Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Los Angeles and San Diego

This is my final post on the US destinations that I visited this year. Los Angeles is one of the go to destinations for people in the bay area. It is at a driving distance from San Jose and the surrounding places make it an ideal visit with family for long weekends. My friend got a deal to fly down to LA and since I had no plans for the long weekend, he asked me to join. There a lot of things to do in and around LA but I will focus on my itinerary.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Seattle

When I visited our office in Vancouver earlier this year, I did not have a weekend on itinerary. I was supposed to land on a Saturday and take off back to India the next Saturday. However I requested for a day off and decided to stay back for a weekend. I had friends in US who were ready to meetup in Seattle. I had a US B1 visa and could visit them as Seattle is just 3 hrs by road from Vancouver. Agenda was just a get together and bit of visiting places in Seattle. 

Pismo Beach

Pismo beach is located on the highway 101 between San Jose and LA. It was a get together trip of our hostel gang. Pismo is famous for the ATV’s (All terrain vehicles) and Sky Diving. We only did the ATVs though.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Santa Cruz

In my previous post I wrote about Half Moon Bay. In this post I will write about Santa Cruz, and this is not the one in Mumbai. Unlike half moon bay, Santa Cruz is actually a proper city with an easily accessible beach. There is a bus every hour to/from San Jose and the ride is 1hr one way. I pinged one of my juniors who was in Santa Cruz for information but then on the day I woke up late that messed up my schedule. That is the biggest disadvantage of using public transport.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Half Moon Bay

I started my US blog series with an introduction to California and then wrote about San Francisco. The assumption I am going with is that most people who are traveling to the west coast will probably be staying in the Silicon Valley. In the next few posts I will write about the beaches I visited when I was in the bay area. The nearest beach to visit by public transport is Half Moon Bay. Of course you could drive there, which is the most convenient way.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Exploring Hampi

Hampi, the once pride of Vijayanagara empire is now nothing but ruins. On one side you will admire the architectural beauty this place has to offer and at the same time you can’t help but feel bad thinking how awesome it would have been if it was not destroyed. And as most blogs have pointed out, Hampi is to be explored and not toured.
A collage of few of sculptures found in various places

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

San Francisco

If you watch SciFi movies, then you would have definitely seen San Francisco. That is the city that has gone through hell. Well, if not anything then the Golden Gate Bridge deserves to be mentioned. So far it has gone through alien attacks, terminators, apes, mutants, kaiju and even the 2012 apocalypse. I was in the city and can assure that in spite of all this, the city is fine and awesome. Don’t trust me? See it for yourself.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

California 101

In my previous blog posts, I wrote about my trip to Hong Kong and Vancouver.  Not even a month has elapsed since I came back and I was asked to travel to our company headquarters in California for 7 weeks. Yeah, my company is making me a globetrotter. The bay area, as it is called, is kind of like Bangalore. Pleasant weather, IT crowd, traffic, food from all the cuisines and a lot of people speaking Telugu and Tamil (not kidding). For  people who do not know about the Silicon Valley, this post would serve as an introduction and for rest of the folks Route-101 is the freeway that connects the cities in the valley (see what I did there with the title).

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Manchanabele - breakfast ride !!

It was just one week from our previous Belur-Chikkamagluru-Halebidu trip and Sagar already started missing highways and bike rides :D. Early morning rides would be best though getting up is a problem for most of us and that too on a Sunday.  We wanted to explore some closest gateways to Bangalore, Manchanbele and  Dodda Aladha Mara roughly being 50 kilometers from Bangalore was perfectly fitting our requirement.

Friday, September 4, 2015

Halebidu - Bike trip Day 3

Day 3: Sunday 23rd, August 2015

New day began with discussions on which places to visit. Since major attractions of Chikkamagaluru were already covered on previous day, we kept Halebidu and Sakleshpur on the list but still uncertain if we need to extend the trip to another day covering even Mudigere. Finally we decided to visit Halebidu (36 kms) - Hoysaleshwara temple, Kedareshwara temple and Basadi Halli being main attractions here. 

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Chikkamagaluru - Bike trip Day 2

Day 2: Saturday 22nd, August 2015

After visiting Shravanabelagola and Belur on Day 1, it was time to explore Chikkamagaluru - famous for its serene, green forests and tall mountains. Chikkamagaluru takes its name from the word "Chikkamagala Uru" which translates to "younger daughter's town" in Kannada language. We decided to visit major places: Mullayanagiri Peak, Baba Budangiri Dattathreyapeeta & Manikyadhara falls.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Shravanabelagola & Belur - Bike trip Day 1


Bengaluru (aka Bangalore) has lot of weekend gateways and Chikkamagaluru (known as 'Coffee Land' of Karnataka) located in the foothills of Mullayanagiri range is one of the beautiful place that everyone must visit. After lot of discussions in whatsapp group, we (Prashanth, Sagar, Naresh and myself) came up with 3 days bike-trip plan to Shravanabelagola – Belur – Sakleshpur – Chikkamagaluru – Halebidu. Since weather forecast predicted rainfall in these places we decided to take only three bikes for four people, one being pillion rider.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Sringeri-Horanadu and nearby places

When I went to my Thailand Laos trip last year, I realized that I have not seen most places in India. Then earlier this year I went on a trip to North India covering various temples and sightseeing places. And as we saw those places my brother pointed out that there are places in Karnataka that we are yet to visit. One such is the malnad region of Karnataka. We visited Sringeri and Horanadu last weekend and that mainly happened because my brother kept pestering mom and me to visit those places. I am so glad we visited and that too during monsoon. 

