Travel Love: 6 Vagabond Couples & Their Favourite Romantic Destinations
It’s the month of love. We’ve been giving you inspirations for Valentine’s Day gifts and romantic restaurants. Now, here’s some travel love talk. Six couples spill some romantic moments from their travel diaries that would kindle you to pursue your travel wish list. For romantics who favour travel over things, Nikita Chawla and Purva Bhatia bring to you couples who’d inspire you to set ultimate travel goals.
The Classic Explorers: Vikas Chawla & Arushi Gupta
An entrepreneur (Co-founder Social Beat), marketer and traveller, Vikas Chawla has travelled to 33 countries till date and aims to hit 50 countries by the time he turns 50! A Delhite now settled in Chennai, Arushi Gupta is a fun-loving girl and a Senior Project Manager at Social Beat. To her, shopping, food and travel help bring balance to her life.
On asking how often they plan their trips, Vikas mentioned, “We tend to plan one long 15- day holiday a year and multiple small ones. With umpteen getaways, even if it’s as close as Mahabalipuram. Till date we have travelled 25+ cities in 10 countries over the last 3 years – United Kingdom, Italy, Greece, South Africa, Singapore, Dubai, Indonesia, Thailand, Spain, Sri Lanka and multiple getaways in India such as Coorg, Pondicherry, Goa, Sula Fest, Kerala & more.”
Commenting on their travel goals, Vikas said, “Each holiday is unique in its own way. If it’s a destination like Spain then it tends to be more sightseeing, local exploration etc. If it’s a vineyard or a food destination like Cape Town, then it tends to be more relaxing and laid back.” Arushi adds, “That being said we are not the adventure or backpacking types – we tend to save up and spend on a holiday to get the best of food, wine and hotels.”
We may travel the world together, yet there is one such trip that holds a special place in our hearts. Talking about the most romantic getaway together, Arushi said, “This would surely have to be Amalfi Coast in Italy. We went there during our honeymoon in 2015 and the spectacular views with amazing food and so much good wine, it was the perfect destination. We spent 4 days there and it’s surely a place we will go back. The clear blue waters, cozy town setting makes it a must visit for couples.”
The Spontaneous Voyagers: Neha Mohanty & Abhishek Shori
Presently a software engineer at the Landmark Group, Abhishek Shori loves luxury as much as budget travel. His love for football and movies influences his travel choices. Abhishek calls himself a “try-traveller” and believes in living in the moment. A PR & Communication professional with a wide variety of experience predominantly in the travel domain, Neha Mohanty, currently is heading communications for a tech start-up.
Spontaneous, unplanned trips are what keeps this couple going. When asked about the frequency of their getaways and the places covered by-far, here’s what Neha said, “We live on an adrenaline rush! A spontaneous trip or an activity has become a part of our DNA since the time we have met. A random meeting at an event turned into an inseparable lifelong companionship. We have been married for 2 years now and we have made it a point to travel once in every 2 months. We have covered most of Europe. Some of the places we have been to are Italy, Rome, Venice, Milan, Switzerland Lucerne, Zurich, Interlaken and Spiez. Apart from that, we have been on multiple road trips. Since we reside in Bangalore, our road trips have been to Kerala – Wayanad, Kabini, Munnar, Alleppey, Karnataka – Hassan, Coorg, Bandipur, Tamil Nadu – Ooty and Pondicherry.”
There are couples that literally woo you by their travel mantras that are literally life goals. Neha and Abhishek don’t believe in ‘stick-to-itinerary’ travel plans but believe in making the most in moment. “Our travel goal is to visit the most exotic destinations around the world. We as a couple are very serious about travel; we believe in investing on experiences rather than things! Also, we have never booked through a travel agent and have never made an itinerary, forget sticking to one. We believe in doing all the booking ourselves and living in the moment by doing what we feel like doing in that particular moment. For instance, while we were at Venice we happened to visit a pizzeria place, the owner of that place became very friendly with us. We continued chilling there and talking to locals for the rest of the day. The following day we decided to explore the city. You can call us a moody, leisure hungry but wanderers at heart!” (smiles)
Revisiting her romantic getaway, Neha commented, “Though it is difficult to pick just one trip, our recent road trip to Hassan was very romantic. We had stayed at Hoysala Village resort. It was not a weekend so the resort was not that crowded. We indulged in some relaxing spa therapies and pool time. We were not prepared for a pool experience, so we purchased costumes from the resort. To our surprise, we had the entire pool for us as there was no one in the pool apart from us. We had a great time in the pool all by ourselves for good 3 hours, jumping, splashing water and competing with each other. The pool was surrounded by green lush trees, the ambiance was just out of a Bollywood movie. We had a great time.”
