Friday, November 29, 2013

4 Years, 4 Thank You’s, 4th Blogging Anniversary!

Recently I got a mail asking me what keeps me inspired to keep blogging. It’s not the first time I have received such a mail. Generally I blurt out things like I love travelling and I love sharing, helping people plan their trips better, something similar to what I have written in my ‘About Me’ section and get away with my answers. I don’t know why but this time the same question took me deeper. Perhaps, it was the effect of the 4 year mark that I was going to hit in a couple of days. Or may be perhaps, it was my own curiosity regarding the entire thing.

For the record, I never answered that e-mail. The question stuck in my mind though for many days to come until this week, of thanksgiving as well as my blog anniversary, when I thought it was high time I expressed my gratitude to all those things that keep me inspired to keep blogging. Next thing I knew, I had pulled out my diary and started scribbling some notes. My thank you notes. Here they go, my humble gratitude to all those awesome people who make My Yatra Diary... tick and tick... and tick with every passing year:

1. Thank you, Mummy, Papa and Bhaiyya:


As a little girl, I always travelled with my parents and enjoyed my journeys with them. They have been ardent travelers all their life with a wide range of cities and states dusted under their shoes: Gangasagar, Vaishno Devi, Kanyakumari, Rameshwaram, Dwarka, Ashtavinayak, Somnath, Uttarakhand, and so many more. However, most of these happened at a time when I was still very young to understand the finer nuances of a yatra. A real one. Or perhaps I was just too busy. Running the rat race of life. Yet as any traditional Indian family set up, I was with them, following them, tagging along wherever they went. Little did I know then that this would be the same thing that would give me, my life a whole new direction some day...

My strength

Having stepped out fresh from my graduation with flying colors, like any other young girl, I found a whole range of options waiting for me: further studies, MBA, job, what next? Everyone my age seemed to be doing those very things, and I tried treading on the same path yet I felt empty, I felt incomplete, I missed that exciting pull. My journeys continued, meanwhile and one fine day, while having a hard time searching for a good hotel on the internet as part of our travel planning, this idea of blog germinated. Soon enough, I started blogging, documenting my personal experiences, where to stay, what to eat, etc. with an intention to help people with whatever I knew. And look, where it's taken me since then.

I still remember how excited I was when I had called my dad to read the first article, proofread that is before I published it, with me and my brother standing by his side. And guess what? He read and he liked it. An immediate boost to my confidence. 4 years later, he continues to read my blog and my brother still stands by me. My mom prefers to work from behind the scene though, you can think of her as my marketing manager, she is the one who really gets the word out there as far as her voice can reach.

2. Thank You, IndiBlogger:

IndiBlogger - an Indian Bloggers community was the next to come into the picture. It was the place where I was to find the most valuable things of my blogging life: friends, smiles, joys and above all, an identity. Having been a reserved personality of sorts, it was the platform of IndiBlogger where I initially found my voice – An unwavering belief in my communication. An eclectic mix of seniors and juniors, I learnt the most important lessons while interacting with all the wonderful people there: the value of truthfulness and credibility for a blogger over money, respecting one and all for what they do, being passionate about what you do, for taking pride in what you are. I absolutely enjoyed my interactions over there (and I still do) and learnt a lot many things; I received a lot of love and appreciation for my work from various people from different walks of life, was blessed with a lot of exciting opportunities; every single step I took there bolstered my confidence and boosted my morale several many notches further.

My Badge of honor and pride

That’s the place I have grown up in, so much as a blogger, also as a person that it has today become my second family, a place I feel I belong, a place I love, a place that is binding with so many bloggers under a single roof, and yet it is different... it gives me freedom, freedom to be me. And that is what I will always love about this community. That is what I will always be thankful for.

3. Thank You, My Yatra Diary…

One, two, three... four. FOUR years! How time has flown and how it’s taken me along! So much as it might be hard to believe but it’s true. I stand at this point, here today, still typing, still searching for the right words (yeah, some things never change), still looking forward to travel, share, learn, grow... And, what an incredible journey it has been. I have enjoyed every bit of my sharing, every bit of my writing, every bit of my travelling. Varanasi, Allahabad, Mathura, Japan, Melbourne, Rajasthan, Shirdi, Mumbai Ganpati pandal hopping ...

My humble journey

I am deeply grateful to you, my diary for coming into my life. I love you, I will continue to write to you as and when I travel. I hope my shares will always help people who are coming to you or will give others a nice arm chair travel. All this through your eyes. And mine. I look forward to an exciting journey with you, today, tomorrow and always. Thank you so much for coming into my life.

4. Thank you, My Ultimate Gift


As I am looking back at the pages of My Yatra Diary..., I feel a sense of pride and worth at the progress this little travel scrapbook of mine has made, I feel amazed at the number of pages that have been written.

