Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Indian Explorer : 3 : Ideas

Till now in this series, about a marvelous place called Siddhagiri Gram Jeevan Museum I visited, and how few ignorant visitors there made me think about the attitude of Indians towards traveling and exploring places. If something attracts you, or repels you it's not about that something always, it could be about you also. That's what this series is about. 

After telling about what I see as a problem, now I tell you my ideas to solve it. Let me put a disclaimer, this is neither some never before discovery or invention. These are simple things coming out of own experiences and thoughts. You could be already doing some or all of it. If so, please keep it up. :) 

Be Clear
Before planning your trip, be clear what you're planning it for. The theme should be clear. If you're looking for a relaxed outing, you can't include a long trek or jungle safari in your trip, because it is exhaustive and same the other way round. 

I have a wonderful group of my friends from my Mumbai Office, and we go to Alibaug-Nagav beach every year. We call it our tradition. Same place, same cottage, same restaurant, same beach, same plan, every year. No other sightseeing. We call it our "tradition". We go there to have completely stress-free time with no agenda but to have fun.

But on other occasions, with the same group we go for trekking, amusement parks, historical places.

Do Your Homework
When you've decided on destinations of your trip (well that also needs little surveying), go through the details of these places. With internet, it's so easy now. Look for the attractions nearby, which match your interest more, which places you are sure that they won't excite you at all. This will enable you to focus on only what interests you, or is completely new for you.

After my last post, you might feel I am against the package tours offered by operators. Well, I'm absolutely not against it. My take on it is that don't go blindly where operator takes you. Think on your likes and dislikes and try to customize and get the best out of your package.

I and two of my friends +Akshay Deshapnde and +Mayur Jewlikar went for 10 days trip to Konkan. We got a bus pass offered by MSRTC, and traveled through many beautiful places. Due to the amount of planning and homework we put in, we were able to cover most of our places in plan on time. 

We were also flexible, and adjusted our plans on the go owing to constraints put by Bus timings and availability, hotel availability at some crowded destinations. We used to chat with fellow passengers, travelers and get more information about places ahead. That way we could visit some places that were not on our actual plan. We had a very memorable trip. And I must tell you this, we enjoyed our planning sessions as much as our trip.

Less Is More
Many people think that, when they go to a destination far off from their native place, they should visit every possible attraction there, because they might not get the chance again. They are not wrong in thinking that. But that thinking leads to hurrying through the spots all the day. It's quite possible that some of those places have nothing new or exciting to offer a particular person because of his taste. So what's the point in rushing from an interesting place to a lesser interesting one?

There are more than enough websites on internet that tell you in detail about almost every tourist spot on the earth. People who have actually visited those places put their review, about their findings and observations about it. This information is enough for you to dedicate your time to fewer spots of interest, and strike off places which will not excite you.

Our Kolhapur-Miraj trip, from where I started this series of blog, we visited only three attractions of Kolhapur. We were heavily constrained by time, we could neither start earlier, nor we had time to extend. We ate Misal at famous Phadtare Misal Kendra, visited the Siddhagiri Museum which I already wrote about, and Mahalakshmi Temple. And still I say we had a wonderful and memorable trip.

These are pretty basic and simple ideas to make your vacation more enjoyable. Consult me for more, I am an expert, :D. Just kidding. Take it as a starting point and start thinking, start exploring. :)