On our second road trip and third holiday together; my husband and me learnt quite a few things. Some of these lessons came because it was our second road trip (first in the truest sense, since the first one was just a day). Some came because of the nature of the highway. And some, thanks to the weather. On our way back, we thought of writing these down for ourselves and also sharing them, so that more novice travelers like us could make use of our experience.

Food lessons – A large part of the holiday is about trying out local cuisines. While on my holidays, I love using apps like TripAdvisor to find the best places to eat. However, sometimes the local cuisine may not serve one’s palette. Or clean and hygienic places to eat might be hard to find if you are on a highway. We encountered both these situations on our trip. The highway route mostly served food we could not eat everyday for a week. Clean and hygienic places were few and the ones which existed primarily served non-veg cuisines. We learnt how to carry simple food to eat while on a road journey. Bread, jam, spreads will be easy to carry or buy en-route. They would keep the hunger pangs away while one discovers the best place to take a stop. On our next trip, we will be checking out our food options and carrying some food; just in case.

Traveling light versus missing the essentials – We knew we were going to a rainy place. And yet, we opted for traveling light. We ended up wearing wet shoes on the third day of our stay and learnt how while traveling light was good; the make up box could have been swiped with the extra pair of shoes.

Weather determines a large part of one’s experience – Both me and my husband wanted to go to Ooty. Even when we checked the weather online and saw the rain forecast, we ignored it. Little did we realise the impracticality of walking in the rain and cold whole day. We could hardly put the umbrella away. While it was fun in some way, the rain and clouds also meant a low vision of the valley. We ended up shrinking our stay by a day. This has happened to us the second time and we learnt in both trips how the weather determined our mood to go outdoors and enjoy.

Ditch the touristy way of exploring the city – Despite going to Mysore for the third time, this stay was special because we decided to explore the city unplanned. We spoke to the locals and they suggested places no app told us. We roamed around in our car and spoke to random people on the streets. That gave us a feel of what it would mean to be one of the residents of this city. We learnt how holiday is best left unplanned or a combination of the known and the unknowns.

Follow maps but with some caution – We have often been led on very narrow roads by Google map which determined this was the fastest route. However, the roads are extremely bad and dark and it is worth traveling the extra 15 minutes than be led to such paths. In such cases, we have learnt how local knowledge or talking to people comes handy; especially in a country like ours.

Lastly, sharing makes the holiday even more special – Both me and Pravesh get a lot of satisfaction when we are able to bring a smile on a stranger’s face. We learnt and strengthened this connect between us on this trip. We learnt how by sharing little things; biscuit packets, juice, fruits with random strangers and seeing them relish these things which we otherwise take for granted ; makes the holiday even more worthwhile and memorable.

P.S. – Special credits to my husband for pestering me to write this blog soon enough; lest we forget our lessons.

Author of "My Beloved's MBA Plans", "Because Life Is A Gift" & "Corporate Avatars"

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