Sacred Journey

Travel India

India, probably the most Spiritual place on the planet.  And every town boasts of a sacred site or a miraculous site. However, even they are many and varied, a few sacred sites stand out due to their sheer beauty and energy levels. The writer admits that this article is biased towards the lesser known places. And most of them require a juicy trek to get there!
The first, lesser known yet utterly gorgeous sacred site is Hemkunt Sahib. One walks through the beautiful Valley of Flowers, up the snow capped ranges, to a stunning lake, nestled between seven snow peaked mountains. Here is a Gurudwara (translates to Door to God or Gateway to the Divine). Apparently, you need to be ‘called’ in order to make the arduous journey to the gateway. But if you do, you will not be disappointed. Because if there is a heaven, it will look close to this.
The second is the simplest of sacred sites. It does boast of a huge Buddhist Temple. But the real magic of the place is the big Bodhi Tree. The very tree that the first Buddha (Gautama Buddha) sat under and gained Enlightenment. If you do walk or sit under this tree, it is said that the Buddha speaks to you. Early pilgrims took leaves and seeds of the Bodhi Tree back to their monasteries and homes, and sacred trees throughout India and nearby countries are likely descendants of the Bodhi Tree. Still today, it is customary to plant a Bodhi Tree in every Buddhist monastery to symbolize the presence of the dharma.
One cannot have a list like this without Mount Kailash.  The Indians are none to happy about it being a part of Tibet and not India. And though technically it is in Tibet it is one of the, if not the most Sacred sites for Indians. It is considered to be the Crown chakra of the earth. Also known as the Seat of Shiva in Hinduism, this is where Shiva sits in eternal meditation. The Buddhists believe it to be the home of Buddha Demchog who represents supreme bliss. The Bön, a religion which predates Buddhism in Tibet, maintain that the entire mystical region and the nine-story Swastika Mountain are the seat of all spiritual power.
If you do venture into the Sacred Spaces of India, remember to travel light and to carry your essentials with you. Most of these Sites are in far away places and often the supply is very local. Do take a International International Sim Card, so you can stay connected at a low cost. Happy Travels.
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Cocktail party venues

venue rugs

Want to call some for some drinks but do not have enough space. Or maybe you have people visiting and would not really like to entertain at home. Though entertaining at home has it’s own charm it does come with a little bit of stress. Right from ensuring things get delivered on time to shifting furniture, create seating and most tiring of all to clean up after everyone has left. Considering the effort that goes in it is worth spending just a little bit more to entertain outside the house. You get to enjoy yourself without worrying about the little things and you have enough energy to look after your guests – which is the main purpose of calling people over.

Some cool cocktail party venues that you can use are:

The London Club

The London Club has a funky venue with a beautiful themed interior and a sprawling deck outside. The cuisine is Euro Chic and the drinks menu is packed full of Fine Wines, Imported Spirits, French champagne, over 40 Australian Craft beers & Ciders and pages of impressive cocktails. The intimate interior has been designed to give cocktail guests plenty of space to mingle whilst still providing ample seating.

 

Angel and Ash

Angel and Ash has a warm contemporary ambience. This space is great if you are looking for a dance floor, a product display area, a chill out lounge or a cocktail bar for a large number – around 280 or more.

 

The Bar 100

The Bar has an exclusive lounge for cocktails. More on the luxurious side this cocktail lounge is more suited for an intimate gathering. The balcony has a good view of the harbour and the lounge houses between 80 to 200 guests.

 

The Bristol Arms

The Bristol Arms has a fun, relaxed style with skyline views on one side and an outlook over the water off King Street Wharf from the other. The snacks menu is small but works well for smaller gatherings.  The Bristol has an extensive wine, craft beer and cocktail list.

 

Flying Fish

The Flying Fish is well suited for an informal gathering with friends and colleagues. It has a great view of Sydney Harbour. The menu is brilliant and so is the range of cocktails and beer. The Flying Fish has an option of a private dining and wine room.

 

Martin Place Bar

This bar is a contemporary bar. It is an informal, open-plan bistro and bar. The food is great and so is the range of cocktails. The space to entertain is available indoors as well as outdoors. You can book for 5 or even 400 people.

 

Verandah

As the name suggests the Verandah has spacious verandas’ providing a bright and airy space for entertainment. It is perfect if the cocktail gathering stretches to 500 or more guests. The standard of food and drinks is exceptional.

