Wednesday, June 19, 2013

10:16 PM - No comments

An Unknown Explorer, a Rare Destination

Raj Poonawala, a business man from Ahmedabad, loves to read thrillers and mystery novels, movie buff and travel junky- he shared one of his travel stories with me.

Which is the best place you have explored till date?
I actually prefer Indian destinations for travel, but my favorite is Koh Samui in Thailand. Its one of the most serene and beautiful places I have been too.

Koh Samui is not very popular with Indian Travelers, what took you there?
I like going to destinations that are either not very popular, or completely commercial. Either ways it serves a purpose. But I got to know about Koh Samui from one of my friends. He read about it in a movie magazine. Apparently, Koh Samui is very popular with the Hollywood stars!

Raj, what are the essentials to make sure you carry with you when traveling?
I am a back pack traveler. I have this jacket which has about 15 pockets. So I always carry my documents on my person. I have a swiss knife with me always and pepper spray. Many men fail to understand that you cannot always depend on your muscle. Carrying some pepper spray can help you get out of a tough spot, especially when you are in a place that is new to you. I carry a local map book. Though I don’t mind getting lost every now and then, it is always reassuring to know that I can find my way back when needed. Lastly, I carry a camera and a notebook and a pen with me. Traveling can inspire thoughts and emotions that often need to be captured because they can’t be contained!

Do you prefer having a guide show you your destination or are you a lone traveler?
I like both the experiences. Traveling alone is fun. But the charm of having a guide with you is that you get to know the small tiny details that you wouldn’t if you simply travel by yourself. Nonetheless, when I have a guide with me, I ensure that we make random stops at places and I interact with people. I don’t just let them lead me to “tourist spots”.

You favorite part about Koh Samui?
I loved how absolutely quiet and serene the place is. While there is one street that is full of clubs and highly lit and noisy “massage parlors”, there are also these small areas where the natives live. It is amazing how hospitable the people there are. They always have a smile on their face and give directions well. It is a cute little island!

Raj, we know you are a foodie! So, what did you prefer to eat there?
I am a foodie, but I don’t experiment much with my palette. So, I stuck to the amazing Italian and French food at Preggo restaurant which is near Amari Palm Reef Resort. Another place I liked was a burger joint- The Cable Grill. They played awesome music and every evening one could find people of every nationality there. I had some really good times with strangers there. Infact, I actually got a free meal a couple of times!

Next destination on your mind?

I don’t know. Travelling is honestly not something I prefer to plan. I simply get up one day and follow my heart!