Tag Archives: ⁠⁠⁠Traveller of the week

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Inspiro India Official

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26 June 2017

Traveller of the Week : Shubham Mansingka

What happens when a usual guy who does all the normal things in his mundane life decides to let go of all his troubles and travel as a way of living? He graduates from being a usual guy to a happy one! Well, such is the story of our Traveller of the Week – Shubham Mansingka. He has given up his aforementioned old life and is now dedicated to blogging about his journeys, alongside freelancing as a travel writer, photographer and social media influencer for a living.

 

Shubham Mansingka

 

Shubham inherited the travel bug from his parents and he is proud of that. He vividly recalls his childhood trips with his parents who were avid travellers themselves. Having been introduced to the ideas, challenges and liberties of being on the go, he was quite used to it when he had his first solo trip to Ladakh. News claimed that we had a road that was higher than the mountains of Europe and that was motivation enough for him to start on a sojourn that was initially planned with friends but ended up being the start of his solitary journeys.

Once these ventures had begun, h never looked back. Over the years he became most comfortable travelling solo but has recently realised that travelling with other like-minded people in a company of 3-4 folks is quite interesting and insightful.

Shubham is one for spontaneous trips that do not necessarily involve ticking places off a list just for the sake of it. With a penchant for slow travel, he prefers to spend more time in a place learning about the local culture, food, customs and traditions of that vicinity. When he travels with other people and limited time, he then chalks out a rough plan but with a flexibility that considers changes according to the mood, weather and inevitable situations.

He believes that every destination has its own charm and the world is too big to make a concise list of just a selected favourites. But from all that he has seen the few places that left him asking for more, even though the list keeps changing, are – Zanskar & Ladakh, Kashmir, Goa, Rajasthan and Meghalaya. While he is out on these trails he never forgets to carry his must-haves that comprise of sturdy sports shoes, a lip balm, a warm hat to protect from the cold winds, a comfortably light backpack and most importantly, the never dying spirit of adventure! He would go on to mention a portable tent too but he prefers homestays more than anything else. With such zest and zeal, he has covered about 20 states in India and travelled to 3 South-east Asian countries. This being said, he is not a big fan of keeping counts and believes in meaningful trips.

 

 

Shubham’s life-enlightening travel journeys have transformed him into a full-time traveller. He, now, works from the road even though it has its own share of troubles much like life. But he doesn’t want it to be perfect either. Instead, he is of the opinion that that’s where the fun lies – to be able to take care of problems as they come and solve them to the best of his ability. Travel has made Shubham realise that if he works hard and remains true to himself, the whole universe will indeed conspire towards making things happen for him. It has taught him that life is not as rosy as it seems but if the road is one’s best friend, then everything is worth it. He has learnt a great deal not only about focussing on his work and not falling prey to petty shortcuts, but also living responsibly by helping communities and the desolates. It has made him a better human, he feels and is content with it. Ultimately it is about how wonderful the world is with all its goodness. From natural beauty to culture, local food of the people, folklores and traditional art forms, architecture and especially warm hearts are the best stories to live. He has faith in ‘the goodness of strangers’ which allows him to live in the moment and not worry about what’s about to come next. Travelling makes him seize the day!

An interesting story that Shubham would like to share with us is a heart-touching co-incidence. In 2015 when he had just spontaneously ended up in Turtuk and had no place to stay, a local named Obaidullah who had no mattress or blanket to share let him sleep under his roof with warm eyes. He had no bed to share for himself but he did borrow a mattress and a blanket for Shubham so he could sleep peacefully. A year later when Shubham visited the place again he resided in a newly built homestay. In a conversation with the owner of the property, he expressed his desire to meet Obaidullah again and thank him for his generosity. A cosmic fire of love was lit inside his heart as the owner went on to say “You know who was the person who gave the mattress to Obaid? Me.”

Such are the wonders of being on the road and exploring beyond the obvious!

Words by Aishwarya Choudhary
Images by ©Shubham Mansingka

 

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19 June 2017

Traveller of the Week : Divyakshi Gupta

Born in Punjab and brought up in Mumbai, Divyakshi has spent all her summer vacations in a tiny town, nestled in the hills of Himachal.

Divyakshi Gupta, our Traveller of the Week, is a self-confessed door lover, who has a penchant for architecture, loves long road trips and travels to off beat places to explore different cultures, and discover stories outside and within.

