7 learning from my travel in 2016

7 learning from my travel in 2016

New year is a time when we reflect on the year that went by. We introspect on how it has helped us grow as individuals, learning we have had and to define focus for the brand new year. 2016 has been a very eventful year for me. Taking the plunge with this travel blog, I gained inspiration from many travel bloggers out there and am humbled by the acceptance I have received from my readers. There has been amazing learning and realization from these travel themselves. I would like to share with you 7 learning and realization from the places I had the opportunity to visit in 2016.

Here’s wishing all my readers and fellow bloggers – Happy travels and inspiring learning 🙂

Happy New Year 2017 !

1) Khotachiwadi, Mumbai


This 175 year old locality with centuries old Portuguese style colorful houses, a quaint Catholic chapel with benches, cobbled narrow winding lanes, street art, colorful mosaic décor and the camaraderie of different religions coexisting is a breath of fresh air in amchi Mumbai. During this heritage walk, I realized the power of a handful, who are fighting to preserve the essence of this centuries old settlement.

Learning No 1 – When a community (small or big) gets together for a good cause and can persevere – wonders happen.

2) The Great Banyan, Kolkatta

Great Banyan in Kolkatta

Located in Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose Botanic Garden near Howrah, this fighter of a tree can boast of more visitors than the collective garden’s exotic plants from five continents. The first glimpse makes you believe you are looking at a forest, not a tree. Now get this, the tree survived 2 deadly cyclones and since 1925 has survived without its main trunk which decayed. It is over 250 years old and continues to grow ! How easy was it to give up once it lost its main trunk ? But it did not and is now the largest Banyan tree in India and widest in the world – covering a jaw-dropping 3.5 square acres of land surface.

Learning No 2 – “No matter how dark and hopeless a situation may seem, always hold on and never give up your dream.” ― Mouloud Benzadi


3) Aihole and Pattadakal, Karnataka

Durga Temple at Aihole

The beginning of temple architecture in India might have its roots here. No less than 125 temples dot this tiny village of Aihole in North Karnataka. As Percy Brown put it , it is ‘One of the cradles of Temple Rock Architecture’. The Chalukyas ruled from Aihole, Pattadakal and Badami. Aihole was the 1st capital of the Chalukyas and the temples and structures seen in Aihole would be among the oldest, fairly preserved structure in India. These 5th – 7th century temples are simple with limited sculptures. Durga temple and Lad Khan temple are some of the popular ones in the village.

Temple complex at Pattadakal

Pattadakal has temples from 7th and 8th centuries and one can see fusion of various Indian architectural styles of north India and south India. This UNESCO World Heritage temple complex comprises of 10 temples with Virupaksha being the largest and grandest of all .

While the Chalukya art and architecture originated in Aihole around 450 AD, it was perfected at Badami and Pattadakal villages.

Learning No 3 – No matter what you are doing, big or small, keep practicing and keep learning from your mistakes.

4) Nathu La Pass, Sikkim

Snow !!!! Need I say more ? At Nathu La Pass

Navigating the rugged terrain, sharp rocky cliffs and some nearly-no-visible roads due to clouds, visit to Nathu La was an experience to remember. The ethereal Tsomgo Lake en route was a sight to behold. The weather playing truant, we proceeded to Nathu La and walked into heavily snowed (and still snowing) terrain. The climb to the pass in sub zero temperature had many take a mid break and warm themselves at the canteen serving hot beverages. At the summit, we had Indian and Chinese soldiers faithfully guarding their countries, happy to shake hands with visitors, who will eventually go back to cozy warm comfort.

Learning No 4 – There are people, known and unknown, who sacrifice a lot for selfless reasons which benefit us. Be aware of them and give them the respect due to them.

5) Chitradurga Fort, Karnataka

The seven walled fort of Chitradurga

This amazing fort is built in a series of seven concentric fortification walls with various passages, a gunpowder factory, warehouses for grains and oil, water reservoirs and ancient temples. Among these temples the most interesting is the Hidimbeshwara temple, connected to the mythology of Mahabharat’s Bheem and the demon sibling Hidimba and Hidimbi.

