Sunday, September 13, 2009

Five things I love to do on vacations

My darling friend Purplehomes decided that she wanted me to describe the things I love doing on vacations. Here goes.

I love travelling almost as much as I love hot aloo ka paranthas with butter melting on top, which if you know me is saying that I love it a lot. The esteemed M has true wanderlust and is the sort of person who has the right nakshatra arrangement in his birth-chart to ensure travels far and wide. That and his innate love of planning mean that I am able to sit back, point at the globe and say, there, that is where I want to go for my next holiday. He pretty much takes care of the rest, scheduling the trip, booking the tickets, figuring out hotels (I help here because I absolutely love browsing through TripAdvisor) and then carting the family to the airport. Well, his supremely efficient secretary helps, of course but even so, it is rather convenient to be married to a planning/control freak. Most of the times, that is. I saunter in every now and then and proclaim - Ah, but there is a wonderful cafe on that street that we must try out, one of my blog friends said so. He normally ignores me when I have such pretensions of being the dreamy, creative sort.

To get to the things I love to do on vacation:

Catch a show/event: I have learnt that it's amazing fun to plan an entire trip around a rock show or an event. It is very exciting to go ALL THE WAY (I am only a villager at heart, see?) to see one's favourite rock act in action. In fact, I'd love to do a whole trip doing nothing but listening to music, like Bonnaroo for example. My best trip so far has been the birthday gift trip to Bologna to see my Metallica.

Visit the local shops: I think it's great fun to be able to look through the local shops. In Bruges, we got to see some amazing wooden toys in the shops and bought some for Adi (only a couple though, the Euro is forbidding). But I like to go through the supermarkets too, seeing the foreign sounding brand names, reading the labels in foreign languages and trying to figure what they contain and oh my absolute favourite - buying the cheapest still water in the store. I am not a fan of sparkling water. And I am cheap.

Try the local cuisine: Only if it is vegetarian of course but it's fun to go out and drink and eat as the locals do. When in Rome, eat pasta. That reminds me, when we first went to Italy, we ate so much and drank so much that we came back looking like a pair of absolute blimps. Seriously, nobody makes food like them. Give me a plate of zuppa de verdura, pasta and and a glass of Chianti and I am happy. Who wouldn't be?

Walk through the streets: I like ambling aimlessly through the streets of foreign cities, just looking at things and absorbing the feel of the place. M likes to DO things and all this wandering about and not getting anywhere is not such a great idea for him. Still, he puts aside slots in his meticulously planned schedule - 10 am - 10:45 am - Walk aimlessly through the streets and absorb culture/humour wife.

Sample the art : I like museums and galleries a lot. I can't draw or paint, my sister took the entire lot of artistic talent that had come my family's way but still, it's incredibly nice to look at paintings and to be amazed at people's talent. Later, I like to buy prints and take them home, frame them and put them up in my house and look at them and be reminded of how we were in the presence of greatness once.

I think it's a lovely tag. I am surprised at how I don't particularly like to take pictures on trips. Hmm, something to be said about that. Tell me what you like to do on vacations in the comment space or take this up as a tag.


Several tips said...

Good post

Hobo ........ ........ ........ said...

And chats with local people ???

The Soul of Alec Smart said...

Nice tag. I like to travel more M-style, I'll have to say. I don't think planning for a trip is complete till a few excel sheets become incomprehensibly complicated and are understood by only me.

Aneela Z said...

i will i soon as Im on the silver side of my dark cloud.

Vidya said...

5 things I love to do on Vacations -
Eat local food,Watch the sunrise/sunset,Afternoon naps,Walk around the streets to get a feel for the culture and chat with the locals.
What I dislike - long flights with cramped seats,packing for the return journey,laundry after unpacking,trying to lose all the weight from indulgences and the first day back to work!

Penguin said...

The one thing that I absolutely must do on vacations is to eat ice cream. Everything else can be compromised :-)

Cynic in Wonderland said...

uhm can i say sleep? does that count?

purplehomes said...

Lovely of course had to feature..;) Is it ok to say i love M? ;) me too can't go on a holiday without planning n my excel sheets

Madhuri said...

Hey Parul, I happen to be on a vacation in India, went rummaging around in Landmark to find some books which I've been waiting to lay my hands on, one of which happens to be yours.. I searched up and down in the Indian authors aisles with no luck.. And finally chanced upon it in erm.. the Pregnancy aisle! Now why would it be there? Didn't have the courage to pick it up lest the husband gets weird ideas.. We are not ready for a baby yet! But yeah wanted to share this with you, I was more or less expecting to spot it at the fiction space..

Alan said...

I'll have to go along with your list as it has all the things we like. Just made a three day trip to Vancouver Canada to see ACDC. Not too exotic, but fun nonetheless. As for food, we'll try anything and I do mean anything! (See latest regular blog post.) Haven't been much of an art buff, but the art in Rome and the Vatican will amaze anyone. Off to Oz in six weeks!

