COUNTRY 27: Incredible India 

“The world is a bridge. Cross it, but build no house upon it. ” – Akbar 


Finally made it to India as family! We’ve been to parts of India for last two years back, but we were not together and based on our own goal setting criteria which we have articulated  our own family’s travel goal   in Turknoy Travels 100 is a Lifestyle encouraging families to do the same.

 

Visiting countries separately doesn’t  count. India is our Country 27 when  we visited Goa, India , all five of us last July 2017. We definitely had the best  time  relaxing by the beaches of Arabian Gulf.

 

 

Of course, the seventh biggest country in the world deserves way more than one time visit, especially for India where the one city is a world different from the other when it comes to religion, traditions  and even geography. Visiting one city barely scratch the surface to understand India’s culture, religion, people and economy.

 

New Delhi, India

Them,  our  family traveling mom (ehhem, me! So far, the main author  of this blog) visited New Delhi twice. One time way back 2015 with kids and  their grandma and favourite  Aunt. The  second time was last year (2016) for mom-dad travel date. Fingers crossed,  we get to explore India every year,  one city at a time while we are based in the Middle East as expat family.
New Delhi  is a very progressive city with its train and metro  system ready to cater to more than20 million people living in the city. The city is crowded and buzzing with adventure ready to be discovered by local  and tourists alike.
Exploring New  Delhi is like a crash course or gateway for India’s diversity.  A very interesting city indeed.

Visited Qutub Minar and Lotus Temple with Kids in New Delhi (2015)


Couples Getaway in New Delhi (2016) visited Gandhi’s Memorial, Lotus Temple, India Gate, Red Fort and a lot of temples



Agra, India

From New Delhi, we took a  very  comfortable train transport to Agra to see a Wonder  of the World , Taj Mahal. What amazing structure it really is. Spending the day in Taj Mahal as a  couple   was very peaceful and yes,  cheesy and  romantic.

 

Taj Mahal and lots of cheesy couple talk 💞

Our conversation during our day out in Taj Mahal: 

Turknoys Mum: Would you build me a Taj Mahal when I die?

Turknoys Dad: No. I would love you more than Emperor loved her wife when she died while you are alive. 

Ha! 

Goa, India


With all honesty,  Goa reminds us of Turknoy’s Mom’s hometown Indang, Cavite. The tropical culture and the Catholic-village  practice has resemblances. Understandably, since that’s  how geography  and religion works.  The food,  however, couldn’t be more different.  Of course, we  love both.
 

A Worldschooling travel date with Unico Hijo in Goa, India (2015)


Finally explored Goa, India with all members of family (July,2017) – Country 27/100 ✈️


Needless to say, India is incredible! It’s obvious as we keep on coming back! 


With God’s will, we’ll  update this  blog with places we  will visit  in India. What is  your favourite city in India?  Please give suggestions.

 

 

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Baobab Tree in Aspire Park

“It is a question of discipline. When you’ve finished your own toilet in the morning, then it is time to attend to the toilet of your planet, just so, with the greatest care. You must see to it that you pull up regularly all the baobabs, at the very first moment when they can be distinguished from the rose-bushes which they resemble so closely in their earliest youth…” (5.16).
The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint Exupery

In addition to traveling together as family, we are avid fans of reading aloud to kids. We collect classic books and one of our  favorite is The Little Prince. Hence, our fascination to Baobab trees.

Baobab trees are the Africa’s iconic ” Tree of Life.”  Kinda like our Asia’s Coconut Tree – we call our high rising coconut trees as Tree of Life as well. 

Fun facts about Baobabs:

  • Baobab trees grow in 32 African countries.
  • They can live for up to 5,000 years, reach up to 30 metres high and up to an enormous 50 metres in circumference.
  • Baobab trees can provide shelter, food and water for animals and humans. A lot of savannah communities have made their homes near Baobab trees. 
  • Baobab bears fruit! And based on what we’ve read so far, Baobab fruit is one of the most nutrient-dense foods in the world. Hey, that’s what we say to our coconut!

Soon, we’ll be visiting baobabs in Africa, we know it would be a fantastic experience and family travel bucketlist to tick and enjoy. We also know that we’ll bring our worn out Little Prince book with us. Every time we read that book, there are a lot of realizations in life thay suddenly sparks our minds. Just like traveling. 

For the meantime, a more interesting information about baobab tree….

Drum rolls please!!! 

Did you know that there are baobab trees in Aspire Park, Doha, Qatar? To touch a real love baobab tree is like meeting Little Prince in person. There’s always a lot of reason to explore Qatar. Or any nearby neighborhood, for that matter. With curious eyes and wandering feet, we’ll  never know what we can discover. 

Our very own Little Princes and Baobab Tree with The Torch Doha in the Background 💜💙❤️

Qatar 1: Singing Sand Dunes of Qatar

“What makes the desert so beautiful,” said the Little Prince, “is that it hides a well.”
 

“They’re sleeping in there or else they are yawning. Only the children are pressing their noses against the windowpanes.” “Only the children know what they are looking for.” “All grown-ups were once children… but only few of them remember it.” “What makes the desert beautiful,’ said the little prince, ‘is that somewhere it hides a well…” (Quotes from The Little Prince)

Our family didn’t love traveling instantly. It was a slow courting process for the parents and kids to love exploring. We used to be conformist to any society’s standards. Got married, checked! Got kids, checked! Put the kids in the best school we could possible afford, checked! Went to church and mosque religiously, checked!

Life became routine and predictable. We are very grateful. That is one value our family will always have – being grateful to whatever circumstances and predictability life hands to us. Yet, we can’t help but hear the silent questions of our hearts and minds.

“AND THEN WHAT?!”

 
What happens when a family wants something more? What happens when every family member questions all society’s standards? We are in our journey and we don’t have the answers just yet but this we are very sure of: When you start questioning the validity and existence of one norm, such as education and traditional family lifestyle, there is no turning back. We just had to question all norms and the “why” we do the things we do day in and day out, like robots, like zombies, like programmed applications in a matrix.
 
That is why we like hanging out in the desert. The Singing Sand Dunes of Qatar close to Al Kharara is our favorite place in Qatar, whatever the weather! Yes, even in the middle of summer when the temperature is scorching 55++ degree- Celsius!

Sand dunes in the winter

 
Sand dunes in the summer!

There is something about the beauty of the sand dunes, dependent to the blowing of the wind, yet standing firm and proud to its desert background while humming its sand dune songs!

We may be an ordinary expat family in Qatar, yet we have our ambitions and goals as family. We go where the wind blows, especially with the unpredictable world economy nowadays, yet to stand firm and proud to our family’s quests and questioning while we hum our family quests song unique from all the songs of other family!
 

Sand dunes are better explored bare foot!

The Singing Sand Dunes of Qatar is a must-see for all Qatar residents, visitors and tourists! During winter, this is the perfect place of hanging out with friends for a BBQ and bon fire, sand duning, sand tobogganing, climbing cardio exercises and a lot more activities! It’s a great hang out for kids.
no filter !
 
Great playground for kids with free play-all-you can sand dunes! Our family has seen the sunrise and sunset from the Singing Sand Dunes of Qatar, both spectacular nature wonder at work.
 
Most of the time, what we actually question in life has no right and wrong answers. Those who claim, they have it all figured out and they know the right answers are all wrong. And we are mostly sure, they didn’t watch the sun rises or setting from the sand dunes or desert!
 

Sunset, Sun Dunes, Desert and a lot of Life’s Questions

Maybe life should never have answers. Maybe deserts contain hidden wells, yet again maybe none.
 
Does it matter really? When we can survive life without water?

different lovely shades of brown