Monday, December 24, 2012

Travelogue Phuket 2012 - The Beginning

from the chains that hold me
open my arms
to embrace
the wind and skies
wish to find
my wings
and beyond the clouds
want to fly
find somewhere my own sky
paint it with the hue of my joy
let me be
a bird
free to fly.

Why do I want to travel? the inevitable question that I get asked before and after my every trip by family, by friends, by colleagues, so much so that I have started asking this question from myself before and after every trip.

Why do I travel?

And every time when I ponder over this question at the start of my trip,
Surprisingly, I never have a sure answer, and every time it's a different one. But the most two compelling reasons that make me perennially itchy and restless for traveling are - One, to seek a change from my regular everyday life, to take a break from the boredom of daily routine of work and life and the stress it brings along, helping my body and mind refresh and rejuvenate. Second is my love for food and travel provides me countless opportunities to experience a new cuisine, discover countless new dishes, so traveling can always get me excited with the idea of all the unexplored flavors that I shall get to experience.

But when I ponder over the same question at the end of my trip,
I do have a few more reasons for wanting to travel and to keep doing so once and again, it's because of all the wide range of experiences that accompany traveling. These experiences (some good, some not so good) range from meeting new people, listening to their stories, making new friends, coming across varied cultural experiences, exploring new places, dealing with new and at times unforeseen situations and challenges, the process of discovering something new. And more importantly the change that this whole experience brings about in me as a person, in my outlook towards the world and towards myself.

In the end traveling is important to me because this process of exploring places and people, helps me explore myself as a person, discover aspects of me that I was unaware of, it makes me more dynamic by helping me look beyond my comfort zone and explore the limits that I have set for myself and going beyond them, and in this whole process bringing within me changes, for the better or for the worse I can not say. But changes for sure.

This is how this trip also began,
me wanting to go somewhere traveling to take a break from my routine, when my friend Jacob was kind enough to ask me if I would like to join him in Phuket, for a Muay Thai fitness camp that he would be attending. And I agreed glad for company of a friend, eager to explore a new place and a new sport and thus began all the planning, research and preparations.

And finally after quite a few hiccoughs, many brain storming sessions about tickets, stay and other logistics (the credit for most of which goes to Jacob, I really do marvel at his ability to get so much more and valuable information from net than I do) I was all set to begin with my December break and now that I can look back at it, it was a wonderful one.

A few tips, if u are an Indian Citizen traveling to Phuket, Thailand -

  • Plan your trip in advance if u can, it gets you cheaper deals on air tickets as well as hotel reservations.
  • Even though VISA on arrival is not a big deal, just an extra hour of delay at the airport (and u shall have to show currency worth 35000 Bhat in hand), U can get it done from the Thai Embassy and it's a very simple process. (which takes about 3-4 days with proper planning and information, which is available online)
  • I found it a better deal to get my money converted to US Dollars here and then converting Dollars to Thai Bhat in Thailand. (There are ample money exchange counter at and near both Bangkok and Phuket airport)
  • Thailand is one of the countries which u can fit in any budget, all u need to do is research well, and be it hotels, to planning activities, to cab services all information is easily available and even on arrival, the locals ( at least in Phuket) are very helpful.

P.S - for more details about the travel please follow the next few posts

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