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Posts from the ‘Out and About’ Category

Finding Your Passion

What’s Life without Passion ?

Especially one which makes the world a million times better. Passion that’s a journey on wheels. A journey that’s all about the ride and not a destination. Powered by deep rooted growls and throaty purrs that stop the world in its tracks.

bikes (2)We’re pretty much taken in by the world of motorcycling and the clubs formed by die-hard bikers. Be they around a brand or a location or a type of riding – at the end of the day this is all very deep stuff that where each biker and his mean machine have a story. Where each ride is the experience of a lifetime. Where bikers are bound together by an intense sense of belonging that manifests in the form of rituals, labels, mottoes, and even an attitude towards life.

This pretty much resonates with the way we look at and live out our lives.  At the Tree of Life – it’s all about creating a world that’s one of its kind. Where like –minded folk find themselves. Or indulge in their dreams. Find and create a world that’s uniquely and beautifully its very own self. One where each day brings a new story.

dsc_0167The Tree of Life Resorts at Binsar, Dudhwa Tiger Reserve & Jaipur are brilliantly located – and are at the end of  both short  and long rides – depending upon where you hit the road. Our secluded spaces spread over landscaped hills or deep within wildlife rich jungles or at the edge of a wildlife reserve – offer you and your club members enough space to take over the entire property for your own use. As the day ends and so does your ride – enter our world and indulge in our heritage rooms or private villas with gardens and plunge pools.   Unwind at our Spa and let our MasterChef whip up a personalised meal for you depending upon your tastes and preferences.

Road travelling through forest at dudhwa national park UP, India

And we’ll let you into a secret. The Tree of Life has already been discovered and lies on the maps of a few motorcycle clubs – who keep their knowledge and experience tightly under wraps. And come back to us – year after year. But we believe in sharing our world with more and more like minded bikers. And to let them know that there is always a new story that awaits them at the end of the road each day.

We’d be delighted to host motorcycle clubs at all our resorts. For a detailed discussion call us on +91 9602091000 / 2000.

For more information go to www.treeofliferesorts.com

How Technology is Changing Golf

Technology based innovations are now making their debut in the world of Golf. And it’s not soon enough. Critical to a sport that has not been growing – pretty much everything that goes with it has been affected – TV ratings, equipment and merchandise sales, attendance and interest levels. Branded as an elite sport in our country – with terribly limited numbers playing, the picture isn’t too bright.
Pundits however, believe that the advent of technology might be able to help— in attracting new fans and in servicing the pros. Here are examples of new golf tech.

imagesApps
But obviously. And we’re not talking about just virtual golfing apps. There are those which analyse your swing. Or help you keep scores. A slew of new apps have emerged for golf instruction and shot tracking (like Arccos, Visulax, SwingSmart, and Zepp, to name a few) and even for booking tee times and keeping score (Golf Now). Or like GolfMatch – help you find a Golfing Partner. GolfMatch’s algorithm uses behavioural data to find the best matches for a golfer to play a round of golf with. There are a host of other features that enable you to stay connected with other golfers and follow each other’s golfing worlds. Then there is the US Masters app. which allows for individual tracking of specific players so that you can immediately see where your favorites are on the course and the leaderboard. And you don’t get limited to a handful of the top players.

downloadWearables
Golf apps are now on Apple Watch & Anrdoid Wear ! And watch out FitBits, & Garmin bands on players wrists, too. GPS golf watchesshow maps of golf courses and display the golfer’s current distance from each hole. Small sensors placed on gloves or clubs can analyze swings, and some wearables track performance — such as how far the ball travels and how accurate the golfer is on the fairway — in real time. Both amateur and professional golfers alike have started to embrace wearables to improve their games and gain a competitive edge,

Go Pro Cameras
The PGA Tour has got a deal in place with GoPro wherein their cameras will shoot stunning new footage in order to drive social content which would have a higher chance of going viral. The drones however are yet to happen. It’s only a matter of time.

Social. Golf. TV.
Much of the footage recorded by GoPro cameras will feed into videos at Skratch TV which is an online video network targeting young, social media-savvy sports fans. It shares cool and interesting content to make golf go viral.

downloadIBM Watson.
The tool has found an interesting use case in golf: Watson can produce insights on swings, strokes, and shots, plus analyse social media trends, all live on the scene from The Masters. And so IBM has signed a new endorsement deal with 66-year-old Tom Watson, who has won The Masters twice, is playing in it for the final time this year, and says he loves technology and social media !
o-GOLF-facebookSo technology is having its time with the game of golf. A match made in heaven – to enable its popularity potential. And the best way to get the young and the restless plus and the old fogies together with golf technology to grow the sport’s global appeal.

