Tell us something about yourself and your background
- I am passionate traveller and have been working in tourism industry for past 5 years. Before that I was working for couple of firms as freelancing work but was sure and determined to switch to travelling one day and I did.
- I am more of a nature lover and like to spend my travels and promote remote, unexplored locations, mostly mountains. I have been living in and promoting Himalayas mainly Ladakh region for past couple of years and I have shifted to Manali and living there. Travelling for me is not luxury but finding, exploring spots and beauty of nature irrespective of comfort and stays available there because nature can be enjoyed as it is. Despite so much hype and development in tourism, there are so many locations which still make us go phew and I am after exploring and promoting those without spoiling their beauties.
- I come from Gujarati family and my family is settled in Ahmedabad with me always settled in different cities and states since I was 7 years old. I am B.Tech graduate in Electronics and Communication field from Rajasthan Technical University, Kota and I spent next 5 years in Ahmedabad and Jaipur working parallelly in travelling and other work.
How many countries and Indian states have you travelled?
- I have been to only Bhutan out of India as it was always on my list at top to visit. I have though no plans in next couple of years to travel abroad as India has so many amazing locations to explore and to do some hype in the field. I am always all love for our motherland with the places it offers from Himalayas to Deserts, from White sand dunes in Ladakh to White desert of Kutchh, From beauty of 7 Sisters states to amazing beaches of Goa, Gems of Kerala to the beauty of Andaman islands and so many others. I have been to almost every states and regions of Himalayas with few left to travel soon on my list.
Any interesting travel moment or incidence:
- There are so many stories from my travels to tell with some amazing people as company, some unexpected incidents and memorable trips at some of the most remote regions.For now what I can recall and share is from one of my very few first trips. It was a bicycle trip with 2 of my friends which we did from Pune to Goa in the month of June. It was unplanned and sort of mostly hitch hiking trip with less or almost no money in our pockets. Travel is not about reaching destination and clicking pictures, but it’s all about journey and the moments you make, cherish while you are travelling. We spent nights in open roadside temples, cemetery, hospitals, deserted dhabas and spent money on nothing but food. If travel is luxury, you will see amazing spots but if it’s a passion for you, you will get to see a beautiful world which you cannot buy with money. And we realized and experienced this while on this trip.
Tell us about your fears and anxieties when traversing solo. How you keep them at bay?
- Initially, there were times when I had to reconsider about my solo plans, but if you have done some homework for the places you are visiting, it’s pretty cool to travel alone and explore. So the best thing and smart move is to get familiar with the places, weather conditions and work on your plans for visiting new places as solo.
What’s your favourite travel quote?
- “It is easier to cover your feet with slippers than to cover the earth with carpet”.Yes, it fits well with the present mindset of people/travelers from all walks of places. You need to accept things then judge culture and tradition and people of that particular region. I have met so many people who keeps on judging and giving smart opinions (sic) about their lifestyle, culture, how should they live their life etc. And its very sad to hear their perspective. We should accept and respect the locality, and people living there. And also in a way try to live accordingly by not hurting their sentiments and culture with our way of lifestyle.
What’s the strangest thing you tried on your travelling days?
- Sometimes we call it adventure but there is very thin line between adventure and stupidity. And I have crossed that line so many times and I am so much aware of them. I have pushed myself multiple times in order to keep myself with my travel plans/schedules and have risked safety. One I can remember is while travelling back from Bhutan, there was heavy rainfall with dense clouds. So there was almost no visibility and it was all mountains we were riding our bikes on. We were feeling sick, tired, exhausted physically and mentally still we carried on to cross the border and rode continuously for 15 straight hours to reach back to Siliguri. I along with my friend had to face so many close encounters and luckily we were safe because somewhere deep down we knew that we are risking it and should be active and careful. From escaping a fall from the roads into the valley couple of times to avoiding crash with the vehicles from opposite direction on the mountain roads, it was one scary of a ride. And recalling those days, it feels so stupid to be so careless.
Any travel tips for the readers?
- Many. For the places and when to travel, I have so many suggestions and recommendations. First, India is so big with thousands of different culture and amazing places, you don’t need to stamp your passport. And do your homework before visiting.In today’s digital world, you opt for booking online packages and you touch some most popular spots but you actually don’t really understand those region, places. Coz you see some very creative advertisement repeatedly, don’t let your conscience fall for it. Be practical and take decision wisely. Go with the travel agent/ local people who knows the place well. Another thing is if it is possible; try to visit during off season as you will find the best of travellers during that time. Like if you really want to best experience manali and around, visit in the months of Dec to Feb. Ladakh in the month of April- May. You will find it fresh, Cheap accomodation and transport, good welcome from the localites, and amazing time to spend sharing stories with the people there.