2nd trip to India – Hubby’s Hometown

I have a travel rule that I never visit the same country twice (except for Costa Rica).  There are a total of 196 countries in the world and I average 2-4 country visits a year.  At this point…well you do the math…I will need to find the fountain of youth in order to accomplish my goal.

However, even if your home is 24 hours away you can’t help but go there yearly or every other year in the case of Nelli who’s hometown is in Manipal India.  I wasn’t really excited to go because we had just been there the year before and because of my on-going issues with his Mom.  In addition, my first trip to India was good but some aspects had turned me off…has there been a country that you didn’t love or is that an ungrateful or rude thing to say?  Each country brings an experience and I know I shouldn’t put my particular one experience as a view of the entire country but I just can’t help the feeling that India isn’t my dream land.  Nelli really wanted me to visit his hometown though so on the account that we would be visiting Sri Lanka as well I agreed to go.

There were a couple of roadblocks en route to going to India.  One is I learned at the last minute that we wouldn’t be traveling to Hampi.  Hampi is probably the most historic and well known tourist site in Karnataka.  I really wanted to take a day trip here but Nelli wanted to prioritize staying as much time at home so I was really bummed about that. Continue reading “2nd trip to India – Hubby’s Hometown”

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An unforgettable vacation – Iceland

I DID NOT WANT TO GO TO ICELAND.

If you guys know me, my idea of a vacation is warm weather and a nice beach.  Nelli would always tell me that Iceland was one of his dream trips and I was dreading the day when he would inevitably book his plane ticket.  A couple months before he started planning and as usual, he was sticker shocked on the price as he started looking at airfare late.  He was disappointed and started looking at trip prices in Canada which would offer a similar experience in offering Northern Lights drives.  I knew how much he wanted to go to Iceland so going against my own pre-conceived notions, I pushed us to go to the little island somewhere near Europe.

The first stop after getting off the plane in Iceland was straight to Blue Lagoon.  I was horrified because have you seen me coming off a 7 hour international flight?  Apparently, going in the morning or right before or after a flight is common as the Blue lagoon is close to the airport and it gets REALLY crowded.  The Blue Lagoon is a must-see if you are in Iceland and I enjoyed the refreshing, hot water as well as the mud mask after a long, dry flight.

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Top 5 things to do in Costa Rica

My top 5 things to do:

  1. La Fortuna Waterfalls
  2. Arenal volcano visit
  3. Manuel Antonio National Park
  4. Cafe Britt
  5. Tortuguero National Park

This was Nelli’s 2nd time going to Costa Rica and he absolutely loves the country especially their coffee.  He actually planned his luggage around how much coffee he was going to bring back when we visited Cafe Britt.

Things I wish we had done – Because we only stayed for a short time, we definitely skimmed the surface of all Costa Rica has to offer.  I don’t usually prefer to visit countries twice because there is so much to see in the world but Costa Rica definitely warrants a 2nd time.

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The Year of the Wedding – What I learned

2015 was definitely the year of the weddings.  We went to 5 weddings across the United States. WOW.  I think for the month of October we had one weekend at home and the rest we were flying somewhere for somebody’s nuptials except for my birthday trip to New York (SO much fun!).  Me and Nelli didn’t get to do much international trips with the exception of India with all the stateside travel but I have some of the best memories from this year. One wedding was in New Orleans, another in Utah, another in the Carolina, BDAY in New York, oh and I took a girls trip to Mexico!

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1st Trip To India and the End of Visa Woes

By now you know Nelli returned home after his 3 month long sabbatical in India.  His visa had expired so he would have to return to India until it was renewed.  Every day during those months he called me twice a day without fail.  A quick morning call before I went to work and then after I came home for work for 1-3 hours.  It was amazing to have him back, and I never let him go after that.  So when he had to go BACK to India to make his visa automatically renew every 3 years I insisted I go with him.  At first he was a little hesitant because his priority was his visa business and he wasn’t sure I would enjoy myself – in the end, I won!

My first trip to India isn’t the typical experience.  When most people think of traveling to India, they think of the Taj Mahal and butter chicken.  Since Nelli is South Indian, he would have to travel to the South India Capitol for his visa business which is Chennai, Tamil Nadu.  I don’t think I have ever heard of South Indian States before I met Nelli.  Well anyways, he planned some nice things for us to do in Chennai and then we would be traveling to a neighboring state called Kerala.  I wanted to go to New Delhi and have a typical India touristy experience but Nelli insisted we wouldn’t have time.  In the end, I’m glad we didn’t because I had a unique experience.

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Top 5 things to do in Maui Hawaii

My top 5 things to do:

  1. Stay in Paia
  2. Road to Hana
  3. Mamas Fish House
  4. Sunset/Bikeride in Haleakala Mountain
  5. Luau

I have never been to Hawaii until I met Nelli.  I love that he keeps introducing me to new places, cultures, and mindsets.  I wonder if I have done the same for him?  Hmmm….

He had been to Hawaii before for a wedding and a race so he was excited to show me around.  We chose to go to Maui since we are nature and adventure lovers.  I loved the cute air bnb we stayed at in the city of Paia.  It was more of a locals town instead of the touristy resort side of the island.  Some of my favorite experiences from this trip was waking up at the crack of dawn to go up Haleakala mountain and watching the sunrise and then bike riding down and stopping at a lavender farm.

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Top 5 things to do in Jamaica

My top 5 things to do:

  1. Rockhouse Hotel
  2. Dives
  3. Mayfield Falls
  4. Appleton Rum Estates
  5. YS Falls

If Nelli wasn’t Indian he would be Jamaican.  As usual, this was his 2nd time going to Negril Jamaica as he had a previous trip there for a wedding.  He loves the weather, the food, and the Indian influence i.e. CRICKET!  Negril is an hour away from the touristy part of Montego Bay.  If I had any recommendations for Negril Jamaica, it would be to stay in the ROCKHOUSE HOTEL.  It is absolutely beautiful with 3 restaurants and a great view of the ocean cliffs.  The rooms are absolutely gorgeous with a private outside shower, YOGA classes and a full service spa.  It’s also on a road that has many different villas and restaurants if you want some more variety.  Dives was an amazing restaurant and I think we ate there more than once.  I absolutely love this hotel and I can’t wait to go back preferably in their romantic honeymoon villa (Hint..)

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