Is this me who has filled all these pages?
Is it me who has been writing here continuously for the last 4 years?

Yes, it’s me but I am quick to realize that the real inspiration for all this comes from elsewhere, a much more powerful source which has guided, inspired and supported me all along. My very own ultimate gift.


And, THAT is YOU.

My ultimate gift

Without your love, this wouldn’t have been possible. I wouldn’t have been here, I wouldn’t have lasted this long perhaps; and there would have been no celebrations. Thank you for encouraging me throughout this journey, thank you for waiting for me at all those times when I was out for a break, thank you for gracing my little corner with the dust of your footprints... Thank you for making me fall in love with my blog. As every corner of my heart fills with gratitude and thankfulness today, I really don’t know what to say, so I guess, I will cut all the frills and simply say a simple ‘Thank You’.

How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.
 

~ A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh

Though we have never met yet to be blessed with this precious bond of ours really means a lot to me. I wish and pray this friendship of ours keeps growing and getting stronger and stronger with each passing day, every passing birthday.

So here's something for you! YOU, for EACH AND EVERYONE reading this right now, for my dear friend Mohini (who has also given me this beautiful birthday gift), for my mom... all feathers, all credits, achievements, My little Yatra Diary... dedicates them all to you. You are it's inspiration, it's motivation, it's joy in this journey of ours... you will always be.

I can no other answer make, but, thanks, thanks and ever thanks.

~ William Shakespeare

This world will always be a beautiful place for me because of people like you, Thank you!


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73 comments:

  1. Blogging is such a wonderful way to share and connect with people. So glad you enjoy it! I love reading your posts!

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  2. You have a great blog. I have nominated you for the versatile blogger award. Collect your award here. http://theconchblower.blogspot.in/2013/11/versatile-blogger-award.html

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  3. WAIT!!! Are you stopping blogging, saying good-bye? Why? So interesting you are thanking, as yesterday was Thanksgiving here. I will miss you and all your colorful journeys. What will you do now?

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  4. Thank you too Arti for simply being what you are! A very humble beautiful, grateful, happy person. Your words always inspire anyone reading your page. You have a way of describing places that touches the soul. Happy Anniversary and cheers to many more years of wonderfult travels! ♡

    Sincerely
    Zen

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  5. Thank you Arti! It has been lovely following your journey!

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  6. Hi Arti

    I simply love your blog as it makes me feel I am travelling with you as a friend .. 4 yrs is a long time and look forward to your wonderful posts that make me feel special that I am a part of this wonderful country called India.

    Thank you Arti

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  7. I love this post Arti! It was very moving:-) Fantastic to follow your journeys. Thanks for sharing and Happy birthday to the 4 year old! And keep blogging!!!

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  8. Congrats to your anniversary. I'll keep reading your great blog.

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  9. Congratulations ! You have accomplished so much in last 4 years and will surely do much more :)

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  10. Congratulations for completing 4 lovely years of blogging!

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  11. Beautiful post, like they say direct Dil Se...the sketches are beautiful as always, but what I liked the most was the support your family gives to you, and the marketing manager mom is too good :)
    All the best for the coming years....to both you and My Yatra Diary.

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  12. Congratulations...blogging is a journey of self discovery and lot of times, self improvement...and I wish you many more years of happy blogging!!

    http://www.myunfinishedlife.com

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  13. Congratulations on four years of wonderful blogging! You are so inspiring...wishing you many more years of traveling n blogging...:)
    I have been a bit irregular, so must have missed out a few blogs. Will soon catch up :)

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  14. And thank YOU for four years of sharing your wonderful travels!

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  15. That was a lovely tribute Aarthi. I can relate myself with every thing you have said here in this post. Parents, Indiblogger and our own special blogs which gave us an identity in this virtual world :)

    Yours "yatra diary" is one such special book with all your feelings and emotions blend. Happy Birthday !!!

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  16. I love reading your posts. They are quite informative as also interesting

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  17. Wonderful post....so humble :) I am speechless after reading it. I don't understand, what to comment, you made me emotional. :) The things you missed to mention as you are so humble, are your hard work, with creativity and dedication, helping and motivating nature to bloggers and friends, the thoughtful and 'Dil Se' comments like pearls on blogs of friends, maintaining the blog so beautifully and regularly and many more for four years, it's not easy. Keep inspiring us :)

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  18. Congratulations for completing four years of blogging successfully

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  19. Hearty congratulations, Arti. It's fabulous to be surrounded by so many loving and supportive circles. It definitely fills this somewhat lonely life of writing and blogging. I love that your parents are so involved with your blog - they inspired your love of travel and your interest in discovering the real yatra - and now they help you with your blog. They've come full circle with you. Congrats again. Here's to 4 more and 4 more....

