I have been travelling since 2008. What started as a deeply personal journey, triggered by a personal tragedy (I am still not ready to talk about it!), has now translated into a blog and a career. I was going through a rough phase in life and was living without a purpose. Then suddenly travel happened to me, as if by divine intervention and I found the true calling of my life. I started as a solo traveler. It helped me feed my hunger for loneliness, brooding and some serious soul searching (How else, do you think, I lost much of my hair,eh!). It helped me rediscover many hidden facets to myself and my Incredible India. From an introvert, travel has turned me into a forced extrovert. Thanks to travel, from a self destructive person, I have turned into a positive, happy individual.
I now want to dedicate my entire life to travel. Trust me it’s the best job in the world (though demands lot of hard work and supreme personal sacrifices – more on that later) More than 150 destinations, 8 years later, travel has turned me into a better person. I never thought one day I will end up winning photography awards and my travel pictures and my stories will be published in India’s leading travel magazines, newspapers and online portals. It still freaks me out when people tell me I am an inspiration to them. This was not my vision when I started to travel. That said, it’s now impossible to go back to a mundane life. Travel is now my reason of existence.
In November, 2015. I was fired from my corporate job of 7 years, for traveling too much. In fact, I was the only one who was not ever promoted in my 7 years in corporate life. I worked towards not getting promoted deliberately year after year while my colleagues left no stones unturned to ensure their promotion. After small bouts of depression post my firing, I finally realized that it happened for good. As soon as I stopped pretending to look for another job, I booked Everest Base Camp Trek. The trek cleared many things in my head. It made me realize what I really want in life. The immense support from friends and family helped me sail through. My parents have a big role in helping me achieve my dreams.
However I don’t want to glamorize travel. This blog is a labor of love. I have spent many sleepless nights, suffered small big struggles everyday to create this blog. I created this blog in order to organize/record my memories, share my stories and empower/inspire my audience to lead a more fulfilling life travelwise. But I always discourage people to follow my example. In fact I keep warning people not to quit their job for traveling. What worked for me might not work for others.
Though I enjoy all genres of travel but I am passionate about adventure, trekking, rural tourism, spiritual, wildlife, eco- tourism and specialize in luxury travel. My writing style is experiential with deep respect for the destination I am traveling to. The recurrent theme in my writing is that of soul searching, seeing things in a positive but realistic way and conservation/protection of culture, environment, destinations, wildlife and local people et al. I share brief facts at the end of my blog.
PUBLISHED WORK OF ABHINAV SINGH :
Print: 17 years of experience of writing for Top print magazines of India
- Published in National Geographic Traveller India, both print and online.
- Many pictures and writings published in Lonely Planet Magazine India: Traveling with parents
- Worked as the main photographer for Outlook Traveler getaway’s maiden city guide on Mumbai called ‘Aamchi Mumbai’. Pictures published in other Outlook Traveller getaway guidebooks as well.
- 8 Cover Stories in Railbandhu, India’s railway magazine. Includes 4 cover stories.
- Cover Story on Heritage walk in Old Hyderabad in Go Getter magazine. Go Air’s in flight magazine.
- Won prize in photography contest done by DNA newspaper.
- Picture featured by Times Of India newspaper
- Opinions published in Men’s Health and Outlook Traveller magazine.
- Times Of India shortlisted and published my picture on world photography day.
- Published in Mint newspaper (Upcoming)
- Picture published in Marathi newspaper Pudhari
- Cover Story on Rann Of Kutch in Railbandhu, India’s railway magazine.
- Cover Story on Unseen Rajasthan in Railbandhu.
- Cover Story on Sabarmati Ashram and Gandhi Trail in Railbandhu.
- Story on Naneghat trek in Railbandhu
- Feature story in Terrascape travel magazine
- More than 30 of my articles, captions and film reviews published and won many 1st prize in Filmfare
- As part of ‘A day In the Life Of India’ contest, one of my pictures was published in Times of India.
- Times Of India shortlisted and published my picture on world photography day.
- We Nomads
- Travel Yaari
- Culture Trip
- One of my pictures was selected as Editor’s pick for a contest on Better Photography’s website.
- Won a Photography contest conducted by National Geographic Traveler Magazine online.
- PETA Campaigns: I was the official photographer for PETA India’s celebrity launches and events for more than a year. I covered campaign launches by Actress Amrita Rao, Lauren Gottlieb, Sunny Leone, Raveena Tandon and the stars of Fugly. Also shot for fund raising event by PETA’s founder Ingrid Newkirk’s on her annual India It was published across PETA’s website and social media platforms.
A Soul Window is mentioned as the Top Travel Blogger From India 10 times in 2 year:
- Featured by leading newspaper Hindustan Times as one of the best Twitter handle for Travel related queries. The article on me can be read here
- Skyscanner features me as one of the 5 travel blogs to follow this year
- Hostelavie features me as one of the Top 7 Indian Travel Blogger
- Outlook Traveler nominated me as one of the 8 travel bloggers from India for their annual awards.
- Thrillophilia mentions me as one of the top bloggers from India. Check here.
- We Travel Solo lists me as Top 20 solo traveler of India.
