2012 was a great year to fine-tune the work-save-travel model. I took about 12 weeks (almost 3 months!) off for travel this year which was fantastic. Wish I had more but I think this is a good balance since I am not a travel professional.
Let me give you a glimpse of the places I visited this year:
It was my first time visiting Philadelphia and I was quite impressed by this city. The city has a quintessential neighbourhood character and a very cute historic district. The oldest street in USA is supposedly located here.
Buffalo is within biking distance from Toronto, in theory. I was a bit lazy earlier this summer so I took a train to Niagara Falls and then biked over to Buffalo. If you are looking for tips to bike across the Canada-USA border, look no further!
New York City
I love New York City, I really do! I have been here about a dozen times in the last four years, each visit being very unique! There are so many things to do in NYC that it will take me years to understand and explore it fully. I visited NYC in February and right now, for New Year’s, I am in this great city once again!
Not too far from Toronto and having some family there gives me incentives to visit the Motor City and I’ve done that thrice in last few years. I have only explored a part of the city, there’s plenty more to do.
Despite being my home for the past six years I still haven’t seen a lot in Canada. It is an insanely large country!
Calgary and Banff
It was the middle of Spring in Toronto but out west in Calgary they still had snow. I went there for a brief visit and we stopped by at Banff National Park in the middle of the Canadian Rockies.
Ottawa, the capital of Canada, is about five hours away from Toronto and I visited it this fall for the first time. It’s a nice town with lots of government buildings and parliament buildings.
Fall in Montreal is extremely pretty! It was my second time visiting this city in Quebec and I had a fun time exploring downtown, old Montreal, Mount Royal and Le Plateau neighbourhoods.
Spending Christmas in Northern Ontario is quite an experience. It was -25ºC and full of snow so we went snowshoeing in the woods, and had homemade wine and rabbit for dinner.
Going to Niagara Falls from Toronto is no big deal really. It takes 2-3 hours to reach there by bus, train or car, and about 8-10 hours on a comfortable bicycle ride. I like the falls and numerous bike trails that cris-cross this region, but tend to skip the Niagara falls attractions in the Vegas-like part of the town.
Home sweet home! I was in and out of Toronto a lot this year. I love this city and its festivals!
In April this year I travelled to Turkey and spent over two weeks there. Prior to leaving, I studied some Turkish language, so the experience was even more fun! Besides spending few days in Istanbul, I did the standard tourist circuit – Cappadocia, Pamukkale, Selchuk, Ephesus, Izmir. Turkey certainly has a captivating geographic diversity and lots of delicious food options!
In the new year I’ll start blogging about Turkey.
I visit India for 5 weeks earlier this year after about 3.5 years. It was nice to see my friends and family after such a long time and savour some delicious street food (and yes, I did get sick).
The coastline between Mumbai and Goa is filled with beautiful beaches, small villages and extremely delicious food. This is the region my family comes from so we had a very ‘authentic’ summer holiday.
After two weeks in 35ºC weather I spent some time in the Himalayas, in the Lahaul region of Himachal Pradesh. I love everything about the Himalayas, the hiking, the food and the remoteness. We did lots of hiking, visited monasteries and had a relaxing time overall.
Besides these regions, I also spent time in Mumbai, my hometown.
So that was my year, adequately travel intensive.
Thank you for your continued support and feedback! Hope you had a good 2012 and wish you happy travels in 2013!