One of my favourite pastimes is to sit in my balcony garden with a cup of tea, an atlas and my travel journal. These are times; I love to dream and lose myself in faraway lands while planning my next travels. My wish list? It’s an ever-growing list. The more I read and see photos, the more places I keep on adding to my list. But of late, I have been focusing more on experiences than just sights. As someone who practices mindfulness in travel, I have learnt to look beyond a list of destinations alone. And as I look for specific milestones, my bucket list seems to be skewed more towards slow travel filled with fun but meaningful experiences.

My husband and I travel a lot together these years. As he just turned 50, he started focussing on experiences that he had always wanted to do earlier but did not have the time. He did his scuba diving certification recently, and he now plans annual trips to different coral islands to explore life down under. Inspired by his decision to follow his passion, I decided to prepare a bucket list which are experiences that I have been procrastinating because of lack of time. My only hope is that I get to do them before I turn 50. I do have a few years to get there, but I want to ensure that these are not just destinations plucked randomly from the map. Here are a few travel plans on my bucket list before I turn 50:

  1. Spend a month in my ancestral village

I have always wanted to go and live in a village for at least a month and become a slow traveller, losing myself in the rustic charm. However, when I was researching about the villages, I realised that I have never spent too much time in my ancestral village. It’s in down South Tirunelveli in Tamil Nadu – Kallidaikurichi. Surrounded by the Western Ghats, there are forests, waterfalls, reservoirs which are hidden from tourists. The cultural landscape is unique as well, filled with temples. There is nothing quite like connecting to your roots, and this will be one of the most emotional experiences for me.

2. Travel to every state and Union Territory in India

I have always believed that there are several places in India, which will require a lifetime to explore. But having said that, I would like to at least visit every state and union territory in India before I turn 50. I have at least eight UNESCO heritage sites on my list. From religion to culture, there is so much to experience and explore. Thus, India will always be high on priority than the rest of the world. I will be planning one state at a time and would like to start with the North East primarily. 

  • A road trip from India to Bhutan

My husband and I love road trips. We have done several self-drive trips in Europe and Australia, but not many long trips in India. We have been on coastal road trips and even driven through forests and wildlife sanctuaries in India. Besides several road trips in the Western Ghats, we haven’t explored much . One of our dreams is to do a long and slow trip from India to Bhutan and back, and we would love to put that on our priority list. The thrill and the excitement of the journey is what excites me. However, a word of advice, road trips to mountains means a lot of precautions. One needs to keep a list of emergency phone numbers, medical kit and emergency food handy. Not just this, one needs to be financially protected too. Hence, one must possess a financial tool that secures the future of one’s loved ones in case of any uncertainties in life. Only after ensuring these bare minimum precautions, one can make a worry-free road trip on the mountains.

  • Visit every continent 

I have travelled to 5 out of 7 continents. The remaining two are Antarctica and mainland Africa. While I am focussed on these two continents, I would also love to go to every country in Europe. As someone who loves literature, history, art and culture, Europe is the best destination to go. It is my all-time favourite continent, and I am yet to explore quite a few countries, especially in Eastern Europe, which is my personal favourite.

Planning for a travel experience is fun, but sometimes it can get a little overwhelming. As these travel experiences are quite expensive, they ask for a lot of money. Hence, I needed more than just my regular investments to fulfil my travel goals. Therefore, I started looking for a good financial plan which can help me accomplish my specific bucket list experiences. Post my research; I zeroed down on a ULIP plan – LifeTime Classic from ICICI Prudential Life. The plan helps me grow my money and protect my family in case of any unfortunate event.

Along with these benefits, the plan also helps me to save tax of up to ₹46,800 under section 80C every year. These additional tax savings will boost my investments and will offer me more to fulfill my travel goals. So before I end up finalising my bucket list, my priority will be financial planning with a focus on tax. Now travel more with the right financial plan by saving more taxes.


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