Tuesday, February 26, 2013

What a difference an hour makes, when you're planning a trip to India




With about 20 trips on the drawing board all at the same time, for this year alone, it's hard to focus on one particular trip until you've sort of closed off the planning boxes of some other ones.

So that's what I did this afternoon, although I didn't include short jaunts like the spur-of-the-moment or stopover trips to Tokyo, Hong Kong, Bangkok or Singapore.

Or the life's-too-short-so-let's-drop-everything-and-do-a-weekend-in-Europe kind of trips. I hope to do a couple of those...

These trips are best left to the last minute. As in have ticket, visa, and credit card. Will travel.

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In a way, this trip to India falls into the category above.

It wasn't in my schedule in any way, after all, as recently as two weeks ago. I think I was planning to do cherry blossom season in Japan.

But now, here I am, with India suddenly on my mind.

LOTS OF THINGS DONE IN FOUR HOURS




But, having put a couple of trip plannings behind me, it was exactly four hours ago that I started seriously planning my trip to India at the end of March.

As in looking at airline routes and checking out great hotels and restaurants. And thinking about who I should ask to come along on this adventure.

In Sri Lanka, one of our readers asked me: "How do you decide who comes along on a Travelife?"

A TRAVELIFE IS ADDICTING



I replied: "Lots of my friends are game to travel, if their schedules will allow. So I have a mental list of friends to ask, and I just go down that list."

I have lots of repeat travel companions because a Travelife -- the way we travel; it's not about the level of luxury but the quality of the experiences -- is terribly addicting.

I also match people with certain destinations. Like if it's a luxe trip, a shopping trip, or a foodie trip. Or a photography trip, for instance. And, of course, some other friends volunteer or suggest trips to do together as well.

HOTEL AFTER MY OWN HEART



Anyway, back to the hotel I found tonight. Boy, did I find the kind of hotel that made my heart beat just a little faster.

Yup, diamonds and pearls do make my heart beat faster, of course. But a suite at a really nice hotel will also do the trick nicely.

MORE TO BE DONE IN FOUR WEEKS



That's only about four weeks to plan an epic adventure to a pretty off the beaten track location. And I've got two trips and another issue of Travelife Magazine to close in-between then and now.

But this isn't too bad actually, considering I only decided to really go sometime last night.



I looked at the map of India to check where exactly the destinations we were discussing were located, in the general scheme of things; and, boy, did these places look terribly exotic after the familiarity of Delhi or Mumbai, or even Jaipur and Kerala.

I've been to some pretty far off places in India. But I'm guessing these two destinations will take the cake.

WHAT A DIFFERENCE AN HOUR MAKES

I've just asked a friend of mine to come along with me to India tonight, for an adventure.

And while we were talking about it online, between two different countries, looking up things to do and checking how to get there, this friend said:  "Until an hour ago, I'd never even heard of that place."

Neither had I -- at least for one of the destinations. The other one isn't too exotic, but I'd never been and it looks pretty amazing as well.

But in that one hour, we both learned a lot of things about these two places -- including how one of them is a hot list destination for 2013.

I'd sent my friend a lot of interesting facts about it, although I had to add a disclaimer after that litany of facts. I said: "FYI, I just cut and pasted this from the Internet, in case you're starting to get impressed with my knowledge."

But I guarantee that over the next four weeks I'm going to become an expert on these places. And I'm going to put together all the best experiences for these destinations for Travelife Magazine.

Indeed. No one travels like us. Or writes like us. And this is why we're going to always be #1.




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