Parul said...

Several tips...Thanks.

Hobo...Not so much.

The Soul of Alec Smart...Yeah, I know your type!

Aneela Z...Ok.


Penguin...Really? And the rest of the time? No icecream?

Cynic in Wonderland...Of course.

purplehomes...Food is always a must.

Madhuri...Which city was this in?

Alan...What fun! I really want to do Oz too.

Poppins said...

LOL. And hey "when we first went to Italy" How many times have you been there? Wow.
A tag after my heart for sure because the husband and I are crazy about traveling too.

I'm the lonely planet guide kind of person, so the husband lets me do the planning (of the hotels and sights and flights, the logistics of routes and trains and navigation is his headache!)

What I love to do on vacation:
1. Get nicely dressed with clothes bought specifically for the vacation and take pictures of myself :)
2. Explore the local stuff like you said - I get cheap thrills out of shopping in the local grocery stores and cooking once a day - I know, crazy! But it makes me feel like I live there.
3. Extension of point # 2: Live like a local - eat like a local - no desi food for me when abroad, travel by local transport (if it's there)
4. Do things out of comfort zone - be it wearing clothes I normally wouldn't wear or try some adventure sport (sadly, this was pre-kids, now I need to wait for children to grow up)
5. I don't like to see very goddamn sight but I must do atleast one activity outside, I hate those vacations where all you can do it bum around in the resort - even though I love to read I'm not the kids to actually enjoy reading on a hammock for hours together or make sand castles or float in the pool endlessly or play antakshari with friends and get drunk - those I'd rather do in the hometown :)

Homecooked said...

I am not a truly organised person at home but planning a trip is entirely up my alley :) I love getting books from the library...and ofcourse browsing Tripadvisor! During trips I like to walk around aimlessly and look inside all the shops in the vicinity :) Husband is not that big a fan of window shopping so usually we allot an evening for it. Most of the times we like to go for hikes/walks. Dont like to drive that much so if transport is available we go in for it.

Madhuri said...

Landmark - Citi Centre, Chennai

M said...

i've changed cities but haven't stopped reading your blog. read your book over the weekend in a marathon 2 day sitting, which given my recent reading habits says a lot. loved it. gives us 20 somethings an insight into new parents' worlds. i won't grumble as much the next time i hear a screaming baby :)

also, ditched the spanish and now learning french. it's one of those "god said ha!" things.

cluelessness said...

I love exploring the local flea markets on vacations. You end up with the most unexpected souvenirs!

And can I add that in Italy, I totally loved buying the fake Prada and Hermes bags from the roadside even though it is completely illegal??

churningthewordmill said...

i like doing all that exept point 1. i wud in fact substitue point i with sleep. LOTS of sleep.:)

Aditya said...

Thats a guide for a complete vacation :-) And yes, what better way to explore a city than walking through its streets. When I read this point, the first city that came to mind was Istanbul, thanks to Pamuk who writes so hauntingly about Turkey. Bruges would be nice too, the city looked enticing in the movie by the same name.

Uma said...

My 5 things:

1. Sleep (I don't seem to get enough of it these days)
2. Books, music, movies
3. Trekking, swimming, watersports
4. Picking stuff from flea markets and other such places
5. Window shopping at the really arty places in town (can't afford them yet!)

Deepa said...

Okay...'nuff of pretending to be interior decorator and all. Get back to writing I say or are you off on a holiday to get over the paint fumes or something:-)

Parul said...

Poppins...Thrice, to answer your question (different regions each time though) and cannot wait to go back. I love it just. so. much.

Homecooked...Sounds familiar.

Madhuri...Thank you.

M...Ah that sounds very, very good. I have to do the second level of Spanish, keeps getting pushed.

cluelessness...Oh I visited the most amazing flea market in Bordeux. I don't buy fakes though.

churningthewordmill...Wait till you have kids about the sleep bit.

Aditya...Oh don't bring up Istanbul, I am dying to visit it. I loved In Bruges, the film does the city justice though of course the characters say some uncomplimentary things about it.

Uma...Nice list.

Deepa...Well, I am off to Singapore on Wed. Will write after I get back now.

d said...

you are in our papers!

d(arre baba yes, the facebook friend only)

Shruti SriHarsha said...

The word "Vacation" is so beautiful, so de-stressing!!!

I would love to walk around the streets, watch people, eat food ( look for veggie food as always), freak around every nook & corner feeling the change everywhere and most imp for me, take loads of pictures.....

I love vacatons!!!!

Term papers said...

My most loving thing thing which do in the vacations is; I go to midnight parties...

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Term papers said...

Vacation is always sounds great and i love to do everything on vacation specially when i am at the seaside.

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