves doing fire tricks? You don’t want to be that person.

Travel Mistakes Fire Dance when drunk

Playing with fire when you’re drunk is a bad idea !

17) Being on Your Smartphone Most of the Time

Not only do I see many people who see the beauty of their surrounding mostly through the lenses of their smart phones, but also people that spend a lot of time checking their social media accounts while their partner enjoys their meal or the view alone. Your Instagram or Facebook will still be there when you’re home but this view won’t be. Do click some good photos for memories but try not to be an obsessive photographer.

18) Not Backing Up Your Photos

How many times have you heard of incidents where people lose all their travel photos ? Well, carry a pen drive to back them up. Or better, save them on cloud! Nowadays, most of the gadgets have this option. Unless you have an unlimited 3G plan, I recommend you select the option of auto backup only when there’s a WiFi connection.

 19) Not Setting a Realistic Travel Budget

Traveling costs money. You may run out of money in the middle of your holiday if you don’t set a correct budget for your trip. Airfare, buses and hostels are obvious, but you must consider smaller expenses such as ATM surcharges, camp ground fee, etc., to set an accurate travel budget. Set a correct budget so that you know how much to spend per day on an average.

20) Traveling With a Bad Attitude

Even if you’re not making any of the above mentioned mistakes, you WILL end up ruining your trip if you travel with a bad attitude. Don’t let little things bother you. Travel with the right attitude, enjoy the local culture, different food and even long queues on a day with bad weather. You’re lucky if you’re traveling. Smile!

Have you ever made a travel mistake? Let us know in the comments section.

20 Travel Mistakes That Can Ruin Your Trip by Drifter Planet

20 Travel Mistakes That Can Ruin Your Trip

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A hippie travel writer with flowers in her hair, Sonal Kwatra Paladini should have been born in the 1960s! Bitten by the infamous travel bug, she has an itch to explore resort-free destinations, offbeat islands and small villages. Join her and her husband (Sandro) on their journey as they hop from one music festival to another and explore the beautiful world that they are in love with! Follow them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Sonal Kwatra Paladini

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