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100 Best Free Things to Do in the San Francisco Bay Area

100 Best Free Things to Do in the San Francisco Bay Area

The San Francisco Bay Area is one of the most beautiful and diverse regions in the world and is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the United States. From the towering redwoods of Muir Woods to the bustling…

11 Best Bed and Breakfasts in Napa Valley

11 Best Bed and Breakfasts in Napa Valley

If you’re looking for a relaxing or a romantic getaway, consider spending some time in Napa Valley. There are many beautiful Bed & Breakfasts in Napa Valley to choose from. This beautiful wine country in California is equipped with modern…

Bay Area’s Best Redwood Hikes: A Comprehensive Guide

Bay Area’s Best Redwood Hikes: A Comprehensive Guide

Bay Area’s Redwood forests are beautiful and are a photographer’s and hiker’s paradise. The sight of emerald-tinged light filtering through the redwood trees, some of the tallest and oldest living things on earth, is magical. A hike among the giants…

30 Best Day Trips from San Jose, California

30 Best Day Trips from San Jose, California

If you’re looking for amazing day trips from San Jose, California look no further than these 30 beautiful destinations. In this blog post, we will explore 30 different day trip ideas from San Jose. Whether you’re looking for a nature-filled…

Bay Area weekend getaways on California Highway 1

Bay Area weekend getaways on California Highway 1

Bay Area weekend getaways on California Highway 1 are convenient and beautiful destinations to break free from all the whirlwinds of to-do lists for a couple of days. Every time I drive through the coast-hugging California highway 1, I feel…

Christmas Lights in the San Francisco Bay Area

Christmas Lights in the San Francisco Bay Area

Christmas lights in the San Francisco Bay Area will light you up with delight this winter. Not just San Francisco – a timeless urban retreat, but the cities like San Jose, San Carlos, Fremont, Palo Alto, Monterey, and Oakland, offer…

Fall Colors in Rocky Mountain National Park

Fall Colors in Rocky Mountain National Park

Fall colors in Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado are a vibrant spectacle which I was lucky enough to have witnessed. The cornucopia of bright yellow of the aspen trees in Estes Park, the gateway town to the Rocky Mountain…

Spirit Island in Canada – A famous icon of the Canadian Rockies

Spirit Island in Canada – A famous icon of the Canadian Rockies

Spirit Island in Canada, a famous icon of the Canadian Rockies, is remote and is only reachable by a boat, a kayak, or canoe. When I was exploring the majestic Canadian Rockies, the wilderness all around evoked in me a…

Glacier National Park – A travel guide!

Glacier National Park – A travel guide!

The Glacier National Park, home to some of the greatest scenery in North America, came to my mind while planning a summer trip with family. Long habituated to the ever-increasing rush, the hustle and bustle of the San Francisco Bay…

Lake Tahoe in Summer – Perfect 4 days!

Lake Tahoe in Summer – Perfect 4 days!

A trip to Lake Tahoe in summer from the San Francisco Bay Area gifted me a much-awaited break from the whirlwind of city and the complexities of modern tech-driven life. Lake Tahoe, the largest Alpine lake in North America greeted me…

Salt Lake City to Yellowstone – A road trip guide!

Salt Lake City to Yellowstone – A road trip guide!

The Salt Lake City to Yellowstone road trip during one summer gifted me days when I escaped to the extraordinary. On this road trip – history, art, and culture, the charm of old and small towns, grand sceneries and lush…

San Francisco Bay Area Gardens to Visit in Spring

San Francisco Bay Area Gardens to Visit in Spring

I love exploring the beautiful San Francisco Bay Area gardens in spring. Springtime in California is the best time to explore the beautiful state both far and near. The weather gets warmer, and the signs of the season pop up…

Spring break in California – Best places to visit

Spring break in California – Best places to visit

In California, spring unfolds beautifully. The mild temperature, the effusion of colors, and wildflowers everywhere whisper to explore the outdoors during spring break in California. This time aptly coincides with my birthday and the spring break at my daughter’s school.…

Super scenic Cypress Trees and Tunnels near San Francisco

Super scenic Cypress Trees and Tunnels near San Francisco

California is a wonderland of trees with some of the tallest and largest trees in the world. I gazed in awe when I saw the Coast Redwoods, Giant Sequoias, and Monterey cypress trees for the first time, and they never…

Celebrating Women – A Montage of Travel Souvenirs!

Celebrating Women – A Montage of Travel Souvenirs!

