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5 Reasons to Travel to Georgia

Tell someone you're going to Georgia, and chances are they're thinking of the south-eastern U.S. state with its coastal plains. Well, that's not where I went. I visited the Eastern European country Georgia; a country that waits patiently for the world to take notice of it. And it sits a mere three hours away by a direct flight from Dubai. I round up some reasons you too should put this on your getaway list. 
1. Mountains and Monasteries Georgia is blessed with astounding mountain scenery. The Lesser Caucus mountain ranges span across Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan. Mount Kazbegi is one of the highest peaks of the ranges. The drive cutting through towering lush green, snow-capped mountains are memorable. There is never a dull moment when you have fields with hues of green and yellow that go as far as your eyes can see, dotted with patches of tiny yellow and red flowers - makes you want to run singing 'the hills are alive with the sound of music...'  Nature lovers oft…
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Uncovering Denmark's Reasons for Happiness from 'The Year of Living Danishly'

Who knew I'd learn about the Danes while vacationing in Zanzibar! I chanced upon the book 'The Year of Living Danishly' while scanning through the bookshelf at the resort during my African vacation. I traded my unread Paulo Coehlo 'The Winner Stands Alone' (no regrets there) for this book with its attractive blue color. Cover aside, I was curious to know what makes Denmark the world's happiest country. Scandinavian countries have always harbored my wanderlust-heavy fancy and this book held insights into what made one of these countries known for its happiness levels and living standards. 
What's the deal with this book anyway?  'The Year of Living Danishly' is written by Helen Russell who used to write for Marie Clare UK, a job that was adding to the conundrum of her rat-race infused meaningless London life. A job offer from Lego for her husband signaled a move to Billund in Denmark, spiraling Helen into a Danish expedition, an exciting yet nerve-wr…

Zanzibar: 10 Tips to Help You Plan Your Trip

Contemplating a short trip somewhere? Might I recommend Zanzibar, an island with crystal clear blue beaches, a town which is a UNESCO heritage site, people with a heart of gold and nature in abundance. I was so impressed with the hospitality I received from the local island folk as well as their rich history and culture, that yours truly wrote a poem about my experience - read it here. So assuming that you've read my poem which would (hopefully) have enticed you to add Zanzibar to your travel bucket list, you may proceed to read the below tips that can help you plan and prepare for your the trip to this paradise island...
VISA  The visa information or the lack of it online can leave you confused, so you can thank me for this firsthand information. If you're an Indian national, you will require a visa (no surprise). There's a $50 fee for visa on arrival that you can pay via your debit/credit card once you disembark the flight at the Zanzibar International Airport. Be nice to …

The Soul of Zanzibar

A 20,000 year old home to humans The Persians, Arabs and Indians Ah 'karibu' to Zanzibar The Africa you've only heard of from afar
The Arabs of Oman the locals liked Imperial Europeans the brave-hearts despised A history of slave trade surmised Pride in Masa'ai culture has since survived
Here flourishes the sacred Jozani forest Where green mambas, antelopes and red monkeys rest 'Hakuna matata' sings our guide He regales us with tales of mangroves as we ride
On a boat over choppy waters to Prison Island Sold to a British Lord by an Omani Sultan Never as a prison, but used as a quarantine The turquoise sea views from here are mighty pristine
Adorning Stone Town are carved Indian doors Coral walls, Arabesque interiors - all treasure troves The markets aromatic with peppers and cloves Just where once were auctioned slaves in droves
Birthplace of Freddie, Queen's front man Strange few locals know of his jam Africa, the keeper of Dr. Livingstone's heart It was here, in abolishing s…

5 Podcasts You Must Listen To

I first began listening to podcasts in late 2015 and I must say I was rather late to join the club. There's a whole world of unique and interesting content there that is available to consume. From a marketing perspective, podcasts are becoming attractive platforms - brands are either choosing to sponsor podcasts and advertise on them, or then are launching podcasts as a natural extension of their value proposition. 
Have you jumped in on the podcast wagon yet? Or would you rather Netflix and chill? Then let me try changing your mind. Podcasts are a great way to expand your mind, broaden your knowledge or seek inspiration. Podcasts have rekindled an age-old love for listening to stories in a medium relevant to today's generation. You can listen on the go, while exercising, commuting, working and before bedtime. Here are my recommendations just perfect to set you off on your podcast journey. 
1. SERIAL This was the show that began my addiction to podcasts. I never expected to be so…

Essential Reading If You're Moving to Dubai

At the time of writing this post, I have completed seven months living in Dubai. In this time, I have explored so much of the city (as much as I possibly could) but there is still a whole lot waiting to be discovered. I feel like I have been here for a really long time but that speaks volumes about how easily I settled in to my new life here. If you're planning to move to Dubai, here's some essential reading just to get an initial sense of the vibe here.  
1. You'll need to watch your money. Dubai has everything aspirational from the finest restaurants to the most desirable retail brands to global events. But we know experiences cost money, and can be on the slightly expensive side. Can you do without that brunch? Certainly your stomach can. Do you need that jacket? Winter isn't for another 6 months. Introspective conversations like these are good practice to avoid overspending. 
2. Before I came to Dubai, brunch was just that - a brunch. Just another word, another me…

An Epicurean Sojourn in Spain

Eating a meal when you're traveling around a new city is an experience in itself. Breakfasts, lunches, dinners and tea/coffee breaks become integral in your itinerary and carry the spirit of exploration and discovery of the local culture. Last year I went to Spain with friends and zipping across Madrid, Valencia, Toledo and Barcelona, we got to taste so many flavours new to our palate. It was fun recapturing those tasty memories as I sat down to share with you our epicurean adventures...
Museo Del Jamon, Madrid This is a unique restaurant frequented by locals and tourists since 1978 for particularly two things: beer and ham. Plain and simple. The space almost has a 'retail' and 'deli' feel to it with fresh cheeses and charcuterie with lovely shades of orange, red and brown on display as well as a wide variety of smoked hams suspended from the ceiling. Expect the finest quality of cured meat here. Its popularity has rendered it a spot on a must-visit attraction in

#IAmsterdam - What You Need to See & Do in Amsterdam

It's been a little over a year since my trip to Amsterdam. I spent three days there and made it a point to see as much as I possibly could and spend as less time in my lovely hotel room (read about my stay at the Hyatt Andaz Prinsengracht). So this really is a much delayed blog about the many things I saw and places I covered, and now highly recommend. 
A PICTURESQUE URBANGARDEN
Amsterdam is a city for Instagram lovers! Almost everywhere you look is postcard pretty and picture perfect. Doors are a beauty in themselves and old buildings have flora organically adorning them. You'll stumble past lovely plaques on the walls and will enjoy the strains of the violin from street musicians. Take a stroll inside the massive Vondel Park replete with idyllic lawns, ponds and footbridges; truly fairy tale like! Make sure you charge up your phone battery because I'm pretty sure you're going to be click-happy once you step out on the streets of Amsterdam. GO CHEESE & MUSTARD TASTIN…