I was looking at my travel photo albums—one of my favorite ways to relax—and reliving some moments. And I thought – what if I had to list ten destinations I would love to visit again? Of course, it feels good to think that we have some upcoming travel lined up—but it is always wonderful to revisit some of the places we’ve been to, simply because they connect with our soul. We feel a sense of bonding when we are there.
While bearing in mind that I have an endless wish list of places to visit and that this list can certainly be a longer one, here are ten destinations I would love to visit again and again.
This is definitely top of the list for me, considering that I’ve spent almost two decades of my life here, on and off. Always going back. I made some of my closest friends here. I went to school and college here. I enjoyed a major part of my corporate career here. Also, some of the happiest years of my childhood were here with my Grandmother and Mom. So, yes, Hyderabad is one of my favorite destinations. Besides the emotional attachment, I love everything there is to see. In fact, a few years ago, my son and I decided to go off on a “touristy” trip to the city I know as well as the back of my hand. We booked our accommodations, after browsing hotels in Hyderabad with price, then picked the Hyderabad city heritage and museum tour package with the government tourism bus. The itinerary was fun starting with the Birla Mandir, followed by the Salar Jung Museum, then the Nizam’s Purani Haveli and Chowmahalla Palace, a drive through Charminar, the Golconda Fort, and the Zoo. We finished the tiring day at Lumbini Park We had an absolutely fabulous time and vowed to come back and spend much, much longer in each place. I, of course, had made my pilgrimage every year with visiting relatives to all these places and I was thrilled my son wanted more. We spent the rest of our trip with close family friends and returned home, very happy.
Now, the thing with Himachal Pradesh is there are too many wonderful destinations to list, but I’ll go with the one that tops our list since I am talking about experiences. Dharamsala is the first place we visited in HP and it was a surreal trip because my dream of meeting the Dalai Lama came true. Despite the discouragement and naysayers who tried to convince me that it was impossible to meet him, I did manage to make my way there. Some things you just cannot stop, right? And so, we had our ten minutes talking with him, laughing with him, holding hands, hugging and came off walking on air with three fabulous photos with him. Yes, a highlight of my life. We had made a tight trip itinerary and we visited several spots during our trip, including the Dalai Lama’s house in Macleod Ganj, Dhauladhar mountain range, Bhagsu Nag falls, Kangra, Baijnath, and more. A glorious family trip before my son left for college. Luckily, his campus is close to the HP border, so we make it a point to explore some part of HP every year in the summer. So far, we’ve visited Dharamsala, Kangra, Kasauli, Kufri, Solan, and Chail. I definitely plan to systematically cover dev bhoomi Himachal Pradesh – truly heaven on earth.
This is one of the places my husband and I went for our honeymoon and absolutely loved it. We stayed for three days. We enjoyed the day tour to the Ward Lake, Chirapunji Nohkalikai falls, Mawsmai Caves and walked a lot around the area. From there we headed to Guwahati, then Kaziranga and then headed back home to Mumbai. I’d love to go back to Shillong and explore more of Meghalaya—it’s on my urgent travel to-do list. I remember being fascinated by the cobbled streets, the quaint shops, the experience of the band playing in the city square and the beautifully dressed people. Our university campus was just gorgeous and I think we would have been happy to simply enjoy nature. Happy times, indeed!
I have fond memories of this city from my numerous visits during my corporate career, as regional head for the states of AP and Telangana. I always wished I could stay back for some sightseeing since there are several places to visit—however, my official trips were always hectic and confined to the Vishakapatnam Steel Plant, the Navy, and other clients’ offices. I could only look with longing at the beaches and hills as we drove past them. This wonderful place is one I am going back to, just to keep a promise I made to myself all those years ago. A quirky memory from one of my visits is meeting the great NTR on the train—he insisted on sharing his snacks dinner with the entire compartment. We listened to his legendary voice, eating his cashew pakoras and generally having a memorable journey!
We visited the lovely state of Sikkim a few years ago and chose the wrong time of the year, according to the locals—the monsoons. The trip was a little rushed but rains and raincoats notwithstanding, we did manage to have a pretty good time. We visited the zoo, a hilltop temple, a couple of monasteries and the market. Some of the places on our list had to be dropped, sadly, because of the landslides, and I promised myself that I would be back for a proper visit at the “right” time of year. I simply need to go back and watch the dawn from my window at 4:00 a.m., lighting the Kanchendzonga peak, visit the Nathula pass, the monasteries and so much more.
From Gangtok we headed to Darjeeling. Oh, what a beautiful place! Even the crazy hairpin bends and the tall trees during our ride up and down the hills were beautiful. I would love a slow trip through the villages en route, visit the zoo again, ride that heritage train, roam the tea gardens and the monasteries. We seem to have barely touched the tip of this gorgeous place. And next time I’d like to go during the summer, not when it is raining. I also wish I could bring back one of their huge baskets!
This is now practically a home away from home since our son’s college campus is near here. As the most well-planned city in India, Chandigarh has plenty to offer in terms of sight-seeing—the rock garden, Sukhna lake, gardens, museums, art gallery, monuments, and more. Besides its own attractions, it is the perfect base to visit all the adjoining cities, both in Himachal Pradesh, Haryana and in Punjab. Full of possibilities.
Home town. Rich in culture and heritage sites. It is always a pleasure to visit Tanjore or Thanjavur and I always come back with the feeling that we did not do justice to the trip—which is a good thing as it is an excuse to go back. Not that we need one! The temples alone are worth a visit – vast, peaceful, serene and architectural marvels. But there is something for all visitors: palaces, libraries, museums, handicrafts, paintings, art galleries. Also, it makes a great base to visit several places of interest nearby. And there’s something very special about the bus rides from one village to another.
It was heartbreaking to visit Shanghai on work and not be a tourist there. In fact, thanks to a delayed visa, I missed the sightseeing tour arranged on the first day. We were there for three days on a really tight schedule and on the day of our departure, I had to head straight from my meeting to the airport. Sigh. I have to go back, don’t I? Also, I had a few hours layover at Hong Kong and Bangkok where I had to switch flights. It freaked me out that I was stuck at the airport and could not explore these cities. Thailand is on my wishlist and so is China. I am glad it is not out of my reach!
What a glorious almost three-week trip this was, and how funny that I came back with the feeling that I didn’t have enough time! That’s how it is when I meet my closest friend, who lives there now. As a bonus, as serendipity would have it, I met three more of my closest friends. Fabulous trip—we went out a lot, we ate a lot, we talked a lot and generally made the most of every minute. Yet, there was a long list of shoudaves and couldaves and wouldaves. We parted with the promise that next time, we’d drive across to the US as this trip didn’t leave us enough time for that. Sigh.
This, by no means, is my final list of “want to go back to”, but I must stop here and maybe work on another list.
I love the perspective and education travel brings. I enjoy meeting people and collecting smiles and memories with my camera through solo travel and trips with friends and family.
What’s your favorite travel destination?
Which of the above places have you visited?
Where did you travel recently?