Tag Archives: ⁠⁠⁠Traveller of the week

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Inspiro India Official

Blog | Travel

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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Inspiro India Official

Blog | Travel

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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Blog | Travel

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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Inspiro India Official

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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