Do you travel?
How often do you visit places that knock your socks off?
Do you indulge in your passion that makes your traveling fun?
Getting high on land fascinates you?
Meet the shutterbug Manish Lakhani, passionately bitten by the travel bug and an adventure seeker who look for extreme weather and living conditions to simply pursue his passion to meet people, hike mountains and capture breathtaking panoramas.
Name: Manish Lakhani
Blog/Vlog URL: http://www.withmanish.com
Number of States Visited in India: Entire India during my Solo Bicycling Expedition
Number of countries visited: Bangladesh, Hong Kong, Nepal, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, United Arab Emirates
A brief bio
An ace photographer, a trekker and an adventurer, Solo Traveller Manish Lakhani conquers passion with shooting & living the life in the highland cold desert of the Himalayas and pedaling across the country to meet locals and share smiles. He firmly believes in, “not a geographical location, more a place in the heart” as shared by his friend late Joel. After working for several years as a Computer Network Engineer, he decided to follow his dreams and quit his corporate job.
In the next few years, as an avid cyclist, he made memorable cycling expeditions in Changthang regions of Ladakh multiple times and an incredible solo bicycling trip of 15,000 kilometers in India in search of good pictures, meet locals and enjoy the vast culture of India, wherein he visited almost all states of India.
Also, he has captained many incredible expeditions and photography workshops in the high mountain regions including the venerated Chadar Trek, which he has led more than half-a-dozen times during the winter months in Ladakh.
Tell us something interesting about yourself, how did traveling happen and your journey so far:
I am an absolutely outdoor person and adventure runs in my blood. Since school days, I have been active in NCC training, camping, and several other outdoor activities. During my corporate job, I used to travel for work per se and that also provided me with opportunities to explore big cities of India. During those days, my best escape was in exploring corners of the Himalayas, doing trekking, traveling and photographing/ documenting culture and landscape. After 2013, cycling trip started to happen and later in 2014, traveling became my full-time work.
Basically, I am from the western part of India. I believe I was born with a love for the mountains, which has carried me back to Ladakh and other highlands of Himalaya many times over. Ladakh has been a winter home for me since last decade. I have explored every corner of Himalaya by now.
“My life is driven by journey, not by destination and one must understand, it’s not all about geographical location, but more place in the heart.”
I’m on the move most of the time, either camping in High Himalayas, working on documenting the life of nomads or leading photography workshop/expeditions. And when I lazy enough to travel, I migrate to Vadodara for a few days to meet family and friends.
An enlightening or awkward experience you would like to share. What happened that day and on those roads?
Sunday, October 6, 2013, at 8:13 am UTC+05: 30
I believe when you don’t have anything in your hands, leave everything to superpower. About last night after lots of effort to find a place in the middle of nowhere, I got tired but had no choice left then riding at night in the hilly area. As soon as I came out from town Penukonda, Andhra Pradesh, on the right side I saw a family restaurant but it looked to be shut.
I decided to fill up the fuel by myself, but unfortunately, it was closed too thanks to the strike. I was about to take a turn on the highway with mentally geared to ride till I get some place.
Suddenly two young chaps came out of the small shelter which was built along with the restaurant. “No Telugu” was a barrier, but finally we could speak a few words. I made them understand my problem, rather I can say they understood my needs quickly and told me before you go anywhere, please have something, eat and move if you wish. Finally, they made a tasty Tomato Rice for me which was like a sweet dish for me. It was one of the best foods I ever had on this trip… Lots of spice with sweet love.
After some rest, I was preparing to move ahead. But these little bundles of joy told me to stay at night with them at the small restaurant as it was not safe to ride in hills at night. There were no proper facilities to stay, but they managed something and it was the dining room for me to sleep. I dozed off soundly. Next day morning, I got ready to move ahead; I asked them how much should I pay? To my surprise, the young chap told me “You are not a customer here and guests are not charged.”
“Atithi Devo Bhav” (Guest is the God)
It was truly an amazing experience, which I will remember for my entire life.
Incredible India & Incredible People
Ah, I can’t get over this. What’re your favorite things to do or visit and why would you recommend:
I can be on the road forever, so it’s not all about geographic location, more place in the heart.
Bucket list. Dying to visit places.
I don’t have any. More I travel to the same place, again and again, more I realized, you really know very little about the same place.
Any advice you would like to give to the readers.
Last but not least, don’t forget to bring a BIG smile and good sprite when you travel. People are helpful in all aspects, but most importantly, you should bring a smile, your sense of adventure and a curiosity to learn about new cultures, ways of life and respect places.