I went to Hyderabad over the last weekend to attend the HYREX 2015 Renewable Energy expo and write about some interesting solar/renewable energy-based products/companies I found there in my renewable energy blog. I completed my work in one day, and had one and a half days left! So I thought why not meet some blog/author friends? That’s what I did 🙂
First, I met the popular author Rasana Atreya. She is perhaps the most popular Indie-published fiction writer in India. In spite of having a busy schedule, she spoke to me for 1.5 hours! We spoke a lot about fiction writing, publishing tools, book marketing, etc. Did you know her daughter is already an author of a children’s book and her son is the illustrator/cover designer for the same? Literary talent runs across the family, I guess! 🙂
Then I met the aspiring author and a fellow blogger, Manogna. While there, I ate the special Gajar Halwa prepared by her mom and loved it! For some reason, the interaction turned out to be very humorous and I am sure all of us had a lot of fun 🙂
Then I met the “Knowledge Powerhouse” Ushasri. This was the right opposite of the previous meet and we had serious discussion on diverse topics ranging from literature & life to solar energy. Usha can just talk about any topic under the sun and you know what – she can speak many languages.
Here are photos from two popular restaurants I visited while in Hyderabad:
Chutneys, Hyderabad: (Excellent food, Decent ambiance Good value for money)
Basera, Secunderabad: (Good food, Excellent ambiance, Expensive)
I used Airbnb.co.in to book a home stay. It was a good experience as I was able to live with a family in Hyderabad who, for a little extra cost, even provided me with healthy home cooked meals. In fact, a neighbor brought in food cooked at his home one night and all of us ate food together in the dining table. I spoke for a long time with each member of the family, and we spoke about various things. Uncle even suggested how I could save money by using buses on some routes, instead of auto.
There were two small issues I faced – this particular house/accommodation was my third choice. Before that, one person did not respond, and another said he was unable to accommodate me on the days I was there. So one needs to book in advance anticipating these delays.
Another minor issue was, I had to wait for 30 minutes outside the house as the family had gone out when I had come back. But since there was a park and a tea shop nearby, I went there and chilled out 🙂 Not a big deal, really.
I think the advantages outweigh the disadvantages of home stays during travel. So based on my experience (only one though) I think you too can give it a try.