Lights in Finland
Fancy chasing the northern Lights in Finland? How about going hunting with eagles in Mongolia? Or, closer to home, following the textile trail in Kutch, learning about miniature paintings in Rajasthan or for inner peace, tranquility and fitness, going on a Yoga retreat in some remote corner of India. There’s a new breed of travel firms which can make these dreams come true – and more.
It’s not about aiming to see a maximum number of places but having an immersive, immensely rewarding personal experience. People want to have a different, memorable vacation that whisks them away from the routine.
The goal is to experience a new place from all vantage points – go beneath the surface of a destination to explore its cuisine and learn about its customs and culture from locals who know it best. White collar Hippie is one of a number of travel companies that have sprung up in India that will give you a hand-crafted.
Each of these bespoke travel firms has their specialization areas. Customised holidays on the basis of a traveller’s personal wishes and their budget is the forte. One couple wanted to be remarried in Las Vegas by a priest dressed as Batman as the husband was a fan of the superhero. Another husband who loved riding was pleasantly surprised in Mykonos when two horses, accompanied by a stable boy, arrived at their hotel. The treat, organised by his wife with the help of Broken Compass, included a ride to the beach followed by champagne. On a slightly different note, they also organised a very successful group trip to the Valley of Flowers.
Some travelers might have clear ideas about what they want to do. Others want an itinerary devised for them. They visited India, they enjoy, movies they watch and even their favourite kind of shopping.
A 65-year-old Frenchwoman came to India for 10 days and ended up staying for 42 days. She enjoyed herself so much that midway through the trip.
Sharm’s vistor spent her initial 10 days in Landour, Mussoorie and Dehradun. During the extra month, she travelled across Tamil nadu, Kerala and Karnataka. “Not only has she come back many times with family and friends, but she’s also recommended Breakaway to others too.’’ Smiles Sharma proudly.
Sharma started out with a ratio of 80:20 foreigners-to-Indians. But this year she expects the numbers to be half-half as Indians take to experiential trips in a big way.
Ahuja has two experts who’ve driven this route through Myanmar, and Thailand and will accompany the 22-member group.
For wildlife enthusiasts, he’s offering trips to Kenya to witness the great wildebeest migration and another to Rwanda to trail gorillas.
And there are different kinds of experiences catering to other interests.For music lovers, there are also other options. No Thepla Holidays plans several of its fixed departures around music festivals, live performances and events. When U2 was playing in Barcelona in October, the company organised a tour that threw in Spain’s other sights, along with tickets to the performance. For those who love football, there was also the option of witnessing a Sevilla vs Barcelona match. The nine-day trip cost trip Rs 74,500, including the show tickets.
No thepla Holidays has organised trips around special events too. It sent people for the Fete De La Musique, a busking music festival in Paris. It dispatched others to La Batalla Del San Vino – a wine fight in Haro in northern Spain that’s somewhat like Holi, except people throw whine instead of coloured water at each other.
And in June, vacationers can travel with No Thepla Holidays to Rock Werchter, a four-day (camping included) rock festival in Belgium where hotshot groups like the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Florence + the Machine are the star performers. The travelers with No Thepla Holidays usually stay at hostels.
Not only this, but also the following………….