When seasoned travellers Tim and Kat approached us, looking for a new holiday destination we immediately started the process of matching their needs with our knowledge and experience of luxury travel destinations. As a result the couple jumped at our suggested three-week itinerary in India, exploring its rich culture, ancient heritage and incredible natural beauty while forming wonderful lifelong memories.
As Tim explains;
Kat and I have both travelled extensively – so much so that it was becoming difficult finding places on the map where neither of us had been before. We wanted to discover and explore new places together and have those shared memories. So where to go?
Equipped with only a list of travel destinations we wanted to avoid, our first port of call was Caroline. She took the time to get to know us, she got to understand our travel needs and what we were looking for – in fact I think she understood our trip desires better than we knew them ourselves. And what she proposed – a three-week cultural experience in northern India – totally eclipsed anything we could have created for ourselves.
India truly is that undiscovered gem, overloaded with exotic, mysterious and breathtaking destinations, all of which can be somewhat daunting and overwhelming to choose from – that’s where Luxury Bound’s in depth knowledge and experience of India’s contrasting regions is invaluable when customising the perfect balance of sightseeing and relaxation.
The sensory overload from the chaos that is everyday life in India is palpable; where holy cows wander freely amongst the melee, noisy street hawkers peddle their wares, pungent spices and intense aromas overpower you in the dust and heat, baskets of powdered rainbow dyes sit heavy on market stalls, colourful saris and golden trinkets sparkle and catch your eye at every opportunity – all this coming together to assault your senses. If Kat and I had organised the trip ourselves, we’d mostly likely have returned home exhausted!
As it was Caroline managed to achieve the juxtaposition between sensory overload and calm reflection, which we soon learned was the best way to truly experience India’s magic. Our itinerary was cleverly crafted to incorporate our love of hiking and some local experiences such as India’s infamous train journeys. It also included well-timed moments to unwind poolside at a luxury hotel or travel in comfort with a private chauffeur. Trust me, it made all the difference.
But it was her inside knowledge and experience that was crucial to the planning of our trip. Thanks to Caroline’s in-depth research and the valuable contacts she has in India, we celebrated the renowned vibrant and colourful Holi festival in the ancient northern city of Haridwar, a remote Hindu pilgrimage town where few tourists visit. Not only did we feel like Bollywood movie stars as the locals embraced us and took photos with us, but we were warmly welcomed into the fold as if we were locals, to celebrate this festival in the most authentic way possible.
Our Indian highlights:
● The Holi Festival, Haridwar in the Himalayan foothills – celebrating in one of India’s holiest places, “The Gateway to the Gods”.
● Rishikesh – taking a private yoga lesson in the birthplace of yoga, with its temples and ashrams dedicated to yoga and meditation.
● Agra – visiting the majestic Taj Mahal just before sunrise, on the advice of our local guide, to capture undisturbed photographs of The Taj without tourists. It truly was a standout picture postcard memory, one we will always remember.
In the past Kat and I have looked at certain travel destinations and thought “that would be great to do one day” but thanks to Caroline, we actually embarked on a journey that we would never have thought up ourselves. In knowing very little about our destination, Luxury Bound made the unexpected happen and with a carefully considered itinerary tailored just for us. India came to life and delivered a wealth of memories we will continue to recount for years to come.
Find new inspiration for your next holiday with Luxury Bound. Consult with Caroline on your travel dreams and, as your personal travel advisor, she will create an itinerary that exceeds all your expectations.