All posts filed under: Travel Tips

How I Deal With Language Barrier While Travelling

I remember when I was leaving for my first solo trip I was more doubtful than ever. I couldn’t decide a thing. I thought I was unprepared. I was scared and I feared I won’t be able to survive for long. And such fears are only natural. Travelling alone for the first time can be doubtful. It forces us to overthink. Would it be safe? Would the journey be interesting? What would people think? People have all kind of doubts. Last week, a reader asked me on Facebook if his language can make his solo travelling in North of India, tough. He belonged from South. In his words “Is language a barrier for travelling? I was planning to travel the north of India next year but I don’t know Hindi. Can it be a problem? PS: I am travelling solo!” “PS I am travelling solo” — his message ended with the most important consideration! A solo traveller is always scared of a new language, not until he has experienced a few solo journeys before. I remember …

9 Ways To Travel Smarter And Cheaper

When I tell people that I’ve been travelling for the past two years, without having any source of steady income, they frown upon me, and ask, without sparing a second, “Then how do you fund your travels? You must be rich.” People think travelling is an expensive hobby. They think it is only possible to travel,or travel repeatedly, if you either earn in an impressive figure, or your father was hopelessly wealthy. In my case, neither were true. Perhaps that’s why, when I’d initially told my friends, two years ago, that I am quitting my job to travel, they couldn’t believe me. A few asked, if I’d won a lottery.  Sure travelling costs money. But if you do it the right way, you might not need much of it. For example three weeks in Cambodia should take no more than US $ 350. Similarly two weeks in Thailand should be travelled in under US $280. And then travelling cheap doesn’t mean living in bad conditions. If you go for local experiences, or look for something beyond the traditional way …

How To Find Cheap Accommodation When You Travel

Often when people ask me how I manage to travel so cheap, they point out the cost of accommodation and say it’s simply not possible. “You did a road trip to Spiti Valley, for 9 days, in under 5000 rupees? Where the hell did you sleep man? Under the stars?” – Yes that’s where I slept. In my tent. And under the stars. I save most of my money on travelling because of two reasons: I eat anything, and I sleep anywhere. Don’t take it literally, but the idea I am trying to convey is that I always look for a cheap deal, and that’s how I survive. I avoid hotels, and I say no to luxury resorts, because of how much they cost. Moreover when you barely be in for most of the day – there is no point in paying a 1000 Rupee bill, and bleed unnecessary money. So I stick to the other side of the spectrum: I stay in hostels, dormitories, tents and pretty much everywhere else which is pocket friendly. …

How To Travel Cheap During A Peak Travel Season

Last month when I was returning from solo bike adventure in Spiti Valley, I thought to kill a night in the town of Vashish, near Manali. I decided to go to my usual place. I’d stayed there for at least a dozen times before. I like its peaceful ambience and the location which allows you to sit almost at top of sleepy Vashisth. But as I enquired about the price for a room, out of courtesy, despite being very much familiar with it, I went a little flabbergasted. “No, just one bedroom” I repeated with all innocence, before the caretaker repeated, twice, the exact same figure. “It’s 1,200 Rupees a night sir”. The same room which I’d earlier – 3 months ago – owned for about 400 Rupees a night, was now available for 1,200. Then I saw a group of teenagers, seeminly from New Delhi, and I reaslised this is the time of year when Vashisth gets its maximum tourists. The month of June. Peak tourist season. Prices had to go up! We often fell prey to …

7 Things I’d Tell A New Traveler

Hope. Anxiety. And Excitement. Such emotions are inevitable, when you leave for the first ever grand adventures of your life. When I’d initially quit my job to travel, I had no idea what to expect. No one I knew had ever done it before. I was feeling a bout of jitters. To compensate my unpreparedness, I followed a few guidebooks and hoped for the best. I was an inexperienced and a hopeless wanderer, and my actions spoke about my condition well enough. But now, after travelling for a few years, I know better. And if I could sit my younger self, I’d give him this advice: Don’t Be Scared Walking off the beaten path and travelling places you’re not familiar with, might be a little scary, but you aren’t the first person doing so.  There is a well-worn travel trail and hundreds of online blogs and guidebooks to walk with you along the way. So don’t be scared. And if thousands of people can make their way around to the world, and to the place you’re going, …