Additional inputs from here and here

The Great Indian Road Trip Essentials

Road trips out here can be as interesting as the destination they take us to. As long as one makes wise choices and is prepared for eventualities.
There are certain things you should carry in your car to deal with an emergency while on the road. And since all of our properties lend themselves to great road-trips and if you’re reading this , you’re probably planning one such to us. Right ?
Road trips can be an adventure of the best kind, be it a weekend getaway to clear your head or a cross-country trek to explore the world and get away from it all. Or even stretching yourself and your wheels in ways you haven’t done before. So here’s a checklist of things to do, stuff to carry while heading out. These could be lifesavers or at the very least – spare you a lot of discomfort and angst.
Read on for our list of travel essentials needed for your next road trip :

first-aid-kit_1364806755First aid kit.
If you’re planning a road trip, a comprehensive first aid kit will help treat common injuries and basic illnesses. Consider including tubes of antiseptic and antibiotic creams, a bottle of Dettol liquid, cotton wool and bandages, a Volini spray for joints and sprains, OTC medications for fever, headache, upset tummies and colds. If going to high altitudes – then do include Diamox to deal with high altitude sickness on doctor’s advice. Any prescription medicines that are regularly consumed – must be carried along and consumed as you would normally do.

downloadJumper cables
It doesn’t take too much to drain your car’s battery. Leave the lights on during the day or for an extended night drive and you could find yourself in the middle of a nightmare. So, keep jumper cables handy. You could use it for yourself or you could help out a stranded driver.

Puncture repair kit

61tkc98fs4L._SL1200_Save yourself the bother of a tyre change – if you can identify it ! Fix a minor tyre puncture temporarily – using a tyre sealant, such as Fix-a-Flat, to plug the hole and till you can find a repair shop. You could also try a repair kit such as the Slime Smart Spair, which includes a sealant and a handy inflator. It’ll be enough to seal the hole and inflate tyres to normal pressure. The kit is a portable solution for flat tyres and will save you the hassle of replacing a flat in the middle of the road. Or else you can simply roll up your sleeves and get to work.

Tool kit
Yes – all cars do have their own tool kit – but in addition – having a multipurpose knife, a roll of duct tape, screwdrivers and spare fuses can be invaluable. Duct tape can help reattach a broken rear view mirror or even secure a hanging bumper until you get to a mechanic.

NV-CTM-DarkChocCherry-ProductShot.ashx-1Food
Make sure to keep some food that won’t spoil easily. Try meals in cups – where you add hot water to upma or noodles and make a meal of it. Less challenging are energy bars or biscuits, dried fruits or even bars of chocolate. Asides of water – cartons of fruit juice or coconut water or even packets of Tang can help with a sugar rush.

Water

Water is essential for survival. We can survive a few days without food, but the body needs regular water intake. Lack of water leads to dehydration which can cause organ failure in turn. Water is also useful to reconstitute dry food, to wash wounds or to cool an overheated engine. Be it summer or winter, it’s a good idea to stock up on large cans of water before a long journey. Especially of you’re driving in remote areas.

Blankets
A lot of road trips happen in autumn or winter when the climate is tolerable. Being stranded or driving in the night do call for blankets to stay warm. It is worth the extra space they take, trust us !

imagesFlashlight
Solar-powered LED flashlights are easily charged and very reliable. They’re compact, strong and prove incredibly useful, in all sorts of situations – be it to look for dropped cellphones, or to take a look at what’s going on under the hood while its dark. Or carry a large torch – but do ensure its in working condition with full and spare batteries for good measure.

download (1)Cellphone charger
The cellphone is now an extension of our selves and life seems unthinkable without it. Car chargers are great – but carry a couple of high end power banks that can juice up not just phone but your cameras as well.

Pepper spray
Irrespective of whether women are travelling by themselves or are in mixed company, it’s worth exercising caution. Carry a can of pepper spray in your handbag or keep it in the glovebox.

