It has been aptly said that travelling leaves you speechless, and then turns you into a storyteller. Since I was a child, the idea of exploring the world that I live in was something that left me enchanted and fascinated. Throughout my life, I have had the opportunity to visit places across the globe and carry home a host of special experiences with me. However, the story I want to share is about one of nature’s most wondrous gifts to mankind — it is a story about my captivating expedition to the Sultanate of Oman. It is one of those locations that won’t pop up in your mind as a prime travel destination, but this wonderful place, situated on the south-eastern coast of the Arabian Peninsula, is a must-visit especially for those who are intrigued by wildlife.
I visited this fantastic desert country during one fine spring season along with my close friends and family. I was impressed by its robust roads, which were flanked by picturesque landscapes on either side, making the drive an experience in itself. On arrival, we were told about the Sur beach that hosts a large number of Olive Ridley turtles every year, during their laying season. These turtles possess a unique trait, where no matter how far they wander, they return to their birthplace to lay their eggs. A highly doting species, approximately 20,000 of them throng every year on iconic beaches, and lay about 50,000-60,000 eggs during the midnight hour.
Peshwa Acharya and wife Sumita in Oman
Thrilled by this information, we set foot on the tip of the Arabian Peninsula to witness the same. Our car parking was about a kilometre away from where we had to go. With the area grabbing the rapid attention of wildlife enthusiasts all over the world, it has been converted into a semi-waterfront museum, without tampering with its natural formation. The man-made creation walks hand in hand with nature’s bounties, and provides one with a large number of recreational facilities such as eateries, cafes and several others. We got in touch with a local guide, who showed us around and gave us deeper insights into the entire process. Even though one has to go for these escapades in the middle of the night, no phones, cameras or flashes are allowed, as all of this disturbs the animals. The guide used his specially designed torch-light and we were able to take in sights that could best be described as a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Even today, when I close my eyes, the splendid picture of this memorable holiday simply appears first, and I am filled with the same delight all over again. This particular memory and trip left me thinking about how travel has evolved over the decades. I have travelled through the years, and have been lucky enough to witness the transformation the sector has seen with time. Several years ago, travelling abroad would be considered a great deal since money was often a concern and the cost was high. However, the modern era has changed everything; the funds required both for domestic and international travel are often not different from each other. Further, with the disruption of the web and the possibilities of online travel, holiday-makers have access to vast information, and are no longer dependent on travel agencies to plan their trips. Another notable trend that has gained momentum is the growing craze for offbeat destinations, which are high in experiential value. Travel enthusiasts are increasingly becoming inclined towards authentic travel, which has had a multiplier effect on industries across the board, consequently leading to the growth and development of local communities as well as businesses. Finally, with advanced connectivity along with enhanced ease, the purview of the tourism industry is bound