During my decades-long travels, whenever and wherever I came across exhibitions, museums, events, or memorials celebrating women, I acquired a piece of memento for my collection. Eventually, I built a montage of travel souvenirs that celebrate women. They all inspire…

Winter in California – Weekend Getaways

Winter in California – Weekend Getaways

Winter in California is varied and beautiful. I stood amidst the snowfall after driving a couple of hours on one weekend and cherished a pleasant and sunny winter afternoon at the beach on another weekend. If you are in a…

Charlie Chaplin house in Switzerland

Charlie Chaplin house in Switzerland

Charlie Chaplin, one of the most powerful protagonists in world cinema spent the last 25 years of his life in Vevey Switzerland, one of the pearls of the beautiful Swiss Riviera. While living in Lausanne, I got the opportunity to…

Christmas in Magdeburg – One of the oldest cities in Germany

Christmas in Magdeburg – One of the oldest cities in Germany

On one fine chilly December morning, we boarded a train from Berlin to Magdeburg, to see and feel the Christmas spirit in one of the oldest cities in Germany on the river Elbe. Christmas celebrations in old European cities with…

Fall colors in Napa Valley – A Photo Essay

Fall colors in Napa Valley – A Photo Essay

Fall colors in Napa Valley are spectacular especially in the first two weeks of November, after the harvest season. Autumn paints the vineyards in gold and fills the eyes of spectators with delight. This time of the year, when nature…

Easy Day Trips from San Francisco

Easy Day Trips from San Francisco

The San Francisco Bay Area is an incredible place to explore. Here is a list of easy day trips from San Francisco which you can do solo or with family and friends. A change of scene, smell, and sound along…

Derma E Vitamin C Collection Review

Derma E Vitamin C Collection Review

The entire Derma E Vitamin C Collection has worked wonders for me. I have been using Derma-E Vitamin C products for almost a month now and my face is glowing like the crisp autumn sun. They have added an extra…

Exploratorium in San Francisco – When the Destination is Science!

Exploratorium in San Francisco – When the Destination is Science!

The Exploratorium in San Francisco provides a fertile platform for curious minds. It opens the door to varied frontiers of knowledge for both children and adults. It encourages everyone to wonder – What? How? Why? Abstract concepts of science are…

Movies Set in Europe to Spark your Wanderlust

Movies Set in Europe to Spark your Wanderlust

Movies have always been my passport when I can’t travel. The best part is, through movies set in different countries, we can all travel without visas, tickets and travel passes from the comfort of our homes. It can probably never…

The Zeitgeist of a Lost Summer!

The Zeitgeist of a Lost Summer!

The zeitgeist of pandemic stricken, lost summer has proven to be a fertile ground for me. I am processing and internalizing all the things I have seen so far in my life while traveling across many countries for more than…

San Francisco to Death Valley – A Super Scenic California Road Trip!

San Francisco to Death Valley – A Super Scenic California Road Trip!

The road trip from San Francisco to Death Valley is full of picturesque scenes at every corner. I did this road trip during the early summer months and the journey was as beautiful as the destinations. I stopped at several…

Sunflower studded summer sunset in California!

Sunflower studded summer sunset in California!

I visited Winters in California in July, one late afternoon to witness a sunflower studded summer sunset. Needless to say, every picture that I captured through my camera is like poetry in a frame. If you live in and around…

Mesa Falls in Idaho on the way to Yellowstone National Park

Mesa Falls in Idaho on the way to Yellowstone National Park

The Upper and Lower Mesa Falls on the way to the Yellowstone National Park from Idaho is a must-see place for nature lovers. Wrapped in wilderness and calm, the Mesa falls will instantly uplift your mood anytime. On our long…

I can’t breathe!

I can’t breathe!

I can’t breathe I couldn’t breathe when you uprooted meTo the shores of an alien land Shackled on boats 400 years backFrom the cradle of humanity I couldn’t breathe when you worked me to death In the sugar and cotton plantationsSo that…

Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens – A Photo Essay!

Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens – A Photo Essay!

A beautiful public garden with numerous meandering paths by the Pacific Ocean, the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens presents the visitor with blooming flowers and sumptuous ocean views. A must visit place in any trip to Mendocino in northern California, especially…

The Omnipresence of Death!

The Omnipresence of Death!

It’s a rainy Saturday morning today in San Jose, California. Night lamps are still on and the lights from them are reflected on the wet courtyard. I can see the raindrops making tiny circles and then disappearing. The valley afar…

A coffee cup and a story in the Great Smoky Mountains!

A coffee cup and a story in the Great Smoky Mountains!

Washed in refreshing greens, the morning arrived. I greeted the morning with smiles and eyes full of gratitude. And then without wasting much of my time, I dressed up and rushed out of my room to relish every bit of…

Hamburg – The Hanseatic harbor city!

Hamburg – The Hanseatic harbor city!

My wintry wandering this year took me to a city, not primarily of painters, poets or prophets but of businesses, industries, and traders. I tried to feel the pulse of the city and ended up with happy vibes brimming with…

A delicious evening at Fiddle River restaurant in Jasper!

A delicious evening at Fiddle River restaurant in Jasper!

