What Inspired Me To Start Traveling
Traveling was always
a part of my life. Whether work or pleasure, I have always enjoyed my journeys.
With a crazy corporate life, there was always this need to escape the madness
and spend some quality time with my family. Every long weekend was the perfect
opportunity to embark on a new adventure. For me, it is my dose of adrenaline
that I feel restless without. And naturally, like all addicts, I need it every
now and then.
My Travel Frequency And Activities I Enjoy
As often as I can.
Pre-covid, it was at least once a month and sometimes more. I enjoy all forms
of travel. Heritage destinations and their stories tend to bring out the
Indiana Jones in me while adventure activities like scuba diving and hiking are
kind of therapeutic for me. I love wildlife and bird watching for the sheer
variety and learning that I get along the way. Basically, travel anywhere is
what I enjoy.
How I Choose Travel Destinations and The Preparations
For my personal
family trips, I tend to take into account how versatile the destination is. I
try to pack in a bit of adventure for my daughter, a little relaxation and
nature for my hubby and for me – well like I mentioned, anything works.
generally range from a week to a fortnight – depending on how many vacation
days we have. For solo and work trips, it depends on the destination and what
needs to be covered.
Preparation for me is
a lot of research- some to figure offbeat places to visit within the
destination, what is the best way to get there, do's and don'ts of the culture, etc.
How I Pack For My Trips
My phone, my
documents, and my camera are a must. I have a ready reckoner of sorts – one for
beach destinations that include beachwear, scuba and snorkeling gears, sunblock, and one for the mountains with warmer thermal wear, layers, etc. It has now
almost become mechanical for me to get these in.
Safety Precautions I Take While Traveling Solo
For one, my phone
becomes my safety cover. I like to ensure that I am connected to the world and
hence if it means getting a sim or a wi-fi connection, be it so. Researching
the destination prior to travel helps me understand what are the acceptable
modes of transport, what are the public timings, where is the best place to
find a hotel etc. Based on that, I book my itinerary and ensure that the touchpoints are well sorted. I tend to leave behind an email or a copy of the same
with my family.
I also, try to dress
down – keep it comfortable and respectful. This is to avoid unnecessary
attractions and I do avoid late evening ventures.
Countries I Visited And Felt Safer For Solo
I don’t really count
countries or places. I believe, it is the experiences that make your travel
richer, even if it is in your backyard. On the one last count, I recall it
being over 25 countries.
I can’t really
pinpoint one country that is super safe for women. All of them felt secure –
Indonesia, Thailand, Australia, UK, France, Netherlands – I was just as
Locals are an
important part of my travel. I have loads of memories and friends made with the
interactions during my visits. It is had to pinpoint a favorite.
“When Places Come Alive?” And My
Future Plans About Writing More Travel Books
triggered my imagination with its stories. Sometimes it would emerge from the
local folklores, and sometimes from the landscape and culture. I would imagine
people, their way of living, what they did, etc. These stories would keep
playing back over and over again – long after I returned. It is these stories
that I wrote down as my book. For me, these tales are what brought places
The book has 10 short
stories that revolve around different characters and their lives. They are
set in different cultural scenarios. At the end of every story, I share the
actual inspiration behind the tale – the remnants of the place, traditions, and
practices that continue from them.
A few spoilers – there is a story that revolves
around a prevalent Hindu practice in Nepal. It involves the Living Goddess of
Nepal. Then, there is another tale that comes all the way from Bhutan based on
an actual phenomenon that happens every year and no one has been able to
The initial reception of the book has been
positively encouraging and I am motivated to write a sequel to the same. I
might just start it soon.
What Inspired Me To Become A Travel Blogger
As a frequent
traveler, I used to get a lot of questions from my friends and colleagues on
various destinations. They would want to know where to visit, where to stay,
what can be done etc. My travel blog started as a hobby to answer these
questions while detailing out my own memories and experience. Over time, it has
evolved in some ways but the basic premise still remains the same – sharing
information about destinations and travel through my own experiences. I would
simply put it as – storytelling with lots of tips and suggestions.
Managing Cost And Traveling On A Budget
There is always an
upper limit I assign while I try not to cross. That helps me decide on a few
activities during my trip. For example, I wanted to try rafting in Bhutan but
the cost was frightful. Instead, I dropped that in favor of exploring a
completely new place that was not initially a part of my itinerary. It cost me
lesser and I honestly, loved the experience.
Going local is
another great way to manage costs. I try to hire local cabs or eat in local
restaurants – turns out to be way more effective. Staying local in the BNBs or
guest houses definitely helps cut the costs.
How I Manage My Work and Travel
I am now a full-time
travel writer and photographer. While I am traveling, I am expected to do
social media for my clients and blog for them. I tend to use the major part of
the day exploring and gathering details and it is only once I return to my
hotel or room, I do the social media. There are times where the itineraries are
so packed or the network is bad – in those cases, I get back home and publish
My blog and writing always happen after the
trip. One main reason for this is that the time helps me soak in the experience
that I have already had.
Advice For The Solo Female Travelers
Start small, start
local. Explore your backyard first. This will help you get over the fear and
will also, help you understand what you need to research for when you travel to
the bigger destinations.
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