Wanderlust Chronicles 2023 – I

Wanderlust Chronicles 2023 – I

“Not all those who wander are lost.”

– J.R. Tolkein

“Travel is the bridge between you and everything.”

– Rumi


The other day I was reading Deb’s blog where she spoke about travel exhaustion. It then dawned upon me that I had been bitten by the wanderlust bug all of 2023. I left home to travel every month of 2023, whether it was for a family commitment, a pleasure trip, or something that stoked my calling. I did not travel outside of India this year. The trips I made were worthwhile, even though most of them were for a set of personal commitments.

What better way therefore, to wrap the year with myriad vignettes of my wanderlust chronicles.

I remember writing about Ferweh which in German translates to a longing for far off places. I have no qualms in saying I personify Fernweh and am always open to exploring places, unexplored. India is a rich, diverse country of versatile landscapes and cultures, and one life time would not be enough to explore all that it has to offer. And then, there is the world to explore too. Sigh!

Without much ado, lets head into this year’s Wanderlust Chronicles.


Wanderlust Chronicles 2023 – I


Sky-sun and clouds
This one’s from end of December 2022, but since this road trip spills over to January 2023, it qualifies to be part of wanderlust 2023 chronicle. We visited Dad at our hometown, Lucknow for New Year’s.


A lovely road trip with our two furry companions. Delhi to Lucknow. #DidYouKnow: Cliff Richards, the musician and actor, was born in Lucknow and went to the La Martinière school here.


Lemon tree-lemons
When life gives you lemons…Our Lucknow home loaded with a zesty harvest.


Purple flowers-creeper-purple wreath
Purple Wreath – Petrea volubilis – Sandpaper Vine. A mid- January school visit to the 15 year-old’s boarding school in Sahyadari hills is sure to reveals these wondrous flowers.


The sun rises languorously by the Bheema river and Sahyadari hills. View from the Krishnamurthi Foundation of India (KFI) school. 


Sambhar deer-deer
A sudden trip, end of January 2023. Where else, but to the enchanting forests of Bandhavgarh with an old friend; paved way for sightings such as this. A female Sambhar deer soaking in the winter sun.


Sunrsie- mist forest
Ochre skies and a glorious forest sunrise at the Khitauli core zone of Bandhavgarh national park.


Expect the unexpected. Tara, the gorgeous tigress made a sudden appearance bang in the midst of nothingness, making it a safari to remember. She was raising a few cubs those days. For more details read this post.


A unique flower, the Indian Sundew plant, a species of carnivores plants, found during a walking trail in the buffer areas of Bandhavgarh. Thank you to my very talented young friend and wildlife buff, Kiyan, for the reminder about the species name, as I’d forgotten the ID. 🙂


Kitchen garden-breakfast setupp
A lavish breakfast was set up by the Tree House Hideaway, Pugdundee Safaris in their organic garden. It was an impeccably delicious morning.


Lasiandra- purple flower
A stunning Lasiandra or Princess Flower of the Myrtle family, blooming at the organic garden of the majestic King’s Lodge, Bandhavgarh. Do you see the cute hide-out/machaan that belong to the gardener in the backdrop?



Red-Breasted Fly catcher-Bird
A Red-Breasted Flycatcher. The only trip I made in February was a sudden one, to be with my 15 year-old who fell sick during a school excursion. It was frazzling, yes, as she was in hospital in an unknown city. Though, I realised I was blessed to be there to assist her and her school mates. This hopeful photo was taken on a wilderness walk after we returned home and once she had recovered. Picture credits: The 15 year-old.



Sunset-Balcony view
The sky looked glorious as March stealthily made it’s way into our hearth. A mesmerising, meditative sunset from the 25 year-old’s balcony. Yes, not a travel picture, albeit one that transported me beyond the horizons.


Bougainvillaea - Red Creeper flowers
The DH and I celebrated another year of growing together. (Note, how I don’t say “growing old” – we just grow, not old, like the way trees do!) 🙂 We drove down to a neighbourhood getaway surrounded by flourishing greens, vibrant colours and a whole bunch of avian wonders.



Golf course-greens and trees
Expansive vistas of a golf course in this getaway was a bonus, as we sipped on our morning cuppa. The multiple bird songs added to our joy.



Indian robin-bird
March was all fluffed up like this Indian Robin. The 15 year-old was back for her summer break, and we went on a wilderness walk. Picture credits: The 15 year-old.


Monkey-car bonnet
We chanced upon these monkeys at the toll exit when we were headed home. They were graciously asking for food. I had a banana that I offered this dude, and he sat on my bonnet relishing a jolly good mid-day snack!


Shrubs-Plants -flower
I missed this one. A visit to the Asola Bhatti wildlife sanctuary, and their pretty butterfly garden, on the same day we went for our wilderness walk.



