It’s that time of the year when expats look forward to making a quick trip back home to their native countries.
But keen to visit different Indian locales, many of them will be staying back and travelling within the country this New Year. From the Western Ghats in Coorg to the rustic and colourful Rajasthan, foreigners in the City are eager to get a stronger taste of India.
Marina Agoundou, originally from Central Africa and raised in France, says that the harsh winter back home has kept the family from going there for Christmas and New Year. “Every year for New Year’s, we head out to a different location. That’s because we are not fond of the cold and snow.
Plus Asia and India in particular have so many places to explore. This time, we have zeroed in on the ‘Golden Triangle’,” says the mother of two, who has travelled to Pondicherry and Singapore among other places. “We are looking forward to a lot of shopping and sight-seeing. However, it’s going to be a quiet New Year’s Eve with dinner with friends,” she adds.
Taemi Goshi from Japan, who has been living in the City for a year now, says she can’t wait to explore South India with her friend. “Although the initial plan was to go back to Japan for the holidays, we decided against it. Now we’re going to Kodaikanal and doing the South India tour,” shares Taemi, who works with a Japanese firm. She has visited Varkala in Kerala, Puttaparthi and Kanyakumari among other places.
“There is so much in India and I just love going to new places here,” she adds.
Getting away from the bustling activities of the City is Sandra Leisk from Ghana, who is married to a Britisher and lives here.
“We are looking forward to a quiet New Year in Coorg. It’s going to be a three or four days trip and some friends will be joining us. We can have some time and space to ourselves.” Sandra, who has just returned from a Christmas vacation in Dubai, adds, “Every year at this time, we try and get away from the crowd of the City to welcome a peaceful and quiet New Year.”
Donna Lethborg, who runs ‘Integrity Travel India’, a boutique travel agency for expat travellers, feels that there has been a drastic rise in the number of expats heading to places within India for the holidays.
“In the previous years, they usually would go back to their native countries. But that’s not the case this year, which is an interesting trend,” she says. According to her, the top places that foreigners are heading to include Rajasthan, Kerala and Goa. “The weather here is so pleasant compared to the freezing temperatures in most western countries. This is what is keeping the foreigners back,” she points out.