While Neha enjoyed her plush tropical getaway amidst the lush greenery, Abhishek wrapped his romantic moments at the mesmerising Swiss Alps. He states, “Interlaken is a dreamy vacation spot in the Swiss Alps. We stayed at Linder Grand Hotel Beau Rivage which is built on the bank of River Aare. The hotel presented breathtaking views from our room balcony. On the day of our arrival, it started snowing and we just couldn’t contain our excitement when we saw it coming inside our room through the windows. It was just beautiful and absolutely romantic! We were able to witness a cocktail of Swiss Snowfall, Alps & Rivers all at once.”
The Romantic Vacationists: Sneha Chhabria & Arjun Dev
A Montessori teacher-turned-pastry chef, Sneha Chhabria is working with one of India’s leading food blogger as a food expert where she tests and develops new recipes for the viewers. A crazy cricket fan, Arjun Dev heads a premium cricket academy in Bangalore called SIX at the Padukone – Dravid Center for Sports Excellence.
The story of the proposal will tell you all about the level of romanticism and adventure in them. Arjun popped the question to Sneha in the gorgeous beaches of Goa while the couple went for a scuba dive. The couple met in 2009 and after courting for 7 years decided to tie the knot in 2017. Reminiscing about the frequency of their travel trips and the places they’ve visited, Sneha said, “We try to plan at least one luxurious holiday each year since both my husband and I have tight work schedules. In the past we have been to 5 destinations together and we’ve gone on a road trip to Masinagudi, a stay in the midst of nature and wildlife. Goa is India’s leading beach holiday destination and my husband planned an underwater proposal, while going scuba diving asked me to marry him. So this holiday is one of the most special ones. Coorg is another favourite. Hyderabad, less of a holiday destination and more of a shopping, eating and of course visiting family.”
Passion and love towards cricket and food, takes this gorgeous looking couple set their travel goals. Sneha says, “Our travel goal is to cover one new destination each year. Since my husband is a die-hard cricket fan, his ultimate travel goal is to go on a tour to watch a game of cricket in each continent, and yes I’m game as far as I get to explore the shopping scene and try new cuisines! We are more of an explorer-cum-leisure kind of travellers, where we’d like to relax a bit, explore a bit and go with the flow.”
Couples may travel the world together but the more often it’s the honeymoon trip that concludes being most romantic, remembered and spoken. Revisiting memories of her romantic trip, Sneha said, “Our most romantic trip has been our holiday to the Maldives. As our wedding proposal was underwater, we decided that we’ll do yet another dive. For this underwater dive, we were more mentally prepared than the last one where my then boyfriend and now husband was worried, if I’d say yes or no to when he popped the question.”
The Relaxed Explorers: Bushra Bhushan & Kartik Malhotra
We’ve featured this wonderful couple before here.
Struggling through middle-age crisis both in their mid-thirties as Bushra puts it, Kartik Malhotra and Bushra Bhushan are media professionals. While Kartik happens to be a safe jobber, Bushra is a bit more adventurous with a start-up she is nursing at present.
As an ardent traveller, one would certainly want to globetrotter, Bushra shared her travel tales and the eagerness to constantly travel, “While planning happens on a weekly (if not daily) basis, execution has a glitch. Work schedules and a toddler don’t give as much flexibility on budgets to make travels more frequent but we’ve had some interesting travels. A European dream honeymoon back in 2008 across Rome, Venice and Paris followed by the full year of one holiday a month for the first year. Over time, Thailand, Bhutan, a few trips to the US from New York to Niagara and Charlotte to Chicago along with Atlantic City, Myrtel Beach, Dallas, Washington etc. Domestic travels have also been fairly extensive – all of Rajasthan by road in the (now vintage) Fiat Palio – from Jaipur to Jaisalmer in the west coast to Tawang in the East. Srinagar and higher peaks in Jammu & Kashmir to Coorg in the South have been memorable. The usual haunts aground Delhi – Agra, Lucknow, Nainital, Ayodhya, Mandawa, Kuchesar have also been covered, all by road.”
This couple defines not only travel goals but also family goals. The couple sets inspiration to travel with a toddler effortless hereby setting examples to many couples who are sceptical or not confident about the same. For this you ought to choose destinations that are family friendly. Bushra points out how much their travel outlook changed after the birth of their little princess, “I was an explorer whereas Kartik likes more leisure trips. However, since Kyra’s birth, travel plans revolve around family comfort. So we don’t pack in too much. We like to stick to the itinerary but it’s more inclined towards leisure trips and some degree of fun or activity for a three-year old.”
