Thursday, February 6, 2014

I Have a Dream #ToTravel

It is a common belief that dreams, even though are a succession of images, ideas, emotions & sensations occurring in a person's mind during sleep, are signals sparked by your sub-conscious mind. Dreams are things your mind tells you that you do not gauge in your waking life! I believe very strongly in this analogy & hence, it is obvious that I always try & interpret my dreams. Recently, I dreamed of travelling & honestly, that's all that I remember.. Oh no, wait... I remember I was excited about it... I remember there were a lot of hurdles... & I remember that I was able to make my travel arrangements at the very last minute... I guess that's all that I remember... When I woke up, I tried to figure out what my dream meant... Well, all I could figure out is that as I was travelling alone, it is somehow trying to depict a picture of how I experience personal growth & progress through life... So, my personal growth & progress is filled with hurdles? I am anxious about my goals but I don't give up & I am always excited???

As my interpretation was vague, I decided that maybe all my dream meant is I NEED TO TRAVEL. After all, dreams need not always be metaphorical, sometimes, when you ignore things, dreams kind of slap you right in the face with the facts... So BINGO! That's what my dream meant - after all, I cannot recall when was the last time I had a planned vacation. Yes, I got one about 4 months ago, Goa, an extended 2 day business trip, but that was a fluke & absolutely unplanned, fine, I had fun - but that's because I make friends easily & I was lucky to run into known faces. Even if this was to be counted, it was my 1st vacation in the past 4 years. So, I did the next thing to do, figure out that one place I really wanna visit in my life. That one place came easy to me - I have always wanted to see London, but then, if I do go to London, why not do a Euro Trip? I guess I am not alone here, I am sure, just about everyone wants to visit Europe once in their lifetime. Why you may ask... ?

Because Rome is not knocking at my door so how do I do as the Romans do??? Because the Kohinoor isn't coming back to India... The pizza I eat, is not really Italian... Because the Eiffel Tower ain't getting on a plane to come see me and Barcelona & (Real) Madrid come to me only on the Television... .. Because Venice is never coming here to drift away the traffic... & to top it all, because you cannot borrow a bike to sight see by depositing a coin & get it back anywhere in the world but for Copenhagen! Oh! & how can I forget this one... Because we would rather fight over tomatoes than fight with them! So, if I wanna partake in the food fight, it is established, VALENCIA IT IS ! ON 27th August, 2014. The good thing is that the timing is right. For Europe, Spring & Fall, are beautiful weather times & the airfare are not too high. In fact, some call it the ideal time to travel to Europe. Also, as there is no need to carry winter wear, I get to travel light! I plan to use laundry when renting studio apartments... The intention is to smile a lot, be frugal & local and make people want to be nice to me. These things always help connect with people & learn much more about the culture & share experiences.

My first instinct was to check for EuroTrips.. However, I am not a person to be dictated where to go to... where to eat... when to sleep... where to dance... especially when I am on a vacation! I mean I would rather see a few more places, stay a little longer at a place I like... even if that means I would dance in the streets, take the bus & stay in BnBs. I mean I would much rather go into the side streets & eat at 15 local cafes than fine dine 5 nights! (It also means I have got to pay out in cash mostly, so I plan to have a cash card handy.) Also, some research told me that to save on a few dollars, oh, I mean Euros, I should stay over a Saturday (I plan to stay a month, so that's taken care off) & fly on Weekdays (that's a generic rule all travelers follow - ain't it?) & airfare sales on flights to Europe are much quite random, hence, it made sense to sign up airfare alerts to learn about the sales (also ensure insurance is taken care off side by side). I also learned that where I fly to makes a difference in price, so Spain is a better option than London (Great! How about I land in Spain & start with La Tomatina?)

Start with Spain (Maybe learn a bit of espanol)... have the maps & route maps stored on my phone... Get the Euro Rail Pass... (Carry my Lappy/Tab for ease of bookings online & make use of the abundant free available wifi at the coffee shops)... Move to Milan (Stay at Sehaj's (Oh yes - I have a friend in Milan! who is also going to help me with a local no.; though I still will route all voice & texts messages to my email & respond as & when I use the wifi - Roaming kills)) Then Rome & finally do as Romans (do a quick comparison online for hostels & apartments - after all I am only going to be sleeping, bathing & maybe having breakfast there - I will stick to this regime wherever I do not have a friend to crash at) followed by the Vatican.. Drool at Italian men.. Sailing into the Athens... Istanbul.. Have a hot spring lazy day at Pamukkale... have a mouth-watering-heart-melting Bakhlawa in its real taste... Drool at Greek Men... Hit Budapest & Prague (take in a little scenic beauty)... Fly to Copenhagen or register with a lift club till there (actually rent a bike for the city tour)... take the bus to Berlin (flaunt (& flirt in) the little Deustsch I know in Deustschland!) Okay - I'm beginning to feel I wear my heart on a sleeve now!

I think I will follow this by drinking on the waters in Stockholm (sing LoveFool by the Cardigans at a cute bartender - what better way to connect with someone than their own country's music - maybe go to the Street with him) take the party to Amsterdam in a bus (apparently, it is the cheapest option)... Maybe go out on an Irish coffee date at Dublin... I have to remember to avoid Drew's Lane @ Birmingham... I'd better not be haunted in Foreign lands! I'd rather give my sweet tooth a delight with those beautiful mouth melting chocolates from Belgium... I would follow this up with scuba diving at Kilkee (already registered at - all I have to do is write about it & I get to dive for free)... Follow this up with a bright, colorful & pretty Sunday morning at the Columbia Road Flower Market... roam around whole day gaping awkwardly at the huge billboards... Maybe enjoy Jazz music & the British look & feel of the restaurant that gives away online discount coupons! Try as many cheap eats as I can from I think I will try the free boxes too... ha ha! See the Kohinoor (I wonder if I will get amused).. I'll try finding a love at the love bridge & wrap it up by kissing a beautiful stranger at the Eiffel Tower when it is in all its glory!

I think it will be a beautiful experience and a wonderful vacation!

This post has been written for the "Travel Smart with Skyscanner" contest.
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