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 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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