The wonder of the wilderness and the respite of remoteness which we saw and felt at the Spirit Island in Maligne Lake literally made us less conscious of hunger and thirst. We simply forgot to take our lunch that day.…

A fairytale ride from Montreaux to Château-d’Oex in Switzerland!

A fairytale ride from Montreaux to Château-d’Oex in Switzerland!

I tried to organize all the higgledy-piggledy thoughts in my mind and found out most of the thoughts took a retreat from the mundane daily life and escaped to a world of a fairy tale. After all, December brings Santa,…

A fleeting witness of weddings!

A fleeting witness of weddings!

In this age, when our lives are changing fast and the overwhelming powers of technology are stirring every aspect of our living, I often think about the cardinal values in life. Will they remain the same or will they change…

The Festival of Lights in Berlin, Germany!

The Festival of Lights in Berlin, Germany!

Around 11 am, my jet-lagged eyes saw the October morning brimming with autumnal lights for the first time in Berlin. Summer had trickled into autumn, unlike California, from where I boarded the flight two days back. I treated myself with…

Beautiful Vignettes of Vancouver!

Beautiful Vignettes of Vancouver!

Vancouver is a beautiful city on the Pacific shore of British Columbia, Canada. Cosmopolitan yet close to nature, Vancouver offers visitors many things to see and do. Top attractions include the grand urban oasis of Stanley Park, a must-see with…

Canadian Rockies from Banff Gondola!

Canadian Rockies from Banff Gondola!

Notification alert 🔔: Real-world has a secret magnet to attract our mind and soul and is more powerful than any virtual world’s algorithm that optimizes to gain our partial attention. After a week-long trip to the Canadian Rockies, I realize…

A cruise on Lake Minnewanka in Banff, Canada!

A cruise on Lake Minnewanka in Banff, Canada!

The night was starry, and the moon was half crescent. I cuddled up beside the bedside window inside a wooden chalet to witness the night’s grandeur. But slowly, the starry sky lulled me into sleep. Next day, when the night…

Chronicles of Canadian Rockies – Banff and Jasper!

Chronicles of Canadian Rockies – Banff and Jasper!

Every day at night I pull my blanket up to my forehead to cut off all possible lights coming from the modern world and crest towards dreams. During my trip to the Canadian Rockies, I didn’t pull my blanket at…

A musical evening with San Francisco Symphony!

A musical evening with San Francisco Symphony!

In today’s era when technology refutes geographical distance, music helps me to cross the distance within. Music connects me to my inner self. I love spending my evenings sometimes filled with music; only music. It is to me is a…

Pop Art of Andy Warhol at SFMOMA

Pop Art of Andy Warhol at SFMOMA

In this social media and digital era, our minds are increasingly getting saturated with images and videos in different forms. Manipulation, reproduction, and distribution of images and videos can be done within seconds using powerful software that is accessible to…

Thought Provoking Museums from Around the World

Thought Provoking Museums from Around the World

The word museum has its origins in the Ancient Greek word of Mouseion, which denotes a place or temple dedicated to the Muses (the patron divinities in Greek mythology of the arts). The meaning of “museums” has changed considerably over time since they started…

A soliloquy of a sojourner!

A soliloquy of a sojourner!

After traveling for almost 10 years, and writing about my journeys for the last six years, some fundamental questions about discovering a new place, people and culture swirl in my mind often. Like a fly that revolves around our head…

The charm of Gwalior, India – The home to world’s second oldest zero!

The charm of Gwalior, India – The home to world’s second oldest zero!

India is one of the greatest players in history. All human pasts are still alive in this piece of land. A five thousand year epic continues till today. It’s people, cities, cultures, heritage, and traditions have now juxtaposed with the…

Postcards from Pinnacles National Park!

Postcards from Pinnacles National Park!

Pinnacles National Park is just two hours drive from San Jose, the home of Silicon Valley, and the city which I call home for the last few years. One spring Sunday morning, when I woke up by the beam of…

Rendezvous with Redwood trees in the Redwood National Park, California – The tallest trees on earth!

Rendezvous with Redwood trees in the Redwood National Park, California – The tallest trees on earth!

After the rendezvous with Redwood trees in the Redwood National Park, California – the tallest trees on the earth, I feel I am still in a trance and am finding it difficult to return to my daily routine and digital…

Las Vegas to Grand Canyon – Journal of a journey!

Las Vegas to Grand Canyon – Journal of a journey!

It is hard to wrap my journey from Las Vegas to Grand Canyon in just one sentence. My first visit from Las Vegas to Grand Canyon West was a few years back on a tour bus. My second trip which…

Upgrade your travel with Upgraded Points!

Upgrade your travel with Upgraded Points!

Traveling is an important aspect of life because it lets us not only know butalso lets us experience the unknown. In our short lives, if there is one thing that takes us beyond the horizon of our age, reality and…

Welcoming spring with California wildflowers!

