No one can deny that travel gives us our best memories. No matter how often we pack up and take off, we always return with something special to remember, whether the experience was good, bad or ugly. Here, seven movie stars share some of their most extra-special memories of journeys out of the ordinary.
In the name of love
When love makes you transcend barriers of distance Saif Ali Khan
When: September 21, 2017
Where: Kargil & Srinagar
“It was Kareena’s birthday; we had just started dating and wanted to celebrate it together. But I was in Mumbai and she was in Ladakh. Unfortunately, the airport in Ladakh was closed; flights were grounded and there was chaos. Fortunately, a kind airhostess suggested a way out. She said, ‘If she is prepared to drive six hours to Kargil and you are willing to drive eight hours from Srinagar, you can definitely have your dinner date at the Dzojila Pass Hotel.’
So, off I went to Srinagar with my office peon Ashish who was wearing chappals and both of us were in T-shirts. Neither of us realised how cold it would be. When we reached Srinagar, we drove onto Dzojila, cold, cashless and hungry. I had only my credit card and we had to borrow money and sweaters from the cabbie.
We finally reached Dzojila at 8pm. Kareena was there and we lit a little fire on the small roof of the hotel and finally celebrated her birthday with some champagne and music from the music system I had carried with me.
The next day we drove to Srinagar, taking in the beauty of the drive. Ringed by a semicircle of green mountains, Srinagar’s biggest draw is the spellbindingly calm Dal Lake. We spent a couple of days there.
I hope Kashmir goes back to what it was and is for so many of us. This trip is engraved in my memory. My generation is besotted with finding ‘the one.’ Love makes us brave. And love made all the small bits of the journey much more meaningful.”
Rise and shine
For Sky-diving (and bungee jumping) lets the spirit soar high
When: 2010, 2015
Where: Nepal and Hungary
“Bungee jumping and sky diving had been on my bucket list forever. Nepal offers gorgeous locations to enjoy this sport. I was at the brink of a barrier-less segment of a bridge suspended between two hills. From here, I was going to jump to the river rolling meters beneath. I was okay jumping off the platform but after I realised I was free falling, the adrenaline buzzed throughout my body. It was the most beautiful and the craziest experience, filled with both thrill and fear.
In Hungary Minissha Lamba skydived for the first time over Lake Balaton, the biggest lake in central Europe
In Hungary, I skydived for the first time over Lake Balaton – the biggest lake in central Europe. I was about 12,000 feet up and there was only one way down! Skydiving is the definitive adrenaline rush. I tried not to scream too much.”
Ode to Greece
The thrill of an impromptu solo trip to Santorini
When: June 1 to 8, 2018
Where: Santorini, Greece
“My craziest travel memory is also my most favourite solo travel memory – my trip to Greece. I went to Crete for an event, and kept aside three days for another city. I hadn’t decided which one, so I never booked anything for it. After asking some locals for the best place to visit, I decided on Santorini and booked my ferry trip and my stay online.
Mandira Bedi went off on an unplanned solo trip to Santorini and had a blast
When the ferry reached Santorini, I looked for a taxi, but was recommended a self-drive instead and I decided to go for it! It was a left-hand drive car, and with road rules that are the complete opposite of ours, I drove across the island to Oia, getting lost along the way a few times. When I finally made it, I realised that safe parking was a good 500m to one km away! So, I walked to my hotel carrying two suitcases. But oh my, was it worth it!
The sunset in Santorini was the most beautiful one and after that experience, I promised myself one solo trip a year.”
Into the wild
Getting lucky on a maiden trip to Masai Mara and spotting the Big Five!
When: July 2018
Where: Masai Mara, South Africa
“Sometimes pictures say more than words. I took these pictures during my visit to Masai Mara, world-renowned for its exceptional populations of lions, leopards, cheetahs and elephant, and the annual migration of wildebeest, zebra, Thomson’s gazelle and other antelopes, to and from the Serengeti every year, which is known as the Great Migration.
Dia Mirza enjoyed sightings of wild life in Masai Mara
I’ve always loved watching wild creatures in their natural habitats, and due to its landscape, the Mara offers endless sighting possibilities! Call it luck or love, we managed to see what are called the ‘Big 5’ on our first trip to the Mara, something our naturalist said many people never get to see. We even met the last male and female southern white rhinos that conservationists were hoping would mate so this endangered species has a chance of survival.
May we all learn to appreciate and understand more deeply how all life on Earth is connected.”
Quality time with spouse can come with a whole lot of adventure, in Scotland
When: April 15 to May 15, 2019
“I went to Scotland with my wife, Sonia, for work and to celebrate our first anniversary. Glasgow, Edinburgh and Greenock were not only beautiful, but quite tourist-friendly. From the intense waves thrashing the North Sea coastline to the taverns and tearooms of the streets of the capital, Scotland has a diversity of experiences beyond the clichéd images of tartan kilts and rainclouds.
Himesh Reshammiya enjoyed his time in Scotland, particularly by the North Sea coastline
Hiking is perhaps one of the most prevalent out-of-doors sports in Scotland and for worthy reason: there is adequate gorgeous terrain to cover. Also I am totally in love with Scotland’s single track roads that have pull-outs at numerous points to permit cars to pass each other. Driving around was fun! The food was also divine. Sonia bought some decadent chocolates and pastries, but unfortunately I was on a diet and Sonia didn’t let me cheat. But it was nice to watch her enjoy these treats.
Scotland has heaps of hikes, shoreline, hills and valleys. You need time to discover the niceties of this vivid country. There are escapades around every corner.”
When posing in Paris was possible and cool
When: February 2020
“Perhaps my craziest travel memory is the most recent one because I just got back few weeks ago from London and Paris amidst all this corona craziness. I had to travel for work, and then I took a few days off to hang out in Paris with my brother and it was beautiful and fabulous.
Sophie Choudry enjoyed her time in Paris in masks and gloves, but not when posing for pictures!
I don’t think the reality of the virus had sunk in there yet, because I was the only one wearing gloves and a mask, and using sanitiser. I am sure some people thought I was overreacting. But in the pictures, I am not wearing gloves!
When I came home, I had to self-quarantine, so I think the whole experience will definitely stay with me.”
Being followed in foreign land does not aways land you in trouble!
“I went to Paris for the first time in 2017, with my sister. While planning the trip, I researched the city and had been told never to go out alone at night as I could be mugged. I had just watched the movie Queen, in which Kangana was mugged, so I took this advice very seriously.
Zareen Khan mistook fans for thieves when holidaying in Paris
One afternoon, as we stepped out of our hotel, I noticed two boys following us from the opposite street. To avoid the situation, I entered a coffee shop, thinking it would throw them off our track, but they just waited outside. Since we couldn’t wait in the shop indefinitely, we decided to return to our hotel. As soon as we stepped out of the coffee shop, the boys approached us. I was getting more frightened by the minute. Then they asked if I was really Zareen Khan and if I was, could they have a photograph with me. For some reason, I never imagined that I would have non-Indian fans in Paris! My sister and I still have a laugh at the memory!”
From HT Brunch, May 24, 2020
Follow us on twitter.com/HTBrunch
Connect with us on facebook.com/hindustantimesbrunch