2021 First Travel – What, Where, Why & How?

I can’t believe I visited the airport after so many months. For someone who used to take atleast 2 flights a month – this has to be the longest I’ve been away from the airport in the last 4-5 years. I missed the DAMN airport, I missed buying Starbucks coffee just for my Instagram story post, I missed eating terribly catered flight food and I missed being pushed and shoved by people while de-boarding the aircraft. So when the opportunity arose – I grabbed it and headed for my first travel in exactly a YEAR!

This view from the flight of the Himalayas 😍

WHERE – I travelled within India (DUH) to the beautiful state of Assam. Assam is one of the 7 North Eastern States in India. The North East is relatively untouched and is beautifully pristine. It is difficult to travel to some places in NE because of limited airports – so most of the travel has to be done by road. I have only visited one other state in the NE which is Sikkim and I can’t wait to explore the other states soon.

We visited Assam but I recommend also visiting Meghalaya & Arunachal Pradesh along with Assam

HOW – I flew to Guwahati. Travelled around Assam by road. I flew out of Jorhat Airport.

WHEN – 27th February -7th March

WHY – Why Assam? Main reason was that my sister was headed there for a wedding – so the rest of the family just tagged along and made a vacation out of it. Secondary reasons were – that there are relatively lower number of COVID cases in Assam, we hadn’t visited Assam before and we were excited to explore a new state.

Assam Tea Estates

PRECAUTIONS WE TOOK –

  1. We all got tested before we left for the vacation. (we all were negative – if that wasn’t clear)
  2. We made sure to wear our masks and face shields throughout the flight journey – only removing it for drinking and eating.
  3. We booked into relatively well known hotels and resorts to ensure maximum precautions were taken for staying safe.
  4. We headed for breakfast (at the hotel) first to make sure we were done before other people arrived. (a bit excessive but better to be safe than sorry)
  5. We wore our masks throughout our trip – even during long car journeys. (We had hired a driver)
  6. We didn’t socialize much with people outside our circle.

Despite the precautions there were many things we couldn’t control. Most locals were not wearing masks in any of the cities we visited. Since COVID numbers have been less in the state – there has been no reinforcement to ensure people wear masks. Infact people would look at us funny since we’d all be in masks. One can only hope that the hotels and resorts were carefully sanitizing the rooms and public areas. It wasn’t all stress free but we made the best of the trip while constantly spritzing ourselves with sanitizer.

Follow me to Assam

We had A LOT of fun! I will be writing about the trip and what we did in another post. Stay tuned for the next post featuring all the shopping I did during my trip (it wasn’t a lot but I picked up interesting local handicrafts).

Local shops (and yes I picked up a bag!)

Have you travelled anywhere in the recent past? What was your experience like?

Have you read my other recent posts? If you haven’t – what are you even doing? Go read them now πŸ˜€

35 Comments Add yours

  1. akshita1776 says:

    That pic of the Himalayas is so beautiful 🀩
    Looks like you had a great trip!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Happy Panda says:

      It was such a surprise to see the Himalayas – I hadn’t expected it.

      It was an amazing trip πŸ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow I guess you had an amazing experience. I went to Kolkata before pandemic and of course its my husband place and I always enjoy being there. I feel homely there and I want to visit again. I really love handicrafts and I love collecting them. I didn’t travel anywhere in this pandemic but I miss travelling although I don’t travel much.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Happy Panda says:

      Ooh I went to Kolkata in January 2020. I love the culture of the city and ofcourse the food. So your husband is from Kolkata and you’re from Andhra (I’m assuming because Reddy πŸ™ˆ)?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You love Kolkata wow it’s really nice right? Yea culture and food no one can forget after visiting Kolkata.
        You guessed right yes my husband is from Kolkata, I am Reddy too but I am from Telangana. You are so smart πŸ’–πŸ₯°

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Happy Panda says:

        Nice!! A close friend of mine is a Reddy – hence the guess. πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Kool your guess is right 😊

        Like

  3. vaniheart says:

    Finally, you get to travel, awesome πŸ’ŸπŸ’Ÿ
    Assam is beautiful πŸ’–πŸ’–
    Ps- I love the start para about traveling πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Happy Panda says:

      Yesss! Finally I got to leave this city!