 

Divyakshi Gupta

 

Travel runs in her blood. Her grandfather loved nature, her mother is always game for road trips and her father has sailed around the world. Growing up in a family that inherits the idea of travelling inspired her at a very young age when she fell in love with nature. Divyakshi has no memory of her first trip but she vividly remembers walking on a riverbank with pebbles, making paper boats and trying to reach out to the ripest mangoes to pluck. Spending time amidst the scenic beauty of the mountains, taking long walks by the river and reading books that complement such natural elegance has made her the itchy-feet nature lover she is today.  From starting her career as a strategic planner in advertising she has now happily resorted to being a freelance travel writer and a blogger who narrates her stories. One can read about her ventures on www.quirkywanderer.com and consult her for likewise social media campaigns. That being said, she has already done about 12 travel trips in the first six months of 2017.

Not only does she love to travel but also likes the company of like-minded people. Nature lovers, wildlife enthusiasts or bird watchers, irrespective of their age or location, they all have something to teach and inspire, she feels. With companions like these, the idea of travelling becomes enriching. She has her solo moments too even when she is in a group. Her favourite travel companion is her mother who she can beautifully enjoy silence with.

Divyakshi is of the opinion that coming back home is as dear to her as travelling. She questions the idea of ‘full-time travelling’ and wonders what that really means – is it being nomadic eternally or travelling non-stop?

The feeling of a homecoming for her is realised and valued even more when one’s continuously on the go. Travelling gives value to everything we take for granted in life otherwise and thus, returning home is the acknowledgement of that newly found realisation.

Travel plans for her can work both ways – planned or spontaneous. Sometimes planned trips go awry whilst instinctive detours can lead to remarkable learnings. Spontaneity leads to discoveries that become the highlight of one’s trip and provide opportunities for storytelling while planned trips ease out glitches, reduce risks and are economical.

 

Gurudongmar Lake, Sikkim

Kinnaur, Himachal Pradesh

Kinnaur, Himachal Pradesh,

Myanmar

Kinner Kailash view

Valparai tea gardens

Venice

 

Divyakshi has a list of destinations that are her absolute favourite. She talks about them fondly with us.

  1. Kinnaur:

With its magnificent mountains, idyllic villages, warm people, great food, pristine rivers, and delightful orchards that place is next to a home for her.

 

  1. Rajasthan:  For its stunning architecture, vibrant colours, impeccable hospitality and the ability to make her travel back in time is close to her heart.

 

  1. Andamans:  This place for her is like paradise, she feels. The beaches are beyond beautiful, the forests are spectacular and the islands are mesmerising. She feels that it is highly underrated but is the perfect destination for her to unwind.

 

  1. North Sikkim, she feels, evokes the poet in her. The landscapes are surreal and the paucity of

oxygen makes it a little difficult but all the effort is worth it.  She can’t get enough of the tiny Himalayan villages and diverse forests with stunning lakes. Divyakshi expresses that North Sikkim is nature’s own painting.

 

  1. Offbeat forests near Coimbatore are a perfect detox. The thick tree canopies remind her of Amazonian rainforests where the sun doesn’t reach the forest floor. There isn’t any network there and she really doesn’t mind it. Forests of Annamalai, Parambikulam do that to her.

When Divyakshi is off to these places she never forgets her must-haves. Her list is quite interesting and enlightening as it talks not about material needs as much as it calls for a sound perspective. As told by her, her list comprises of an open mind, sensitivity towards surroundings, appreciation for local culture, a pepper spray to be her own hero, the ability to trust her gut, and well, her eyes as the best equipment.

Having travelled extensively in various parts of India like Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Delhi, Uttaranchal, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Goa, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Pondicherry, Andamans and Sikkim, she has had memorable trips internationally to Italy, Bhutan and Myanmar too.

Travel for her was an escape initially but eventually, it became her best teacher. Divyakshi feels that it is an exchange, between places, people, stories and her. It has made her open up, let go of her inhibitions, accept the world with open arms and most of all, it has bettered her as a human being, she feels. The biggest lesson Divyakshi has learnt from travelling is that we are all different and yet the same.

Words by Aishwarya Choudhary
Images by ©Divyakshi Gupta

 

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12 June 2017

Traveller of the Week : Dev

 

How many of us have been unsatisfied with our corporate lifestyle? How many of us have dreamed of leaving behind the monotony of life which has become a rut, to explore the world? How many of us have actually managed to do it? Well, our traveller of the week certainly has! He calls himself Footloose Dev, where Dev is his name and footloose is his way of life.

 

Dev

 

Two and half years ago, Dev was a shy corporate writer in Delhi. He loved his profession but not his job, so he tried switching jobs by running after the highly paid ones. But he always felt like something was amiss. Little did he know at that time that his growing discontentment was paving way for his new life. Dev could not conform to the society’s norm of taking life as it comes and eventually quit his job to embark on his first solo backpacking trip to Bhutan and North-eastern India, thus covering places in Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh and Assam. This trip gave him many firsts such as his first taste of sweet freedom and his first experience of living with a local family who extended the invitation after meeting him at a restaurant. After this adventurous jaunt of two and a half months, Dev was spoilt for life. He quotes Mary Anne Radmacher saying “I am not the same having seen the moon shine on the other side of the world.”

