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Published in the Navbharat Times - Page No. 3 on 06 January, 2024

"Hey Mom, do you remember how many countries we visited on that cruise from the USA trip?” My daughter Sara called to check. Along with the USA, we had explored Mexico, Jamaica, and the Bahamas. “Fabulous! I can now add four more to my list!” She announced. Before I could inquire further, she triumphantly messaged me that, at just 20 years old, she has already visited 16 states and 30 countries. She's excited to reach the milestone of visiting 50 countries and has started a friendly competition with her friends to see who can reach 100 countries the fastest!

Reflecting on my twenty year-old self, I realised that at that point my international travel score was just one country, and that was India! I still remember how excited I felt when at age twenty three I was on my first international visit to Thailand. Now, with a profession that has taken me to over 78 countries and all seven continents including Antarctica, I feel like an explorer, much like Columbus or Alexander, wanting to conquer one new destination on every trip I take. On celebrating my diamond jubilee of travel with over 75 countries, the quest to reach a century is definitely playing on my head. The world, with its myriad cultures and landscapes, continues to beckon  and each new destination offers a new window to the world. Keeping track of the states visited in India or the countries explored around the world can indeed be a delightful and personal competition with oneself. It's a journey of self-discovery, filled with unique experiences, diverse cultures, and memories that shape our understanding of the world. In this competition, there's no need for comparison or rivalry because, in the end, every new place visited adds to the richness of our own story. The true victory lies in the broadened perspectives, the friendships made, and the personal growth gained through the adventures. With each new destination that we visit we become the sole and celebrated champion in the wonderful competition of exploration and discovery! Keeping this in mind, we at Veena World have developed a fun and easy game for you to know your travel score. Simply scan the code given, fill in the form and voila! You will have your own personal travel score and can set off to conquer the World one country at a time. And after each and every visit do remember to refresh your travel score and keep counting!

What better way to fulfil the wanderlust for all travel enthusiasts and globe trotters, than to create a travel bucket list! The term "bucket list" is often used to refer to a collection of goals and dreams that someone hopes to achieve before they "kick the bucket," which is a colloquial expression for passing away. For me and Im sure for many of our readers too, the best bucket list has to be a “travel bucket list”. Building your own travel bucket list is a lot of fun and is the first step towards achieving your travels dreams. When the list is ready, ticking off each destination or experience will take us one step further towards achieving your travel dream. To create your perfect travel bucket list, reflect on your interests, research destinations, and identify dream experiences. Prioritize and categorize your list, including both realistic and more challenging goals, and set a timeline for achieving them. As you embark on your adventures, celebrate each achievement and use the experiences to refine and evolve your travel bucket list over time.

A travel bucket list needn’t be just about a list of destinations. There can be different types of bucket lists depending on your personal choice. You could wish to visit 25/50/100 countries, step foot on all the seven continents, visit the seven wonders of the world or experience all four seasons in the same place. As a nature lover, you could even have a wish list for all natural phenomena to witness nature’s miracle like the midnight sun, the northern lights, cherry blossom, marvel at the colours of the fall season in autumn or frolicking in the snow in a winter wonderland. You could also plan to celebrate life and its special moments with milestone birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, babymoons, graduation, school reunions and so much more. Or maybe you are an adrenaline junkie and like to indulge in extreme sports and choose to skydive or scuba dive all across the world. Depending on your interests a fun bucket list could even be staying at different types of accommodation in the world from pool villas, water villas, glamping tents, safari lodges, tree houses or even castle stays. How about a wish list for foodies! At Veena World we have even designed holidays for those who want to taste every local dish, understand local cuisines, enjoy michelin starred restaurants or indulge in the best street food across the world. Some, take it a step further and even partake cooking lessons. After all, the best introduction to a country would definitely be through their food habits and local cuisines! In fact, just a look at India and its different states will showcase the different delicacies available across the country. From Indore’s Sarafa bazaar, Amritsar’s chole bature to Rajasthan’s Lal Maas or pyaz ki kachori, travel for the love of food is indeed something to look forward to. And if you love traveling in a group tour and enjoy the company of other fellow guests when you are looked after by Veena World’s tour managers, you will of course get a taste of the local delicacies and can even choose to stay back on a post tour holiday and create your own food tour! Sports lovers would have their own list of visiting countries to witness their favourite sport.Along with the football season, grand prix, tennis, cricket and even marathons planning for the next one, 2 or 5 years will see you ticking off your bucket lists for sure. A trending bucket list item amongst youngsters is the music festivals across the world.

The possibilities are limitless, and we could delve into this discussion indefinitely. However, as I pen down these words,I am inspired myself to create my very own bucket list for the upcoming year. I did manage to tick off most of the items on my 2023 bucket list but a few pending ones will be carried forward to the next year.

So as we step into 2024, the Veena World product team has embarked on a journey to bring your travel dreams to life. We take immense pleasure in presenting a captivating array of destinations that await you in the coming year. We are super excited about all our guests who are set to conquer the seventh continent Antarctica in February. In March, its a visit to lush rainforest and vibrant culture of South America. Amongst the myriad destinations to look forward to  in 2024 will be Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and many others. For those who prefer to see one destination at a leisurely pace soaking in the wonderful atmosphere, we present a fun trip to California. And for the adventurers there’s the quest to catch a glimpse of the  polar bear in our brand new cruise tour of the Arctic region.  And for those who wish to explore our motherland, here’s some inspiration. You could visit the serenely beautiful Vizag and Araku valley in Andhra Pradesh, the golden combination of Ramoji film city,Hyderabad and Sri Sailam, discover Bundi, Bhangarh, Kishangarh, Kota  in Rajasthan, Or relive our mythology at haridwar, Rishikesh, Panipat, Kurukshetra or Lucknow, Varanasi, Ayodhya, Prayagraj and Shravasti.

So, here’s looking forward to a fabulous 2024! Whether it's a dreamy destination, a cultural escapade, or an adventurous quest, jot down your travel aspirations and witness the magic unfold as your bucket list transforms into a journey of unforgettable experiences!

January 05, 2024


Sunila Patil
Sunila Patil

Sunila Patil, the founder and Chief Product Officer at Veena World, holds a master's degree in physiotherapy. She proudly served as India's first and only Aussie Specialist Ambassador, bringing her extensive expertise to the realm of travel. With a remarkable journey, she has explored all seven continents, including Antarctica, spanning over 80 countries. Here's sharing the best moments from her extensive travels. Through her insightful writing, she gives readers a fascinating look into her experiences.

More Blogs by Sunila Patil

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