December 15, 2011

Travel yearnings...

Some people make New Year's Resolutions as the year approaches to a close. I, for one, am creating a travel wish-list with the hope that the coming year will grant me my desire to travel to at least one of the places on my list! Well, if you subscribe to the philosophy that if you really want something, the whole universe will conspire to present it to you... let's hope the universe is conspiring and how!

Here is presenting my rather indulgent travel wish-list:

Egypt: Cairo street scene

Lucky Ali's O Sanam

i) Egypt: I have been wanting to visit Egypt since I was eight years old and in third grade and we were told to select a country that we would like to create a research project about. I remember a classmate and I both chose Egypt but I ultimately won the hotly contested competition, ha and thus, began my love affair with Egypt. Afterward, I read up a great deal on the ancient Egyptians, their mythology, pyramids, and indeed, contemporary Egypt itself, especially Cairo - for some reason, the more I read and accessed about the country, the more it became vivid in my mind, as if I already knew it well. Also, in the good old days of Indipop (I really seem to be in a nostalgia overdrive lately!), Lucky Ali's song, O Sanam, shot in Cairo, also became immensely popular. I reckon that I will feel right at home once I eventually land in Egypt (or so I like to think)! I have also re-read one of my favorite authors, Ahdaf Soueif's novels and books, The Map of Love, In the Eye of the Sun, Aisha, and Sandpiper several times in which she beautifully conveys the craziness, warmth, atmosphere, and chaos that's Egypt. Fingers crossed, 2012 is the year I eventually make it to Egypt.

Machu Picchu

 ii) Machu Picchu, Peru: It's amazing as to how many of our travel yearnings are rooted in our childhood. Take Machu Picchu, for instance - I have Nancy Drew to thank for this particular travel yearning, ha. One of her detective stories was set in Machu Picchu and since then, I have been wanting to explore Incan civilization's abandoned city in the Peruvian mountains. I strongly believe that ancient civilisations' powerful energies must have still left an influence on these places and it is unsurprising that Machu Picchu still continues to attract visitors by the hordes. I recently read a great novel, The Celestine Prophecy, in which Machu Picchu plays an integral role - it's such an interesting book that I will resist saying more and save it for another post. Meanwhile, returning to Machu Picchu, of course, it's another thing to reach the place itself! Stylish trekking gear, anyone:)?

Alhambra Palace, Granada, Spain

iii) Granada, Spain: The Moorish architechure over here is breathtakingly beautiful, not to mention other great love of mine: Islamic gardens. It would probably be difficult to pry me away from such temples of beauty, honestly speaking.

Hagia Sophia, Istanbul

iv) Istanbul, Turkey - There is no doubt that literature has had a great role to play in influencing the choice of places that I wish to travel to. While Turkey has always been in my mind, it was Nobel literature laureate, Orhan Pamuk's sensitively written ode to his city, Istanbul that made me want to explore this city steeped in melancholy beauty: the architechure, its iconic mosque, Hagia Sophia (the name itself is so romantic), and traces of its previous incarnation, Constantinople. On a more material (or rather, my shopaholic side), the Grand Bazaar is something I absolutely cannot wait to explore (and shop in!)

Stunning Simla mountainscape

v) Simla, India - I have often said over here in this blog itself that I definitely think I am a beach person. However, the mysterious beauty of wooded hills, the warmth emanating from fireplaces in spooky colonial mansions, and the beguiling Himalayas in the distance are definitely worth experiencing and what better place than the hill stations of northern India? Plus, I am a buff for all things colonial and Simla certainly fits that bill as well, having been the summer capital of India during the Raj. I did visit Simla as a child but I certainly cannot remember much except for having been served plate-sized bhaturas on the Mall Road. Till date, whenever I eat chole-bhature, I cannot help but remember those garguantan bhature:)


vi) Ladakh, India - I think the picture above will amply illustrate as to why I am craving to visit this northern region of India. Being in a place such as this will be soul-cleansing what with the incredible blue skies, the stark landscape, the unsullied waters - and the sheer stillness and silence. 

What is on your travel-wish list?

Images courtesy Nami Interiors, Ladakh Tourism, Trek Earth, Macchu Picchu Travel,


  1. Pinka....i so agree with you.. I have been planning on for trips.. and canceling them... :(:(:(.. it is almost depressing.. lol... but then i told you about my Rajasthan plans :):)..

    It a thought for new yrs :),, Good luck with it

  2. Shazi, I know what you mean re: planning trips! Chalo, yeh toh sirf wish-list hain, lol - let's see what the new year holds:)

    Replying to the Rajasthan plans...!

  3. Many of these are on my must-visit list, too!


  4. @Leia, I was *almost* on the verge of planning an Egypt trip in the beginning of 2012 - however, the recent violence and protests there have meant that I have had to drop the idea :(Such a shame, I really hope the prevailing events don't completely derail the tourism industry in Egypt


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