I love lists. Grocery lists. Shopping lists. Lists to get things done in a day. Lists to clear my head, and plan for a future 2-3-5-10 years from now (yep, I totally day-dream, with all rose-tinted glasses and all).
And I had been planning to get in some list based posts on the blog for a while. Food lists, cafe lists, people lists (what would that be like, hmmmm), and then travel lists. But planning was all that I was doing, until Upasna from Life On My Plate nominated me for this super lovely pay-it-forward write-up. Kinda the nudge I needed to get a post going.
And it’s an interesting one. You can always name the 5 top places you want to visit, but 5 places you want to re-visit?? Man, this kept me going for a while. But nonetheless, making a list is what I am good at, so sharing my top 5 Destinations I Would Love To Return To:
Aah, the city of dreams for me. There is just so much happening in London. It was my first experience with a major European city. Farmers markets. The lovely architecture. The streets. How I looked forward to the excitement of taking the train from Derby, on weekends, and seeing all that this wonderful city had to offer. Big Ben, the Buckingham Palace, the bridges, Hyde Park, Oxford Street, the street artists, the London bus, the tube… oh, and the shopping, the people. Amongst my very many vivid memories of my time in London, my fondest is of a day spent at the Brick Lane market. That was my first time ever at a food-from-all-across-the-globe smorgasbordish fair, and boy did that get me hooked. Infact, my friend Pooja introduced me to this part of London, and I am ever so glad she did. I still remember we both had run out of cash (what happens in Soho stays in Soho) and had a grand total of 20 pounds on us. And how we salivated at the sight of all that food. There was Sri Lankan, Chinese, Vietnamese, Mexican, and Ethiopian amongst many others. Best thing ever though, each stall offered you free samplers, so we kinda got the best of everything and settled down to a burrito and some cupcakes.
Next time around: I hope to live in London, and experience it like a true-blue overcoat-wearing, tube-catching, Hyde-park relaxing Londoner than a regular tourist
Last winters, we did a road trip around Tasmania. The husband, I, and his parents. Was a super packed road trip where we covered the length of Tassie (local slang), from Launceston all the way upto Burnie , and then driving down the western coast to Hobart. We also covered the eastern coast of Tassie, all the way upto Wineglass Bay on the Freycinet peninsula. How gorgeous was that, with the white sands and the crystal clear blue waters. Contrasting scenery to the west coast which was all about mountains, and winding roads, and wineyards.
Tassie was an experience I am not likely to forget in a long, long time. Sure, it was gorgeous (poor man’s NZ, they say). Vast undulating stretches of greenery . Cattle grazing lazily on farmlands. Blooming valleys of lavender flowers, rhododendrons, wineyards, apple orchards, berry farms. But more so because, we encountered a different scenery every day, and a different weather experience too. One day it would be bright and sunny, and we would be driving amidst vast farmlands, with cattles grazing and lazing peacefully; and another day it rained cats and dogs, and we were at the outskirts of this beautiful coastal town of Burnie, where we would sit in our car with our coffees and admire the mansion like properties of the retired gentry. The third day, it actually snowed (and there was a mini hailstorm)… in September!!. Tassie kept us enthralled for the duration of our week long trip. Infact, I think Tasmania deserves its own blog post on the sights and sceneries we saw. Coming soon people!
Next time around: Tasmania is known for it’s local fresh produce (berries, dairy, fruit, wine, meat, salmon etc) but we went at the end of winters (southern hemisphere) so local produce wasn’t out and abound. And the rain also played spoilsport. So the next time around, I want to do a full foodie trip across the country. Full foodie, I repeat.
3. Isle of Skye, Scotland
Where he asked me to marry him…. need I say more
Next time around: Orkney islands are on my Scottish itinerary
Choosing one of the many many Indian cities to want to always return to was tough (there’s a whole top 10-15 list I have). Goa crossed my mind, as did Sikkim. But Pune is special for so many reasons. It’s that one city where me, my brother, my mother, and my father have all spent parts of our childhoods in. And maybe that’s where lies the attraction (and the magnetic pull). My father and brother did military graduation from there (National Defency Academy, Khadakvasla), and my ma went to Ursulas convent school in Pune. I did my 3rd grade, and my MBA from Pune (met the mister there too :) ) plus worked there for a year+ when my dad was posted there. Living with my father that year, that’s when I started honing my cooking skills (and he is still my recipe guide, just a shout away). And the days of my MBA at SIMS, Pune has given me my closest friends and super fun memories till date (touchwood).
It has essentially been a city I have grown up in, and revisited at different, crucial junctures of my life, leaving me with fond and bittersweet memories both. Pune, you will always be special for me
Next time around: Visiting my mom’s school, and the place where she and her brood of siblings, along with my grandparents called home :)
5. Himachal Pradesh
Saved the best for the last, I did (Yoda talk). What do I say about Himachal that people who know me don’t know already. It’s where my family belongs to. My dad being in the army, the only times we ever really visited Himachal were our yearly summer vacation trips to Shimla, Dharamshala, Garli, and Dehra. So it’s not like I stayed there for a long time and went to school/college, or worked there. But as corny as it sounds, Himachal is in my blood. I cross the border of the state and it’s like I have come home. Everything about it is lovely. The scenery, the fresh air, the small villages, the people (nicest lot ever), and the food. Aah, the food. You don’t find local Himachali cuisine in a lot of public places, which is a pity, but visit any locals home and you will get a flavour of full pahadi food. Come to my home y’all and you will know what I am talking about. That’s why I started my series of posts on Himachali food ~ a small attempt to capture my family’s treasure trove of recipes. Hope I am able to do justice to the idea.
Next time around: Don’t get me started. I want to do a foodie backpacking trip across Himachal. I want to make buy an apple orchard. I want to make fresh jam and sell it. I want to settle in Himachal. *sigh*
This post was part of a campaign created by Booked.net – Top Destinations to Go There, for a contest they have been hosting the past few months. As part of the campaign, I’d like to nominate these five other bloggers to also take part:
- Pooja Deshpande at A Bit of This and a Lot of That
- Neethi Iyer at Happyness On A Platter
- Nandini at Goan Imports
- Neha Malhotra at The Olive Green Wife
- Karen Humilde at Live Wander Love