So. Be prepared as the Scouts would say. We wouldn’t want you to face any problems getting to us now, would we ?
But before you head out – make sure you have your bookings with us in place. All you need to do is call +91 9602091000 / 2000 or mail unwind@treeofliferesorts.com or go to www.treeofliferesorts.com

The Dying Art of Writing Handwritten Letters

In today’s fast-paced culture, with its stresses and responsibilities caused by study, work, relationships and much more – many of us seem to have forgotten about the art of writing letters and the emotions that go into its creation by the sender and its reading by the receiver.
The ability to sit down in one place and focus one’s complete attention on one person for the amount of time it takes to think through, compose and to write a letter, solely for them? And the ability to make your words paint pictures, bring someone’s feelings alive – now that’s an incredible gift. A gift that has the potential to create a precious piece of life your loved ones can revisit and treasure. A series of letters can show the evolution of friendships and relationships with people.
ladyWriting and sending letters is an age old practice – that has been used for centuries, and there is a history to it. The act of putting pen to paper is an ancient custom, one that is slowly dying out in today’s hurried lifestyle with communication on tap.
You may remember getting letters in the mail when you were younger sometimes with a card, an invitation or pictures or occasionally even a pressed flower. The excitement, the joy the feeling of being special and wanted – are not things that one can feel often – especially in today’s day and age. Add to that the chance of creating the same set of emotions in the hearts and minds of those who sent a bit of their soul to you. That’s a biggie all right.
So of you’d like to get back to or begin to indulge in the fine art of writing a handwritten letter – get started right away. Many folk would love to receive a letter from you ! Surprise your partner, child, grandparent, colleague , friend – just about anyone !. Write a note to someone who you appreciate. Or even do not appreciate ! The results may just surprise you !

 

The Power of Letters is something that’s being put to amazing use and effect. Watch this TED Talk featuring Hannah Brencher, an advocate for writing love letters to strangers. Each day, she gets handfuls of letters from people requesting love letters from strangers. If you sign up for the email list on her website, More Love Letters, you will receive an email every two weeks with individuals’ stories, asking for help to get through tough times.
While letter writing is an art that requires few supplies but some amount of effort in terms of time, creativity and thoughtfulness, it is still very rewarding for both the giver and the receiver. Research has found that “Expressive writing has been linked with improved mood, well-being, stress levels and depressive symptoms, as well as more physical benefits of lower blood pressure, improved lung and liver functioning.”
Here then are some tips and tricks to make writing letters easier and more meaningful.

  • Shop for and keep pretty stationery, pens, and stamps nearby so you’ll get into the habit and be more likely to write.
  • Set aside a fixed time time each week to write one or two letters. Disconnect your Internet, and write for at least 20 minutes.
  • Include the date on your letter, at the top or at the bottom. it’s nice to know when the letter was written.
  • A letter can be more meaningful – if you include a memory from an experience shared with the person to whom the letter is addressed. Or if you explain how they’ve influenced you. Try also including a picture of the two of you.

letter2There is something very special and different about receiving a handwritten letter. Receiving letters or handmade cards evokes an entirely different feeling than getting a nicely written email or text. It’s like the words are somehow different than when received in another medium. So the next time you have something to tell a friend, or a loved one’s birthday is coming up – write it down instead of typing it out. Its guaranteed that they will appreciate it much more than if you send them a Facebook message or text.

With each letter that you write and mail or hand over to someone, you are starting a domino effect. Of great experiences and emotions.

How to Just Be

Learning to work on oneself is a given to deal with today’s world and challenges that come with it. Fitness routines, meditation of all types, motivational and self-help courses abound. And in some cases the support of a life-coach or therapist can be useful.
And the one thing that seems to be coming up time and again – is to “ just be “

All this sounds incredibly simple and yet can be incredibly tough. More so when one is pretty muddled about what one earth is ‘just being’ all about and how can one ‘just be’ ?
To just be is to be our true self – which is who we really are when we let go of all of the stories, labels, and judgments that we have placed upon ourselves. It is who we naturally are without the masks and pretentiousness.
In the words of life-coach Victoria Ayres who details out the state of just being –
‘It is who we really are when we let fall to the floor the cloak of other people’s stuff that we have taken on. Everything else that we claim to be when we say, “This is who I am!” is only a story.’

Easier said than done, however. Here our in-house ‘ just-be’ experts share their secret sauce tips for achieving this awesome state !

1. Manifest your inner child.
Ever watched little children and how free they are ? And how they could not be bothered about what other people think of them? They are happy and in the moment.
They are in their true nature. They have not yet been manipulated to “fit in” to a society.They don’t care if people think that they are silly while they dance in public for the world to see.
We are constantly worrying about what people think of us. That is a manifestation of the socialised person we are – not the real person we need to be. We play roles to fit into society and we suppress our true nature out of fear of what others think. If you really want to get in touch with your inner child, become freer. Play, have fun, enjoy the moment, just let yourself go.
In order to Just Be – we need to let go of that fear and manifest our inner child.

