Wish you all Happy New Year 2017. ‘Stable’ would be the word for 2016. It was quite a balanced year with no major ups and down. Life moved at a nice and comfortable pace. Travels were interspersed with ample time at home. While at home, we had a constant stream of guests coming over from around the world. It almost felt that either we were traveling or the world was traveling to us through the year.
Looking Back At 2016 – Happy New Year 2017
Internationally, the only new country that I visited was Indonesia. However, 2 weeks in the country and I fell in love with the diversity its islands have – though I visited only a handful of its thousands of islands.
Singapore happened twice in a matter of one month. I had visited Singapore earlier but never wrote about it. So, it was kind of a debut of Singapore on IndiTales.
Unesco World Heritage Sites visit
Between all my travels, I got to see 5 new UNESCO World heritage sites:
- Singapore Botanic Gardens
- Darjeeling Himalayan Rail
- Borobudur Temple
- Prambanan Temple Compounds
- Subak System of Bali Island
Keeping my fingers crossed for some more this year.
I think this very balanced year gave me an insight into where I want my travel life and this travel blog to go. I know the kind of travel I want to do, the kind of work I want to do but most importantly the kind of impact I want to leave behind.
Commercially, the blog is doing well. I know it can do much better if I let go of a lot of constraints that I have subjected it to. I do not see myself letting go of those constraints as I see this blog as my legacy that I would leave behind. My biggest ROI would always remain readers comments like this – I am learning more from IndiTales than I have ever learned in school. Hope I am able to maintain the fine balance between creativity, travel & commerce.
This year I invited a few guest contributors to the blog. Sucheta Pai wrote 4 stories on Rome, Amsterdam & Marine National Park. Harsh did a beautiful story on Ramayana Temples in Sri Lanka. My dear friend Barabara wrote a story about her inspiring travel life & so did the mountaineer Neelima about her tryst with Everest. Delhi heritage specialist Vikramjit Singh Rooprai wrote on his favorite monument Humayun’s Tomb in Delhi. I am thankful to all of them for sharing their stories. Numbers tell me that you as readers also enjoyed them.
Going forward, I plan to invite more people to contribute. Who these people would be and what stories would they tell, only time will tell.
The biggest challenge for the blog comes from my being based in Goa. You have to live in a small town in India to know how much of this country’s professional activity is centered around three cities – Delhi, Mumbai & Bangalore. It pains to see the rest of the country ignored by the Government as well as private enterprises. When PR agencies of Global Tourism Brands say we only work with bloggers based in Delhi, Mumbai & Bangalore – I wish I could tell the brands what they are losing out on. Hope one day, they would get the message across and small-town India professionals would bloom.
Finally, hope I am able to channel the energy of this blog to leave an impact on the tourism economy of India in particular and the world in general.
Tell me, what do you want to see more on IndiTales.
Here is wishing you a very Happy New year!
May 2017 be full of meaningful explorations that enrich you and nourish you !!