Istanbul, a transcontinental city in both Europe and Asia. Istanbul straddles the Bosphorus Strait resulting in it being part of Eurasia. I have to admit Istanbul surprised me. The first time I went there, I had 10 days free and was keen to explore Istanbul attractions and activities, as well as other areas within that region. I loved the city so much, I stayed there for the full 10 days. We all know that exploring cities can be expensive wherever you are in the world which is why I have put together these 10 free things to do in Istanbul.
India is a massive country, so 7 years ago when I first visited Tirupati, I never imagined I would be back here but this time, not as a foreigner but as an honorary local. Rewinding a good few years, I completed a pilgrim walk of 3500 steps, in bare feet, to Tirumala where the Sri Venkateswara Temple is. This was a walk that thousands of pilgrims a week completed and one I had read about but hadn’t fully understood its importance.
Now visiting Tirupati for a second time as a guest of my Indian friend’s family after attending his wedding, I was going to view the Sri Venkateswara Temple not as a tourist but as a local. This is his family’s temple and we are here the day after his wedding with his family and new bride.
I’ve been to many weddings in my time. In fact I have already been invited to 5 this year. But at none of them have I been asked to rub oil and flour onto the groom’s dad’s face and body. I am honoured to have been invited to a close friend’s Hindu wedding in India as an honorary member of his family.
India is known to be tough to travel in as a lone female but how about the more liberal Goa? A place where things are more laid back but that comes with the problem of Indian tourists (and those of other places in the world) who are not used to the scantily clad Europeans who frequent Goa’s beach. The secret for me is to find female friendly places that I know will keep me safe and secure.
I have travelled all over the world as a lone female. Some people are shocked. However I have met plenty of females who are travelling solo. I have never had too much of a problem and this extends to Goa and India as a whole.
As the sun rises over Goa, I too am rising up high in the sky. I’m taking an early morning flight in a hot air balloon which is one way to watch the sun rise on another glorious day in Goa, India. There is truly no better way to see the sights than to go ballooning in Goa.