Sunday, August 9, 2015

The Indiblogger Flipkart meet

Bangalore is the IT capital of India and  we also boast about being the startup capital (no offense to Zomato). So it is quite obvious that we also form a large community on social media. Social media these day's has come down to ranting and outraging but it still is one of the most effective ways a brand can understand its consumer sentiments. There are hardly brands these days that do not try to engage with customers. A few brands take a step further and organize meets where they get to present their product and get instant feedback. I was invited to be a part of one such meet organized by Indiblogger at the Hard Rock Cafe, where Flipkart introduced their "Image Search" feature.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Vancouver City!

Couple of weeks back I was presented with an opportunity to visit our office in Vancouver, Canada. In this post I will try to write about what I loved about the city during my short stay of 8days and also touch upon what to do in case you get to visit this beautiful city. My flight took off from Bangalore at 3am and after roughly 22hrs, I landed on the same day at 1pm in Vancouver. It was very important for me to stay awake until that night so that I do not mess up my already messed up sleep cycle. Oh and my first day was terrible as it was summer and the sunset happened at 10:30pm. Was not prepared to see sunlight at 10pm. Luckily for me one of my friends had driven down from Seattle for the weekend and he had the city figured out.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Enough is Enough

Last weekend I was invited to be a part of the event - "Enough is Enough", which was organized by an organization called Breakthrough. The theme of the event was sexual harassment and debunking the myth that when someone is harassed they were #AskingForIt. I have attended such events earlier but this time it was different because this was organized in Vijaya College and the audience was the college crowd aged 18-22. It is tough to talk about sexuality and sexual harassment to them mainly because at that age not everyone is matured enough to take this seriously.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Transit in Hongkong

If you ever happen to travel to west coast of US or any of the island nations near the Pacific then you most probably will have transit in Hong Kong. It is one of those places where Indians get visa on arrival and the best part about it is that there is no fees associated with the visa. If you are planning a full fledged trip to Hong Kong (and maybe Macau) then this post might give you very less information but I assure you that someday I will do a full fledged trip and blog about it too (yay, one more trip to plan :P). PS: If you are landing during day time make sure to see the view when landing. The airport is on a man made island and the landing is from over the sea.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Fatehpur Sikri

Continuing from where I left off in the previous post (A visit to the Taj Mahal). It was already around 3:30 when we left the Agra city and head towards Fatehpur Sikri. It takes around 1.5hrs to reach Fatehpur Sikri from Taj. The road from Taj Mahal to Fatehpur Sikri is bad half the route. There are mainly 2 attractions here - Akbar’s palace and the Jama Masjid which has one of the largest gate.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

A visit to the Taj Mahal!

This week I read the news that Taj Mahal is getting free WiFi. That reminded me to blog about my Agra trip. Let me see where I left off in my previous blogpost (Seriously, its been weeks and I need to actually see how I ended my previous post). Ok, so day 2 of my trip had a simple itinerary - start early from Delhi, visit Taj Mahal by lunch and then goto Fatehpur Sikri and be back in Delhi by sunset.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

The #SniffSniff activity to #BanBodyOdour

I'm using my investigative skills to uncover the mystery of #SniffSniff at BlogAdda

I recently came across this mail from Blogadda about a top secret activity for male bloggers from Bangalore, Mumbai and Delhi. No details were disclosed and we were asked to send in our home address. They told us that they will send an item every day until the launch and we will have to keep guessing what it could be based on the clues sent to us. We were also encouraged to share the clues with our followers and friends for them to help us guess the product.

Monday, June 8, 2015

My Nose Knows #sniffsniff

I am sharing my odour story for the ‘My Nose Knows’ contest as a part of the #SniffSniff activity at BlogAdda.

Body odour is bad but there is a story behind everything. The story that I want to share here is when I was in Goa couple of years back. Let me start with the situation and then go through the explanation as why. We were a bunch of guys dancing at Tito’s club and it was well past midnight. Our body odour was repelling everyone. We could see that people were drunk and dancing but when they came near us, they gradually drifted apart. I think it’s not that we had a bad body odour but maybe our body odour was a bit more than theirs. Let me go over the different kind of body odour we had that day.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

A Big Leap

Exactly an year ago on this day I quit my job  in an MNC and decided to join a small company that was yet to make its presence felt in the industry. It was a big decision to take with a lot of If's and But's and now one year later I feel it was a right move.