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  20. Congrats to your lovely blog Arti! It has gained more and more momentum and you have created something so unique and special! Thank you for bringing the magic of India closer to us!

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  21. Well done sweetie. Congratulations for being such an amazing blogger for such a long period of time. Consistency and hard work always pay off. Cheers to another 4 years!

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  22. Congratulations!!! Keep blogging.........................

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  23. Happy Bday to ur Baby Blog Arti.. I knw hw u would have felt wen u wrote ur first post n now after publishing this post.. So proud of u.. keep going. I enjoyy reading ur posts n luv ur sketches. They add the extra masala .
    All the best..

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  24. congo aarti ., it feel greats , to be a part of your journey :) :)

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  25. Congratulations on four years of wonderful blogging! I wish you many more years of happy blogging!! :) :) :) :)

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  26. Many many Congratulations Arti :) Great post, Thank you so much for your posts, Keep Blogging. All the Best. ~ Da

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  27. Congratulations, Arti! All the best to your future blogging years. Keep travelling!

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  28. Congrats Arti! its a milestone indeed! looking forward to many of years of your yatra!

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  29. Congratulations on 4th blogoversary! I love the way you write and sketch. You are a versatile blogger and I have nominated you for this award :) Please collect your award here: The Awards

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  30. A beautiful post to mark a wonderful milestone. Congratulations!

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  31. Congratulations, Arti on completing this significant milestone. Thank you for being such an inspiration to me and many others who have followed your amazing Yatra over these past 4 years. Your honesty, sincerity, modesty, hard work, are some of the qualities I have admired the most and tried to inculcate these qualities in my writing as well. Although, I am not much of a writer but your amazingly heartfelt comments on my posts, motivated me to keep writing. I only wish you keep motivating and inspiring all of us with your amazing Yatras for many more years to come. Happy Blogoversary, again. :)

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  32. Heartiest Congratulations, Arti!
    Lovely post! Loved every word- sparkle like pearls!
    A direct Dil Se tribute indeed! Very inspiring. Do continue Blogging & celebrating many more milestones! May we continue to learn & grow & have many reasons to be thankful for. Lots of love & wishes:)

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  33. Congrats on the milestone :) Keep travelling & blogging!

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  34. whoa...! 4 years and the list of your achievements beats the best :)

    It's been great knowing you and reading your travelogues is quite inspiring... wish you the best for the future years to come filled with loads of yatras year after year :)

    and well, isn't it time for the pending parties...! ;)

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  35. Your travelogues are a delight to read and best part is they are places almost all of us can plan a trip to. I mean beautiful yet attainable and that's why I really like my yatra diary. Keep travelling and writing.

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  36. Congratulations Arti! Here's to many more years of blogging! :-)

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  37. Congratulations...!!!!
    Loved ur ultimate post..Blogging is certainly a way to connect and share with people...

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  38. wow 4 yrs.,,,time flies...congrats aarti..you write v beautifully so do keep blogging :)

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  39. Happy Birthday to you Dear Yatra Diary <3
    Sum of those lovable pages that mesmerize me completely with zeal. Congrats Arti dear for such a beautiful journey....may it remain continues on and on and be the reason for our joy and smile :-)
    Your heartfelt words, quotations and creativity makes it worth.
    You've always been my inspiration :-)
    Keep going dear and making success....
    P.S.- I love those cute cute caricatures .

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  40. Congratulations dear :) You and your blog rock! \m/

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  41. Lovely post. Congrats. May this journey continue.

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  42. Wow..Congratulations...My blog is just a 6 month old baby....Still I am proud of it...I can guess how much more this blog will be dear to you...Great..keep going ...

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  43. Well done on the amazing journey that is your blog. Here's to all those you mention and many more years of your Yatra Diary.

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  44. Somehow landed here. Really liked your blog.

    Sweet post...

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  45. That was a touching dedication. May you blog 4 ever!

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  46. That was a lovely post Arti.I love your blog even though i do not love travelling as much--you do it for me.
    Your beautiful personality shines through this post,
    Love n blessings!

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  47. Hearty congratulations to you dear Arti. Though I can't say I have read all your posts but whatever I have read keeps making me coming back for more. Do keep writing and inspiring people like me to write more and write better. WOW 36 comments!! Now I am jealous of you :)

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  48. Dear ALL,

    Thank you so much for taking the time to brighten up my face with all your birthday wishes and kindness, you really made this so much special for me. It feels something much more than simply wonderful to receive all your warm wishes and blessings on this beautiful occasion; and I will cherish and treasure each and every blessing of yours very close in my heart. May we all stay connected for all the years to come, may God bless all of us, love you all! :)

    And @Ginny, don't worry... I am going nowhere, for now at least. :) Melbourne coming your way very soon!

