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 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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