10 January 2017

2016 A Blockbuster Year



I hardly ever look back at the year gone by. I did not do the very popular Facebook feature “Year in Review.”  But 2016 was definitely different. I indulged generously in two of my life’s biggest passions: writing and traveling.

Writing: I finally breathed life into my blog after 4 long years. I had started blogging in 2010, wrote 100 posts in 2 years and then in 2012 stopped. In 2016, revived the blog and wrote an additional 13 posts, almost one for every month ( far too less, I know but a good start nevertheless).  One of the posts was my first ever book review (The Calling by Priya Kumar).

I also started my first paid writing assignment, for Bookbhook. Completed 7 summaries, from Aug to Dec. In a single month of Dec, wrote 3 summaries which is a personal record. The books ranged from autobiographies (Shoe Dog by Phil Knight, the founder of Nike) to biographies (Alibaba by Duncan Clark, the story of Jack Maa and The Everything Store by Brad Stone, the story of Amazon's Jeff Bezos) to ones on culture (We are Poor But So many by Ela Bhatt), history (The Lost Generation by first time writer Nidhi Dugar Kundalia) and technology (Hooked by Nir Eyal and Salt Sugar Fat by Michael Moss). The feeling of exhilaration when you put that last and final full stop on your writing assignment or on your blog article cannot be adequately described. It is a mix of ecstatic relief and an overwhelming sense of accomplishment.

Traveling: 9 trips in a single year and 15 new places visited in just 12 months is a wow thing for us as a family. We have a family pact to do at least 3 trips a year – one each for our birthdays. And the birthdays too are conveniently spaced out and fall well through the year. Mine in the beginning (Feb), Sathya’s in the end (Nov) and Tanvi’s right in the middle in June. We have stuck to this pact religiously for several years now.
But, 2016 turned out to be a blockbuster year. Practically every month we saw a new place. Except 2-3 places, most of them were hill stations is what we realized in hind sight.  
1.       Wayanad (Jan)
2.       Hampi –Hospet - Bellary (Jan)
3.       Dandeli – Karwar (April)
4.       Ooty (May)
5.       Hoganekkal - Male Mahadeshwara Hills (June)
6.       Bombay -Lonavla –Matheran (July)
7.       Sakleshpura, Bisile Ghat, Dharmasthala (Sept)
8.       Horsley Hills (Oct)
9.       Sikkim – Darjeeling (Nov)
At the Wayanad Flower Show
Only Ooty was a repeat place. We had been to Ooty as a couple in 2007 when Tan was about a year old. We had hired a bike and raced through the streets, carefree. This time we had gone full family (in-laws plus brothers-in-law), boxed in with the others, seven of us in a big four-wheeler.
Malalli Falls, Coorg
Imagine doing all these trips right through Tan’s school year! The only thing we dread when we go on a road trip is her absence from school and what excuse to furnish for her repeated absenteeism. God save us if our trips clash with her exam or test dates! 

As for me, luckily, I have been freelancing since 2013 and there is no hassle of leaves! No begging the boss for sanctioning one week leaves every couple of months! That is one reason why I have stubbornly refused to work full-time despite some good offers. The loss of a steady income from a full-time job is sacrificed at the altar of the flexibility to travel. No regrets whatsoever. 
Zero Point, Yumthang Valley, Sikkim
We hope 2017 is going to be a bigger year for us in terms of traveling and exploring more of India. India never disappoints the greedy traveler. Each city, each state is a treasure house of unique experiences. The country surely satiates our hunger for novelty.

20 comments:

  1. Super Cool one. Keep Traveling, keep enjoying.

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  2. That's so cool Sujatha. We three @ home are equally mad. We have a excel sheet at home and we keep feeding it our dream destinations along with the rough budget and the time. Anytime we want to go on a holiday, we just fill in our budget and time and it throws up the options and we just go :)

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  3. That was a fair amount of achievements Sujatha:) Wishing you more success in 2017

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    1. Thank you Sir :)
      wish you too the best in 2017

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  4. Freelancing is indeed a big time-saver. Congrats on being able to make all those trips - aim for 24 trips in 2017 :D

    Destination Infinity

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    1. Aha....24 trips ...sounds exciting but then just remembered the cost :D

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  5. Wish you will travel to more exotic places every month this year. Freelancing gives flexibility. It can be difficult in accepting and rejecting assignments. However, it gives a peace of mind. Once a person does three-four years of freelancing it is difficult to go back to a full time job. Keep it up.

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    1. Agree with you completely. No two ways about it. Freelancing has its pros and cons but more pros if u ask me

      Thanks for the read. Keep.coming back :) heheh

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  6. I am glad 2016 was a blockbuster year for you. Wish you a similar blockbuster 2017 also. And, thanks for sharing these beautiful photos.

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    1. Thank you :) wish you a wonderful year ahead too

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  7. Have a great year and hope to see more travel posts this year!

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  8. Really you live a life,Sujatha.When one gets opportunities to accomplish the wish list prepared by mind, it goes beyond even achievement.May you have tantamount to or more opportunities than those of 2016.I liked the post- both the pictures and the narration.

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    1. Thank you very much.

      yes, God has been particularly kind this past year :)

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  9. wow..what a year.to manage so many trips is in itself an achievement. I too love travelling but havent been able to do due to family. Wish you more trips in 17, so that we also get to know about more places.

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    1. haha yes i need to update my travel blog.

      Thanks Renu :)

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  10. You post explain everything in detail and it was very interesting to read. Thank you. nata coaching centres in chennai

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