Journeys and Jottings

Journeys and Jottings – Its time for appraisal


Hello December and welcome to the last edition of Journeys and Jottings of 2016. The good news is that I have given myself this entire month off to chill. The bad news is that I have mounds of pending work, yet to be finished. But travel has been knocking on my doors. So I decided to sit at home and finish what they call homework and hit the road.

But I could not help looking back on the year that has gone by and do a bit of self appraisal. Probably its a hangover from my corporate days (eight years since I quit ) but it helps me plan a new year, put some goals and some monetary targets as well.

So here goes the highlights of 2016 for me

I put my health first and that is very important to me. In the last few years, I have been dealing with some issues (nothing serious) that make you realize that you cannot take your health for granted.

I learnt to say no. This was the biggest learning from 2016. I had declined quite a few trips, projects and campaigns . Some clashed with existing work or travels, others I had to say no because of health but there were many that I just refused because they did not fit into my overall goals.

I travelled more in India than abroad. This was a conscious decision. While I love to see many stamps in my passport, I realized that I needed a lifetime to visit India . So, I priortised my own country over several shores overseas.

Not all trips were sponsored or campaigns. I travelled a bit on my own, at my own pace, looking for stories.

I took a holiday. It was not planned but then I decided to take a month off with family in US. And I refused to work.

A few mantras that mattered to me – Less Is More, Slow Travel, Content is King. These will hold good in 2017 too.

I focussed on videos and launched my You tube channel, Travel With Lakshmi.

I worked with clients I wanted to work with . Yes, that is very important for me . I took up campaigns and projects that I was interested in,  rather than hitting the Yes button for every mail that popped in my inbox.

I shifted my focus from publications to my blog – yea, that is the direction, going forward.

I did a good mix of content projects and campaigns and I worked with brands outside the travel space as well. I also took up a media project. And I made decent money overall.

Fascinating travel experiences 

It has to be St Patricks Day in Ireland.  Going on the parade was just awesome . I just love the Irish.

Sighting the Big Five in South Africa. What an experience !

Antelope Canyon in US – I am at a loss for words.

The Penguin Parade in Philip Island  – Overdosed on cuteness and nostalgia

Staying in a boat and floating in Komodo Island and seeing stars

Varanasi – I returned entirely mind boggled

Khichan – A five year dream came true when I stood watching thousands of demoissele cranes

Hampi revisited – Nostalgia like never before

Driving in the monsoons in the Western Ghats to Jog Falls.

A solo road trip in Gujarat following Krishna’s footsteps.

And Rajasthan – I dont know where to start. It seems like there is a connection between me and the state but my brief glimpse of Shekhawati takes the cake.

Some things to ponder 

However I was not happy with all the choices that I made this year. It is a learning curve and it taught me that I need to be more discerning in 2017.

I didnt have a concrete plan in 2016 but I am planning one for 2017.  And that will help me plan my travels, content, campaigns, projects and some new initiatives that am planning.

2017 is also going to be a personal journey to me – it will take me back to my earlier days of travel blogging and I will like to do what I enjoy doing the most – travelling and telling stories.

And finally, thank you all for being a part of my journey, egging me to go on and come back to you with more interesting and inspiring stories. Let us travel together


  1. Deepika 1 December, 2016 at 13:08 Reply

    Love the honesty in this article. Some lessons I agree with, some are bang opposite to what I learnt. I am inspired to write something similar. Will share with you for your feedback 🙂

  2. Pratik Jaiswal 5 December, 2016 at 15:30 Reply

    Hi Lakshmi,

    It was nice going through your blog.. It was like a journey through your realization process.. To add my share of value to it as i’m because we are.. What i personally feel is that the whole purpose of life is to reach the equilibrium point… a point where you are able to maintain balance in every sphere of life.. Which is easily said than done.. and could be one of the toughest thing to do..

    To clear the air further (to make it more simple or rather difficult as one’s mind may perceive).. there is no such fixed or 100% accurate point .. no as such pre-defined point (for it is nothing but “perfect imperfection”).. however, there will be a moment where our mind settle to a point where there will be harmony in all our sphere of life.. which we are gradually enlightened to by continuous process of realization (becoming aware).. we need to tightly hold on to this point.. for our mind is the best slave but worst master.

    Lots of Love

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