This season, more and more Indians are taking off on themed vacations tailored to suit their hobbies."My interest in astronomy has taken me to China, Zambia, even Iran to catch eclipses," says Aadil Desai, a service engineer with a passion for astronomy.
"With more exposure to other countries, Indians are looking for something special to do on their travels," says Partha Kundo, founder, Esperienza, a lifestyle vacations company."I recently had a sporty client who had been to Thailand several times, and was tired of the usual island-tourism. He was thrilled when I offered him the prospect of a Thai trip to learn Muay Thai boxing! I arranged for a professional to give him and his son a basic training course through the course of their stay, and they got a certificate at the end. His wife and daughter learnt authentic Thai cooking from celebrated chefs."
If Thai food doesn't quite excite you, Gaurav Punj, founder, Connect with Himalayas (CwH), offers a wider alternative.
According to Vyjanthi Keswani, a regular with CwH, the same place takes on a new avatar when she's on a themed holiday.
"I recently designed a five-day reading holiday," says Punj. He has now added a list of nine themes for for 2011, including a cooking and a music holiday in the Himalayas with a travelling guru.
Indians are travelling abroad on themed vacations, those outside the boundaries are also exploring us. Art Safari, a UK-based travel company set up by writer Mary-Anne Bartlett, deals exclusively with painting holidays. For February 2011, Bartlett is excited about a tour with artists through Madhya Pradesh to paint the birds, deer, and of course, the tiger.
Connect With Himalaya:
(Packages between Rs. 15-25,000).
Esperienza: www.esperienza.in (Prices on request).
Art Safari: http://www.artsafari.co.uk/ (Significant discount for Indians for the MP trip. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org ).