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How it all happened

Updated: Dec 15, 2020

Now, Maldives was not the first international destination for us. We had done Srilanka first in 2002 and Singapore & Malaysia in 2008.

Srilanka was a part of our our early travel years. It was a very short visit of 4 days and 3 nights. The exciting story about this is that the Srilankan Airlines, at that time, launched a direct flight from Bangalore to Srilanka and had an irresistible introductory offer of just 15k Indian rupees and odd per head , inclusive of return flights, accommodation in the TAJ BENTOTA, a FIVE star property, free breakfast and meal credits to last our entire trip for lunch and dinners. We couldn't be more fortunate. You can read more about this trip in my separate post on it. I suggest you don't miss reading it.

In 2008, we had another family, a couple, who was interested in doing a Singapore- Malaysia trip with us.

While looking for ideal tour packages from various travel companies, I noted fares and deals and what all they provided. I had spoken to a few of my other friends who shared their experiences of doing a tour with such companies. It all came with a price. Also, they were mostly so time driven. They covered pillar to post in quick succession and loaded the tourists with loud commentary about the surroundings on their way in a fast pace, so as to finish their given itinerary in the said period. The time spent in each place was so limited. Even before it sinks in, it would be time to leave, get into their given vehicle to reach the next destination. Also, there would be a flock of other people accompanying- so one can expect some noise around always. Oh can't blame these companies though, when you have a list of places to be covered, coupled with time constraint, that is bound to happen. They do their best.

The personalised, tailor-made tours offered by a few companies, on the other hand, mostly was a ripper. Couldn't afford it.

Well then, IF you have the money and your idea of visiting a place is to just tick a bucket list of touristy places to be seen OR if you are left with short time to plan a self-made tour OR if you are just plain lazy or unsure of how to go about things on your own, go ahead book a tour and find your dream destination. It is the easiest one can do.

This choice also depends a lot on what one expects to experience in a destination. May be the people who do tours with these companies are happy with the way things turn out and are satisfied with what they see and experience.

At that time, in 2008, planning a trip on your own from India, was the last thing you wanted, especially when it was an international destination. What if things go wrong ? What if we get stuck in a place with no one to help. That is a strict NO, especially when traveling with women and children. Safety and security is the main concern always. In any case , I decided to give it a go.

First of all it got me reading. Information about many internal places of visit in these countries got me excited. But, I was working around a time constraint of 7 nights - 8 days to see as much as possible of both Singapore & Malaysia , at our own pace. I quickly made a list of places we would like to visit. These, of course, included the most "touristy" places. It was my first self- planned international trip, so I stuck to main places of tourist interests, just to keep it safe. You can read more about this trip in my separate post on it.

From then on the TRAVEL bug bit us once a year. Each and every story brought very  unique mind boggling experiences. Its true " The World is more beautiful than we think " and "Seeing is believing". ( Don't miss pictures & videos taken with my very own camera, with every travel story)

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