First ever Travel – Alexander Springs

Welcome back, hope your week is going pretty awesome.

Just a recap of the previous week- First road trip- crossing Orlando- camping- Swimming in Spring – Beer- BBQ- Tenting. (If it’s confusing – you have two options- check out the points below )

  1. EITHER Go the previous blog read it and come back            
  2.  OR Stay here and read this blog because it’s a fresh and a new place that you haven’t seen yet.

well, In spite of the tired day, we all managed to get off from our tents roll back everything and get to the new location which was pretty close by, like a 20 minute drive that was again a fabulous location for a day out with barbeque, smaller hikes and snorkeling (I wish back then I knew I would travel like this or would write about places – would have captured way better pics lol 😛 )

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Travel from Our location(Juniper springs) to Alexander Springs (Courtesy: Google maps) 

The sun was out, water was pure, the flora was wild   – The bliss of being in a place like this is so exciting, I try and create emotions to showcase how beautiful and breathtaking places are, but when you see with your eyes it is ten times the actual beauty expressed by me. These are places were you can just sit for hours together, by yourself or with your loved ones and admire every minute passing by graciously with this lovely piece of mother nature.

The water body was just a large swimming pool unclouded, where you can look at your feet when you enter and walking by in the silky sand only to an extent because it’s really so deep into the center. Either you know swimming or have a float to support – our whole gang almost droned a guy which wasn’t funny but when you recollect memories today it is funny 😛

      The atmosphere at Alexander Springs 

We Swam and had fun for almost couple of hours by the spring, finally, our stomachs started giving all the signs to say enough of feeding heart with happiness and brain with memories. we still didn’t listen to it, started walking by the trail, doesn’t take much time if you just take the periphery instead of the whole hike. Loaded my phones memory with enough of selfie spamming, finally remembered we don’t have any chicken or veggies to barbeque as we ran out on everything last night itself. You know what, the worst thing is you are hungry af, and people cook delicious barbeque and you are too ashamed to go and ask haha.

cbe47f85-2660-4bc9-9ca0-047f06788e2e                                                           Just a fun PIC 😛

Took a shower got our belongings, ran to the go get some food. But everyone is like”we need Indian Food” ” we need Indian food”. Everyone decided finally to go to an Indian restaurant in Orlando. It was an hour an a half drive through woods and rain. But the food though, OH man so Yum after so long, I knew it wasn’t that great but at least the flavor of the Indian food meant a lot to me but not the check. Which meant still  I was multiplying by 63 or 64 times the cost haha.

All my trip were memorable but this one was First on my list, always sweet and special. Sunshine state – for those who don’t know it’s Florida never fails to make me happy. With all the happiness and back to home. A four-hour drive mostly everyone was sleep except the couple of them driving. With this positive note have a look at the essential things you need to know about Alexander springs If you gonna travel there.

Travelers section: 

10 Essential things to know About – Alexander spring:

  1. Recreational area.
  2. Part of Ocala National park- Florida.
  3. Constant water temperature of 72 degrees Fahrenheit.
  4. Multiple springs vent under limerocks ledges.
  5. Has a 1-mile trail (If at all you have energy after swimming :P)
  6. Barbeque.
  7. A place for some sports like Frisbie, badminton, soccer (Whatever game you can imagine within that space – I leave it to your imagination 😛 ) 
  8. Canoeing and Kayaking
  9. Stores available for swimming and camping gears.
  10. Bathhouses, Camping area, and Picnic Places Available.

What should I have in my bag pack for camping at springs? (For people who didn’t get a chance to read my previous blog )

  • Towel *
  • Few shorts*
  • Hiking shoes*
  • Slippers*
  • T-shirt.
  • Swimwear and googles.
  • Insect repellant *
  • BBQ skewers, veggies, pre-marinated or required mix, charcoal and fire initiator ( If you wanna do BBQ ).
  • Cutting boards, Knives, spoons, and forks if necessary
  • Essential toiletries and skincare (depending on individuals) *
  • Tent and sleeping bag*
  • Pillows and blankets*
  • Most important always try to carry Trash bags*- Never know when will it come handy.
  • Sunscreen*
  • Umbrella* – you never know when it rains in Florida.
  • Camp reservation confirmation*- If the previous booking is done.
  • Power bank– If you are so much love with the place and click a ton of pictures from your mobile phone.
  • DSLR preferable or a good phone would do.