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  49. Great post. Congratulations & Best Wishes.

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  50. Congrats Arti :-) So happy for you. Thank you for taking us through the various wonders of the world through your blog. And I must say, nothing can come even remotely close to the kind of encouragement our family gives us :-)

    Congrats and Keep it coming. Wishing you many more such wonderful years :-)

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  51. And the timing could not be more perfect dear Arti:-) As one of my favorite bloggers I just had to send the Versatile Blogger Award your way:-) Keep blogging:-) http://expatliv.blogspot.in/2013/12/the-versatile-blogger-award-to-expatliv.html

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  52. Arti,you deserve appreciation and congratulations for this achievement.May God bless you with more successfull years.

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  53. Αγαπημένη μου φίλη Arti
    Ευτυχισμένη επέτειο για το υπέροχο blog σου!
    Εύχομαι να κάνεις πάρα πολλά ταξίδια και να γνωρίσεις όλο τον κόσμο!
    Ευχαριστώ που τα μοιράζεσαι μαζί μας!
    Ακόμα σ΄ευχαριστώ για τα ευγενικά σχόλια σου!
    Μια μεγάλη αγκαλιά και πολλά φιλιά

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  54. wow... great achievement. congrats! been following your blog for a long time... the way you have been writing is fantastic... congrats and all the very best for the future!

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  55. Congratulation.. You deserve it.. Nice post and all d best..

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  56. Oh, that's great! Thank you for sharing your many wonderful blog including this. I like your earnest and have enjoyed your blog.
    Have a nice day!

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  57. congratulations Arti, so very happy for you. I wish I have the same support from my family when it comes to blogging too, but some of them they do not understand my blog, except for maybe 2 of my brothers who gives me a boost and a cousin, the rest, despite I emailed them before to read my blog, I did not get any response etc etc However, my biggest confidence booster in blogging is my hubby, he understands my happiness and is proud of it, and shares it happily to his family, so guess what, I have more support from my in laws when it comes to blogging :)

    Anyway, sooooooooooo very happy for you!! Keep on sharing the inspiration and the helpful information you've learned from your walks in our wonderful life.

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  58. thats great Arti! congrats! keep going....

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  59. Congratulations dear....
    Though I have completed just two... but can undstnd that this is a wonderful feeling :)

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  60. Happy 4 year Blogoversary, Arti. Thank you for sharing your tips and thoughts with us and through you, I've learned much about India. Blogging really is a labor of love and I'm glad you're hanging in there. Wishing you the best for more anniversaries. Congratulations on this milestone!

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  61. Congratulations and a big thank you for what you've shared with us along these years.

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  62. Congratulations on your four years of blogging including many awards! Through your journey, Arti, you must have had new eyes, that’s wonderful. Not the destination but the journey itself is important. I’m so proud of you. I once named you “Arti Yatra” when booking a hotel for you, remember?

    Yoko

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    1. Thank you so much for your kind blessings, Yoko. They truly mean the world to me. And yes, of course I remember, in fact, I remember almost everything about my trip to Japan. I am so glad our paths have crossed, Yoko and I got to meet and interact with such sweet and humble bloggers like all of you in Japan. I really hope we could meet again, and in India this time.

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  63. My internet has been driving me bonkers! I left a great comment then to lose it because my connect dropped! Here is goes, let's see if I can remember...Thanks for leaving such a sweet comment on my blog, it made my night and rejuvenated me to run and leave a comment here -hehe..I am lazy about leaving comments too.
    I enjoyed reading about your journeys and how you got into blogging. Your images on this post is very moving, I can feel the joy and the happiness from the little smiles. I don't know how you did it, but it looks like drawings on sand. Have a great weekend.

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  64. Hi! Congratulations for your 4th blogging anniversary. I hope you will continue your blog more and more. I also received your ultimate gift " Thank you".

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  65. ♡°º•.¸
    Olá!
    Fico muito feliz de saber que seu blog faz aniversário e quero que ele sempre continue... é através de blogs como o seu que nós, que não temos dinheiro, viajamos e conhecemos o mundo, as pessoas, os países, as culturas diferentes.
    Belas fotografias, muita informação, para nós é uma escola onde aprendemos cada vez mais!...

    ☾♫º°•.¸Bom domingo!
    Boa semana!
    ♪♪♬♫º°•.¸Beijinhos
    Brasil
    °º✿♫

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  66. Happy blogiversary! It takes a little something special to keep at it for so many years!

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  67. Good to know that you have completed 4 years. Hope you continue for the next 40. :)
    Cheers,
    Sabyasachi

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