From this point, the only direction to move in was upwards, figuratively and literally, as Dev proceeded to travel across almost all the Northern states of India by transitioning into a full-time travel blogger. He has performed everything from snowboarding in Himachal Pradesh to scuba diving in Goa.He has eaten everything from the traditional thalis in Gujarat and Tamil Nadu to raw uncooked meat with blood dripping out of it, in Uttarakhand. Dev likes experimenting with his food. He has also sampled the exotic dish of jadoh in Meghalaya which is basically pig brain and intestine served with rice cooked in pig’s blood.

Apart from giving him memories that Dev will cherish for life, he feels that travelling has had an extremely positive impact on his personality. He finds himself to have become much more presentable and capable of being able to fend for himself. After having encountered so many different people on his long journey, he is more open to new ideas and philosophies. He describes his journey so far as pretty much hassle free except for the small mishap that occurred while backpacking across Europe. Dev was on his way back to the hotel after capturing the Bratislavian nightlife on his camera when he ran into 3 people who claimed to be Slovaks. They feigned curiosity about India and invited him to a bar which was pretty crowded. Unsuspecting Dev was engaged in a conversation by two of them, while the third person fled with his camera. Once Dev realised the same, he tried seeking out help but to no avail. He got in touch with the local newspapers who published this story which had left a bitter taste in his mouth. He even updated his Facebook followers about this experience. But what happened next restored Dev’s faith in humanity. Many people from Slovakia started contacting him on Facebook. They told him about how upset they were because of the incident and they offered to sponsor his stay the next time he visited Slovakia. They even donated money so Dev could buy a new camera and a guy called Peter gave Dev his Nikon D200 out of sheer kindness.

 

 

 

Dev definitely maybe a little more cautious now but the theft incident has done nothing to diffuse his enthusiasm or love for travelling. In fact, he is of the opinion that everyone should travel solo at least once in their lives and look for experiences beyond the guide book.  Since he prefers peaceful places, his top five must-visit destinations are:

Village of Nongriat, Meghalaya

The town of Basle, Switzerland

Lesser known beaches of Goa

Rome, Italy

Ljubljana, Slovenia

 

When it comes to travelling essentials, he cannot do without:

A headlamp

A dry sack

A first aid kid

Snack bars

A book

Footloose Dev, who is now a fearless and optimistic guy is definitely living the life of his dreams. He continues his cultural escapades as he finds it difficult to part with this kind of freedom which is like a drug. Here’s to hoping that this article inspires a few of the readers to follow his footsteps or carve their own.

Words by Khyati Bhuva
Images by ©Footloose Dev

 

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5 June 2017

Traveller of the Week : Anshul Sharma

 

A computer science engineer by profession, a traveller by heart, she has quite a multifaceted personality that loves everything from cooking to gaming and from reading to photography. Meet our traveller of the week, Anshul Sharma, who is a daredevil by nature and can give you some major adventure goals. She has experienced the heart-stopping thrill of bungee jumping as well as the adrenaline flow from river rafting. Being a resident of Himachal Pradesh, it goes without saying that she knows best spots for paragliding amidst the beautiful mountain landscape.

Anshul Sharma

 

Anshul tells us that she has been fortunate enough to travel to different places since a very young age with her parents and has been on many trekking trips with her dad. These getaways fed her interest in travelling and gradually transformed into a full blown passion. However, now she prefers to travel solo as it allows her to sail on her own whims without being at the mercy of a fellow companion’s mood swings. But the only companion whose presence she doesn’t mind rather enjoys is her 10 months old Golden Retriever. She feels that travelling all by herself allows her the freedom to interact with the locals and sample cuisines of her choice. She endures a good amount of problems in terms of permission, health and monetary issues in order to feel enriched by different cultures. But her personal growth throughout the journey makes everything worth the trouble.

The trip that marked the beginning of her solo travel diaries was the trip to Mussorie where she also covered Rishikesh, Haridwar, Dehradun and Dhanaulti.

Anshul is a fan of planned as well as spontaneous trips. She is of the opinion that both have their own charm. She has an enviable record of covering 22 states in India so far along with every single district in each state as well as international destinations such as Hong Kong, Macau and China. Her dream vacation was the one to Disneyland.