A walk to the end of the fort will take you to “Onake Kindi” which tells you the story of Obavva. Wife of a soldier ,Maddha Hanumappa, while fetching water for her husband who was on a lunch break, she heard sounds of enemy soldiers attempting to enter the fort through a crevice which her husband guarded. Reluctant to disturb her husband during lunch, she demonstrated great presence of mind and courage . Hiding behind the crevice in the fort, she hit at each soldier trying to squeeze through the crevice with onake – a wooden rod for pounding paddy, killing nearly 40 soldiers.While she lost her life that day, she saved the fort on that day from further attacks by Hyder Ali’s soldiers and became a legend !

“Onake Kindi” – the crevice in the fort through which enemy attempted entry

Learning No 5 – Courage combined with presence of mind and clear thinking is what makes even the timidest among us a hero.

6) Gangtok to Lachung, Sikkim

Enroute to Lachung

While destinations are important and we look forward to them, the journey can be equally fulfilling. Sometimes small things in life gives you a lot of pleasure. I discovered this on my trip from Gangtok to Lachung. En route, we saw multiple waterfalls, picturesque roads, enchanting clouds over the valley and interesting conversation with the locals over a cup of hot, steaming tea. Priceless !

Family picture with the giant waterfall (Bhim Nala Falls aka Amitabh Bacchan Falls)

Learning No 6 – Stop by to smell the roses and try to find joy and enjoyment in the simpler things in life. They are mostly free or inexpensive !

7) Ranchi, Jharkhand

Sometimes we travel to the same place every year and see a new thing each time we visit. Or maybe not ! But each trip brings family a wee bit closer. I look forward to the joy and love that I feel and see on everyone’s faces. Spending unhurried morning strolling in the garden, exploring the flowers, choosing ripe guavas off the trees and hear birds chirping. It is detox time !

Pleasures of an unhurried life

Learning No 7 – Travel to spend time with your parents and family. They won’t be there forever and you don’t want to live with a what if. Moreover, you come back rejuvenated to take on the blogging world !

Happy New year again ! I wish you joy, peace and many happy memories in 2017 🙂

A daughter, sister, wife, mother, friend, IT professional and now – a travel blogger. I just love traveling, exploring new places and this inspired me to share travel experiences and memories with others.


A daughter, sister, wife, mother, friend, IT professional and now - a travel blogger. I just love traveling, exploring new places and this inspired me to share travel experiences and memories with others.

11 Responses

  1. I just fell in love with your blog, Swati. So, here’s a new follower… 🙂

    I’ve visited almost the whole of Sikkim and I absolutely agree on your observations…

    • admin says:

      Thanks Maniparna. You are the sweetest 🙂 . Keep visiting and sharing your comments. Makes my day !
      I am glad you liked my blog. Sikkim is one of the cleanest and beautiful state I have been to. Loved the people and the calm I saw in them.

  2. Marge says:

    I love all of the learning that you mentioned and my favorite would be #2 just because I have proven this myself. I was in a very dark place years ago that I never thought I could ever get out from that situation. But as they say, things will pass, even if it takes a long time, they too shall pass. It taught me to be patient, to not lose hope, and to believe that things wil change for the better eventually, and they always do.

    • admin says:

      Sorry you had to be in that place but now you are better because of it. I am glad you could channelize your belief and hopes to come out of the situation. Thanks for sharing

  3. Chel says:

    Love how you connected your learnings with your travels! I agree with this as we often overlook doing such: Stop by to smell the roses and try to find joy and enjoyment in the simpler things in life. They are mostly free or inexpensive

  4. celine says:

    Great idea writing down things you’ve learned over the past year. Definitely helpful to look back and just take stock of things and be grateful and resolve to improve in the coming year

  5. Cathy says:

    We have a lot to learn during travels. Travel is a good educator as well as rejuvinating. I like the last part you wrote, we should spend time to travel with our family. I make time to travel with my mom! It’s priceless! X

    • admin says:

      I totally agree Cathy. Traveling with your loved ones help us create so many personal memories that we can fall back on and relive by discussing 🙂

  6. Shannon says:

    I really enjoyed reading this. I believe travel brings out the best in people. It’s nice to see someone reflect and take the time to appreciate it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.