      Hehehe – it’s true though – I missed everything that I used to complain about. πŸ˜‚

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Pavithra says:

    Wow!! Seems like you had a great time 😍❀️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Happy Panda says:

      Yessss we did! It was a nice break πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Sorry😐… for the late comment.

    Like

  6. Who is holding your hand in that picture?😜

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Have you observed organic farming in Sikkim? I want to know more about north-east. I hope you enjoyed a lot. Keep writing, keep inspiring.πŸ€—πŸ‘

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Happy Panda says:

      I didn’t go to any farms while in Sikkim. We were only there for 6 days so it was hectic schedule. North East is beautiful. It has so much to offer in terms of natural beauty. We did enjoy a lot. Thank you for reading.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Happy Panda says:

      Actually that is my sister – and I held her hand while photographing her πŸ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

      1. 😜🀣🀣

        Like

  8. https://tamarakulish.com/ says:

    Nice! After one year of no travel were you experiencing things like a person new to travel or did you find yourself quickly dropping back into old travel patterns? (Albeit the masks, and taking precautions?)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Happy Panda says:

      I think it was a mix – I started off trying to go back to that old traveller me but soon realized it isn’t possible and tried to create a new traveller me with newer patterns and ways. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      1. https://tamarakulish.com/ says:

        😊 so true! I’m sure this is something we’re all going to experience as we try to get back into our lives! Looks like you had a lovely trip in spite of the restrictions you needed to navigate around! Double thumbs up! πŸ‘πŸ‘

        Liked by 1 person

  9. I can relate to the feeling thrilled to get to be at the airport – I too travelled for vacation exactly after an year in Feb 2021. Similar precautions, etc. and it felt so liberating to get to travel and visit another place.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Happy Panda says:

      Right? It felt so so good to just leave the city. I missed travel SO much. But it was definitely a lil scary too. Where did you go? Hope you had fun! 😊

      Liked by 1 person

      1. We went to Hawaii. There wasn’t much excitement to begin with, as it felt tedious to the mind considering the current circumstances. Yet once we got there, it felt amazing :))

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Happy Panda says:

        Oooh Hawaii!!! I wish I get to go to the beach soon. I am a total beach person.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. WIshing you an amazing opportunity soon to be at a beautiful beach :)))

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Those bags and hates are so adorable!!😭❀️

    Like

  11. Ahh I’m so jealous! I haven’t travelled anywhere since probably 2019!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Happy Panda says:

      You’re still young – you have years of travel ahead of you! In your 20s – spend all your money on travel before “responsibilities” kick in. πŸ˜›

      Liked by 1 person

  12. sakshisoni says:

    The only place I visited after the lockdown is my nani’s house πŸ˜‚… I wish we go for a trip soon!
    But I m excited to know how your trip went!!πŸ˜ƒπŸŒΈ

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Happy Panda says:

      Hehe I hope you get to go on a trip soon. πŸ€—

      It was a lot of fun and a little stressful because covid was at the back of our minds.

      Like

  13. bosssybabe says:

    Omg I have wanderlust 😱😍πŸ€ͺ I don’t know if I miss the airport but I do miss the anticipation of traveling and the idea of breaking routine in a positive way! Wow 2 flights a month, look at you πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Happy Panda says:

      I really feel like travel has healing powers. I’ve been struggling with certain patterns and anxiety the past few months but this one trip away has helped me so much. I hope you get to travel soon! ❀️

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Juliette says:

    That view of the Himalayas.. Wow!! 😍 Very happy for you that you got to travel and discover a new part of your country! It’s crazy to think that in some parts of the world people are not wearing masks at all! Can’t wait for things to be back to normal here as well!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Happy Panda says:

      It felt so unnatural to us – like we’re so used to the masks now – the fact that people were just chilling and roaming around mask less confounded us! But since there were close to zero cases in the more rural parts that we visited hence people were more carefree.
      SAME – can’t wait for things to go back to normal in my city too. Though the so-called ‘2nd wave’ has started in the major cities here. (so-called because I don’t know when the first wave ended :P) ARGH!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Juliette says:

        That sounds crazy! I can’t wait for a normal situation… Now we might enter a third lockdown in Belgium and I’m absolutely not ready for it 😭

        Like

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