So I’m back in full Go-Go mode. Phew! And absolutely loving this Spring weather. It’s exciting to think that summer is around the corner. I’ve been wearing sandals everyday, which I just can’t get over. Sandals? I’d forgotten what they even looked like. The downside of that though, is keeping on top of my pedicure :/ What a pain.
I know this time next year, the last thing I will be thinking about is my pedicure. It will be OK so I’m in India – errr wow.
I am absolutely starting to realise how much planning needs to go into this all now. At the moment I’m very much in the guidebooks stage, doing my research, figuring out exactly where I want to go and at the moment I’m only grasping India and my plans there.
I’ve just ordered:
And I must say – the ‘Look Inside’ feature on Amazon is just so useful. I start reading it and then I’m just hooked (it’s the perfect selling technique really). The more I read about Goa the more I think it’s the perfect starting destination – with it’s bohemian hippy vibe and interesting Portuguese/Indian mix of architecture, culture and cuisine, it just sounds so interesting. I’ve decided to go there next March in time for their carnival (vibrant musical parades, lavish floats, street parties – perfect eh?).
I may be going over there with my uncle and staying in our friends’ house for a while but I will absolutely be trying out one of those fabulous beach huts too.
But as excited as I am reading all about the wonders of India, I have got to admit the more I’d been reading about the culture shocks and the warnings about women going there alone, I was starting to have my doubts.
But where there is a will, there is a way and by Jove I’m going to see the Taj Mahal! So looking at the Gap Advenutres website I’ve decided to research group tours. Safer, guided and meeting lots of new fun people all in the same boat as me.
I’m quite keen on doing their Golden Triangle group tour of Delhi, Agra, Abhaneri and Jaipur. It’s described as:
“This compact Indian journey will introduce you to three very different northern cities and the colourful rural life of Rajasthan. From the hectic pace of Delhi, with its bustling markets, magnificent monuments and colonial past, travel by private transport to Agra and the mesmerizing beauty of the Taj Mahal—truly one of the wonders of the world. Discover why Jaipur is called the Pink City and get a taste of village life in Abhaneri with its magnificent stepwells. Photographers and culture lovers won’t be disappointed on this classic adventure.”
I think trips like this, in a group, are perfect for the places where you may feel a little bit nervous about going it alone. I’m looking at similar ones for South East Asia because I’ve got to admit I’m finding this whole part quite overwhelming. I feel like I want to see everything – but it’s just too vast. Guidance required please?
I definitely need to catch up with my reading for South East Asia - at least then, I’ll have a vague idea where I’m going hehe. My dad at the weekend suggested Singapore…I was like ‘yes, yes well Thailand is a must but I quite fancy Singapore too and Hong Kong and…’ erm, head-spinning.
So this is why companies like Gap Adventures are so good, combining recommended places of interest with guidance. This Colours Of Asia trip seems pretty perfect to combine Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand:
Surprising Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, vibrant Bangkok, historical Melaka, the cool tea stations of Cameron Highlands, multicultural Penang, traditional Nakon Si Thammarat, the white sand beaches of Ko Samui, stunning waters of Ang Thong National Marine Park.
Colourful capitals, traditional culture and tropical natural wonders—this adventure is seasoned with all the spice you would expect from these exotic regions. Savour the jumble of Melaka’s colonial past by digging into local delicacies, cool off at a tea plantation in the Cameron Highlands or hike through peaceful rainforest. With hotels, transport and and a number of included activities arranged by our expert CEOs, this adventure offers up a great combination of must-see highlights and free time to explore on your own.
It’s certainly reassured me that I can get around these vast places, have support, but still feel like the trip is my own. I know for a fact my parents prefer this idea…bless them. I don’t think my poor mum would sleep if I decided to go it completely alone. Not sure, if I fully would have either. I think once you’ve done a few trips like this with assistance, you can feel like you’ve grasped the area/culture just that bit better and can then go on to do more on your own.
Lots of think about but the cogs are turning kiddies, I’m getting very excited – regardless of all the stuff I have to plan. The planning is half the fun though eh?