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Six interesting spots for the tattoo traveller

tatoo

 

Tattooing is not for one who is faint of heart. For those who love to add a tattoo as a part of their travels here are some places that are home to some the world’s best tattoo artists. For those who want to refresh an old tattoo help is not far. There are a number of tattoo removal options available (Melbourne Tatt Removal )  for those who want to replace an older unwanted tattoo with one from the famous artists mentioned below:

Tokyo

The greatest living tattoo artist – Horiyoshi III lives just outside of Tokyo in Yokohama. Horiyoshi III and his wife also run the Yokohama Tattoo Museum  which boasts of Japanese traditional Tattoo equipment from all centuries. This is a small museum with just two floors and besides tattoo equipment, visitors can see stuffed tigers, shrunken tattoo heads and other curios.

Milan

Most Italian tattoos use a cursive font and the little hearts that g with the font are quite popular. Some of the popular tattos would be want a tattoo of the Serenity Prayer in Sicilian, a tattoo with the words “beautiful disaster” in Italian.

The Milan Tattoo Convention draws large crowds and attracts tattoo lovers from around the globe. The best time to visit is in the month of February. However if you cannot make it at this time then check out the Primordial Pain and Quetzal Tattoo. These places offer Italian tattooing all year around.

New York

Dare Devil Tattoo can boast of housing the city’s best tattoo artists. Kings Avenue is another great place to get a tattoo added. New York also boasts of the Sacred Tattoo. The Sacred tattoo includes an art gallery that showcases paintings and sculpture. The rising dragon tattoo owner has been a tattoo artist for more than 25 years. A great tattoo place if you want a tattoo on dragons and marathon runners.

London

London has some of the world’s best tattoo studios and parlours. It is home to some of the top tattoo artists  like Nikole Lowe, Mo Coppoletta, and Duncan X). The London International Tattoo convention is held in September every year. With over 300 of the finest tattoo artists participating in the convention this is a must visit for tattoo travelers.

Switzerland

The Leu Family’s Family Iron is a family owned tattoo business. Leu specializes in elaborate Japanese body suits. Most of his tattoo learning originated in India and  he continued to study with tattoo artists in tattoo artists in Thailand, Hong Kong and Japan.

Thailand

Not only is Thailand a beautiful place to visit, it is also home to tattooing. Jimmy Wong has become a legend in the world of tattooing and is one of the best known tattoo artists in Bangkok. He combines traditional tattoos with western tattoos so if you want a bit of both and a piece of art tattooed then this is the place for you.

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Managing your money while having fun

Headed out for the vacation? Plenty on your mind? That is what a vacation is meant for – relax, have fun, de-stress and get back rejuvenated. There are plenty of times when we enjoy ourselves and go a little overboard. Great while this lasts but not so great once we get back to a routine and the bills come pouring in. Incase this has happened to you then get in touch with a financial management company that will help you manage your money so that you can live better. Crown Money Management specializes in getting clients out of debt faster by helping them manage their money more effectively.

 

So what can you do to keep things under control? after all you head out to enjoy yourself – counting pennies hardly calls for a vacation. There are a few things that can help you achieve both peace of mind and an allow you to let your hair loose.

Keep a budget in mind

You do not have to stick to a pre-planned allowance but if you keep a range in mind you will know if you are crossing the limit you set for yourself. See what works for you. Some people work better on a daily spend while others like to categorise spend as per activity – eating, shopping etc.

Allow yourself indulgences

You are out to have fun so if the bar beckons then let yourself relax and soak in the place and drinks. You can take it easy the next day. If you have spent more than you had in mind for a particular day then don’t kill yourself over it. Just go easy the next day and don’t give it a second thought.

Look for deals

Most places offer deals – on meals, drinks and so on. Every meal need not be a la carte. Try local cuisine. If you take out the time and carry out a little research before you head out on a holiday you will find that a lot of areas offer coupons and other freebies for visitors. Identify these and ask for these deals. You will be better prepared and who does not mind the fringe benefits.

  • Look for deals on airlines – maybe you can get a complimentary stay in a hotel for a day or a discounted stay for a few days. A little extra always works well.
  • Look for resorts that offer deals
  • Head out with a group
  • If you plan to sightsee, head out with a group. You meet new people, learn a few things and get to see a place.
  • Stay near vacation hot spots – This will help you cut down commute costs. You can be in  the midst pf things without worrying about the to and fro.
  • Cut back on costs on Home utilities
  • Before leaving home turn off the air conditioner. Unplug appliances such as TVs and computers and the hot tub. Ask for a break on certain cable services and if possible on phone services too.

Follow these tips and take  a well deserved break that is easy on the wallet and easy on the mind!!

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