Refreshing memories of her most romantic holiday, Bushra says, “Cruise in River Seine in Paris was one of the most romantic holiday moments. Also, Venice was flooded for the first time in years during our four-day stay but that didn’t stop us from venturing out. We totally loved the adventure.”
The Food Explorers: Ruchi Jain and Rajneesh Wakhloo
Ruchi is a communication expert and a storyteller while Rajneesh is a passionate home chef and an F&B Operations Chief. Both are bloggers as well; check out their culinary adventures at He Said She Said Yummy. “Our recipe section takes you to Rajneesh’s creations made with his must-have kitchen gadgets It also glorifies our traditional Kashmiri cuisine and a few more regional favourites. The blog therefore invites to dwell into our small gourmet space to explore unforgettable palates and some quintessential home-style specials,” informs Ruchi.
This couple too is not much of a planner. “Travel comes usually unplanned and that’s the beauty of it. Singapore, Malaysia, Goa, Bishangarh- Jaipur, Kolkata and Uttarakhand are few of the journeys we have taken together. Exploring many unique places together and calming our spirits with the food and gorgeous views have always been part of our travels,” shares Ruchi.
While food is the centre attraction of their holidays, the main idea of travel for Ruchi and Rajneesh is to relax and spend quality time with each other. “In a nutshell, finding unknown territories, peace and experimenting with various cuisines, give us sheer excitement.”
While there are several memorable holidays they have taken together, they can’t stop talking about their most recent one. “ 2017 has been a great year for our sojourns. But the most memorable trip was the epic weekend destination Alila fort BishanGarh . It instantly enamored with its beauty and curated journeys and made us travel back in time. An amazing getaway, it has a stunning location and stands tall inside a warrior fort with its well-equipped and super spacious rooms, distinct dining experiences, personalized hospitality and beautiful journeys. It is a unique property that took almost 10 years to be restored to its glory and is a splendid masterpiece combining history with modernity. It was indeed one of the most memorable and romantic journeys for us last year.”
Talking further about the trip, she adds: “Dining under the starlit open sky with a 360 degree view of the Aravalis at their Rooftop terrace restaurant Nazaara was a high point for us. Its rustic slow cooked cuisine in the evenings made on open fire and hot sand, was truly unforgettable. We also relaxed while gorging on a delicious meal served from their Mediterranean poolside restaurant, by the name Haveli. The farm to table menu conjured by Chef Ranveer Brar, offers sumptuous specialties made with fresh, hand-picked ingredients from the organic garden which the staff is always ready to serve in the best way possible. So food caught our attention with Ragi Tacos with mushrooms and corn patties, freshly baked breads with select greens and the truly desirable tiramisu, as we enjoyed the serenity surrounding us. The indulgence was pleasurable in the backdrop of the fort under the azure sky. Simply magical!”
Impromptu Holidayers: Suruchi & Tashi
Suruchi is a dentist and hospital administrator by qualification, whereas Tashi is a lighting design & controls professional. The two are completely opposite to each other, in every way but still aspire to see the whole world together in one small life. They want others to get inspired, come out of their comfort zone & experience what is more worthy. The two are also writers and co-own a travel & lifestyle blog: All Gud Things
So how do you plan your holidays? “You might be surprised, but the truth is we never plan our trips. The planning happens a night before or sometimes a couple of hours before for road trips. Only the international trip tickets are one thing, which we book 15 or 20 days before the trip,” says the duo that takes about 8 to 10 trips together every year.
Some of their memorable trips have been to Leh Ladakh, Spiti Valley in winters, Uttarakhand circuit, Rajasthan, Thailand & Sri Lanka.
When asked about their travel goals, Tashi says: “The goal is to travel together and capture the whole world in our memories and photographs. We want to see all touristy, offbeat, untouched places and talk endlessly on our road trips,” he says.
The two love everything from exploring, adventure as well as leisure trips. Not sticking to any fixed itinerary, Suruchi and Tashi believe in going with the flow.
Like other couples featured here, this one too counts their honeymoon as the most special vacation till date. “After our marriage we took our first trip together to Sri Lanka and it was the most romantic trip till day. It was Suruchi’s first international trip, so the happiness of travelling outside country and with me (Tashi) was clearly visible on her face. The property Apa Villa Illuketia in Galle was our abode for eight days and this trip taught us a lot about each other,”