- Hello Travel mentions me as one of the Top 5 Adventures from India. Check here.
- Filtercopy features me as one of the Top 5 honest Travel Bloggers from India
- Holidify mentions me as one of the top 100 travel bloggers of India under ‘adventure’ category. Check it out here.
- Jio Joo featured me as one of the best Travel Bloggers in India
AWARDS AND RECOGNITION
- Won 1st prize (Out of 36,000 entries) in Entertainment category in Mumbai Meri Jaan contest judged by ace celebrity photographer Atul Kasbekar. The prize winning pictures as well as many of my Mumbai pictures are displayed at a permanent Zillion gallery in Mumbai, which is India’s largest photo
- Won 1st Prize in a Photography contest conducted by I-Next newspaper in Lucknow in 2008
- Won 1st place in culture category in a photography contest conducted by DNA newspaper on world photography day. It was also published in the paper and exhibited in R City Mall, Ghatkoper, Mumbai.
- Won consolation prize in professional category in CIDCO’s annual ‘Frame it fine’ photography. My picture was hence published in CIDCO’s 2014 calender.
- Was shortlisted twice as India’s top 50 contestants out of 20, 000 plus entries for the biggest travel blogging contest – ‘Grab Your Dream’.
- Was shortlisted as India’s top 10 contestants for a travel contest conducted by Ceat
MEDIA EXPOSURE OF ABHINAV SINGH
- Shortlisted for the audition of Fox Traveller Channel’s show ‘Life Mein Ek Baar’ (Hosted by actor Purab Kohli)
- Was a semi-finalist for Mr. Lucknow 2008.
- Learned acting from Anupam Kher’s acting school, Actor Prepares, Mumbai.
- Permanent exhibition of many of my photographs at India’s largest photo gallery, the Kanakia Zillion Gallery at BKC. I also won first prize in the same contest judged by ace photographer Atul Kasbekar.
- Selected for a group photography exhibition conducted by the photography group ‘Mumbai weekend Shoot’. It was also listed in Bombay Times’ Friday listing: What’s Hot!
- 2 of my pictures were exhibited in a group photography exhibition in Lucknow’s Lalit Kala Akademi.
- Group Exhibition of my photographs by DNA newspaper on world photography day in R City Mall, Ghatkoper.
- My travel pictures were exhibited at Inorbit Mall, Vashi.
Abhinav Singh has been interviewed by:
- Newspaper Times Of India on Everest Base Camp Trek
- Newspaper Hindustan Times interviewed me, featuring as one of the top Travel related Twitter handle from India
- Indiatimes on getting fired for travelling too much
- Indiatimes quoted me on Ancestry test
- I Diva interviewed me on Freelance life.
- We Travel Solo as top 20 Solo Travelers from India
- Itch list on travel
- Itch list on traveling with siblings
- Blog by Anushree Ganguly
- 101 Vacations on Travel
- Interviewed by Stayzilla on Travel
- One of the speakers at the Travel Blogging Unplugged International Blogging Event-
- Spoke about Jordan at a travel event in New Delhi.
- Spoke about my travels at an event organized by India Diaries in Mumbai
Served as a Judge:
I judged an international Travel Photography contest organized by Akshayapatra.
COLLABORATION WITH TOURISM BOARDS
I have worked With following Tourism Boards
International: Jordan, Scandinavia Tourism Board, Tokyo Wonderland, Nepal, Malaysia (Upcoming)
Indian: Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, Goa, Karnataka.
I have also worked with following Brands: IIFA Awards, Air Arabia, Emirates, Skyscanner, Clear Trip, Ceat Tyres, Hard Rock café.
- Participated in a workshop on Travel Photography /Documentary Photography / Photo The workshop was conducted by renowned photographer Mr.Fawzan Husain (He has worked with India Today and Mid Day)
- Did a workshop in Travel Writing by eminent writer and editor of Femina magazine, Ms. Sathya Saran during the Kala Ghoda Arts Festival,. Mumbai, 2012. Also received appreciation from her on my writing.
- Did a workshop in Travel Writing by eminent travel writer Mr.Dilip D’souza during the Kala Ghoda Arts Festival,. Mumbai, 2013
- Won a photo contest on Hindustan Times NO TV day and was chosen for a street photography workshop with Hindustan Times’ National Photo Editor Mr.Gurinder Osan.
Formal training in Photography :
- Completed basic course in photography from National Institute of Photography(Mumbai) under the tutelage of commercial photographer Mr. Dharmesh Sachade.
- Completed advanced course in photography from Udaan Institute of photography(Mumbai) under the tutelage of celebrity photojournalist Mr. Arko Dutta.
- Hotel Management from Institute of Hotel management, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh
- M.B.A. from Lucknow University, Uttar Pradesh
Link of my online Travel related platforms –
All my followers are organic and built over the years. Enagagement on my social media posts is high. Total number of followers across my social media handles are: 17,010
- Twitter – 6305 followers
- Facebook Page – 3255 followers
- Facebook Profile – 4970 followers
- Instagram – 2106 followers
- You Tube – 374 subscribers and total 161,551 views
- Email – email@example.com