* – Mandatory

Have a sweet little lit weekend,

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Travel from  Alexander Springs to Miami (Courtesy: Google maps)

My weekend is gonna be lit as well

Mom is back in the US, Taking her to my Hockey final on mothers day and it’s so freaking exciting. (To all reading my blog better pray for us to win 😛 – you guys better pray, just kidding send me some love and thats enough 🙂 )

See you next blog.

Love,

Praveen <3

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First ever Travel – Juniper Springs

How is your week going, Fellas ????????? welcome back 🙂

Let me take you on a virtual drive to my ever remembered first trip in the United States, Fun times man.  I could recollect all those moments even today. All my roomies planned to go to that place, really didn’t have a proper understanding of what a spring was?

Waking up in the dorms (I use to live for a semester on campus – One good and the bad decision I ever made :P), getting ready with a bath and all stuffed packed really didn’t know what to take and what not to be taken back then haha …

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Such an excited post I still remember (Freaking I used to upload every single thing )

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Walked all the way to my Paradise (My previous home :0 ), everyone just waiting for me in a 7 seat minivan wondering where the hell I am. Took off the drive, Sleepy as hell but at the same moment, I didn’t want to miss anything on the way. To all the readers one thing I wanna say don’t expect anything great than an array of trees on both sides and a  luxurious highway where you can’t drive more than 70 miles/hr. Well, it’s kinda scenic in few places, but most parts keep looking and staring at the luxurious cars passing by.

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For people thinking where is this place and where are we traveling – This Map describes it all.

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Drive from Miami to Juniper Springs, FL (Reference: Google Maps)

Its hard to sit idle after four years of driving in India, my heart says “Hey ask them ” but mind says “Dude steering is on the other side of the car “. Constantly debating between mind and heart, I took a nap for a while. Taking a couple of stops for the leak, finally came passed Orlando(If you guys love theme parks, amusement parks, especially marvel, harry potter fans – that’s the goto place for you ) Once we take an exit we entered into a completely different atmosphere, the vibe was fantastic. Felt like entering into a forest driving through the narrow roads and gushing dense trees. We could feel the change in terms of the sound and nature as in how peaceful it turned into.

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The scenic way to Juniper Springs

Stocked up with loads of food, as we are were gonna camp for the night and do some good barbecue chicken and veggies. It was a nice thickly packed forest, and we all were like awwwwwwwwwwww <3, parked the car and walked to the actual spring space. It was way more beautiful than what I expected. Dazzling sun shining on us, calling us to jump straight into the water. Crystal clear and perfect weather – who could resist this combination 😮 Water was coming out through the pores, a beautiful sight to engross with nature and swim in this sight. How does it feel when you even think of it.

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Hard work putting the tent up for the night. 

Heart still pounding when I think of the beautiful image when I saw it the first time. Then we decided to put up the tents so that we wouldn’t have to do it at the end of the day merely searching for light in the forest. One more beautiful thing guys – NO WIFI, NO MOBILE SERVICE PROVIDER (Just felt amazing because nothing to interfere just the mother nature and me with the company of my friends). Decided to walk to the spring, and put my feet looking at the sun. Never have I ever had that feeling in me. “Beauty and happiness lie only within us – But we tend to search for external reasons ” PS: I just made that up – felt while inking. Started swimming in the water, really deep, crystal clear and water’s temperature remains constant at any season. Which put all together into an amazing experience.

 It looks way amazing in real (Courtesy: Google Images) 

Spending an hour in water, decided to walk back to the camping place setting up stuff for Barbeque. With all marinated chicken, green peppers, tomatoes, mushrooms with all Indian masalas (GUYS that was my first experience and man it was yummmm ). But here comes the twist, these guys ruined my 22 years of virginity towards alcohol. No way I can get outside the jungle, Hungry after swimming, and these guys were so stubborn about me having Beer and they claim that’s the only way I can get food. The beer was tasting awful (Mind says”I knew alcohol is horrible but definitely not this horrible” ). when they gave me the chicken, damn that feel. Didn’t pass a chicken piece came my way (So hungry 🙁 ) It started getting darker, it felt great – no one was on the phone, nature and the vibe. Played cards for a while and backed into tent thinking of bear warnings and slept off.