She recommends the following places as must-visit destinations:

  1. Disneyland
  2. Kinnaur
  3. Ladakh
  4. Udaipur
  5. Uttarakhand

She also provides us with a list of must-haves to make travel life easier:

  1. A pair of comfortable shoes
  2. A notebook and a pen
  3. Important identification cards
  4. A handy medical kit
  5. Your favourite munchies

 

Karsog Valley, Mandi

Lahaul and Spiti, Himachal Pradesh

Gata Loops, Leh–Manali Highway

Prashar Lake, Mandi

Masroor Rock Cut Temple, Nagarkot, Himachal Pradesh

Ladakh, India

Hunder- Nubra Valley, Ladakh

Hemis Monastery, Leh, Ladakh

 

While Anshul feels that travelling is food for her soul, she would not give up actual food for it because for her that’s one of the best parts of travelling along with being able to enjoy the scenic beauty. But no matter which part of the world she travels to or how many new friends she makes on her way, she does not forget where she comes from and holds her values in the highest regard. With the end of every new journey, she has gained the worldly wisdom of letting things go and always staying optimistic.

The most memorable travel story for Anshul is from the time she ticked off driving on the curvy roads of Ladakh and Lahaul-Spiti from her bucket list. And guess what, it wasn’t just memorable for her but for the original driver as well who was left in cold sweat.

About Inspiro India, Anshul describes it as a cool initiative. She likes the way we promote and inspire art & travel. She says that ”It’s building a beautiful free spirited culture for people who do not fit in a box. It inspires you to dream, create & set yourself free. You are not judged rather you are appreciated.”

Words by Khyati Bhuva
Images by ©Anshul Sharma

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29 May 2017

Traveller of the Week : Priyanka Goel

“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.”

 

Priyanka Goel

 

As funnily filmy as it sounds, these lines did change her world upside down. Priyanka Goel was stuck in a 9-6 corporate job when one day after four years, she called it quits. She realised that she became an unhappy person who is mostly nagging and couldn’t explore many other avenues while having a regular HR job. One fine day, she chose to watch ‘INTO THE WILD’ and was drawn to those lines by Lord Byron like a moth to a flame.

Priyanka remembers vividly her first ‘real’ trip to Binsar, Uttarakhand in 2012 wherein she lay under a sky full of stars on cold green grass and felt, for the first time, like she’s a small but elemental part of this grand universe. It was her ‘interstellar’ moment, as she quotes.

Always aspiring to do something different and meaningful in life, Priyanka has now started photographing her travel trips. The quiet of the place, sound of the river passing by, birds chirping, star gazing, watching sunsets, seeing and clicking all this beauty in her camera,  all such things give immense pleasure to her. Travel gives her constant motivation to achieve more in life and helps her excel at what she does.

Not a full-time traveller yet, but she tries to escape as often as she can. Priyanka is also a fashion stylist and tries to take assignments that allow her to travel for long periods. For example, she was an assistant photographer on Kedarkantha and Animal Pass treks last year, was a  costume designer for an international movie shot in Dharamkot for a month alongside covering multiple destination weddings through her camera.

 

 

Nandgaon, Uttar Pradesh

Animal Pass, Parvati Valley

Bir Billing, Himachal Pradesh

Hampi, Karnataka

Bir Billing, Himachal Pradesh

Narkanda, Himachal Pradesh

Kedarkantha, Uttarakhand

 

Initially, her travel escapades weren’t approved by her mother as she called them ‘lifestyle issues’ but now she has come to terms with it and understands that this is Priyanka’s way of life and nothing can stop her from doing this.

Longing to travel solo for some time now, Priyanka usually prefers travelling in small groups of two or three people who she is close to. However, she absolutely loves the idea of meeting new people from all over the world.

Few must-visit destinations according to her are –

Pin Valley, Spiti

Nubra Valley, Ladakh

Hampi, Karnataka

Parashar Lake, Himachal Pradesh

Kedarkantha, Uttarakhand

Narkanda, Himachal Pradesh

Bir-Billing, Himachal Pradesh

 

While she travels and stays outdoors a lot, she makes sure to carry a few imperatives, like – a travel kit, medical emergency kit, high SPF sunscreen, Glucon D/Tang, a Swiss knife and energy bars or light snacks. She has travelled to multiple cities in Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Karnataka, Maharashtra and made an international trip to Thailand but never without her ‘must-carry’ things, she mentions.

She shares with us that travelling has made her very particular about her health and fitness. She had been tested several times in the mountains, at high altitudes and other places. Thus, she realised that she can experience the beauty around only if she is fit and physically strong.

Priyanka tells us that she likes to travel for happiness and positivity as she herself aims to be remembered as a simple, happy person. She feels that she has only begun and has miles to go before she sleeps.

