It is that time of the year when everyone starts making their New Year resolutions. Here are 18 reasons that will convince you as to why you need to add Travel to the top of this list in 2018.
1- Use up your long weekends
If taking leaves is your biggest hurdle for travelling, then, you no longer have to worry. 2018 has at least 15 long weekends starting January, that are perfect for 15 short trips from your city. With a little preparation and research, you can book in advance for these holidays. Not only will you find that it becomes affordable with advance booking, but also you will have a lot to look forward to every month.
2- Push yourself out of the comfort zone
There is always an inertia that you know you have – be it the type of travel you do or the kind of food you eat. Make 2018 the year of experiments that pushes you out of your comfort zone. Take a train instead of a flight, or a walking tour instead of a taxi or a bus. You might just find yourself having the time of your life with new experiences.
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3- Get fitter with adventure activities
If fitness is a goal, then travel is a great way to make it fun. Strap up and pick one of the many hikes that take you to magical places like the blooming Valley of Flowers in August. Sign up for that cycling tour in Hampi to add adrenaline to heritage. Go rock-climbing in Gandikota – the grand canyon of India. Don’t forget beach trekking in Gokarna, especially after some yoga.
4- Explore your taste buds
Take a resolution to try a new dish every month. Travel to places far and wide to get that authentic local dish. Savor the Karimeen along the backwaters of Kerala or head to Leh for some piping hot Thukpa. Sign up for the local cooking course that allows you to bring the flavour home.
5- Dance at the festivals
With a festival every month, you are bound to cover at least 12 unique experiences this year. Start with the Rann Utsav or the Kite Flying festival in Gujarat this month and end it with the Cherry blossom festival in Meghalaya or the Horn Bill festival in Nagaland in December. Remember – where there are festivities, there is music and thus, your resolve to dance on the streets.
6- Experience rustic life
Travel for an enriching experience of rustic life. Head to the North East of India and stay with the locals to know a new language. Discover unique customs and ways of life with the Dard tribe in Ladakh. Enjoy the tribal lores around a nice bonfire as you share their home food.
7- Make some furry friends
2018 might be a good year to start making connections with the fauna around you. You could start with the tamed camels of Rajasthan and then move to the friendly Elephants of Kerala. Don’t miss the Tigers of Sundarbans or the Lions of Gir as you explore the diverse wildlife of India.
8- Bathe under the waterfalls
There is nothing more rejuvenating than a natural shower and in India, there are myriad of them. Choose from the stunning, unexplored ones in the North East to the green monsoon ones in the Western Ghats. If you are a little more adventurous, don’t miss the freezing ones along the Himalayan belt of India. As you discover them, you will experience an unforgettable natural trail.
9- Explore the long coastline of India
With a coastline of over 7000 kms, you can use your entire 2018 to discover places along the coast and off it. Combine heritage with surfing at Mahabalipuram; relax with an Ayurvedic massage at Kovalam or just try out deep sea walking or scuba diving in Andamans. You will be surprised with how colorful the world below the water is.
10- Sleep under the stars
Live your childhood fantasy of sleeping under the stars this year. Try camping on the cold sands of Jaisalmer or head to the stunning Pangong Lake in Ladakh. Or maybe, a dewy experience on the green meadows of Kashmir would suit you better.
11- Scout your retirement home
How about finding that one place that gives you eternal peace – a home that you can retire in? Travel far and wide to destinations where you find your soul. It might be a while before you find it and maybe, 2018 is the year to start looking.
12- Take your car for a wild ride
Why should your car experience the congested roads of your urban city? Take it out for a long road trip. Stop along the roads to swing on those banyan trees, eat at the local cafes and climb the winding trail to experience fresh air. Don’t apply those brakes or hesitate to follow the map to an unplanned destination along the way.
13- Learn a new skill
Travel to places to master a new passion. Head to the hills of Coorg where you can learn to make that perfect cup of coffee or the villages of Gujarat to learn the intricate needlework. There can never be enough of learning.
14- Be your own friend
Travel to get in touch with yourself. Allow your mind to wander as you explore the new places. Reflect on your life as you see the local ones around you. You might just re-discover yourself and come back with appreciation of what you have.
15- Strengthen your bonds
Rope in your family and friends to your travel plans. Travel this year to strengthen your bonds as you indulge in new adventures along the road. Make memories that will last you a lifetime.
16- Make new friends
It is not just about your old friends but also, finding new ones. Interact with the locals and learn more about their lives. Befriend your fellow travellers on the journey. Share a few laughs and create your memories together. They always add spice to life.
17- Hunt for some treasure
Put on the hat of an explorer and set off to discover the past. Jump over the boulders of Badami, squeeze through the caves of Meghalaya, uncover a secret passage in a fort or find one hidden in the walls of a monument. With India’s history, there is no dearth of these heritage and mysterious destinations.
18- Give your social media a frequent break
Even your virtual world needs a break. Take time to let yourself be present in that moment without any pings to distract you. So, lose that mobile signal as you head to the lesser known destinations of India. Maybe the mountains of Kashmir or the secluded islands of Lakshadweep – there is always time later to post those pictures.