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Days like these, stay evergreen in our hearts. These are few days when I realized how much I admire nature and I am glad I am sharing this experience. Even a few who reads the blog start liking nature or enjoying nature, that’s the most fulfilling moment for a blogger.Let me provide a section of how much its costs, Do’s and Dont’s in Juniper Springs.

Overview of Juniper Springs:

  • Recreational area – Subtropical forest and oval-shaped pool with limestone caves.
  • Part of Ocala National park- Florida.
  • Constant water temperature of 72 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • $21 per site (If you travel as a bunch, It’s super cheap guys)
  • Has a 1-mile trail (If at all you have energy after swimming :P)
  • Barbeque available
  • A place for some sports like Frisbie, badminton, soccer (Whatever game you can imagine within that space – I leave it to your imagination 😛 ) 
  • Canoeing and Kayaking
  • Stores available for swimming and camping gears.
  • Bathhouses, Camping area, and Picnic Places Available
  • Insects are too much, you would definitely need an insect repellent.
  • Easy weekend trip for Floridians, as it is in the center. It is maximum of 4 to 5-hour drive from anywhere within the state. 

Feel free to ask any questions you have about the place, or this trip either in comments or any of my social media plots.

What should I have in my bag pack? 

  • Towel *
  • Few shorts*
  • Hiking shoes*
  • Slippers*
  • T-shirt.
  • Swimwear and googles.
  • Insect repellant *
  • BBQ skewers, veggies, pre-marinated or required mix, charcoal and fire initiator ( If you wanna do BBQ ).
  • Cutting boards, Knives, spoons, and forks if necessary
  • Essential toiletries and skincare (depending on individuals) *
  • Tent and sleeping bag*
  • Pillows and blankets*
  • Most important always try to carry Trash bags*- Never know when will it come handy.
  • Sunscreen*
  • Umbrella* – you never know when it rains in Florida.
  • Camp reservation confirmation*- If the previous booking is done.
  • Power bank– If you are so much love with the place and click a ton of pictures from your mobile phone.
  • DSLR preferable or a good phone would do.

* – Mandatory

PS: Couple of fun facts – Natural places are cheaper and beautiful plus when you camp there are always chances of getting amazing friendship from people of different ethnicities and culture.

I apologize for the picture quality, my pictures will be better as it progresses I promise. Trying to get these from the archive is such a pain in an ass guy.

All right you guys have a chilling weekend ahead, let’s see how was my next day on the trip goes with a different location 🙂

Love,

Praveen

 

Phases of Life /travel – PART 2

Hey people !!!! Almost crossing half of April, I am sure you guys have started planning stuff for summer.

Hope you guys read my last blog. Done with schooling and I was ready to move into a metropolitan city,  Chennai for college. Definitely moving into City for a guy who has spent half his childhood in a residential school would be a nightmare. Every single thing was a change from people’s behavior, dressing sense,  to the culture, to the routine. But I kinda liked the change, was always welcome to learn, experiment and experience the city way of living life. ( Most important these guys in the pictures made it even more simple for  me :P)

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4 beautiful college years passed – an amazing set of classmates, the unlimited amount of fun, fortunate to have a very interesting lovely gang of people who made my change very simple and yet colorful. Never bothered about anything; still need to accept the fact I was studious in my class from my project work to internships to burning midnight oil for almost all exams, which was a quite unexpected change! 😛

But, Yeah a sudden leap into school to college wasn’t that easy peeps. Needed a lot of time into academics, which meant obviously less traveling. Those days my definition of travel was way different, all that I use to think is going out for a movie with friends is fun (Well it is, not saying no to it), going out to a beach was fun. Never understood it’s just not the time I spend with friends but its the influence of the place and aura too. Wasn’t keen on observing nature or changes around me or even paying attention towards minute details.

Overall, I had an amazing set of teachers and friends who encouraged me in whatever I was doing productively. From having a cutoff of last from the second guy when I joined college to going to collect best outgoing student award wasn’t easy. Needed a lot of willpower, positivity, and determination. I went on to present our project in a television channel as well (Youtube link) Look at my amazing machine and my project team below.

