Thursday, September 22, 2011

6 Places I'd Love to Visit

Continuing with The 10 Day YOU Challenge series, I arrive today with a list of six places I absolutely love to visit. Now a place needn't necessarily mean a city or a country. And yeah, the title is kind of a misnomer, given that the places I'm thinking of are not necessarily the ones I would like to visit in the future, but also the ones that I love to visit often. You'll understand better once you read my six favorite places. Here goes:

1. Kashmir. It is better known as Paradise on Earth. But that's not the only reason why I love it - there's more.
For instance, Kashmir is the most perfect combination of water, plains and mountains. The peace and tranquility one experiences, sailing on a Shikara on the Dal lake - it's otherworldly. Visit the place and bask in the beauty. Get cornered by a Kashmiri cloth vendor on the street trying to sell you his wares. Look at lovely little Kashmiri girls clutching their books, going to school. Stay on a house boat on the Dal Lake, sit in solitude out on the verandah in the evening and look at the sun going down behind the Himalayas. Sheer bliss.

2. Ancient Monuments and Forts. As I mentioned earlier, history transfers me to another, totally novel world. A world distant from the city's rush, pollution, the callousness of people and their indifferent ways. Sitting amid ancient dilapidated structures with a profound history behind each wall, each arch - it is eternally transcendental. For me, the feeling is overpowering and cannot be paralleled by any other.

That's an amateurish shot of the Bada Darwaza (main entrance) of the Purana Quila (Old Fort) in Delhi on a particularly bright sunny afternoon. I am a photography enthusiast too, remember?

3. A Hair Salon. I am the kind of person who doesn't get hair cuts very often. But when I do get one, I get it done from good salons, by thorough professionals who know their business well. Just because the feeling you get there is awesome. With professionals washing your hair with the utmost gentleness and poring over what look to give to your hair, all the while you sitting in a massage chair, the feeling is great. You have to feel it to believe it. And the outcome of the hair styling is always, as in ALWAYS, awesome.

4. A Stationery/Book Store. Stationery and books are the ultimate feel-good factors for me. The vast collection of books and stationery in a store gives me a different kind of high. The smell of new notebooks, the feel of new pens and erasers in my hand give rise to my inner excitement to write something on paper, as opposed to my usual keypad writing. And a new book is always a great buy, no matter how broke it may leave me behind.

5. Coffee Shops. I belong to the generation of hookah lovers and pub-frequenters. Yet, the charm of a simple coffee shop never fails to mesmerize me. Sitting in a laidback posture, sipping my coffee, enjoying the the smell of coffee all around - it's heavenly. And a Cafe Coffee Day can be located every few kilometers in my city, thank God for that.

That's a shot of the interior of my favorite coffee lounge in Delhi.

6. Italy. This one's my travel aspiration for the future - my first and foremost aspiration in world travel. Rome, Venice, Florence, Milan - some of the world's most quaint, picturesquely beautiful and ancient places I would just love to visit and spend some time in. Venice in particular is a truly enigmatic place. Water, water everywhere - just perfect for me.

I must admit I had a certain amount of difficulty putting together this short list. I am a restless girl. I cannot stay home for even a few days at a stretch. I love to travel, not just out of the city or country but within the city and its by-lanes too. So deciding upon my favorite six places in the world is like a mother being partial to six of her innumerable children. (Do they still produce so many kids? Last I checked, the slogan said "hum do, humara ek".) Whatever. Hence this is just a starter to the real story of my travel aspirations, which I might cover in some later post.

As always, let me know what you think. Take care, keep smiling and keep traveling! :)

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