I love not the man less but nature more

into_the_wild

There is a pleasure in the pathless woods,
There is a rapture on the lonely shore,
There is society, where none intrudes,
By the deep sea, and music in its roar:
I love not man the less, but Nature more,
From these our interviews, in which I steal
From all I may be, or have been before,
To mingle with the Universe, and feel
What I can ne’er express, yet cannot all conceal.

– By George Gordon Byron

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Online freelancing $$$

I am not much of a hobby kind of guy and because I feel its waste of time as there is no value addition. In time I developed some computer programming skills. As part of my research work I have to write many computer programs for analyzing data, processing images etc. I enjoyed it a lot and don’t feel the work labor while doing it. Recently I discovered this concept of online freelancing. And I just knew that I found myself a hobby 🙂

online jobs           freelancing websites

There are some websites like http://www.elance.com and http://www.odesk.com that brings the contractors and the clients from all over the world closer. Most of the clients are from the developed western countries who have something to get done quickly and it just requires a normal PC with some software to do this job. These jobs are not important and worth enough to hire somebody on a payroll but these often require high skill and education levels which is difficult to find in developed countries at low cost. On the other hand, because of sheer competition among people in developing countries, there is a huge workforce with good skill set and education level available at low cost. These includes students and working professionals with some free time like weekends and evenings. I fall into the second category.

Online freelancing websites is a perfect platform to close the gap between the developed and developing countries. It  is a modern day version of the famous outsourcing concept started by big companies like Infosys, Wipro, TCS etc. in the IT world. But this is much more interesting than the outsourcing and the good thing is that there no middle men involved. The client and contractors are free to interact and I have seen many people getting long term clients which will then work for full time later with each other.

I started my online freelancing account in June~July 2012 and I was not much ambitious about it. Anyways, I got my first job assignment in October 2012 and there has been no turning back since then. I mostly work on image processing jobs on Matlab, opencv+visual studio platforms. So far I have worked on 13 jobs for 9 clients and I still am getting new jobs every week. I believe that in the age of recessions and laying offs this is a perfect way to keep oneself upgraded and most importantly working and earning.

Next travel destination ??

Summers are here and few friends have been constantly asking about making some travel plans. But where to go now? With the whole world open for exploration and money in hand there are a lot of options to choose from.

Some of the common destinations are:

– Thailand (Bangkok, Pataya, Phuket)

bangkok    Pataya-Beach-Thailand    bien-phutket

– Indonesia (Bali, Cambodia)

bedugul_bali    tracks-cambodia-ancora

– Andaman & Nicobar Islands

Port-Blair

– Leh-Ladakh

pangong-lake-ladakh

– East India (Bhutan ~ Assam etc.)

Kingdom-of-Bhutan-–-Land-of-the-Thunder-Dragon

The next question that comes to mind is how to choose out of these options ?

The deciding parameters would be:

– cost (travel, accommodation and food etc.)

– vacation time required and available

– climate

A deciding score can be made based on above mentioned parameters for any destination and these can be compared and choice can be made. But these factors will vary depending upon time of the year (peak seasons) and at time of some festivals ( Tomatina in Spain, Oktober fest in Germany) at certain places.

I would give a weeks time (2 weekends + 5 weekdays) that is total of 9 days to explore any place.

Travel Cost (www.skyscanner.co.in)

1) Bangkok: 15-16k

2) Indonesia (Bali~Cambodia): 34-35 k  (almost same as that of few European destinations)

3) Andaman & Nicobar islands (Port Blair): 9-10k

4) Leh: 17k

5) Bhutan: No direct flights found but makemytrip claims to be offering a package with flights from Kolkata ( none flights found by the website from Kolkata even)

Climate (Google Search)

Bangkok: Peak season is November to February but July~August is also a secondary season.

Indonesia: Best time to visit Bali is May, June, July. Rest of the time is too dry.

Andaman & Nicobar Islands: During the time of August,  weather is not good due to excessive rainfalls > 400mm  :O :O :O !! The best months to visit would be February ~ March.

Leh: Ideally open for tourists during months of June~September.

Bhutan: Many cultural festivals are celebrated around the year. Summers are not the peak season but will be cheaper due to less tourists.

Accommodations (www.hostelworld.com)

1) Bangkok: Nice hostels are available for ~ INR 700 per day in Bangkok, Pataya and Phuket. For around 7 days it will be a sum of some 5000 bucks.

2) Indonesia: Almost same price as Bangkok

3) Andaman & Nicobar Islands: Cheapest hotels are available at 1000-2000 per room per night

4) Leh: Cheap private hostels available at INR 500 per person.

5) Bhutan: Not much information available on internet

Assuming availability of cheap accommodation everywhere this factor can be ruled out for making a choice.

Total accommodation expenses for a 7 day trip (excluding days of travel) would be around INR 15k including food and local travel.

The factor that makes most of the difference is the flight travel. An average trip to Bangkok and Leh would cost like INR 30k while that to Indonesia will go as high as INR 50k