Words by Aishwarya Choudhary
Images by ©Priyanka Goel

 

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15 May 2017

Traveller of the Week : Akshay Dubey

Akshay Dubey, a full-time traveller and business head of Eccentric Outdoors adventure travel e-magazine is also a certified mountaineer from NIM Uttarkashi and a Limca Book of World Record holder. Dubey covered Mana Pass, Uttarakhand on a motorbike – which is the highest motorable pass in the world at 18399 ft in 2012 and well, broke records. He loves to travel on his motorbike or cycle and loves to explore the uncharted territories of India.

 

Akshay Dubey

 

In a conversation with us, Akshay recalls that he was not always like this. A major change in perspectives and approach to life was experienced by him during his trip to Ladakh as a college student back in 2008. He met many people from other walks of life and while interacting with them he built relationships, gained knowledge, and shared experiences that led him to feel an indispensable transmission of positive energy. He recalls this particular instance on the trip wherein he got drenched in the rain while on his way to Pangong Tso. He had no prior travel experience and was shivering badly. A Dhaba owner gave him shelter without charging him and that changed him. His faith in humanity was restored, despite the socio-economic differences in our country. Akshay and the Dhaba owner are very good friends now and still in touch. Every time he visits Ladakh, he makes sure that he pays his kind friend a visit.

 

Dubey prefers to travel solo as it helps him to push his limits. He feels that travelling is a medium to test your character and consistently push yourself to your limits so that you know yourself better. Last year in September, Akshay cycled 3700 km from Guwahati- Tawang-Shillong-Nagaland-Gangtok-Bhutan via Tiger Nest Monastery and Nepal.  It was one of his toughest journeys so far.

 

As a traveller by profession, Akshay travels almost every time. Yes, he faces problems in terms of food and inhospitable weather conditions but he thinks that these are all part and parcels of travelling. These problems make one strong and help fight the mundaneness of daily life. These help us find answers to those unsaid questions which never strike our preoccupied mind otherwise. Dubey feels that travelling is the best way to vent out stress, revive positivity and attain the meaning of life. Perhaps this is why he always plans his trip and does a lot of homework on destination, route and homestays. Rest, he says, is dealt with as it comes.

 

 

Having travelled to about 23 states in our country and Land of Thunder Dragon-Bhutan, Akshay expresses his utmost love for India as a travel destination. He mentions that it gives us the opportunity to explore the rich, diversified culture and teaches us multiple lessons on life, experiences on life beyond just four walls and how travelling can, indeed, change people’s lives. Akshay feels that everyone should travel because there is no greater learning in life than the lessons learnt while travelling. He feels that travel puts him in the right frame of mind to be generous, non-judgemental, appreciative of nature, and capable enough to handle adverse situations. According to him, travel heals us.

Akshay’s favourite five destinations are Ladakh/Spiti Valley, Munsiyari, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, and Lakshadweep. He says that the five things he never forgets to carry along on a trip are – a map, solar chargers, First aid kit, a flinter, and of course, his camera.
He applauds us for our good work. We hope we get to see him set many more records along with an example for the rest of us!

Words by Aishwarya Choudhary
Images by ©Akshay Dubey

 

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8 May 2017

Traveller of the Week : Neelambari Warty

Hailing from the city of dreams, a city that never sleeps, Neelambari Warty’s dreams go beyond the city. Partly a ‘life re-inventionist’, partly an explorer, she had been bitten by the travel bug quite early in her life. Her childhood was filled with frequent road trips and eventually, she took to travelling for the sheer love of movement. Now she is happily in love with little Italian towns while perpetually crushes over Ladakh.

 

Neelambari Warty

 

Neelambari gives shopping advice and does wardrobe makeovers for a living; a living that lets her be a traveller. Recent times have found her writing passionately about her travels more than any other mundane subjects and well, handling her 7 years old’s tantrums like a pro.

Now in Dubai, she had been shuttling between India and UAE for the last two years but every time she is in the country, she makes sure she pays a visit to the great Himalayas.

 

Veering off the beaten path isn’t just a way to break the monotony to her, it’s also a reminder of an unfamiliar freedom we all seek in our own lives.  Leaving for her first travel trip to bits and pieces of broken memory, she clearly recalls Ladakh being a game changer for her. The simplicity of the mountains, the valleys and the innocent ways of life shifted the entire paradigm of perceiving herself in this world. Her senses had been reigned in by the deafening silences and the overwhelming calmness of the place, all three times that she had been there and yet, she hasn’t had enough!

 

As a traveller, she prefers having company over going solo. She loves to meet new people and find out about their lives for there’s so much to learn from each traveller and the locals. It opens her mind and enlightens her, she feels. The newness of a particular village, town or a city in a person excites her. She keeps her arms wide open to love from diverse cultures. This keeps her dreaming about her next vacation, next travel plan, next escape even though she doesn’t claim to be a full-time traveller.