 

images2. Become more aware of your thoughts.
We may not realise it but there are a huge number of negative thoughts that run through our mind on any given day. After a point in time, our reality is shaped by all of these conditioned thinking patterns.
The solution ? Try and become more aware of the quality of your thinking. In order to trigger this habit, just sit quietly every morning before starting your day for five to ten minutes. Allow your thoughts to come and go, but just observe them. Do not get fixated on them. And once done – do continue to observe your mind through the day.
Because we are all are more and can achieve so much more than our old and negative thinking patterns enable us to believe.

12558276_136092090107122_1806599967_n3. Follow your intuition.
This is probably one of the most important factors in just being
When you start following the little urges that you get, listening to the little voices you hear – you would feel as if are Alice in Wonderland ! It doesn’t mean that you will never have challenges in your life again – but once you are following the voice of your soul – know that you will be always moving in the best possible direction.
Once you begin to be true to yourself – you are in alignment with your true nature and ready to shine.
Alongwith all these pointers – wed also suggest that you check into any of the three Tree of Life Resorts – each with their own special character but all identical in terms of standards of service and cuisine. The easiest way to get a headstart towards just being.
Call us today on +91 9602091000 / 2000
or e mail us on unwind@treeofliferesorts.com or go to www.treeofliferesorts.com

Evolving Consumers, Evolving Experiences

There’s much to be said about travel and travel experiences. Our timelines are suddenly seeing a rush of driving expeditions across continents, of settled professionals chucking it all up to travel the world, the growing popularity of Slow Travel and more.

 

aToday’s traveller-consumer is adventurous, investing in experiences, willing to experiment – even when it comes to work related travel which was otherwise defined by the familiar and cookie cutter offering. The change is, of course driven by oodles of sharing of travel experiences and authentic word-of-mouth. Travel hacks of all kinds curated by experts inspire and enable more travel and travellers. And the market disruption fuelled by the growth of AirBnb has led to paradigm shifts in consumer expectations and behaviour when it comes to stays and their experience.

Flipping the traditional hospitality model on its head – it sells on the promise of the unknown,
of adventure with little promise of consistency. It was only a matter of time before someone woke up to the potential of how the business of hospitality could get further disrupted by creating an offering based on the AirBnb principle. Not many brands have wrapped their heads around this yet. There is perhaps an Indian automotive brand that comes to mind. Who looks to redefine their product portfolio given the number of taxi hailing apps that now are redefining in city transportation.

 

The Hyatt looks to redefine the Hospitality Experience with their Unbound Collection – that walks the path of an AirBnb – by putting together a chain of boutique properties, each with their own individual charm and style. The creation of this offering is based on a key insight – that while the idea of travel has changed so that people want to explore and develop and have new experiences – on the other side they are also creatures of habit and want things that evoke some sense of the familiar.

 

b

Well – great minds seem to think alike. For that is the principle on which the Tree of Life and its offering is based. Each of the three Tree of Life properties at Binsar, Dudhwa and Jaipur – have their own distinctive look and feel, their own set of curated experiences within and around the property, their own story that make each property delightfully different and unique. Be it the serenity of the Aravalis that house the stylish Tree of Life , Jaipur, or the retro style hunting lodge that has reinvented itself in the ‘ avatar ’ of the Tree of Life Jaagir Lodge, Dudhwa or the one-time British Commissioner’s residence, which is now the Tree of Life Grand Oak Manor, Binsar.

All of the experiences at the three properties are created with the exactingly high standards and concepts of hospitality that include signature cuisine and discreet service. That makes it a beautiful blend of the unknown and the known. All perfectly balanced. A whole new experience also awaits at the upcoming Tree of Life, Varanasi – scheduled to open early 2017.

 

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And we’re embarking on another adventure that extends the concept of creating great travel and hospitality experiences with our brand new venture – Tree Leaf Hospitality. Taking the concept of experiential travel a notch ahead, across uniquely different, standalone, boutique properties. Where Brand Tree Leaf would work to offer complete operational back- end support for small, individual boutique hotels – including sales and marketing; reservations; online sales; social media handling and online reputation management.

Our very first venture is slated to open 10th April 2016., at Marari Sands Resort by Tree Leaf, Marari Beach, Kerala. Where just 13 palm – view cottages await.

Watch this space for more. And yes – great minds do think alike.