Sunday, March 16, 2014

Go further to get closer : Anything for Love

They say when it comes to true love , nothing matters, except for love itself

It extends beyond all these dimensions and explores a world of infinite possibilities where anything's
 possible and bound by no limits. It doesnt restrict itself to race, colour, country,caste or status . Love and commitment can truly give a person, a sense of direction, a purpose and an ambition to cross the skies to achieve great things. It eliminates the fear and gets you on a racing wheel never to look behind or sit and worry if you'll fail. True love given an indomitable strength to engage a thousand and beat all odds against it

What can be actually achieved for the sake of love was beautifully reminded to me by the most beautiful of poems I've read by Rudyard Kipling
The poem goes on to describe a man's journey to seek a rare set of "Blue roses"  across the world but all he could find was red and white roses. The poem's lines indicate the embarassing bravery a man could set forward to get what his love wants.
" Roses red and roses white
Plucked I for my love's delight.
She would none of all my posies--
Bade me gather her blue roses.

Half the world I wandered through,
Seeking where such flowers grew.
Half the world unto my quest
Answered me with laugh and jest "

The promise of commitment you give in love is a "forever" partnership that you cannot let go , nor take it lightly or for granted . So that brings up the question : How much further would you go to get closer  ?

Despite those vivid dreams to do wonderful things ,and spend quality time with your significant other , when it comes to a practical implementation , it can actually get difficult. Some are bound by a financial constraint and may not be able to afford on expensive romantic gestures. Some have the means to do things, but stuck in a demanding job and literally doesn't have any time to plan or venture out for holidays with your love

To some it could be genuine reasons for not being there. But to me its all lame excuses . To me a man is really worth himself, when he can break free of these shackles and actually do things that can mean a whole lot to his partner.

When I looked back and realized the things i have done and things I haven't done , I have been able to understand what it actually means to be there for someone and not let them down at any cost
Upon thinking what i might have done otherwise given a second chance to  rework the magic and actually do something , I struck upon an thought which I have described below

An unfulfilled dream  :
In most cases , the girl usually sacrifices a lot when she ends up moving in with the person she loves or marrying him and enters a new territory. She may have had a lot of unfulfilled dreams . A lot of her ambitions would have been crushed. She probably had to quit a lucrative career/job to move into a different city , which otherwise the earlier job would have taken her places . She may, in many cases that I have seen had to quit her college education midway and probably get settled to be a housewife

If given a chance , I'd do something radical .If I had learnt that my girl had long term wishes to study abroad and say complete a post graduate degree in her discipline but had to give up because of the marriage, I would apply for  her , to all the top universities abroad ( UK/US )after intensive research
If there's an offer of acceptance for her (with or without scholarship) , I'd contribute the remaining funds out of my own pocket or even take an education loan (No matter how much it costs) .Take a year's leave of absence from my firm (or apply for a work from an offshort location permission) .
Fly with her to UK/US , in a premium airline like British Airways and  stay with her there till she finishes her education , support her all the way through and ensure her key dream is accomplished

To me , any no of expensive platinum or diamond pendants , or a short holiday cant make up for what she had to sacrifice for the relationship. Yes , the roses, the gifts , and the love is important in conveying the importance of your relationship, and communicating to her that she still means a lot to me. But on a long term perspective I'd actually make her one true wish come alive , no matter what it takes

I came across one amazing video that beautifully illustrates what I just described above . The person in question , understanding that his wife hadn't got any opportunity to spend quality time with her , tried to do something that actually came as a big shock and a massive surprise to her that she can never forget for the rest of her life and its a must watch for everyone who wants to make a big difference in their lives





What inspired me to write this post was this beautiful video that i shared above and incidentally the British Airways contest to write about what i would do to get closer to someone I love . Here's the link if you want to express your thoughts too  :  http://bit.ly/1epU8Uj






Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Smart Travel to a Dream Vacation with SkyScanner

A brief historical lookback on our past travels (within and outside the country) ,its strange and amazing to see how much has changed over the past decade, esp over the past 5-6 years

International destinations were restricted to Singapore, Malaysia & Dubai . Other destinations could only be visualized in a map .The tickets had to be bought nearly 4-5 months in advance and the only way of buying an airline ticket was through standing in a huge queue in the airline office or checking with the local ticketing agent and shell out even extra. The fares were always marked up high and even a one way ticket to Singapore would range upto to Rs. 15,000  . Your only default option on International travel was Air India and a private alternative was rarely available( and 2x more expensive). The passengers were hence literally forced to pick up any available ticket at the aforementioned price and that was just the airline travel

