In an annual survey posted by a travel company, it was found that Indians were the most ‘vacation-deprived’ people in the world. A staggering 75 per cent were considered to be ‘deprived’.
We were closely followed by South Korea (72 per cent) and Hong Kong (69 per cent). 19 countries were taken into consideration for the survey conducted by the US-based online travel agency, which spoke to 11,000 people.
With reasons ranging from a lack of long leaves to financial inadequacies, the survey sheds light over the disturbingly skewed work-life balance in India.
As much as I love travelling and love to go off the radar every now and then, I can personally relate to this statistic, having seen my parents rarely using their long leaves for everything but vacations.
And now as a working professional myself, I do understand why sometimes vacations take a backseat despite having paid leave and the budget. Things like a fear of missing out on work or appearing less-committed to one’s job top the list of things holding me back.
But not every vacation requires a month off the radar or even spending a bomb for that ultimate travel experience.
Like if Goa proves to be too expensive for you, why not take the road less travelled and head to the secret beach of Nivati near Vengurla in Maharashtra?
Or how about skipping the Andamans for Tarkarli, a majorly underrated seaside town in Maharashtra for that scuba trip you’d always wanted to do!
For all those in desperate need of a vacation and also, short of money, we bring you five under-explored travel experiences that won’t burn a hole in your pocket and more importantly, bring a much-deserved balance in your work and personal life spheres:
1. Badami, Karnataka
A classic example of Chalukyan temple architecture, Badami is the next best destination you should pack your bags for if Hampi seems too expensive! Equally enthralling are the nearby towns of Aihole and Pattadakal, whose temple compendiums have often been dubbed as god’s collection of prototypes.
2. Turtuk, Jammu and Kashmir
If the famous hamlets of Nako and Tabo in Ladakh proves to be a bit tight for your budget, why not head to this border village in the district of Leh, where time stands still and the simplistic existence of the locals is a treat to the soul. Covered with a dense foliage of apricot trees, Turtuk offers many spectacular views of jagged high peaks in Pakistan – across the border.
3. Netrani Island, Karnataka
Just of the shore in the state of Karnataka, you can indulge in water sports such as scuba diving and snorkelling on this spectacular coral island on a budget that will let you can bid goodbye to the Andaman and Nicobar islands.
Locally known as Netragudo, this uninhabited island lies 18 km off the coastal lighthouse of Bhatkal.
4. Atri, Odisha
A pilgrimage site for Lord Shiva’s devotees, people head to this little-known village in Khurda district of Odisha for its perennial hot spring. Known for its medical properties, Atri offers the nature-meets-religion experience that you can make the best of, on a shoestring budget.
5. Ahupe, Maharashtra
Nestled within the Bhimashankar Wildlife Reserve, this pristine tribal hamlet is the perfect place to witness the natural phenomena of bioluminescence. The ample rainfall, sultry climate and lush forest canopy, together provide an ideal environment for Mycena (a bioluminescent fungus) to thrive and presents a sight to behold for those seeking a pocket-friendly alternative for this otherworldly experience.
(Edited by Vinayak Hegde)