Notes on planning your ‘Big’ trip

With the advent of the internet Do-It -Yourself trips are becoming more popular. The whole trip planning experience can be exciting or daunting  depending on your approach. Here are few helpful tips which helped/would have helped me.

#1: Choosing your destination[S]:

This is the hardest part if your trip is as general as a ‘Eurotrip’.Where do you want to go? Spain? Paris? Rome? Italy? Greece?

The best way to deal with it is to reflect  on what do  you a) enjoy doing? and b) Would like to do?

A) is very important because if you  are more of a foodie than a Gaudi fan then it would be logical to spend more time in Italy than in Barcelona.

#2. Research : 

I cannot stress on the importance of research for a DIY trip. Find out the train timings and connections; Do not put it off till you get to the train station. You may have missed the only connecting train by 15 minutes. Also find out openings and closings of museums and galleries and remember they vary depending on the time of year. The internet is the single most powerful weapon for a DIY trip.

#3. Accommodation:

While looking for a place to stay, it is advisable to find one near a metro station or near the city centre.This way you spend less time  in commuting and do not have to worry about taxis late at night.

#4 . Book in advance

Especially during the peak season. This saves time otherwise spend in long serpentine queues. You may also get lucky and land up with an early bird discount.

#5. Read blogs:

There are hundreds of blogs written about almost all places on earth, by locals or by visitors. Read them. There may be unpleasant  experiences they have had or may recommend places that are absent in guide books. It is good to know; after all, wise men learn from others mistakes where as fools they learn only after their own.

#6.History of the place:

Take time to get to know the history of the place.  A walk by a silent street will be more exciting when you know the history of the door knob of the unassuming brick house.

#7. Plan B:

However detailed and fool-proof your plan A be, somethings always go wrong. So a plan B may come in handy.

#8. Reconcile the fact that you cannot see/do/go everything/everywhere. You will have to miss out on a few things. Just make sure you know the ones that are really important to you and change your plans accordingly.

#9: Anticipation

The anticipation for your trip offers as much happiness as the trip itself. So do not put off the planning till the last-minute. It kills the joy and replaces it with  stress.

#10: Just plan the structure:

Do not plan for every minute of the day. Just have a general idea of where are you going to be when and what you would like to do. Once you get there just follow your instincts.

and a bonus

#11: Beating post trip blues:

Sort out stuff at home before you leave  or  you will be overwhelmed on your return. Get started on a new hobby or a new personal project. This will help you settle in to the routine. Something that works like a charm for me every time is planning my next trip.

Have a wonderful’ Big’  trip!

Commercials that sell more than just the brand

[When I was younger, much younger I remember a commercial on Doordarshan*  promoting the ’92 Barcelona Olympics.
It started with  a narrator saying
—-video of the weight lifting competition
” … can be measured in pounds. Speed…”
—video of the 100 mts sprint
” can be measured in seconds. But Courage…”
—video of a  man falling during the 100 mts race. A woman in the crowd cups her hand over her face with worry. Then the camera goes back to the fallen man who has now gotten back on his feet and is half limping, half running with everything in him. The first, second and third runners have completed the race. But the wounded man keeps running. The audience virtually running with him. The minute he crosses the finish line the crowd gives him a standing ovation. 
And the narrator finishes with 
”  …. But courage, it can never be measured.
Barcelona 1992″.
 I felt inspired every time I saw the commercial.
Recently I tried searching for that commercial on YouTube with no luck. However I came across other commercials that have inspired/tickled  me over time. If you ever find the commercial I am looking for please let me know. Pretty please!]

# 13. Puma – Game Day

Inspiring in the way football fans balance passion and well, their sweethearts! Yeah I know football is a way of life for some!

#12. Peace Corps

How far will you go to help someone? To the end of your driveway? Till the limits of your city? How far are you  willing to go?

#11. Nike – All that you need is inside you

You have all it takes to get there; Now JUST DO IT!

#10 Invisible Children

In 2003, Jason Russell, Bobby Bailey, and Laren Poole documented the life of African children. Fearing abduction and forceful induction into Joesph Kony’s guerrilla group, children lived their lives by night , invisible by day.  Of all the pains  you have known of  childhood, did any one of them involve taking guns for a cause you did not understand?

#9: Reebok -Hurt

No pain. No gain. Period.

#8. Adidas – Impossible is nothing

A perfect example of  you lose some, you gain some. You cannot have it all but you sure can make a lot from what you have.

#7. The Eyebank association of India

“The art of being happy lies in the power of extracting happiness from common things.”  ~ Henry Ward Beecher

#6. Ministry of Education, Singapore

The dream begins with a teacher who believes in you, who tugs and pushes and leads you to the next plateau, sometimes poking you with a sharp stick called “truth.”  ~Dan Rather

#5. Nike – I can

“A strong positive mental attitude will create more miracles than any wonder drug.” ~Patricia neal

#4. Incredible India

This is Indeed India!

The land of dreams and romance, of fabulous wealth and fabulous poverty, of splendour and rags, of palaces and hovels,………………………….

…………………., for lettered and ignorant, wise and fool, rich and poor, bond and free, the one land that all men desire to see, and having seen once, by even a glimpse, would not give that glimpse for the shows of all the rest of the world combined.
~~~ Mark Twain

#3.  Titan – Be born every day

Don’t count the days, make the days count.

#2. Levis – Go Forth

Your  life is your life. Know it while you have it!

#1. Children with cancer

Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant.

Love has no language or age.

It is pure. It is simple.

* National television network