Tuesday night was my first-ever travel-related speaking gig (well, I am always doling out travel advice, but I’ve never before been asked to do so in an “official” capacity). It was the first Meet, Plan, Go! New York City meet up of 2015, and the topic was how to set a travel budget and stick to it when you’re on the road. Here are the questions I was asked, along with my answers – most focus on the lessons I learned while planning my fall 2014 trip to Southeast Asia.
In our day-to-day lives, most of us can’t imagine being too far away from our smartphones. And while it’s good to take some time and “unplug” while you’re on the road, smartphones can be incredibly handy tools for navigating foreign lands.
Before you leave on your trip, it’s a smart idea to delete extraneous apps off of your phone, since you’ll want the extra space for photos and music, and you’ll likely be in situations where you need to find information quickly (and where wifi connections are weak/Internet access is slow).
My home base for my seven weeks in India was Chennai, the capital of the southern state of Tamil Nadu, formerly known as Madras. Chennai is the fourth-largest city in India and boasts the 11th longest beach in the world. And that’s about it, which is why I enjoyed my time there. I didn’t need to accomplish anything. Instead, I walked to the same chai stand every morning. I established a little routine. And I left feeling that I got a taste of life as a local. Here are some highlights…
To celebrate, here are some “love locks” from around the globe. If you haven’t encountered love locks, they’re a popular sight on bridges and other structures in many cities. Couples write their names on the locks, attach them to a bar or railing, and then throw away the key to commemorate the permanency of their love.
Now that I’m back in the land of the snow and ice, it’s hard to believe that just a week ago I was strolling along Marina Beach in Chennai, one of the longest beaches in the world. I also made a stop at San Thome Basilica, which is built over the tomb of disciple St. Thomas. St. Thomas spent 20 years in India, from 52 to 72 AD.
After my respite in Sri Lanka, I hit the road again with the Travel Scientists, this time in a car. India’s Cup Ambassador car rally took me through six Indian states over two weeks. Even though I desperately missed the excitement of traveling by rickshaw, we were able to cover a lot more ground and take in some incredibly diverse and stunning scenery. Take a look…
I arrived in India on the evening of December 28, 2014, to spend nearly two months on the road in South India, handling social media for two “rallies” organized by The Travel Scientists: the Rickshaw Challenge and India’s Cup.
We were out early the next morning, since it was the first official day of the Rickshaw Challenge Classic Run 2015. It was definitely the coldest day I experienced while in India, but it was memorable for other reasons as well. Check out what I saw in my post for The Travel Scientists’ blog: Along the Coast to Pondicherry.
I had the pleasure of spending five relaxing days in Sri Lanka, recovering from the Rickshaw Challenge and securing another 30-day visa for India. In Galle, I stayed in a fascinating 260-year old home, Atapattu Walawwa, which was built in complete harmony with the natural environment and incorporates Buddhist principles in its design.