Rohit Singh is a travel enthusiast and blogger who shares a vivid account of all his tour experiences for the Bongyatra audience. His strange experiences pertaining to the riches of Mother Nature are bound to keep you occupied. Such insightful accounts are of great help as you can plan your trip in advance.
Tell us something about yourself.
As a kid…
I lived in different parts of the country due to my father’s transferable job. This helped immensely in shaping the traveler inside me. My father himself being a travel aficionado, encouraged me to imbibe different cultures and planned various trips to hill stations, historical monuments, national parks, and in the process, moulded me into a traveler since childhood.
I completed my MBA and became a part of the corporate world for 9 years, before finally submit-ting to the charms of wanderlust. I quit my job a few months back to follow my passion. I started my blogging website ‘Travel with Rohit’ (www.travelwithrohit.com) three years back as a medium to share my travel experiences, and to make my readers’ journeys more memorable and meaningful. I have also undertaken various travel writing assignments with various travel organizations.
I recently launched my own travel firm, ‘The Offbeat Soul’,(www.theoffbeatsoul.com), an initiative to take like minded travel enthusiasts on a journey to some off the beaten track and stunningly beautiful destinations in the Indian Himalayas.
Do you travel for business or for pleasure?
Till a few months back…
I used to travel to get away from the monotony of everyday life and at the same time follow my passion for experiencing the beautiful corners of the globe. But since I launched ‘The Offbeat Soul’, my travels are now also focussed on exploring unseen yet stunning locales, especially in the mountains, that can be included in ‘The Offbeat Soul’s’ travel destination list.
Have you ever had any bad experience while travelling?
Well there have been quite a few !!!
A terrible incident happened during the Rupin Pass trek, a high altitude trek that I undertook last month. We were at an altitude of 15000 ft, just before crossing the Pass, when a big rock started rolling down towards us. We were stunned and left with a cold feet. The rock smashed another one in front of us and changed its direction. But a fellow trekker was hit in his leg by a small rock, and got a 3cm deep wound. I wonder what would have happened had the big rock kept its course!! A great escape for sure!!!
Another bad experience I encountered was when I was once on my way to Shimla and needed to get down at Kalka to catch the Toy train. The bus dropped me on the highway around 3 at night. I didn’t even have the time to react and change my decision. The bus just disappeared in no time.I walked in the wilderness with my luggage, without knowing the way and without even a glimpse of any person around to guide me. It was scary and highly unsafe. I eventually got hold of a rickshaw at the break of dawn close to the town..
Do you have any funny travel story to share with us?
O yes !!
I can remember two !! The first one was in Maldives. I landed at Male and was mesmerized by the stunning ocean views just outside the airport. I had another flight to catch for Addu Atoll, my final destination which hap-pens to be the southernmost island in the Maldives. So engrossed was I in the gorgeous views, that I took a seat in the boulevard and literally got in a disconnected mode from my surroundings.. Ya. You guessed it right!! I missed my flight.. But thanks to the staff of the Maldivian Airlines..They let me board the last flight of the day without any extra charge!!! Nervous moments…
Another funny incident took place in New York. Late night, I boarded a train from Brooklyn for Times Square..But I wasn’t sure of the route. The entire train was empty except for an African American guy sitting on the other side. I was extremely nervous for all the stories I had heard of similar incidents. The guy read it on my face. ‘Hey, you look lost!! Where do u intend to go man!!’, he enquired..’Times Square..’, I murmured..’You are on the right train buddy’!!! These words helped me relax. And when I turned back to thank him while getting off, he made a sign on his face with his fingers, suggesting me to smile..Which i eventually did..Its been 4 years, but I still remember his face..
Any remarkable experience that taught you something during your travel?
I undertook the Roopkund trek…
a high altitude and challenging trek in the state of Uttarakhand a few years back. It was a week long trek, and unfortunately, I was struck by AMS (Acute Mountain Sickness) on the second night itself. At a height of 10,000 ft in that hostile terrain, I was running a high temperature and felt terribly weak. I was in a state of acute dizziness throughout the trek, but still managed to reach the summit at 15,600 ft. It was all due the determination I guess.
This is what I learnt. In the end, it all boils down to your inner strength. And this is the case not only in traveling, but also in your personal life. You need to be persistent and have a fire in your belly to attain your goals. There will be many obstacles and hardships which will try to pull you down. But if you really put your mind, heart and soul into something, there’s no stopping you!!!
Other than travelling what do you prefer to do?
I am a football maniac !!!
I love watching European soccer and follow all the latest news and hap-penings religiously everyday.. In fact, I am a sports enthusiast and have myself been a National level Lawn Tennis player. I love reading books related to history and archaeology. They give me goosebumps!!
What according to you is the most fruitful strategy that a blogger can acquire in order to grab traffic to a blog?
There should be a combination of strategies I would say.
– Keep posting regularly and write with a view to help the readers get a better understanding of the place.
– Include photographs with a focus on the surroundings rather than on yourself.
– Make full use of social media platforms like Instagram (www.instagram.com/travelwithrohit), Twitter, Facebook, You tube to create a visibility and be a part of the like minded travel community.
– Get in touch with the established and well known bloggers and request them to publish your blog on their platform. Most of them would be happy to oblige. This will go a long way in getting your blog posts reach out to a larger audience.
– Keep running after travel journals and online travel platforms to publish your posts. In the end, its all about patience. Be persistent in your approach.
Some travelling hacks, which is generally not known by people?
Try to catch a cab from the Departure terminal.
The Arrival terminal will generally be having long taxi lines. At the departure terminal, all the cabs will be dropping people and heading back to the town or to the arrival terminal. So over here, you will be in a position to bargain for a lower rate and get rid if the long queues too !!!
Would you like to give any advice or tips to our readers?
I’ll just ask everybody to make traveling a way of life rather than an escape route from your office monotony. Trust me, the road teaches you more than your office cubicle. Many people have told me that they find traveling very expensive. I don’t buy that fact. It all boils down to your priorities in life. You can spend a week long vacation in Mauritius at the price of an iPhone 8 !! You can book a one way bus seat to Manali at the price of a large Non veg Supreme pizza from Domino’s !!!
When I was in job, I maintained a separate bank account for my traveling expenses. I used to transfer a certain amount in it on the day I got my salary, and used the remaining part to meet my monthly expenses; rather than the other way round !!! So there it goes….
I would also highly recommend the readers to go for a solo trip at least once in their life. You won’t feel more liberated ever. Travel slow at your own pace, talk to the locals, make new friends on the road.The main idea is to be a traveler, and not a tourist !!!!