Author: Dev

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 know how travel smart and be prepared for bad experiences. However others learn from their on-the-road experiences. And I was one of them! My travel savviness was a process born 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 home for my first ever grand backpacking adventures of my life, I’d no idea what to expect. My face clearly spoke of my inexperience traveller self. But after a few years of nomadism, I can say that I’ve learned a bit of this lifestyle. And basis on my experiences, if I were to counsel anyone in reaching them their travel ninja potential, I’d share these 40 travel tips: Book a flight only 2 to 4 months in advance. Because that’s generally the best bargain period. Search incognito. While booking flights and hotels, always search incognito mode to …

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 depends on what you’re carrying 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 shoved in everything that I thought can be of use. 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 find …

Travel Confession: I Hate Flying

I always think that this world would be a much better place if man hadn’t discovered flying yet. And I’m sure if there were no aeroplanes, science would have invested more resources in improving train travel, and we’d still be able to cross continents. Though we might not be able to travel from New Delhi to Boston in a few hours, as we can otherwise do in a supersonic jets of today, but we’d sure be somewhere closer. And then again, it would be a much better journey, passing through I don’t know how many countries and the infinite ocean, than just tripping in a boring aircraft, entrapped with a few hundred impatient co-passengers. Before you make generalizations let me get this straight, I am not scared of flying.  I am not afraid that the aeroplane I’m on will fly into a mountain because of pilot error, or that a Korean Navy ship will decide that the Boeing flying above their head is an enemy aircraft and knocks it off by mistake. No I don’t find …

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 leave 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 United Kingdom for a couple of years while studying, right? That makes it four man. 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 have been 4 years, accumulatively, that I’ve been exploring the world. Though of course I won’t consider myself a traveller for the time I lived in UK, 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. Sure my sister stayed in England, some 700 kilometres in the South, but technically speaking I was on my own, and in a land I was barely accustomed to. And since it was …

Fear of Unknown. How To Deal With It As A Solo Traveller

The most common reply I get every time I talk to someone about my nomadic lifestyle is that they wish they could do it too. People tell me about their solo travel dreams, and share the fantasies of being a solo backpacker somewhere in Amsterdam, then they come up with common excuses as to why they can’t realise them: They fear they will feel bored alone. They fear it’s not safer for them as a woman. They fear their parents won’t allow. Fear. It’s what keeps us from living our dreams and doing what we’d always wanted to do. I remember when I’d initially decided to quit my job to travel (& I’m not asking you to do so), I was equally scared, as I was while leaving for my first ever indefinite backpacking trip to Bhutan. And two years later, even today, as I plan a trip, or worse, find myself standing behind the exit door of my home in New Delhi, or inside a railway station in another city, I feel no less scared …

Want To See Local Art Forms In Kutch? Try Nirona Village

Kutch has always been known for its wealth of culture and handicrafts. And when you’re here on a holiday, one thing that you really do not want to miss is exploring a few local art forms. Kutch produces some of the world’s most unusual textile products, as well as intricately crafted metal works. In the book, Kachchh: The Last Frontier, author Tejinder Singh sums it up pretty well: “The intricate embroidery stems from the Kutchi lifestyle… One can see the influences of the Cretan stitch of Greece, surface interlacing stitches from Armenia and the French tambouring techniques. It is a reflection of their lifestyle… of camels, peacocks, parrots, flowers, trees and women churning milk. Each pattern tells a story.” The best way to experience local art forms in Kutch, however, is by village hopping. As you pass through various artisan villages of the indigenous tribes that inhibit the district of Kutch, you find a striking contradiction. But one needs days to explore them all, or perhaps even a week. But those who have only one day …

Lakhpat: The Ghost Town Of Gujarat

We all have heard of Ghost Towns – towns that have been deserted owing to natural calamities, some buried under the empty grounds and others, left behind with their undying tales of wonder. Lakhpat for me was one such story – a bustling town emptied owing to an incident, a town that still exists but does not, a town that speaks of a gloomy past as you walk through its emptied, abandoned streets. I was suggested a visit to Lakhpat, a god forsaken place, by someone whom I met in Bhuj. Liakatali, a local guide and a journalist with BhujMitr, a vernacular Kutchi newspaper, was born and brought up inside the boundaries of Lakhpat, before finally moving to Bhuj to pursue his higher studies. “It used to be the biggest and richest settlements in all of Gujarat” he provided, still sounding hopeful. “There were more than 15,000 people residing inside the forted walls, now only 566 have left. You must visit it now that you’re here. I’m sure you’ll like it” Hopelessly driven by his …