A Visit To The Global Village:

With all the latest technologies, gadgets and developments, the world has become nothing but a big, global village. There is no corner of the world which remains inaccessible. The world is becoming smaller each passing day as a result of latest technology available in terms of communications and travel. So here we are with few useful insights, for all those travel bugs who wish to explore the wider ranges of this comprehensive community called world:

  • Chinese usually prefer to be formally introduced to someone new. And the same rule applies to both Chinese and foreigners. And when being introduced always stand up throughout the introductions. Also difference between a Japanese bow & Chinese bow is that Japanese bow from waist and Chinese from shoulder.
  • Unlike the Western custom, compliments are not graciously accepted in China with a “thank you,” but rather with “not at all or it was nothing.” Chinese follow a more modest approach while receiving compliments and accepting compliments is not appreciated.
  • In many Middle Eastern countries like Iran, the "thumbs up" gesture is considered an offensive insult. However, in American, Russian, Indian & African countries it may symbolize as great or good.
  • In Russia, delay of at least 20 minutes is rather appreciated for visitors. Being right on time is not exactly cherished. Besides, the dining etiquettes are more or less similar to European dining manners. Russians put the fork on the left side of the plate (used in the left hand) and the knife on the right (used by the right hand). When not being used, they are placed with their tips on the edge of the plate (fork tines down), and they are laid across the plate horizontally when you are finished. Also, a spoon & not a fork is used for eating cake, etc. (Try not to spill the salt which as per Russian superstition signifies as a bad fight between members of the family.)
  • When dealing with foreigners, most South Africans shake hands while smiling and maintain eye contact throughout; it is a gesture of respect & graciousness. Some women do not shake hands and merely nod their head, so it shall be better to wait for a woman to extend her hand.
  • The tipping system in European states is rather a fixed deal, prefer not to tip in most European countries unless the service was truly exceptional; on a casual standards simply round up to the nearest euro.

Hopefully, you will find these insights helpful. We’ll keep updating you about such rarely known and useful insights occasionally, keep reading this space.

Travel safe. Happy travelling!

Travel Safe – Literally!

We always wish you all dear travel bugs a very happy and safe traveling. Indeed, traveling is about adventure, getting a little lost, finding new places – new people, a new self. But all these delightful facets need not come at the cost of your safety.
Whether you are a lone traveler or a family/group adventurer, there are least chances but still strong probability of encountering an unscheduled and undesired incident. We cannot always avoid it, especially if the issue came out of nowhere. Postponed or deterred holiday plans may be re-planned; closed theaters and last moment cancellations also mostly have a way out. But not those scenarios that have a nature of emergency!

While in a foreign land, in a highly unlikely event, if you witness an incident which must receive a professional support immediately such as fire, robbery or accident, where would you head out to for help? Language, cultures, tradition, technologies – there are limitations and restrictions of a new place. So besides planning a schedule for your holiday, you should also search for and make a note of all the emergency numbers used in the country you are stepping into. As a measure for your convenience and safety, here we have compiled a list of emergency numbers of a few countries:

Sr. No.
South Africa
1669, 199
122, 128, 126
Hong kong

Often times, one plans to travel to a certain place but the trip takes him to a different one – and no matter how beautiful, motivational & philosophical a thought it may seem to be, we do not wish an uncalled for literal ramification on any traveler. Incidents may not always be avoidable but it is better to be ready and prepared.
Travel safe. Happy traveling!

Perfect Holidays: Envy of Friends

Out of all the inspiration of traveling, the most efficient one is seeing one of your friend’s update a holiday album of their recent visit to some exotic land. You see how much fun they had, what all places they went, what they ate, what they wore and generally you make a mental note of how much you appreciate your friend’s set of selections. Now this may be an unnoticed fact, but people get more and in fact most influenced by what their peer group does.

While the images of an exotic island may allure one enough yet at the end of the day people generally dismiss the idea, giving themselves a long list of excuses –like it is for richer or better people or who have lesser responsibilities or more time. However, when we see our friends, neighbors or relatives making those same travels – it revives hope. A hope that makes us forget that, extraordinary budgets or long weekends are required to have incredible time at amazing places!

To make that coveted holiday a magical reality, it is a better idea to get as much information as possible before making the final plans. You can start with your friends, who already have been to the places you wish to go. Learning from their experiences and suggestions is a very convenient and reliable source to upgrade your travel information. Also, you get the details directly from the horse’s mouth. Based on all the information you get – you can decide how to chalk out your plans. You will know what factors you may ignore or what aspect you should absolutely make your priority.

Again, while planning for holidays and doing online research often there are many instances where we prefer personal insights which are generally unavailable. Sharing personal traveling experiences opens that source and also guarantees authentic information and experience details. Hence, collect as much information as possible; you never know what may turn useful. Go ahead, maybe it’s your turn to make your friends a little envious with your holiday updates!
Travel safe. Happy traveling.  

Modak, Mushak & More!

A Note from Special Guest Blogger: Shri Ganesha

Hello dear travel bugs! Since my birthday is coming up and I too love traveling like you guys, thought of sharing a few thoughts with you all. To begin with, I belong to a family which believes in a lot of world tours. I remember when I was a kid my father, Lord Shiva would often go to distant locations on earth (many times heaven or hell as well – depending upon the situation) for months at a stretch. His work requires traveling a lot (actually all Gods’ work does). And in fact he was out on some very important business trip when I was born, but you all probably know that and I won’t narrate that story here (relax)!