 

Neelambari remarks how every trip is unique. When travelling with family, she makes sure to check all reviews on TripAdvisor. Travelling in groups becomes a worry for her only when the weather turns unpredictable and itineraries have to be rescheduled. She expresses how temperaments and tolerance levels of individuals are put to the test during unseen events. Hence, she likes to be a planned traveller even though it’s a retreat to relax, she invariably ends up planning that well ahead.

 

A responsible traveller, she believes in minimising any negative impact on the environment along with balancing socio-economic conditions. According to her, a few must haves and must dos are; to use and buy local products as much as possible, carrying glass bottles to refill and reuse, anti-allergy tablets and ointments, eye masks for quick naps and not to forget a swiss knife.

 

 

 

Neelambari has travelled to about 15 states in India, visited Nepal and has done multiple international journeys. She inherits the lust to travel from her dad, and she hopes that more people follow suit to discover and form themselves.

Her list of top recommendations includes a visit to the Himalayas at least once a year, a visit to Maasai Mara to experience seamless nature and wildlife reserves, Italy for both food and history and the South of Germany for the fairytale castles, countryside and Bavarian culture. Clearly, she has a thing for lush greens!

 

Despite travelling far and wide, there are much more miles to go. Travelling has made her realise that one needs to get away and venture into unfamiliar territories from time to time. If this doesn’t happen then the monotony, as she puts it, becomes lethal and one can’t get in touch with the essence of life. No one is ordinary, ‘one must probe into the depths of their being through travelling!’

Words by Aishwarya Choudhary
Images by ©Neelambari Warty

 

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27 March 2017

Traveller of the Week : Varun Chaudhary

Varun Chaudhary is a photographer by profession but loves to travel, camp, hike and cycle. The motivation to travel comes from within, says Varun, who also admits to being an outdoor kind of person. He doesn’t really remember when he first travelled but its been quite a long time, nothing has stopped him ever since. He is good with connecting with people and talkative which do hinder his solo travels but nonetheless, he avoids travelling in a big group of people. ‘Travelling with 1 or 2 folks is just a perfect blend’, says Varun Chaudhary.

 

Varun Chaudhary

 

There are many perks of being a travel photographer and one of them is travelling full-time. He does come across a few issues and problems but frequent travel based work trips have taught him to keep them at bay!

Varun is more of a spontaneous trip lover but doesn’t mind if the trips are well planned in advance.

 

Being brought up in Himachal Pradesh does have some fancy rewards, being able to travel the north part of the country and also visiting one of his favourite destinations along with Ladakh and Zanskar region in Jammu and Kashmir. Other than that Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh in the North East, Rajasthan and Goa in the West are few of his favourite destinations. South India is next on this traveller’s mind, he’d love to visit Kerala as soon as he gets the opportunity, says Chaudhary.

Varun admires the beauty of the landscapes, being a photographer that does come naturally, along with getting to meet new people who have extensive information on all the offbeat places is a win-win for any traveller. The culture, architecture and the local cuisine is unforgettable in its own way as well.

 

 

 

The experienced traveller has covered quite a lot kilometres starting from Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Meghalaya, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Goa, Madhya Pradesh, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Delhi. A recent international trip to Bhutan made him fall in love with the country and it’s well disciplined and decent population.

 

As a full-time traveller on duty, his camera gear is equally important but he does advise us to go light on carrying things around on travels. Cash is really important as credit and debit cards won’t be acceptable everywhere, a cell phone with a working  GPS for navigating maps is also a must! For hikers and campers, a sleeping bag, tent, food or dry ration, water and warm clothing shall not be forgotten, says the tourer!

 

Varun Chaudhary surely has learnt a lot from his travels, most importantly how meeting and sharing thoughts with different people at different locations can be applied in one’s life. It eventually does make some kind of impact on any traveller’s lifestyle. He says,’ It’s a good thing. Travel, learn and execute!’

 

Images by ©Varun Chaudhary

 

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Blog | Travel

13 March 2017

Traveller of the Week : Shramona Poddar

Somewhere in the hills today,
The giggly clouds gushed in,
To stumble upon the trees
Of different shapes and sizes
Swaying in the same direction
Of the wistful wind
That came by
To eye the giggly clouds.

Oh what a gorgeous orange love triangle it was.

– Shramona Poddar


Shramona Poddar likes to identify herself as a part-time traveller and a full-time dreamer, she spends most of her time eating, doodling, travelling, dreaming and storytelling. The 23-year-old strongly believes in living in the moment and wishes to travel as much as she can ‘because you never know when one might die’, says the young traveller. A dog and kid lover, she still finds it tough in deciding what she loves more, the mountains or the sea?

