Year End Summary- 2018 in travel, adventure

As 2018 is coming to a closure, here's a quick roundup of how my year went. With about 7 international trips and a dozen + major and minor domestic trips, I feel it went well.
Month wise recap:
1. January
Short work trip to Coimbatore + a day visit to Top Slip and Perambikulam

Planned trip to Cambodia couldn’t materialize. Lost 24k for 2 pax. Thankfully rest of the trips for the year could be executed as per plan.

2. February-
No major travel, except a weekend ride to Pulicat lake but lots of tickets booked- Kochi, Pune, Srilanka, Maldives and China.

3. March:
Short trip to Pune, did elementary paragliding course with Nirvana

Bike trip to Gingee fort and Tiruvannamalai

4. April: Dubai
First time to UAE, thanks to a low fare ticket I could grab on FlyDubai. Short but action packed trip- visited Arabian Travel Market, visited most of the popular tourist attractions, tried few adventures like desert safari and flyboarding and had great time with relatives.
Check posts on Dubai Frame * Glow Garden * Green Planet *

5. May: Hyderabad
Weekend visit to Hyderabad after several years. Sudha Car museum visit was memorable. 

Bike ride to Pondichery, Auroville Inner chamber and solitude farm visit.

6. June- Srilanka

Quick trip to home town
Family trip to Srilanka- 5 days, 700 kms, covering Sigiriya Lion Rock, Dambolla, Kandy, Nuwara Eliya, Horton Plains National Park, Ratnapura and Colombo

7. July- 
Weekend visit to Bengaluru and bike ride to Gudibande. No other travel. Blogpost pending.

8. August
First time to Myanmar- visited Bago, Yangon
Read about Yangon circle train, Dala village visit

Short visit to Jaipur to explore JW Marriott Jaipur Resort and Spa. Also visited Haathi Gaon and Virasat Heritage trail

9. September
Short trip to Kerala- Kochi, Alleppy, Vagamon. Immediately after floods, this trip was on the blink of cancellation but was executed thanks to timely info from friends on the ground realities. More details here
Missed a trip to Malaysia. Month end short visit to Gan Island, Maldives: A different experience as there was nothing much to do in this island- a relaxed stay!

Read: Is Gan island worth visiting? Public transportation in Gan * 12 things to do in Gan Island * Koattey Magu Scenic reserve

10. October
Conducted a workshop on blogging at Katha Utsav

First time to Auckland, New Zealand- longest and most anticipated trip of the year- 23000 kms approx. for about just Rs 1 per km on Air Asia. My visit was short but enjoyed exploring few islands off Auckland and a 3 day drive around North Island on a rented car. Met few friends too!
Visited Narendra Bhavan, Bikaner for the second time, to explore their new room types.

11. November
Weekend visit to Bengaluru.

Short visit to Gold Coast and Brisbane, Australia

Read: Byron Bay * Lamington National Park * Recommended 1 week itinerary * Brisbane city attractions and things to do *

A trip to Bhuvaneshwar had to be cancelled as Air Asia cancelled our flights. Was looking forward to this.

Month End visit to Beijing, China

12. December
Shanghai and return from Beijing trip
Short visit to Mahabalipuram with friend and a weekend visit to Bengalauru to wrap the year.

Thus 2018 has been good overall- visited 7 international destinations- UAE, Myanmar, New Zealand and China for the first time and Srilanka, Maldives and Australia repeat visit.

Within India major trips included Coimbatore, Pune, Hyderabad, Mangaluru,  Jaipur, Bikaner, Kochi and a similar number of minor trips (bike/bus/train) Tiruvannamalai, Pondichery, Pulicat, Bengaluru (2-3 visits), Mahabalipuram etc. No North East, No Himalayas, No Europe/America/Africa. Thus effectively a 777 this year- 7 international trips, 7 major domestic trips (involving flights) and 7 minor ones (bike, train etc). But I did feel some drawbacks of too much travel- detailed in a separate post here
Flightradar data says I flew around the earth twice this year (in distance equivalent terms)

Airlines: Only FlyDubai and Vistara are two new airlines I tried- all other trips were with airlines I had flown with already- Srilankan, Air Asia, Indigo, Air India

Events: Attended Rolls Royce Phantom launch in Chennai, Arabian Travel market in Dubai, conducted a workshop on blogging at Katha Utsav 2018 in Chennai- met a few blogger friends in Bengaluru-other than these, no major events attended.

Cars and Bikes tried
: Experienced Ather Energy’s electric scooters in Bengaluru. Another cheap Chinese electric scooter was also fun to ride in Bago. Other than that no new cars n bikes tested- no invite to bloggers for Tata Harrier Media drive this year. Rented Hyundai Verna, KUV100 in Chennai n Kochi, Figo in Coimbatore, Activa, Pulsar and Honda Navi two wheelers- overall nothing much impressive w.r.t cars and bikes this year. No major long drives, except bike ride to Tiruvannamalai.  Drove a colleague's new Hyundai Santro yesterday- post is due. Sudha car museum visit in Hyd is worth a mention.

Adventures: iFly indoor flying in Gold Coast, Flyboarding in Dubai, climbing Sigiriya Lion Rock in Srilanka, Paragliding elementary course completion in Pune, Self drive road trips in Australia & New Zealand, trekking on Great wall of China, Desert Safari in Dubai, Climbing Gingee fort and the recently experienced Floatation Therapy were some of the activities that could be categorized under adventure this year.

Paragliding course was the longest and best of all, spanning 4 days while iFly was shortest (2 mins). Flyboarding I failed, need to try again. 

Blog: Wrote about 170 blog posts on enidhi.net, which is bit less compared to 2017, but add 140 at airlineblog.in, that is about 310 posts this year. But frequency was low on various months due to lots of travel or other factors. Doing fairly ok on other platforms (Zomato, Instagram etc)

Media mentions: My Vagamon story was featured in DT Next and another mention in Deccan Herald. Got a mention in Treebo's list of top 25 travel bloggers
Books: Only 4 books read, 3 reviewed- For the sake of Love * Elephants in the room * Lets have coffee *

2019 Outlook: Have a trip planned to Brunei. Few more trips planned on WOW Air are under jeopardy due to airline’s financial crisis and massive flight cancellations. Anyway I might need some time to replenish leave balance and savings. Due to high fuel prices and other factors there were not too many sales this year or the sales were not really tempting. Now that the fuel prices have come down a bit, hope next few sales will have tempting fares- Have a few destinations in mind and a target price- if I can get tickets for that price, will book.

Have lots of blog post backlogs to clear- need to focus on that and other things in life.

One more post coming up listing most popular posts of 2018.
Similar: Travel year 2017 in review * Best of 2017 * Best of 2018 at Airlineblog

How was your year? Do comment

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