Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Spring is here in Seattle!

Nestled between the snow-clad Cascade Mountains and the Olympic range and small but seemingly vast Puget Sound, is this beautiful city of Seattle. A city that has affirmed my belief that one can fall in love with a place more and more with every passing day. 

Back in October, when this place was painted in hundred shades of autumn, I thought this is the prettiest a “city” can look if it is kind to nature and if it is loved back by nature in equal measures. Then came the constant overcast and some prized white washed days of winter and I found new reasons to appreciate how blessed Seattle was by nature. Now it is spring here and I feel there is no better time to explore Seattle!

If you guys agree with me and if you are planning to see the blooming flowers, butterflies and blast of colours around in Seattle – I would suggest you start it with a University of Washington Tour! It is a pink-white affair at University of Washington these days and I am sure it will warm your hearts with pure joy.

People always say appreciate the small things in life because they have the potential to keep you happy – well, at least for me it is turning out to be true. The tiny cherry blossoms clustered everywhere these days have become the reason for smiles on every visitors face who just can't get enough of the flower shots (think photoshoots!).

I always saw these dreamy pictures of Japan and yearned to be there during ‘Hanami’ season which is such a cute traditional affair under the canopy of Sakura aka cherry blossoms. Some people also know of the Sakura Festival at Jefferson Memorial in Washington DC. But very few know of Seattle and University of Washington Cherry Blossom weeks. 

So here I am promoting my University for the first time ever on my blog – because this season of pink bliss is just one of the many reasons to visit Seattle now and explore nature at its best in the Pacific North West.

In the coming days, I will tell you more of this beautiful corner of the USA but for now let us welcome spring with a touch of pink, a dash of green, some sparkling white and just Words.

Not gloomy and frozen for winter's gone
And canopy of love is no more forlorn
Sing, dance, gallop and prance
The day is warm and new hope is born...

Bursting with happiness and warmth
Swaying to the breezy chords of nature
Unfreezing the benumbed hard wood core
You breath life in so many more...

Walk a path that is adorned with life
Sakura is here and Nature is fluttering again...

Thawed in the winter sun, spring is riding on
On a land all glee and lanes colored again...

For those wondering why I got poetic to convince you guys to travel and explore Seattle – didn’t the photos render you speechless at first and then a tad bit poetic? I rest my case! 
O, and I said spring and not sakura season - so don't worry there are more colorful flowers in the vicinity to pleasantly surprise you

Visit Details: When and Where?

University of Washington from 29th March to 9th April to witness 100% blooming cherry blossom trees. The flowers would still be there for another 2 weeks after that but not in full glory. Early morning would be the best time to visit to avoid major crowd.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Women Travel Bloggers who have NOT Quit Their Jobs to Travel

Women, Empowerment, girl-power, feminism were some of the few words that were trending on social medial channels recently. Reason -  International Women’s Day! 
I wanted to add my two cents on women empowerment in a way that literally wows me. So here it is!

How many times have we heard of people who quit their job to be a “full-time travel blogger”. That takes courage and hats off to those amazing souls! But think about people who love their job but love travelling and sharing their travel stories at the same time!  How many times we have heard of successful ‘travel-bloggers’ who have some other full-time job?And then think about such women in India (think family). I hadn’t of many to be frank. But since I have been trying to achieve that for the last 3 years now I thought of making this Women’s Day about women who not only get work-life balance in some sense but also achieve work-life-travel balance!
Though my hunt for this list started almost a month back, I only found three dare devils who dared to pursue their dreams and passion, and have achieved success in every domain to some extent. Initially I thought of scarping this whole post but then I felt, maybe this might turn out to be that little ray of hope that some people might need to not give up on some dream they have! So, I asked these people what inspired them to do both and how they managed it all and here is what they had to say…

1.   Raksha Prasad - https://solopassport.com/
I am an IT professional who craves travel. I love exploring new places and meeting new people. I mostly travel alone or with any of my travel buddies. I am at ease in being a tourist or a traveller or even both, whatever the place requires me to be! My travel blog "Solopassport" aims at showcasing my experiences and photographs taken along my travel journey. I have not quit my job to follow my passion which is travel. On one side is "my profession" that feeds me with bread and butter and on the other side is my first and only love "travel" - both demands equal amount of time and effort. It is difficult but with a bit of planning in advance I give enough importance to both. I utilize all (well most) of my weekends (long weekends are a bliss) and my annual leaves travelling - it could be near or far - as long as it is travel and exploring new places.

2.  Edwina D'souza - http://wannabemaven.com
I've been travel blogging for 3 years now and successfully balance my travels with my full time corporate job – previously with a hospitality firm in Mumbai and now with a Multinational Consultancy and Accounting firm. I love travelling and exploring new places. I simultaneously maintain a travel blog – “Wannabemaven”- to keep my passion for travel alive. My blog talks about all things related to travel – from food to cities, history, art, culture and occasionally films. I also blog extensively about Mumbai as a city – things to do, places to see, etc. I’m currently concentrating on creating a wider base for my travel blog. This needs me to write interesting travel stories about cities and cultures that are not quite heard of. Indirectly, this means more travel and I’m thrilled by the very thought of it. Also, I’ve realized it is important to set goals. Daily goals, weekly goals, monthly goals maybe, but do it! If I must take a break, I try to travel someplace new at least once a month. I ensure, I write at least once a week on my blog. It all depends on how badly you want something. Travel is very important to me. I don’t see it as a luxury but a necessity. So, I try to find a way to keep travelling.

3.  Suman Doogar – http://nomadicshoes.com/
I believe in balance in life, I think because too much or too little of anything can leave you feeling deprived. I am a full-time Psychology teacher in a private school, I tutor in part time, I organize treks to Himachal Pradesh under a small venture called “Nomadic Shoes” and I am married. So, add another whole spectrum of work of cooking, cleaning, dusting and washing utensils. And I travel. I never felt the need to leave my job or ignore my family for the sake of travelling. A little bit of this and a little bit of that keeps me grounded and offers variety at the same time. Teaching and travelling are my two passions, one gives me security and the later breaks the monotony of routine life. Each aspect of my life compliments the other. I am a better teacher because I am a traveller.

May not be enough evidence, but if you want to travel and are not sure of letting go of your jobs – maybe there is a way of doing both, right? Let me know of your thoughts in the comment section below.

P.S. - All the photos have been used after prior consent by the interviewees.