Month: February 2017

Seven Amazing Things To Do in Lonavala

The diverse land of Maharashtra offers plenty of opportunities for tourists and professionals to have a quiet and sober time.  But if you live in and around Mumbai, Lonavala might just be your answer for an easy escape from your daily bustling life. With an elevation of over 2,000 feet, and a wide range of activities like camping, waterfall rappelling, rock climbing and trekking, among others, this place has something for everyone. Whether you’re an adrenaline junky, or someone who only fancies cozying up and staying under covers, be rest assured that Lonavala won’t let you return unsatisfied. When I first arrived in Lonavala, for a short trip, with a group of friends, I had no idea about what to expect. I thought even a weekend might feel too long here. But it turned out that this tiny little place had too much to offer, and cramming it all in a few days of itinerary, was a total injustice. But whether you come here for a day, a week, or a fortnight, if I were …

Want To Become A Frugal Backpacker? Learn To Sleep And Shit Anywhere!

It’s not the appearance or the idea of lugging a 70L backpack, but your habits that make you a real frugal backpacker! Frugal backpacking is more than just slinging a backpack over your shoulder, wearing the same shirt for a week, and doing laundry in sinks. It’s a way of living, of compromising with the worst imaginable situations, and yet, not complaining about them. I remember during my early days of travelling, how a few habits or the little insecurities of my mind, made this lifestyle so difficult for me. Though I could easily travel in rickety buses and eat at someplace totally disgusting, I was still not a right fit. Every time I left home (or even before leaving) to have that grand adventure, I made sure that I find a roof at night and a shit-hole in the morning. And these habits always only curbed me from living my perpetual backpacking dream. It moreover curbed me from stepping out of the fray and travelling off the beaten path, because if you’re going to …

4 Things I Hate About Travelling In India

I know you must be thinking how I can hate anything about travelling, when I love it to a degree that I quit my job to travel and live out of a backpack. Well, you’re right. I love travelling and I immediately plan my next trip, as soon as I return home. Travel is in my veins. But sometimes I just hate certain things about it, and being on the road for month at a time, simply amplifies the feeling. These are not the periodic disappointments like paying high prices during a peak tourist season, or missing a flight/bus, or lacking the comforts of home. Though they sure make travel life tougher, I never considered them as something that would make me want to hate travelling. The things I hate about travelling, however, or the things that I’m going to talk about below are the ones that really irk me time and again. This is a list of stuff that no matter how often I see it, or no matter how prepared I am, I …

Weak Indian Passport: Making Our Travel Life Tougher Everyday!

Indian Passport: You Weak, Useless Thing! After living in the United Kingdoms for a few years, travelling a bit of the world, if there’s one thing I’ve learned, it is: being an Indian is a proud thing. People around the world like Indians, respect Indians, and are always eager to know more about Indians. While I was backpacking across Southeast Asia last year, there were so many instances which made it so much easier for me to connect with others – locals and travellers alike – as I told them I’m from India. Bollywood and Yoga made my identity even more interesting. But feeling cooler and wanted is one thing, and feeling empowered is another. Sure my identity, as an Indian makes me feel good, perhaps even respectable, but it does not make me feel empowered – not as long as I hold a Navy Blue coloured passport saying ‘Republic of India’. Indian Passport Makes Me Feel Weak, Forget About Being Empowered There’s no denying the fact that Indian passport is embarrassingly weak – given our …

40 Travel Tips To Become A Savvy Traveller

Some people are born savvy travellers. They are street smart and know how to be prepared for bad travel experiences. However, others learn from their experiences on-the-road. And I was one of them! My travel savviness was a process born out of missed flights and countless tiny errors. From what to carry for my travels, to how to make friends abroad, I slowly learned it all, as I completed my journeys, one after the other. I remember when I initially left my home for the first ever grand backpacking adventure of my life, I’d no idea what to expect. My face clearly spoke of an inexperienced traveller self. But after a few years of nomadism, I can say that I’ve learned a bit of the art. And basis on my experiences, if I were to counsel anyone in reaching them their travel ninja potential, these are the 40 travel tips that I’d share: Book a flight only 2 to 4 months in advance. Because that’s generally the best bargain period. Search incognito. While booking flights and …