Welcoming spring with California wildflowers!

The zeitgeist of modern life gives us a quick fix to all our problems in three steps. 1. Set goals. 2. Tie that goal with a number. 3. Strive to reach that number. Think about your health (calories, blood sugar…

Christmas market in Strasbourg, France – the oldest and biggest in Europe!

Whenever the calendar marks the start of December in a year, my mind and heart automatically switch to a festive mood. Twinkling lights all around, big Christmas trees and discounts in shopping malls signal that Christmas is on its way. It is not only on 25th, but every day in the month of December becomes a celebration in small and varied ways. I celebrate in December mostly by seeing a new place every year. Once I went to Goa in India, once to the leaning tower of Pisa in Italy, once to a Christmas village in Switzerland and another year I explored the Christmas market in Strasbourg in France, which is one of the oldest and biggest Christmas markets in Europe. Today I will share with you all my experience of visiting the Christmas market (or as the French say “Marche de Noel”) in Strasbourg.

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The tomb of Napoleon Bonaparte – A winner of many battles in Paris, France!

Business magnets, actors, artists, doctors, engineers, scientists, common men, poor men, etc all receive a  gift of peace and silence from death! No partiality at all though our society has always been partial to privileged ones during life and after death. Perhaps we all have seen a king’s palace in any tourist destination and rarely that of a farmer’s house or a carpenter’s house. The lives of late eminent and rich personalities and also their tombs have always been a center of attraction. Only death is impartial not the society. No, I don’t have any intention to write about such contradictions that exist in our society. Instead, I intend to take you all to the tomb of Napoleon Bonaparte – a winner of many battles, in the French capital of Paris!

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Christmas Lights in the San Francisco Bay Area

Christmas lights in the San Francisco Bay Area will light you up with delight this winter. Not just San Francisco – a timeless urban retreat, but the cities like San Jose, San Carlos, Fremont, Palo Alto, Monterey, and Oakland, offer magical wonderlands of Christmas lights and decorations and exude a cheering warmth. Stroll the mile-long stretches of streets decked with sparkling lights and see the houses beautifully and creatively festooned with decorations and soak up all the festive spirit. Christmas is a perfect time to make new memories together with family and loved ones. Here is a list of fabulous places to see Christmas Lights in the San Francisco Bay Area where you can bask in the glow of holiday light displays. A magical ambiance awaits you at each of these places. Plan your December weekends ahead and enjoy.

Happy holidays 🎅!

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Christmas in Magdeburg – One of the oldest cities in Germany

On one fine chilly December morning, we boarded a train from Berlin to Magdeburg, to see and feel the Christmas spirit in one of the oldest cities in Germany on the river Elbe. Christmas celebrations in old European cities with thousand year long histories have an unparalleled charm. After boarding the train, the fresh sunlight slanted across the train window and I saw the slow unfurling of the winter morning from the train window. I reached my destination after a little more than an hour, the journey being perfect for my brain to prepare for new scenes and scents.

Magdeburg -one of the oldest German cities, Travel Realizations
Whenever a chance comes knocking on my door to broaden the horizon of my experiences, I choose to take that opportunity. I converge choice and chance to experience something new. Always!
Christmas celebrations in old European cities with thousand year long histories have an unparalleled charm. #Christmas #Germany #Magdeburg Click To Tweet

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Movies Set in Europe to Spark your Wanderlust

Movies have always been my passport when I can’t travel. The best part is, through movies set in different countries, we can all travel without visas, tickets and travel passes from the comfort of our homes. It can probably never match the real experiences, but can spark a feeling of wanderlust in us. I often feel that the past, culture, aesthetics and uniqueness of a place survive in its art and movies, which are otherwise dwindling in a globalized and digitized world today. In this article, let me suggest some incredible movies set in Europe to spark your wanderlust, as they do to me. Having watched all of them, I can surely say that these movies are adept at immersing us fully within their time and space – hallmarks of any great cinema. Find out about all the movies and savor them at your own pace.

Cinema is truth 24 frames-per-second.

 Jean Luc Godard

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Explore Destinations from Around the World

No matter if you are looking for travel destinations or have decided where you want to go, Travel Realizations offers you travel tips, travel guides, travel ideas, inspiration, and travel stories from all around the world.

North America

Europe

Asia

The Cathedral of Christ The Light!

 

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.                                                                                                                                                                                        ~ Bible

We are living in a technology-driven era which promises all material comforts and convenience. But for peace, love, and kindness, we seek a place that heals us and gives us hope. Churches, temples, mosques or any religious institutions gift us moments of confession, dedication, reflection and prayer. When I saw a digital Jesus in The Cathedral of Christ The Light in Oakland, California, I was overcome by the sheer brilliance of the idea. The juxtaposition of tradition and modern ideas always inspire me.

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