2016 Escaping Life

2016: The Year that Was

A tad bit late for a year in review post but I’ve been really lucky to end the year 2016 and begin the new year on the road and away from home.

When I began to write this post in late December (so you can imagine it’s been quite some time), I was at this lovely little backpacker’s cottage in the middle of a lush green tea plantation surrounded by rolling hills on all sides; the atmosphere was filled with the sound of music playing from a temple nearby; there was a shade of mist settling into the green landscape as the sun went down the horizon; a friendly bunch of Israeli backpackers sat around a table with me sharing their tales of India celebrating the festival of Hanukkah; we were in Munnar.

Panorama image of Munnar plantation

Munnar in Panorama

So what went on in 2016?

Before I settle into the thought of what’s next for me this year, let me share with you what went on with Escaping Life in 2016.

Here’s 2016 in a nutshell.

From a breathtaking trek through the narrow mountain trails of Nepal up in the Himalayas to a solo backpacking trip in deeply religious Georgia, a few days in sizzling hot Abu Dhabi, a short transit tour through the island country of Sri Lanka on my way to the land of Unity in Diversity, India.

Lets’s take a look at how it all went down:

Bahrain
View of Manama

View of city from the Bahrain Fort, Manama, Bahrain

I lived in Bahrain close to 11 years of my life and there was still so much left to see in this small island nation in the Arabian Gulf. Over the course of the year I visited some of its historical places whenever I got the time away from work.

Also read  Meghalaya: The Abode of clouds
Nepal
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The Himalayas in Khumbu, Nepal

After around 6 to 7 months of planning, I made the trip to Nepal in May. What was supposed to be as an easy trek on paper turned out to be a literal uphill task. One that took me through some of the most remote areas of the Himalayan mountains. It was such a joy to be in the company of the fabled Sherpa people, to learn about their culture and their way of life on the trail to the highest mountains in the world and of course to catch that glimpse of the tallest mountain in the world, Mt. Everest.

Abu Dhabi
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Cityscape of Abu Dhabi, UAE

Nepal was a well planned affair, but Abu Dhabi happened in a blink of an eye. My plan was only to meet some relatives for a family event. But when I got one free day to roam around the city, I signed up for a tour of the capital city on the Big Bus Tours.

Georgia
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The Bridge of Peace in Tbilisi, Georgia

While scouring the internet for a budget backpacking destination, I stumbled across Georgia on the world map. Without doubt I knew I could make it happen with the money and time I had. We are talking approximately $1000 and less for a 2 week trip. What made it feasible was that it was closer to where I lived and the air tickets were an absolute steal, thanks to Fly Dubai. This Caucasian wine-country is a true introduction to Europe.

Sri Lanka
Temple of the Tooth Relic in Sri Lanka

Temple of the Tooth Relic in Kandy, Sri Lanka

Towards the end of the year I was growing weary with my full-time job. Something I was not really passionate about anymore. I took the plunge, quit my job and decided to move back to my home in India from the Middle East. That’s when I thought “Hey, why not Sri Lanka en route to India?” And it happened!

Also read  RoadToEverest Log #19
India finally…
Sunset in Kochi

A golden sunset at Kochi, India

My final destination for the year was India. It had been a year and a half since my last visit to the country and I was yearning to get back to the organised chaos i.e., India. It was home-coming and I ended the year with a three-week tour of South India across 5 states and plenty of memories to cherish.

Some of the places were offbeat, some very touristy, some backpacking, some high up in the sky and some just off the hook. 2016 made me a free bird and opened my eyes into travel, people, places and experiences like never before; something that a classroom never taught me before.

I’m eternally grateful to my readers, followers, family and friends for all the love and support I have garnered over the last twelve months and I wish everyone a very happy, prosperous and a travel filled 2017.

Let’s make it happen!

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Posted in Bahrain, Georgia, India, Inspiration, Nepal, Throwback, United Arab Emirates and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , .

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