Reminiscing 2023 – A Year in Review (Travel and Life)

Inspirations

Last Updated on: Jan 1, 2024 

2023… What a year it was!

I have not written anything just for me in quite a long time. So, I thought of simply putting down my thoughts (as well as Agni’s) on this blog about how we spent 2023.

For 2023 was indeed a transformative year for us.

Here we are, putting together the highlights of 2023. It was a roller coaster ride for us with its tang and spice, sweet and sour as well as some bitter pills on the way.

The Beginning

January came all sweet and dandy. Life and career in general were slow and sweet. January is also the time for our anniversary trip. This year was our 12th marriage anniversary. And instead of fretting over the 12-years-itch problem, I was fretting over where to visit this anniversary. After much thought and discussions, Meghalaya won. We had last visited Meghalaya in 2017 and was once again itching to go there.

Meghalaya in Winters

Agni and Amrita at Phe Phe Falls Meghalaya

The Meghalaya Trip was absolutely amazing. We visited the mysterious cave Krem Chympe and a few other offbeat places in Meghalaya. However, the cherry on top was Wari Chora that we visited on our anniversary day! Wari Chora was totally out of the world – a place that no words can actually describe. Watch the video here.

Amidst all the positives, we realized that there was something that we had been ignoring. And that was our health.

I was totally out of breath while trekking towards Chympe Cave and Wari Chora. Agni was better than me, but he was also having a few problems. That was the time we realized that we have literally taken for granted our health.

There was once a time when we did long Himalayan treks at ease. And now I was literally panting and totally out of breath in a 45 minute trek!

The year before in 2022, when we visited Spiti Valley, I had faced the same problem during Dhankar Lake Trek. At that time, we ignored it.

 Coming back home, we were once again swamped with work. We made a few videos on Meghalaya for our YouTube channel. The video on Krem Chympe and Wari Chora got a lot of views as well. And in all these we once again ignored the warning signals my body was giving me.

Aoling Festival, Nagaland

In April, we had another exciting trip. We visited Longwa in Nagaland to attend the Aoling Festival. Believe me, it was one of the best experiences of our life. We met a few headhunters of Nagaland and witnessed such a colorful and vibrant celebration of life. You can read about our experience at the Aoling Festival on our blog.

The Problems

It was in late April when I realized that messed up with our health. A trip to the doctor had me diagnosed with PCOS. Physically, I was overweight, lethargic and always tired. Mentally, I lost my aspirations to write and all my creative streaks hit a roadblock. I was not writing and updating this blog. Neither was I working on my other endeavors. I also totally detached myself from social media. My physical and mental health issues started reflecting in my work as well. It was an unusual situation for me.

Agni was also not faring much better. He had gained a few pounds and had lost his spark. He also became a bit moody while dealing with my mood swings.

We spent two months trying to understand what was happening to us. And all these times, we were trying to help each other in spite of being irritable and inactive most of the time.

Taking Stock of the Situation

Finally, it was in June when we decided to take it in our hands. It was Agni’s birthday in June and we promised each other to be better for us. And thus started our journey towards a better physical health.

This is one rare time in June when we did not travel to any place during Agni’s birthday month.

We visited Darjeeling at the end of July feeling much better and a bit fitter.

At HMI Darjeeling

Meghalaya again!

During August, we had another long leave and we decided to visit Meghalaya again! No, we are not crazy, we simply love Meghalaya.

And what a trip it was! Meghalaya in monsoons is just enchanting. It’s surreal and all the adjectives that I cannot remember writing now. The waterfalls are breathtaking and the meadows are so green.  We explored some offbeat waterfalls this time and spent an amazingly refreshing week in Meghalaya, stayed on top of a hill at Kongthong on a full moon night, and tried to swim (sorry! We cannot swim) in a natural infinity pool and tried Jadoh at different places. That was an experience to remember.

Nongjrong Meghalaya

Coming back from Meghalaya trip, the next few days we worked hard on our health and fitness. After 4 months, Agni lost 10 kgs and I lost 13 kgs weight. We felt better and much lighter. Infact, our motorcycle thanked us for losing that 20 kgs of weight on it!

Uzbekistan Trip

And then in October end, we were ready for our first foreign trip post pandemic. We went to Uzbekistan and loved every moment of it. We explored Tashkent, Samarkand, Bukhara and Khiva as well as Fergana Valley and the Aral Sea.

Moynaq Ship Cemetery Uzbekistan

Visiting the Aral Sea was an eye opener for us. The area was so vast and we were so little. That place crudely pointed out how the recklessness of humans can destroy nature and a vast ecosystem.

In Uzbekistan, we marveled at the blue-tiled mosques and minarets, explored some colorful markets and met some of the most friendly people in Asia. We also learned that Bollywood songs and dances are also quite famous in this Central Asian country. And of course, Uzbeki cuisine is just delicious.

November saw another trip to Darjeeling (yes, yes, sometimes we visit a single place more than one time in a year. We agree we are crazy!) This time we had one of the best views of Kanchenjunga from Darjeeling. It was this time we felt that even if we never visit Darjeeling again (well, that’s not true! I am pretty revolted by the thought of not visiting Darjeeling again), there will be no regrets.

Finally…

Finally in December, I did something that I never thought I could do. I decided to run! All those who know me can swear that I was never much of a sportsperson. Yet, I wanted to run. And at Tata Steel Marathon, both Agni and I decided to take part in their 5 km run category. We ran and completed the race and won a medal as well.

We fell in love with running and once again, we got a new goal in life.

In 2024, we wish to run the 10km marathon in February and 25 km by the end of the year.

The year ended with a Christmas trip to Varanasi. This time, we enjoyed the street food, Kachori and chaats of Varanasi. However, the best was Malaiyo.

Views of Varanasi ghats from boat ride

Physically, we are both in a good place. We have to work harder to reach our target, but we are ready to commit. Mentally, I am in a much better space. Work is good as well.

So this year, we decided that there are no resolutions, no declarations, just silent vows to each other that we will work towards staying happy together, traveling together and running together to our goals.

And we also promise that we will be more active on our social media this year!

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Agni Amrita Travel Blogger

Hey! we’re Agni & Amrita.

We have been travelling together since the last 15 years and writing independent and personal travel content since 2014. Travel is one of the best teachers and through this blog, we aim to share our experiences and travel tips. We encourage you to travel more and see the world through your eyes and not through filtered templates.

Find more about us.

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