Monday, September 9, 2013

The " Unbucketlist "

I m tired,

I recon it’s time to declog ,  to unlearn , to unbucket the list .

I chose to ditch the in-flight entertainment and  instead invested in some soul searching.
Was on my way back from a coveted holiday destination in Europe . Ideally, I should have come back feeling rejuvenated , but instead I came back feeling annoyed and ripped off.

Am a meticulous planner and  a compulsive packer. Every holiday that I have ever taken takes months of planning . Apart from the bookings, I invest a lot of time in getting recommendations from friends , family , friends and their families and families and their friends. But it  doesn’t stop there , I also refer to my vast collections of  lonely planet’s. The packing is a different ordeal in its self  . Like a typical guju ( don’t mention it , am a proud one at that ) orders go out days in advance , I carry food like its the beginning of the apocalypses . In the end I land up carrying more food and cloths than I actually need.

After so much of time and effort put into every holiday , I still can’t remember the last time I had fun. I was too busy sticking to the filofox. Ya I did proudly cover all the recommendations by the TripAdvisor , dined at all the great places , shopped at all the famous malls. But there was always that one café, that one little antique store , the one little church , that one little boutique , that I would have liked to visit got left behind because it was not the part of the “itinerary”. And it’s that one thing ,that keeps daunting me till the next one comes along.

Dad’s turning 70 in 3 months . I sometimes break into a sweat in the middle of a night with the thought of them not being around forever. Loss is inevitable, but till then I want to make every moment count  . I’ve lost a lot of precious time in my MeMe world . Its about time that i put my priorities in order.
So i've decided, that pa, ma and me would bring in his 70th vacationing some place serene. 
I know it’s a big ask for Yogesh to his handle work and the kids , but he knows how badly I need to this.

The plan on this trip is to have no plans. All I need to do is find a perfect destination.

Am tired of traveling to countries that are too touristy. Where everyone is trying to shove some souvenirs in your face. And I just hate countries where the people’s cold noses and in the north pole. So began my search for a perfect destination that was not flocked by the world,  but still had a lot of  to offer. A county that was an eclectic mix of a vibrant cities and mesmerizing landscapes. But  more importantly a country that is warm , because of its people.

In my serch for "the destination" I stumbled upon Northern Ireland, and realized that it fits the bill perfectly . 
What I absolutely love about Ireland is that I don’t need to have a travel plan on this one. Ireland has so much to offer that the journey itself can end up begin the destination.  All I plan to do is land, hire a car, and let the road lead the way. Its going to new experience for me to travel without a plan but that will give me more freedom to experience and explore. Am sure dad will get excited with the sound of a vague holiday but, mom , being my Mom , will surely freak out!

As I researched  more of this picturesque county , I couldn't  believe how perfect it was for this trip. Every article I read , every picture that I saw just made me want to drop everything and get on a jet plane. The landscape of the Northern Ireland is nothing like I've  ever seen before. I could sit by the country side and gaze at the nuances of its landscape’s and feel content of having seen it all. 

On my Northern Ireland wish list  :

  Dublin : The basic plan is to per-book a date with the “a city of thousand welcome “ initiative by the Dublin city council , where one of the  Dublin ambassadors will take us out for a pint of  Genesis in a pub or a cuppa in a posh café and give us the insiders view on Ireland . The best part about this program that they not only give you their valuable time, but also pay for the drinks!!! No wonder the city has been voted as the most friendliest cities in the world ! Can wait to sit-down with a local and chat up all things Irish !

Titanic Belfast
Titanic Belfast : Built on the slipways where the ship was originally constructed, it is the largest Titanic exhibition anywhere in the world, and has been described by director of the film Titanic, James Cameron, as “really quite phenomenal”. The building is rooted in the Titanic Quarter, one of Europe’s largest and most exciting waterfront developments. Can’t wait to take mum there , it’s been one of her most favorite movies. Am sure this is an experience she will never forget. 


Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge, Antrim : after a 1.15 hours drive from Belfast we get to Carrick-a-Rede , which boasts an exhilarating rope bridge experience. Traditionally fishermen erected the bridge to Carrick-a-Rede island over a 23m-deep and 20m-wide chasm to check their salmon nets. Today visitors are drawn here simply to take the rope bridge challenge! Can’t wait to do this with my nimble 70yr ol. But ma on the other hand will be more than happy to sit this one out , while she chants and “chalisa” for our safety .

Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge

The Giant's Causeway : It lies at the foot of the basalt cliffs along the sea coast on the edge of the Antrim plateau in Northern Ireland. It is made up of some 40,000 massive black basalt columns sticking out of the sea. The dramatic sight has inspired legends of giants striding over the sea to Scotland. Geological studies of these formations over the last 300 years have greatly contributed to the development of the earth sciences, and show that this striking landscape was caused by volcanic activity during the Tertiary, some 50–60 million years ago. So many adjectives for one unbelievable phenomenon , cant wait to get there and start exploring!

The Giant's Causeway

The Dingle Peninsula: National Geographic once called it “the most beautiful place on earth”. Dingle is arguably one of the island's more charming towns. Take the road to Ballyferriter village and go for a walk on Beál Bán beach, which is only really known to locals. Once you see the views of the vast Atlantic you’ll see why they’ve kept it to themselves. I could spend all my eternity here , just soaking up the sun and gazing the pristine waters.

The Dingle Peninsula

The Mourne Mountains : Beauty comes easily to the Mournes, but there’s also a childish joy about the place. Think of the 28 peaks as a natural playground.One man felt the magic of the Mournes more than most. For Belfast-born Clive Staples Lewisthe Mournes were a pleasure ground. The author was reared on the clean Mourne air, while his mind was inspired by these surroundings to create the world of Narnia from his masterpiece The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe.  Can’t wait to get here and be inspired too..

The Mourne Mountains


The only prepping I plan to do on this trip is my flight , hire a car and book a no frills BnB , rest of the route I will figure when I get there !
These are the things on my to do list for Ireland, but i plan to see and discover a lot more. As am not bound by a piece of paper telling me what to do. This time I will let my heart lead the way. This time I will make sure I have a coffee at that café , shop at that little antique store and say a little prayer at the serene little church. This time I plan to take out time to bond Ma and Pa all over again.  This time I plan to do it all, so that on my flight back home I come back as a 
“Happy Traveler “

This post was created for an "happy traveler" contest  courtesy powered by Indiblogger


Arti said...

Some very scenic places there to be explored!! Beautiful write-up as well!
Al the best :)

Disha Kotak said...

It is indeed !
Thanks for dropping by !

Bhavin Ruparelia said...

Wow. Some Amazing Places that one would really love to explore... & You made an amazing picturesque virtual tour for your blog readers !!

Wish you all the luck :)

Ritesh Agarwal said...

Hi disha. Catchy header. Brilliant narration. Unique destinations. It was thrilling reading about the places i never knew existed. Thank u for this virtual trip. You should win something

Disha Kotak said...

Am glad you enjoyed ,
Thanks for stopping by :)

Disha Kotak said...

Thanks for the kind words ritesh ,
I cant tell you how badly I want to go there , its beyond imagination ,

I hope so too , fingers crossed ;p

Arish Dhawan said...

didnt know about most of themm...thanks for sharing...
amazing well

sad to hear about your drowning sympathies..

anitaexplorer said...

Disha, Ireland appeals! Nice Post!
Do hope you win a trip soon to celebrate your Dad's B'day along with your Mom.
Really, life is just passing by while we are busy planning for a perfect life...
Best wishes! :)

Saru Singhal said...

First, advance birthday wishes to your Dad. Like you I spend of time planning. My brother says I can take up tour guide as a profession as sometimes I know more than them. :D

Lovely places you have opted, my cousin lives in Dublin, so hear a lot of the beauty of it.

Good luck!

Disha Kotak said...

Its a problem I've been procrastinating since a long time now ,
But m surely gonna get to it tomorrow ;p
Aren't places that people hv not heard of turn out to be the most enchanting,
M glad liked it .

Disha Kotak said...

Mr Singhal ,
I've given up planning ,
Google is taking all the fun away ,
There is barely any element of surprise left these day ,

Its fun to go ol school sometimes,
What do you reckon ?

Disha Kotak said...

Anita , you've hit the spot girl.
Wishes to you as well !

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