You see, my entire family is all over the world. Parents are residing on upper Himalayas, dear brother Kartikeya is happily settled in the south of India, friends, distant relatives and of course my dear fans – they are all scattered across India and also somewhere in the more western areas of globe (they keep moving every other century). We keep visiting them all – me & my PA Mushak. Well I have been in better company but trust me, nothing beats the companionship of a dearly beloved & trusted multitasker (and he loves food too)! When earlier I saved his life, I seriously had no idea how handy he’ll turn out to be. Mushak’s one click – and I am sorted, for whatever I need. Well alright I might not need much, but it is amusing anyways.

Things have changed a lot now. Although, if you compare the earlier days it was definitely less crowded then. Environment was cleaner & purer, and I can say things were a lot less complicated. But I also find things more convenient and rather obvious now. We Gods have abilities to just transcend from one place to another (one of the Super Powers I find most useful but it also means no work out, hence I can’t blame for… well my stature) but from what I have noticed, the shorter the journey, the lesser time to munch & lunch and so lesser time to actually enjoy. Well, you certainly can’t enjoy on empty stomach now, can you?

I can ramble away like this non-stop, but there is one thing I should tell you before I forget about it. I love to travel! Yes, and not just to temples, mounts or oceans, but to people’s homes too. In fact, I have become addicted to the love and devotion people bestow on me during these 10 days so much, that it breaks my heart when it’s time for me to leave. But what to do, the world is not enough as you people say. In order to complete my travel bucketlist, I need to be on the move and can’t settle at one place. So my dear dear dear fans, don’t lose hope. I might leave after my scheduled 10 days stay at your place, but I would definitely like to keep in touch with you. Hope you don’t forget me, and keep writing to me.
Keep travelling, keep smiling! 

Festivities & Travel

Traveling doesn’t really require any reason, it just needs inspiration. Most often, traveling is itself the greatest inspiration indeed. However, while choosing destinations or seasons for holidaying and traveling, festivals provide a major occasion & reason for traveling. Whether celebrating a festival with that distant family, or visiting a holy destination for a particular festival or a ritual, or just going on pilgrimage as per one’s faith, connection of travel & festivities is very old and strong.

Religious travel doesn’t have to be a cumbersome experience. Also, the difficulty levels don’t necessarily prove depths of faith. Here is some useful information that can help you enjoy and relax while you travel with a religious and/or festive purpose.
  • Often times, last moment bookings cause extra expenses and lower standards of services.
  • If you are aware of your leaves or holidays around the time of occasion, go for advance travel & hotel bookings to avoid last minute rush.
  • If however, you are not sure of how many days you may get off around the time of the occasion, try and keep a tab on flight or train tickets along with fluctuating hotel tariffs.
  • Being aware of the current status on travel options and hotels provides you instant answer, whenever it becomes possible for you to make the bookings- you know which hotel offers what tariff & availability of rooms, the current status on train & flight bookings and costing.
  • Also, keeping a constant check on hotels & transportation modes saves you from last moment tension & stress.
  • Booking in bulk always helps to squeeze in extra or condense few out as per last moment availabilities. Hence, approach friends or colleagues who also have same destination and wish to travel around the same time.
  • Bulk bookings also save on expenses and there is always a possibility of inducing special offers on bookings.
Also, it is important to remember you are traveling on a special occasion so, expecting crowd and hence various inconveniences such as long queues, slight management troubles and even unavailability of several services are what you should be prepared for. With festivals and religious occasions is attached faith of people; hence no matter depths of your own belief, during such travels being empathetic and patient can help you as well as others around you have a cherished time.

Travel safe. Happy traveling.  

Best Travel Souvenirs

Rightly it is said:

Travel the world to know thyself.

Every place you travel, unveils a phase of yourself you never knew existed. You see beauty you didn’t know was possible, you come across people you thought were way too different from your reality, you go through experiences which basically change the way you see world. Every venture you acknowledge away from comfort of your home enriches you with treasure of wisdom with every passing moment.

Often while witnessing foreign rituals and customs of the distant land, one is prone to get judgmental. Comparing things with back home, it is quite usual to create an image in one’s mind regarding people and place. Some may like the image created in their minds- they watch the rituals with fascination, intrigued by difference of perception yet find it enlightening, or at least entertaining. While others may tend to get offended or totally dislike or perhaps not share the common thought procedure going behind the occurrence of any performances. Neither of the two sorts is wrong. It is personal perception, and everyone is entitled to have one.

However, considering that one perception to be absolute shall not be fair. It is the differences which in fact makes the world a better place. You don’t have to like everything, but accepting what is the way it is, is integral learning for a traveler. Many times, what has been a disaster experience for one turns out a stupendous occasion for another. It is only a matter of time and yes- perception. Every ritual has been created based on a certain faith, history of the place and upgrades done gradually through time. Comparing of any two sets of faith, tribes, and countries is not an appropriate task.

No group of men is perfect yet there is something perfect in each of their beliefs. Respect mutual differences and avoid degrading any place only if it was not at par with your level. Hence, next time when you pack your bags and set out to explore an unknown piece of the world, explore with the eyes of a child. Let yourself be surprised, participate in local rituals, and most importantly - to live in present. Do not judge, but be ready to just enjoy. Let your best memento be the joyful memories and love!
Travel safe. Happy traveling.