The stay would most often turn to be a nightmare as you had only two options : Go to the country and literally hunt every street to find a decent , budget hotel with availability or choose a hotel "suggested" by the travel agents and you had a fair idea it could most probably turn out to be a deserted hotel located several miles away from the central area

But gone are the days of such horrendous yet super expensive vacations.. Travelers has now changed the whole dynamism of the travel industry to being a buyers market. The passengers has so many options at his hand right from vacation spots , choice of travel (be it a train or ship or flight) , get the entire list of flight schedules with their prices and hence able to have a comparative idea of which are the cheapest flights to take on key destinations and also know what days of the month is it more economical to travel compared to others.. All this information are summarized , sorted in terms of the lowest price in a split second thanks to innovative websites like Sky Scanner  - http://www.skyscanner.co.in/ which traverses through thousands of airline, hotel ,agent websites throughout the world to get the most economical fares possible and also list out all the possible alternatives for the passenger to choose from  .It eliminates the haggle to traverse through multiple airline websites , select the travel dates and trying hard to choose which works out cheaper  and makes the overall booking process a helluva lot easier

A smart travel to an Exotic Location

Given the world map at my disposal it gives a plethora of options to choose from . One smart and recommended way to choose the destination is to log in to http://www.skyscanner.co.in/

Select the From location and in "To" field , click on the Map.
This throws out a million possibilities for an awesome vacation from US , Europe, Singapore , Goa, China , Thailand to  Australia . Each spot is marked by a yellow dot . Drag the marker from the base location to the spot and skyscanner seems to calculate instantly the fares for selected travel dates on different flights and even gives you an exhaustive list of hotels to stay



Based on hours of browsing through all locations , I zeroed on Bangkok & Pattaya in Thailand
The most visited and preferred country for almost all travelers from India  , Thailand seems to offer a attractive package to almost all kinds of people . A return flight fare can be sought for as low as 12K and the hotel rates comes to just 1-2K a day and overall a 5 day vacation could come only to just 25000 a person and international travel can never be cheaper than this


Why Thailand ?
A warm and a beautiful serenic place , Bangkok , Pattaya & Phuket are scenic beach islands that can transport you to a level of luxury with its offerings . Thailand , known for its major shopping hubs , the pristine beaches, the famous Thai deep tissue massages , ferrying on the islands, scuba diving on Islands , famous Thai curries and other continental dishes , the beautiful architectures and ancient temples , its got everything one can expect from a vacation .

The cost factor especially would be a huge attractive option , given the currency is almost in lines with the Indian rupee exchange rate






Smart Travel

With technology at our doorstep , its imperative to take full advantage in our vacations and leverage to make our travel smart in every way possible

Some of the way I'd travel are listed below :

  • Flight & Hotel Bookings with a Smart Sky Scanner  : Log on to Sky scanner (http://www.skyscanner.co.in/) and get the best deals in obtaining the lowest air fares and quality budget hotels at discounted prices and grab those tickets before they are sold out 
 


  • Web check in : Post booking , I'd do a web-checkin from my smartphone itself and save the arduous task of waiting in long queues for check-in in the airport




  • Uber Taxis  : Use my smartphone and get a car pickup through my Uber App in my Android SmartPhone . The fares are very competitive and you could get a BMW pickup at the price of a Indica compared to other travels 
  •   Check in & Luggage Allowance : I'd always love to pack light on my vacations than carry your burden of heavy luggages everywhere you go. Also read the airline's baggage allowance to ensure i dont exceed the free luggage limit per traveller
  • In & Around : Using the Google Places, Google Navigation & Foursquare App I'd scout all popular spots in and around Bangkok/Pattaya and also find the best ways to travel within the city and hop on to the tour buses to travel on almost a shoestring budget. If there are no tour buses available , I'd once again login to Skyscanner and click on the car hire to get the best car hire deals to take me to the different tourist locations within the city  

  • Bangkok Night life : With a night life that extends to the wee hours of the morning , you cannot come back without hitting the night clubs in and around the city and even try to connect and socialize with the locals
  • Snap Awesome pics and using the Geo-tagging facility would upload on Facebook with location details immediately  
  • Despite the several options available to choose from our smartphone, I'd say my idea of the best smart travel in an unknown country , is to befriend a local ( who looks genuine) and get his suggestions and ideas to do around the city for the rest of your vacation
My smart travel with SkyScanner begins soon . Have you planned yours yet ?