 

Shramona Poddar

 

Her motivation for travelling comes from living in the small town Chandannagar, 35 km away from Kolkata, where she used to climb the trees as a kid, fishing, running and playing in open fields looking at the blue sky. Though she never understood as a child why she loved all this, everything was clear once she had a sudden urge to travel in college. Once out of college, she saved enough for the travels, convinced her parents and made her first solo trip to McLeod Ganj in 2013. Nonetheless, the first trip changed her completely, the experience she gained was life changing as she had to make her own decisions and was responsible for herself completely.

Shramona loves solo travelling but that’s not the only way she’d like to travel. She has a particular way of travelling where she’d like to stay with the locals and travel in public transportation eliminating the need to spend tonnes on car travels. She wouldn’t mind travelling with someone who’d travel the same way as her! Poddar says people are surprised when they see her having such a grown up attitude, she says everything comes from the travels she has made solely. Her solo trips involve planning, she does agree she has some apprehensions and makes sure her place to stay are safe well in advance. She makes sure she enjoys whatever she sees, going to see a sunset and staying there for a while is what she calls spontaneous.

 

 

Chitkul, Kinnaur

Almora, Uttarakhand

Munsiyari, Uttarakhand

Kashmir

Mandalpatti, Coorg

Jalori Pas

on my way to Nubra Vallley

 

Shramona wants to travel full time in the future but she still has parents to be convinced and understands the fact our parents do not come from the same ideology. Travel money doesn’t come easy as well. The traveller has worked two jobs in Mumbai, not to forget to freelance all the while taking care of household expenses in the metropolitan. She still continues to do the same by doing away with unnecessary expenses for the love of travelling.

 

Miss Poddar does not enjoy a 9 to 5 routine, rather than cribbing about things she decided to quit her job and travel for at least 3 months. Last year on her birthday in September she travelled to Mussoorie after quitting her job. The courageous woman has battled cold, heated food in the Sun, sung songs in the dark just so that she isn’t scared or lonely and has learnt a lot in the process. Shifting from 9 to 5 may not be easy but it’s all worth it in the end, says Shramona.

 

She says ‘one can find glitter from garbage’ and does not believe in having any favourite place out of all the travels she has made! Her 5 must haves would be pepper spray, a good pair of comfortable shoes, a good scarf for cold and hot weather, willingness to travel without expectations and be able to deal with the situation. Lastly, to ‘be kind’ which would help you in meeting with people. A smile to strangers on your way to travel goes a long way!

 

Shramona enjoys meeting new people and leaves a part of her heart wherever she goes, she has friends ranging from a 5-year-old kid to an 80-year-old elderly! Moreover, she loves the fact no one knows her, a sense of unfamiliarity excites her. To have a slow life is what she wants to incorporate into her daily life, the birds flying, leaves moving, the beauty of travelling is forever intriguing to the young traveller.

 

One life lesson she has learnt is to be ready for any situation that comes your way, to be able to act confident to handle things a certain way when things go south is a must!

 

 

Images by ©Shramona Poddar

 

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Blog | Travel

27 February 2017

Traveller of the Week : Ravinder Singh

Meet Ravinder Singh, once a lawyer who devoted his time to working for NGOs in the past is now a full-time traveller. The 29-year-old travels the country without money, his first trip being around 12 years back when he drove from Delhi to Mussoorie on his birthday in a Maruti 800. He loved the air and the people, the excitement behind travelling motivated him to travel even more says Ravinder. His mother initially being hesitant behind the whole idea now understands and accommodates his being.

Ravinder Singh

 

Ravinder travels solo and also with friends. A spontaneous traveller by heart, Singh chooses to plan his travels well in advance for his photography shots.

He also loves making people, he says ‘I’ve always believed people make places so when I meet them I can see where they are coming from and you can learn so much from them’.

To our amazement, Ravinder has visited every state in the homeland! He says he never travelled abroad because he wanted to see India first. Ticking off all the states on his bucket list, he now plans to travel to Nepal and Bhutan by walking.

Lok Tak Lake, Pangong Tso, Pondicherry, Goa and Jaisalmer make on top of his 5 must visit locations’ list!

 

 

 

The wanderlust soul advises to carry a sleeping bag, camera (any camera for that matter), a good pair of slippers, a sturdy backpack and a good pair of earphones for travelling and staying outdoors.

One lesson Singh has learnt from his travelling expeditions is to not panic and to stay stress-free. Some things are out of control says Ravinder, he has experienced an earthquake in Manipur and was also stuck in Chennai flood. He has also spent days with the Maharashtra drought affected farmers.

The vagabond’s stories don’t end here, he has also been invited by the Tripura’s royal family for dinner when his roommate along with a girl who joined them for dosa, posted a selfie on facebook regarding Ravinder’s moneyless travels. The girl happened to be the sister of the inviter!

