Tell our readers something about yourself and your blog so that the readers can have an insight of “you” as a phenomenon.
Travel is what makes me come alive. In past few years I have been to remotest of the villages in India and lived with simple villagers, sailed on camel’s back to the interiors of the Thar desert and spent nights in the open desert, went deep into the dense forests and experienced wild at its natural best, trekked up to high hills to get amazing views from up there, walked the streets of the cities of India to understand life. The vastness, varied culture, geography and history of incredible INDIA has always intrigued me. There are many hidden treasures all around waiting to be found and written about.
I am glad my passion for travel and writing takes me to these remote corners of India and I am happy I have been given the gift of narrating what I see in a way that attracts people. http://www.flight-of-a-little-bird.com is where I share my treasure of wonderful experiences with the world.
What’s the key element or driving factor that pushed you to get into blogging?
So many travels, unlimited experiences, a whole bunch of pictures from beautiful places and so many fond memories needed a proper documentation, hence the blog. I also wanted to share my knowledge and experience with people to encourage them to go out and explore the world!
Now coming to a few travel related questions, what do you do to stay fit while travelling?
A quick session of exercise every morning no matter where I am, eating food in limited quantities, drinking lots of water and taking proper sleep.
Have you ever tried to make travelling a source of income while you are into it?
The high paying cushy corporate job with companies like Google and McKC could not hold me for long. Being a wanderer at heart, just weekend outings were not enough. So I took a leap of faith and started the travel venture Chaloletsgo! (www.chaloletsgo.com). The idea to launch a travel company was sparked off when I was working as a training professional at Google India, Gurgaon. I was introduced to blogging here. I used to write blogs on all the travels I did on my weekends. My blogging picked up well and I started getting invites from various travel publications to write about my sojourns and I also started getting lots of queries from friends to plan their travels to the unknown destinations that I travel to in limited budget. So, in 2011, after five years in the corporate rat race, I embraced my wanderlust and decided to put in my papers. And then began my tryst with running a travel company. I also co-founded INDIAN TERRAINS, the road trip pioneers in India (www.indianterrains.com). I organize travel sojourns to the lesser known destinations close to nature, instead of covering the glamorous but congested and commercialized well known travel destinations. The travel calendar for the year is released in January every year and includes planned road trips to the untouched, unexplored regions in Himachal, Uttaranchal, Kashmir and Rajasthan… places like Chopta, Triund, Kangra, Leh, Ladakh, Spiti and some other destinations tucked away in nook and corners of our country. I now specialize in planning customized weekend trips around Delhi for individuals, groups and corporate.
How do you handle the budgeting being calculative while you are on a trip?
I like to travel, stay and eat local. That gives me an opportunity to interact and be a part of the local culture while being in budget. Rather than hiring a cab I prefer local buses, rather than choosing to stay in a luxury hotel I prefer to live with local family and eat with them. Also, travelling in lean season helps.
What type of music do u prefer listening to during a long drive while you are on a trip?
Music that is full of life and meaningful lyrics… some of my favourites songs are – Khwabon ke parindey from ZNMD, Iktara from Wakeup Sid, Dil Chahta Hai title track, Hum jo chalne lage from Jab We Met, Jugni from Highway.
What’s the best travel destination in India in terms of personal experience according to you?
I have some of the best memories from my trips to Spiti in Himachal. High rocky hills kissing the sky, raging water stream cutting through the hills and small villages popping-up every now and then – Journey from Delhi to the Spiti Valley – a desert mountain valley located high Himalayas, is my most beautiful drive so far. Driving on the rough terrains through mighty mountains at days and looking at the innumerable stars at pitch dark nights has made for some of the best experiences of my life and has left me wondering about my tiny existence in this whole gamut of Universe. Besides the nature’s beauty in these places, it’s the simplicity of people that touched me. Even in the home-stays located in remote villages, where procuring things is a big affair, I did not find anything lacking in terms of hospitality and comfort to the guest.
Travelling tends to help us explore not only new places but also new people and various communities at the same time. Kindly care to share such an exclusive experience with us.
Traveling surely gives you a chance to interact with people from different communities. Every person you meet teaches you something. While I was travelling in Uttarakhand, one evening I was sitting with Ganesh one of the survivors of the Himalayan Tsunami, and was amazed to see the life in this guy. He was the most lively person in the area singing, dancing and laughing. It was hard to guess he has lost all his family in the tragedy and now considers every traveller vising Tungnath as his family and try to live every single day as it was his last day on earth. That very day I realised the importance of this life and that how important it is to LIVE every moment.
Since you are a proficient blogger, who are the other bloggers in your field that has inspired you to get into blogging?
The writings of Shivya Nath of TheShootingStar have always inspired me to travel and write.
Since you run a blog, what is the most advantageous methodology to bring traffic to your blog?
Content is what will bring people to your blog. They will follow you for what they read. Be true to yourself and to your readers.