My answers to a Tourism Questionnaire

My friend Bilal Ulmer from Pakistan recently sent me a tourism questionnaire for some case studies on different topics including technology,science,travelling, arts etc.

I was happy to oblige of course!

He wanted my opinion on the following questions.
1) Why you want to travel around the globe? 
I love travel as it offers me opportunities to meet new people and see places I never could have imagined. It widens your knowledge and opens your eyes to new experiences. You get to see and do things you never even knew existed.

Meeting my sponsor child and his mother in Tanzania, Africa

Meeting my sponsor child and his mother in Tanzania, Africa

2) What thing attract you the most while travelling ? 

I like people. I love talking to people from different places to me and unusual settings. Some of the best experiences I’ve had are just chatting to someone in a cafe, or changing my plans after meeting a new friend and then going off to explore together. These are friendships that last a lifetime or moments that change your life.

Halloween Party with an old Australian Friends and new friends in Cusco, Peru

Halloween Party with an old Australian Friends and new friends in Cusco, Peru

3) What thing make your passion more for travelling? 

The fear of missing out and the opportunity to see and do something new. There is always something to discover and always an experience I’m yet to have. I love the unknown.

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4) Which country you like the most while travelling and why? 

India! It’s my favourite by far. The people are beautiful and warm and welcoming. They will give you the shirt off their back and do anything possible to make you feel welcome. The food is delicious and so different to what I grew up with. There is colour everywhere and in everything, I love to watch saris blowing in the wind and people make food with the bright coloured spices. There is so much diversity, from the people, to the cities, to the foods and the languages – there is something new and different everywhere you go.

Taj Mahal India

Taj Mahal India

5) As an Aussie how you find Australia with rest of the world? 

I love Australia. It’ll always be my home and I think I’m so lucky to live here. We are very safe and we have a high standard of living. We also have a mix of cultures here so I get to experience other cultures even when I’m here at home. It’s a great fusion of people in this place, and I just can’t escape the natural beauty- Australia is a beautiful place to just drive around and look at our amazing ecosystems and environments.

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6) Which region/country you recommend for travelers ? 

I recommend Germany. It’s a wonderful country with a very interesting modern and ancient history. It’s a real centre in Europe and it’s got a good mix of everything. From skiing in the mountains to modern culture in Berlin, from traditional beer festivals in Munich and beautiful forests in the middle country. The food is incredible and the people are so interesting, knowledgable and once you warm them up – incredibly friendly.

Oktoberfest 2006, Munich, Germany

Oktoberfest 2006, Munich, Germany

Return from India and Nepal

Another trip over and another return to Australia. My fourth visit to India and my second visit to Nepal have yet to satisfy my cravings for these cultures. It appears that each time I return to this great country I call home, I am instantly ready to turn around and visit the foreign lands that I love.

Well for now, I am back in Sydney and enjoying the time with family. I will keep my love affair with India and Nepal going through my writing  for the time being.

28 days, 2 countries, 1 wedding, an elephant ride and a multitude of beds. This doesn’t even come close to summarising the great trip I have just had. I’ve been driven through mountains and laid on beaches, I’ve danced on river boats and sung with children, I’ve washed clothes by hand and eaten the finest Seafood of India, but still there is so much Iam yet to see or do.

Over the next month I will be reflecting on this trip with many stories, tales, recounts and tips, but for now here are some of the highlights:

– A fabulous 4 day wedding in Delhi, India

– 1 day trip to Jaipur with spur of the moment dance in Wedding Procession to finish the day off

– Return to the Magical Taj Mahal for my twice in a lifetime experience

– Flying into Nepal in the midst of Maoist Strike mayhem and a 6 day hold on Petrol across the country

– Visiting the most popular sites of Pokhara, Nepal, on the back of a motorbike

– Watching the sun go down at the serene Lake Begnash, just outside Pohkara Municipality, Nepal

– Taking a riverboat ride to the Elephant Orphanage Chitwana nd naming a baby elephant, Malachye

– Riding an Elephant through the Jungle of Chitwan National Park

– Making Momo’s and washing my clothes by hand in a real Nepalese home

– Learning to count in Nepalese from a 3 yr old and practicing the alphabet in English

– Taking the morning Everest Flight past the mystifying Himalayas

– Visiting two community schools built by the amazing organisation Room to Read, http://www.roomtoread.org

– Cruising the Bars of Baga Beach, GOA, India

– Staying with an Indian Family in the South of Goa, friends of friends I met in America- small world!

– Taking a tour of the senses at the Tropical Spice Plantation, Goa, India

– Being treated like a movie star on the Swastik River Cruise near Panaji City, aka being asked for many photos by Indian Tourists.

– 12 hour train ride on the Indian Railways from Goa- Mumbai. A meal and 4 cups of tea will cost you just over $1 and for less than $20 you have a sleeper in an AC compartment

-Watching a friend’s friend in a  Stand up Comedy club in Mumbai, only to be the butt of the Australia Jokes, thanks Rohan Joshi!

– Eating Seafood at the famous Apoorva restaurant, a favourite in Downtown Mumbai

– A weekend in Daman with a group of 5 young Indian Professionals

– Sailing at Sunset in front of the Gateway to India and Taj Mahal Hotel, Mumbai, India

– Visiting the World’s largest Laundry- The Dhobhi Ghat, Mumbai, India

A fantastic trip with many more highlights to come. Please visit India and Nepal. You will not be disappointed by the diversity, beauty and interesting culture of these 2 great countries.

Please post your requests for stories below in the comments section and read about the destinations you most wish to see!

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