 

Images by ©Ravinder Singh

 

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Blog | Travel

6 February 2017

Traveller of the Week : Radhika Sharma

Meet Radhika Sharma, a 23-year-old commerce graduate from Delhi University and our ‘Traveller of the Week’. Radhika was born in Amritsar but brought up in Delhi and now works as a Business Analyst. She likes investing money in her travels rather than saving in bank accounts. All in all, she has taken 16 trips in the year ‘2016’ out of which one was a solo trip and the other one was her very first international trip.

Radhika Sharma

 

 

Inspiro India: What motivated you to travel and tell us about your first trip?

– I’m from a family which worries a lot about their girls. Hence, half of my life was spent within the four walls of the room, with them I worried about it too.

Until I decided to step out with my friends on the New Years of 2015 to Corbett. I remember it was early in the morning and extremely cold, we took a jeep to spot tigers, our expectations were set but chances were we might not be able to see even a single tiger except deers and monkeys, but to our luck we spotted dancing elephants, four tigers in a row and a perfect surrounding due to mist. This is how it all began.

Inspiro India: How do you prefer to travel, solo or group?

– Nothing specific as such, if I have my friends or family to tag along they join me, else I plan to travel solo. I have done extensive travelling with my best friend. She stays in Hyderabad. So when I visit her we travel around Southern India and when she comes back to Delhi, we travel the North.

 

Kedarkantha Trek

 

Inspiro India: Are you a full-time traveller? If yes, did you face any problems in terms of travelling or even with family?

– Well, I don’t know if travelling every weekend counts as a full time travelling. In September, I went on a back-to-back trip for three weeks. The challenges I usually face are extreme tiredness which was accompanied by the evil eyes of my parents. Although they do support me in the end because they’ve seen how happy I am when I travel.

 

Inspiro India: Are you a planned traveller or more into spontaneous trips?

– Both I would say since I am a budget planner, I try to find the cheapest possible accommodations and commute. But last year, I remember travelling to Mussorie without any gadgets or backpack or cash (due to demonetization). I had my cell phone and power bank and no plans or idea of where to go.

 

Kedarkantha Trek
Cameron Highlands, Malaysia

 

Inspiro India: How many states have you covered in India? Any International trips you’d like to mention?

– Last year was my very first International trip I took to Malaysia. It’s a really beautiful country with amazing people. This year I plan to go to Indonesia (booked), Italy (booked) and Bhutan.

As far as the states of India, I have covered fourteen states spread across North, South, East and West.

 

Inspiro India: 5 must visit destinations to travel according to you and why?

– 1   Sikkim: This will always stay close to my heart as this was my first Solo travel. Sikkim is so beautiful and peaceful. I went to Zuluk which is again close to my heart because of its serenity especially the Zig-Zag route. You would not get any networks here and no hotels, only homestays.

2   Horsley Hills: Horsley Hills a small, not so famous place with viewpoints. the view is breathtaking. The wind blows at these viewpoints all the time.

3    Kedarkantha: This was my first Summit and first snow experiences where the temperature dropped down to -7 degrees celsius. We camped in snow, set bonfire, ate maggie noodles and sledged in the snow. It was amazing.

4   Triund: Triund is another place close to my heart. There were shooting stars and galaxies and camping and amazing sunset and even more beautiful sunrise.

5   Kasauli Hills: Kasauli is a really quite place and the best attraction here is Gilbert’s Trail where the sun appears all orange and disappears all at once.

 

Udaipur, Rajasthan

Kasol, Parvati Valley

 

Inspiro India: 5 must haves for travelling and stay outdoors?

–  1   Power Bank

2   Cash (Many places do not have ATMs. Some ATMs run out of money or might be out of order.)

3   Water

4   Cellphone

5   Hand Sanitizer

 

Inspiro India: What do you enjoy most when travelling?

– It will definitely be the nature and escape from the city life. The cherry on the cake in travelling is meeting amazing and kind people. I feel so happy when someone in an unknown place helps you out of kindness. This is the most surreal and beautiful thing.

 

Prashar Lake, Himachal

Prashar Lake, Himachal

 

Inspiro India: One life lesson you learned from travelling?

– Honestly, I haven’t pondered over it but I believe what we see and learn from our 9 to 5 jobs and getting accustomed to a routine or limiting our horizons will never be bigger than the life experiences someone gains through travel. You realise how limited you have kept yourself and in what conditions you have lived your life till now. You discover a bit of yourself, you realise your weaknesses and strengths, your bonds with other people grows, you become more confident and after all this, you realise, that the small petty issues of life are not really issues, in the end, life is bigger than that.

 

 

Images by ©Radhika Sharma

 

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