IMG_1704PS: Couldn’t manage to find a better pic group pic than this 😛

Places traveled:

  1. Tamil Nadu, India – Rameshwaram, Dhanushkodi, Kodaikanal, Pollachi, Tirupur.
  2. Kerala – Parambikulam (An amazing place – you are just away from mobile networks and wifi )
  3. Goa, India (Best ever trip of my 4 years of bachelors)
  4. My first Ever International tip – Singapore ( My first International flight was just my self Since my mom was already there – A pretty amazing experience – can’t wait to share with you lovely peeps about that in a separate blog post )

 

Hope all my mechies were able to recollect few amazing moments  from the college – starting from mimicking in class, to not making someone not answering attendance, to having late night study/fun nights, to department fights [Which I was not a part of – but yeah stories the next day in class was so much fun ] – I can keep writing about this pages together. Okay, let’s constrain here before it overflows out and all the awkwardness comes out !!!! (Mechanical engineer for lifetime <3 )

Almost getting my Undergraduate degree in hand – Arises a Question what Next?

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 All my lifelines in Pictures <3 

You got the Answer in the next blog guys I swear, The whole story of why US, why travel…

I am sure you guys would have all had so much fun in your respective colleges, feel free to share them in comments or send me a message – would love to hear them 🙂

If you love reading my blog, Please do subscribe – option is on the homepage.

Keep reading, Keep inspiring.

Love,

Praveen

Phases of Life /travel – PART 1

Hey y’ all, hope my first post was interesting and a base to get to know me.

Well knowing about me is a good step to start isn’t?

Let’s get into detail to check out where all I have traveled. You know what, I actually spared so much of time to check out for myself where all I have been since my childhood even before I knew what traveling actually meant.

“Statutory warning: Please don’t get sick of my blog because of my teenage pics, yes even I feel embarrassed sharing them.”

 

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The Mini-me <3

Started as a child, going with the family to different places during the summer holidays, the only longest vacation we all get. (Hope you guys too would have experienced this ). When I was 15 years I started traveling alone, usually for breaks from the military residential boy’s school ( SchoolsLink ).

I went to residential school when I was 12 years old. The start to a life of being independent of making my bed in the morning to washing my clothes in the weekend.  Only thing I understood back then was, I was happy being independent, yea the freedom meant something to me. Even after 10 years, I am still not able to put them into words.

Travel areas – Mostly part of India (During my days before college)

  • To start with a state I was born Tamil Nadu   (Madurai, Trichy, Chennai, Kanyakumari, Tuticorin, Kanyakumari, Rameshwaram, Coimbatore, Tanjore, Ooty, Kodaikanal and Pondicherry all that I can remember as of now 😛 )
  • Kerala – Idukki
  • Karnataka – Bengaluru, Mysuru, and Bijapur.
  • Maharashtra – Mumbai, Pune, Lonavala.
  • Telangana – Hyderabad.
  • Odisha – Bhubaneswar, Puri, and Cuttack.
  • Rajasthan – Jaipur.
  • Uttar Pradesh – Agra.
  • Delhi – New Delhi.
  • Haryana – Panipat, Chandigarh.
  • Punjab – Amritsar, Wagah Border.
  • Himachal Pradesh – Shimla, Manali.
  • Jammu&Kashmir – Rothang Pass, Katra
  • Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

I am gonna write about few of these places which I believe I still remember what I saw, experienced and had fun in my childhood. This is still a very minimal part of India that I have covered, as the country is vast, beautiful and multicultural. I suppose this would have been my thought, “Get done with my final exams and get me outta here for the summer”. But didn’t understand by then what exposure meant? why did that change make me happy? Why did my family get to me to these places? When I think back today, everything makes so much sense to me 🙂

My childhood days went pass like this; never knew that day I was making memories nor that I would be writing about this at 1 am burning the midnight oil. Done with school by then caught in the whirlwind of marks, grades, colleges, admissions etc. I don’t even want to think about that awful moments now. I had the beautiful set of friends, which I still have after 13 years… Now they aren’t friends, they are family…

                                                    The few shades of adolescent ME 😛 

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If you think it’s more of a personal info that I am sharing, nope it’s not. Maybe most of you would have had a similar experience of a family vacation, summer trips and stuff like that, especially if you were from India. Well, you wouldn’t have traveled a lot or you didn’t get a chance either. Better late than never.

Stay tuned for how things changed for me ………. <3

PS: No more adolescent pics guys, haha

I should definitely thank my mom – She retrieved all the pics from drive because of my consistent bothering, being up way past her bedtime. (Ma, don’t complain I made you work – I gave you credits for your contribution 😛 )

See you guy’s next blog. Happy hardworking and an amazing week ahead of the pretty chill weekend 🙂

Love,

Praveen