She is not only a travel blogger, she is also a consultant in Business Innovation. She has written a book “The Mouse Charmers” which has been very well received. She has made it to the Limca Book of records for AnuReviews.com where she reviews books. She is multi-talented and such an inspiration. We got an opportunity to talk to her and here is her story in Travel Blogger Interview.
Which country do you come from/call home keeping in mind you are a #travel blogger?
I come from India. I was born in Punjab and was brought up in Chandigarh. I have been traveling ever since I can remember as my father was in Defence. So, every place I get to becomes my home as I connect to each place differently. I’m currently living in Goa.
Are you a backpacker/long term traveler/business traveler/luxury blogger?
I do not have categories as such. I have been in the corporate space for 12 years and have traveled extensively during this period. This was mostly luxury and business travel. I have done backpacking as well. I mainly look for basic comforts like a nice and a clean place to rest while traveling.
How do you fund your travel (savings/volunteer/blogging etc)?
Most of it comes from my savings and very little from blogging. I have always been into consulting for tourism boards like Andhra Pradesh Tourism.
How do you think traveling and writing came to you? Do you remember the moment you realized you were hooked on travel?
There were no such sudden realizations that happened. I say this because my father was in Defence and because of this every few years we had to move to a new place. Traveling was almost genetically coded.
Have you had any bad experiences whilst traveling? Do you travel solo or group?
I have done both solo travel as well as in a group. Both have pros and cons to it. However, I do not prefer going out with a big group. My interest lies in Art, Culture and History. So, I have few friends who share the same interests. So, we travel together if in a group. I do a lot of reading before going to a place; connect with experts from the place to know about the place better. As for bad experiences, none really. Every place has a story of its own. I have made so many friends because of traveling and even hosted people at my place from 30 different countries.
Do you have any funny travel stories? Share an instance with us.
Pattadakal in Karnataka is an enclosed complex by the bank of a river with many big and small temples. It lies in the middle of nowhere and at least then there was nothing inside or outside the temple complex to eat. We spent the morning in the complex and by the lunchtime, we were all hungry and there was nothing in site except a small Dhaba few meters away from the gate of the monument complex. We rushed to the Dhaba in the hope of food, but the Dhaba owner looked at a big group and said I cannot cook for so many.
Mridula Ji, a member of the group spoke to them in native Kannada and asked if they would allow us to cook ourselves. We will even cook for them. The couple was surprised to say the least. Before they could react, Mridula Ji was looking at the available ingredients and figured out that there was a lot of puffed rice (Mandaki / Murmure / Jhal Muri), onions and basic masalas. She roasted the puffed rice and we added chopped onions and some masalas to it and divided it between us on small cutouts of the newspaper. There was Mirchi Bhajji to go with it. We ate all that they had in their Dhaba and then went on to make another cup of tea for ourselves.
During your travel, you definitely must have received tips… What is the best travel tip you’ve ever received?
Follow your instincts. There can be no fixed right or wrong decisions. You would sometimes need to trust your gut feeling to make a decision.
Which is the worst place you’ve been to and why?
Usually, I do my research before I get to a place. So, there has been no such place that has disappointed me.
Being travel blogger, you must have had a bucket list! Where is your favorite place in the world? Share with us both.
There are many places that I would love to go to like Egypt, Greece, Italy and Cambodia. I would suggest that one should start exploring the city they live in. Connect to the place that you’re living it and you would be amazed to know that there are many things to be still explored.
Can you imagine life without travel? If not travel, what you would have done.
If not travel, I would have been studying business. I am a voracious reader and I even have a mini library at home with about 2000 books. I would have been writing more books. I have written a book on Management-The Mouse Charmers which has been very well received.
What has been your most successful blog post to date and what was it about?
I wrote about must see and unexplored places in every city that I stayed. I called it the Backyard Travels and this has been an amazing experience. There were many instances where people who had been staying there for a long time were unaware of many places. You can find these stories in http://www.inditales.com/
What has been your favorite article to write either for your blog or another publication?
I would have to tell that it would have to be my book- The Mouse Charmers as it was really heartfelt and a great deal effort went into its making.
Do you have an inspiration for traveling or writing?
There are many travel writers that I look up to. For instance, Pico Iyer. These writers are just amazing. Their stories about a place are as if they’re talking about their beloved ones. They make you want to visit that place and their writings are filled with excitement.
What is your favorite mode of transport? (plane/train/boat/car)
I would have to say train and walking.
Do you have any advice or tips for aspiring travelers?
Do not travel just for the sake of it. Do it when you feel like. Do it because you love doing it. You do not have to keep numbers in your mind. Absorb each place you travel to.
What has travel taught you? What is your travel Motto?
To trust people and I mean absolute strangers here. It helps build trust in Humanity. This has been a great deal of learning for me. The more I travel, the more I keep faith in people.