April was a month I was looking forward to with much anticipation. A month, where I was to certify as a Telepathic Animal and Nature Communicator and attend my advanced course in the Kanha national park. Those 5 days were one of the best days of my life and the year at large. A sleepy Spotted Owlet we chanced upon during the jungle safari at Mukki zone.


Owl-spotted owlet
“Sleepy head I may be, but I still see you. The paparazzi in the forests is a bummer. Tch! tch! no rest for the wicked,” it seems to say. 


Early morning shenanigans. A troop of Langur monkeys catching up and discussing their POA for the day.


This one qualifies as the most heart-warming images I’ve ever taken. And you know why. Also, do you see the little tykes? This pictures also reflects something else. The bonhomie we all (participants) shared doing the animal communication course together, while learning the ropes of communicating beyond spoken words.


Spotted deers- two-stags
The two Spotted Deers/Chital stags checking out the curious paparazzi. 


Honey Buzzard-Perch-Raptor
A Honey Buzzard looks smug after bringing down a huge part of a bee hive. It’s a feast all day!


bee hive-broken-honey bee hive
Remains of the huge hive that was brought down by the Honey buzzard. It sure a lip-smacking day for this raptor.


forest-safari-safari jeep
Time to head back to our classroom of theatrical learning as Animal and nature whisperers.


The stunning Banjar River and the  hovering rain clouds, as the Egrets huddle together to rest.

So Long!

I’ve covered the Wanderlust Chronicles 2023 – I, till April. I intend to take up the second edition next week. I don’t wish to inundate you with way too many pictures. Moreover, it’s less time consuming for me as well, to compile a longer post. Will save you more stories for the coming week that will include the rest of 2023 and the wanderlust that came with it.

The forest jaunts end here.

When I say forests, I mean national parks. I haven’t visited any since April this year except the birding ones. Though, there are a few other facets from my  my travels, including a boat ride in an oxbow lake, a walk in the monsoon drenched hills with a serpentine river and a family reunion and celebration galore, during our auspicious festival Diwali, etc.

Watch this space!

Meanwhile, take good care.

Don’t let the Christmas to-do list tire you out too much. Breath and be.

Enjoy the crisp winter sun and do savour the sunsets. (that’s a reminder for me as well) <3


Love, light and laughter,



Pssst: It’s a perfect time to let go of what no longer serves you – the year’s ending too. Here’s an anniversary edition of Let her Go with Ed Sheeran and Passenger who did the original cover. I love this version too.



Chipping in with the Instagram reel for this post because it has a video! 🙂


And on that note, buh-bye. xoxox




21 thoughts on “Wanderlust Chronicles 2023 – I

  1. Travel is a real eye-opener – at any age. I’m looking forward to more trips in the coming years.

    Hope all is well, Stewart M – Melbourne

    PS: hope you liked my blog! SM

  2. Wanderlust is a frame of mind. Some of us are affected by it more than others. The desire to explore, discover new things, renew our souls.

    We are selfishly happy you have a severe case of it!

    The first part of 2023 has been illustrated beautifully, allowing us a window into India only a resident expert could offer. We appreciate your insight and the magnficent photographs of your adventures.

    Happy Holidays, Natasha.
    Wally Jones recently posted…Falling Toward WinterMy Profile

  3. You seemed to have been blessed by a wonderful start to your past year. You are so very fortunate. An animal whisperer… how exciting. Is that going to become your calling?

  4. What a great year for travel you have had. I love the tiger, Tara, you encountered on safari. So wonderful that she is free to roam freely in the wild rather than be locked up in a zoo.

    I loved the monkey requesting food at the toll booth. I’m intrigued by your telepathic communicator course.

    Take care!!

  5. Hello,
    What a wonderful look back, I enjoyed seeing your travel photos and all the beautiful wildlife. The little owl is a favorite. Lovely landscapes and flowers. Thank you for linking up and sharing your post. Take care, have a great day and happy week ahead.

  6. Dearest Natasha, what an absolute delight to dive into your Wanderlust Chronicles!
    Your words paint vivid pictures of your amazing adventures.
    Love these glimpses of your journeys through your captivating photos.

    Hugs and blessings

  7. That’s quite a travel year, Natasha. It was exhausting just to think of all the sights you memorialized. Enjoy your memories. My sister in law and I were discussing travel plans for 2024 today, and I realized I only had one definite trip planned. It’s a short one, within the state I live in. Enjoyed the song – I’m not familiar with the original version.
    Alana recently posted…The Local Famous Christmas Tree #ThursdayTreeLoveMy Profile

  8. Beautiful.

    Like someone said, “the more you wander, the more you wonder.”

    Keep seeking, dreaming, and wandering… keep surprising yourself.

    Stay safe. Stay healthy.

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