6 Reasons To Visit Genting Highlands While You Are In Malaysia

Malaysia always turn out to be one of those countries that never disappoint tourists. From Highlands that are a breath of clean, cool air; to mesmerizing islands; to new-age modern cities – it has something for everyone. But among all, if you’re looking for something that fits best to your few days family holiday, look no further than the Genting Highlands. For those who don’t already know, Genting is approximately an hour drive from Kuala Lumpur and is nestled on a mountain peak! So expect really cooling weather. What else you can expect here is a crazy theme park, a strawberry fun farm, mesmerizing cable car rides, some memorable shopping experiences… well the list is long. But if I were to suggest the top experiences you should head to Genting Highlands for, as soon as you’re done with the bustling city of Kuala Lumpur, they would be these: A ride In The Cable Car Though you can reach Genting Highland via your own car, the best way to get there, however, is in a cable …

What I Pack For My Travels

The ease and convenience of any backpacking trip depend on what you pack and carry in your backpack. It is important to carry everything necessary, yet not going over the limit. I remember the first time I left home for a few months long journey, my backpack looked like a 70L bin-bag. Obviously, overwhelmed with the idea of long-term travel, I had no idea what I was doing, and I shoved in everything that I thought of as ‘useful’. This is one of the common mistakes that newbie backpackers do, and I was no different. Now, after years of travelling, if there’s one thing that I’ve learned it is – Travel Light! And that’s pretty much the mantra I use while packing for a journey. Take as little as possible, perhaps half the clothes and other things you think you will need, and you’ll realise that it was the best thing you did. I take only what is necessary, and if I really need something, I buy it on the way. It’s not hard to …

Travel Confession: I Hate Flying

Before you make generalizations let me get this straight, I am not scared of flying.  I am not afraid that the aeroplane I’m flying with will fly into a mountain because of pilot error. Or that a Korean Navy ship decided that the Boeing flying above their head is an enemy aircraft and knocked it off by mistake. No, I don’t find flying a scary thing, and I feel perfectly normal even during the worst of all turbulence in the history of aircrafts. Moreover, I know flying is, by far, the safest mode of transportation available today. Yet every time I have to fly it scares the living shit out of me! Flying Only Seems More Dangerous Until I Actually Board The Flight The idea of missing a flight, arriving at the wrong airport, or worse, forgetting the passport, scares me to death. Because missing a flight, for no matter what reason, means losing a big chunk of money from your bank account. During one of my recent trips to Southeast Asia, something similar happened, …

Top Signs That You Are A Backpacker At Heart

Backpacking is more than just lugging a 70L rucksack on your back. It is a way of travelling, of feeling comforted even during the most uneasy conditions. And if you ever wondered whether or not you qualify as a savvy backpacker, now is the time to find out. If you do most of the things mentioned below, chances are you’re a true backpacker at heart: You always write down your parents’ address when asked for your permanent address. The occupation column on application forms leaves you confused. You have friends pretty much in every corner of the world. You love the idea of slow travel and getting lost in a new city. You sniff-check your clothes to find out whether they’re wearable or not. You can wear the same shirt for a week, and jeans for two weeks. A pleasant outdoor weather is more important to you than anything else. You do your laundry in the sink. There’s always a pouch of detergent in your bag. And a tissue roll. If surprisingly you find a …

Is Studying Abroad As Good An Experience As Travelling?

“So how many years have you travelled for so far?” “Almost two. I quit my job to travel, in February 2015, and that’s where I’ve been ever since.” “And you said you lived in Scotland for a couple of years while studying, right? That makes it four years man, and not two.” I clearly remember how a small conversation with a fellow traveller made my day, during one of the evenings at Agonda, in South Goa. I suddenly felt proud, and moreover realised that I’d always underrated my travel stint. It really has been 4 years since I’ve been exploring the world. Though of course, I won’t consider myself a traveller for the time I lived in Scotland, but it wouldn’t be wrong, even if I did! When I’d initially moved to Scotland, to complete my master’s degree, there was nobody I knew there. Sure my sister stayed in England, some 700 kilometres in the South. But technically speaking, I was on my own, and in a land that I barely knew. And since it was my first life …