Quitting your first job is tough when you have been there for almost 4 years. So many people to leave behind - the friends you started your career with, the team that mentored you and helped you reach where you are today and the colleagues that covered up for you when you pretended to be sick. It all started when the big companies had a round of layoffs in early 2014. I also a wrote a post back then (to quit or not to quit) for a website based on the what I heard from other people from the industry and here I will try to give my point of view.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Delhi!

You might have already read the high level summary of my North India trip. In this post I intend to write about the first day of my trip. Visiting Delhi during summer could be considered as worst planning ever. But call it climate change or nearing the end of the world, it was pouring in Delhi when I visited. While the city with awesome weather (read as Bangalore) was a steaming 35 degrees, I was in Delhi where the temperature was 24 degrees :D

My initial plan was to spend 2 days in Delhi so that I can cover all the places but after talking to my friend in Delhi, I realized that I don't want to see all the places and the ones I want to see can be covered in a day. However I was stupid enough to book the morning flight which actually gave me less than a day for city tour. But again luck favors the stupid and it being a government holiday, there was absolutely no traffic in the city. I had booked a cab for the city tour through the hotel where I was planning to stay. 

Monday, April 27, 2015

#GshnyTravels - A 10day trip to North India

Yes, I went on a trip again and yes I will blog about it. In this blogpost I intend to summarize my 10day trip. I will be writing individual posts for each city that I visited with detailed itinerary and my experience whenever time permits. Let me first explain the hashtag in the title. Being a social media enthusiast and a constant spammer on twitter, I realized that everything these days is about hashtags. And considering that I have a blog that I hope to monetize someday, I thought it would be cool to have a hashtag that uniquely identifies my travel updates. So I came up with #GshnyTravels - travel with me or follow my journey one tweet/post at a time.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Conquering Makalidurga betta!

Treks are a reminder to yourself that it is important to workout regularly. The last full trek I did was to Madhugiri in September 2014 and it was again time to test my fitness (went to Madhugiri again early this month but couldnt complete since a supporting rail was broken in the middle). After a lot of discussion and spamming of whatsapp groups the location was decided as Makalidurga near Doddaballapur, 70kms from Bangalore. 7 people in 1 car and 3 bikes - it was going to be a road trip :D

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Friends forever!!

This post was originally written as part of a campaign for the website - housing.com to promote the power of optimism. In my earlier two posts as a part of this campaign, I have blogged about how for every choice we make in life, we #StartANewLife and how involvement of people through social media is giving a positive direction for the country and is helping us #lookup. In this post I am going to write about friendship and how it feels to stay #together.

Positivity in Indian Politics!

21st century has seen a drastic change in the Indian political scenario. Call it the rise of youth or influence of social media, we cannot deny that most voters now are clear about why he/she wants to vote for a particular party. There are many things that contributes to giving a positive outlook to a country and I will focus on social media and people’s involvement that I think makes me optimistic about the future of our nation.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

#StartANewLife

There was a time when we were fed, clothed and carried by our parents. We did not know what to do unless we were told to. Yes, we were infants, the innocent little monsters who would one day shape our country. The time then moved really fast and we reached a stage where we needed to be told what is right and what is wrong. We needed to be guided to choose what we wanted to study and that would eventually decide our career paths. Once we started working we felt like we were independent yet fully dependent on our inner circle.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Aero India 2015

This year I got an opportunity to attend the Aero India Show at the Air Force base near Yelahanka in Bengaluru. This being my first time to the event I had no clue how crazy it was going to be. It was a Saturday so I expected traffic at the Airport Road. What better way to beat the traffic than to go in a two wheeler. And my strategy worked, sort off. It took me 2hrs to cover the distance of 10kms from Nagavara to Yelahanka on my bike. Imagine the condition if I had taken the bus. 

Saturday, January 31, 2015

#GoSleeekASUSExperience

"Indian by birth, blogger by choice" - This was written on the tshirt that I got for the 1st Indiblogger meet that I attended couple of years back. Indiblogger is a community that provides a platform for bloggers to connect and socialize. I have attended 4 meets that happened in Bangalore but have to shamelessly admit that this is the first time I am blogging about it. Each Indiblogger meet was a unique experience and had something different to offer. With every meet I make new acquaintances which over time have become into friendship. There are more familiar faces every time I attend the blogger meet. This time the meet was sponsored by ASUS and was hosted at the ITC Gardenia.

Mumbai!

2014 was a great year with a considerable part of my salary going towards exploring new places. The Thailand-Laos trip in September was the highlight of 2014. During that trip I met people from across the world who asked me a lot about India and I realized that I have hardly explored my own country. In October last year I visited the historical places in Maharashtra and it made sense to start the new year by continuing from where I had left off - Mumbai. This trip was different from my other trips because it was more about spending time with my best friends and less about exploring the new place. It was the reunion of my PESIT gang :) I will not post the day to day details here but will just post the places that I visited in my short 3day stay in Mumbai. Took the trip during 1st week of January but was too lazy to sit and write this blog.

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