Merhaba Turkey, Namaste India!
For the past few months I have been anxiously looking forward to this upcoming travel expedition. I’m very excited because I am going to visit India after 3.5 years and I’ll be spending over a month there. It’s a very special feeling to go back to the place where you grew up, isn’t it? I’m also going to Turkey on the way.
Journey to India from Toronto usually necessitates a change of flight and it can be done anywhere between New York and Dubai. The last time I flew to India via Moscow, I stopped in Russia for few weeks. This time I was looking for some similar travel opportunity, but to a country that would have simple visa rules. Thus my options narrowed down to a few countries in the middle east and the USA. Since US is not really “foreign” and I can’t travel to Arab countries due to an Israeli stamp in my passport, the decision was simple.
My first stop will be in Turkey (since I am flying Turkish airlines) and I have been researching about this country a lot. With rudimentary knowledge of conversational Turkish, I am hoping to get the most out of these two weeks of couch-surfing-and-backpacking trip. I’m going to do the standard on-the-beaten-path circuit of Istanbul, Cappadocia and Aegean ruins. Not yet decided if I should travel clockwise or anti-clockwise, it will depend on the weather when I get there.
Visa requirement for Indian nationals for travel to Turkey reduces to a visa-on-arrival if you have a valid visa for US, UK or the Schengen zone.
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↑ Sunset from Dombivli, my hometown and a suburb of Mumbai
After a couple of weeks in Turkey I arrive in Mumbai during possibly the worst weather conditions. May is the hottest month in India and schools are closed for summer vacations. This results in a deadly combination of heat, humidity and crowd. Oh whatever, I’m really excited to see friends and loved ones, not to mention eat delicious food. I’m going to spend time on the west (Konkan) beaches of Maharashtra and then travel north to the Himalayas.
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↑ Hiking in the Himalayas, 2005.
Travelling is the best way to spend money, isn’t it?