Why I Quit My Job To Travel

Last week, I took a wee trip to Rishikesh – the land of sadhus and of many people’s spiritual rebirth. I have a personal affection, some attachment to this place. This is where I once spent two months, practicing meditation and taking spiritual lessons. But this time, my arrival was accompanied by a sense of unexpected realization. I wondered, as I grabbed myself walking through its frenzy, confused walkways, how lucky I am to experience places like Rishikesh again and again. And yet, it is never the climax of my trip. It is always the beginning. “We travel, some of us forever, to seek other places, other lives, other souls” Anais Nin It’s been almost two years now, since I quit my job to travel, yet I never shared here why and how it all happened. It would be nice to say that I wanted to understand myself, and find my inner consciousness, but frankly speaking, it’s not true. The only part which is true is that I’ve had enough ogling into the same old, boring computer screen, …

Should You Quit Your Job And Travel?

I remember when I left my home, more than two year ago, for the first ever grand solo adventures of my life, after quitting my job, I was feeling a bout of the jitters. Fear, excitement and curiosity – they all were playing their part. I had no idea about what to expect. Which guidebook to follow. No one among my friends had ever done it before. In three words: I WAS CONFUSED. I grabbed myself from pondering over this inexperienced moment of past, yesterday, when I received a 700-word long email from one of my readers, mentioning that he has been holding on to a marketing job from the last 10 years but now he wants to leave his career behind and travel. He wrote to me in search of some kind of assurance. But more than that, as I felt, he needed inspiration. Inspiration to let go. To break free, and experience the world of travel. To Travel Is To Find New Opportunities For me, long term independent travel, is like a holy …

The Joy of Slow Travel

I was recently trying to put all my logical judgments and answer a burning query of mine “why do I consider myself a traveler, when I address most of the people, including many friends, as tourists?” I mean, I take the same road, experience similar locale, and possibly meet the same local people. So why this demarcation? Is it the term ’a traveler’ which has some sort of bounding appeal to it? What makes me a traveler? I realized the answer, on its own, while having a conversation with an old friend, who came home for a quick visit, a couple of days ago. He is getting married in 6 months from now, and is busy working his ass of, in order to get promoted before the marriage. Under such convoluted circumstances, I asked him if he fancies a ‘short biking expedition’ (I really did mention the word ‘short’) in Himalayas. His response – “For how long? Give me dates when we are leaving and arriving back.” I took a little breath, pondered, and then …

How To Save Money For Travel: 4 Tips

People often ask me how I make my travel dreams possible. They assume that I am either lucky or independently wealthy. Well, to innocently admit it, I am not independently wealthy. Though you can call me a little lucky, for I’ve been travelling for almost two years now, and without having any steady source of income. Before anything,  here’s a little on how I afford my travels. If you’re considering travel more seriously and a little more frequently you need to be smart with your money – and that starts before you hit the road. Here are 4 proven, self-tested and effective ways to save money before you start travelling: 1. Avoid Eating Out Love your local restaurant? Well that local restaurant loves you money. Avoid it. Restaurants and take-aways are a little too expensive now a days, I get sticker shocker every time I get the bill. “You need how much for a meal?” I lose my heart as I hear the figure in reply. As an advantage I know cooking, and managing quick …

Why I Travel Solo

“So when are we leaving? What days have you applied for a leave, at your workplace?” I asked my friend Alok, with whom I was trying to partner up for a few-week long motorbike expedition in Himalayas. A long silence at his end was a clear invitation to realise that the deal is cancelled. “No man, the thing is I might not be coming along, something really urgent has come up,” he confessed, in his usual tone. This happened yesterday, and since last 24 hours, I’m constantly consoling him to reconsider, like a stubborn, innocent kid, trying to make him realise what he will miss, if he doesn’t come along. None of my friends wants to replace him either – everyone is busy with their work, sorting their lives in an ever systematic order. “The man who goes alone can start today; but he who travels with another must wait until that other is ready” Henry David Thoreau And then I realised it’s the same pattern that has been repeating over the years. Though some people …