I have been travelling since 2010. 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, 2014. 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 budget travel (These days gravitating towards luxury). 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. But be warned, this is not the place for wikipediash knowledge.
PUBLISHED WORK :
- Worked as the main photographer for Outlook Traveler getaway’s maiden city guide on Mumbai called ‘Aamchi Mumbai’.
- 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.
- Cover Story on Heritage walk in Old Hyderabad in Go Getter magazine. Go Air’s in flight magazine.
- Story on Naneghat trek in Railbandhu
- Feature story in Terrascape travel magazine
- Many of my articles, captions and film reviews published and won 1st prize in Filmfare
- Lonely Planet : Traveling with parents
- Pictures and writings published in journals such as :
Lonely Planet Magazine India,
Outlook Traveller magazine
Outlook Traveller getaway guidebooks
Times Of India
- 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.
- Travel Pictures published in DNA newspaper
- We Nomads
- Travel Yaari
- Culture Trip
- Travel Khana (Upcoming)
- 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.
- 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
- Holidify mentions me as one of the top 100 travel bloggers of India under ‘adventure’ category. Check it out here.
- 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.
- 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.
- Shortlisted for the audition of Fox Traveller Channel’s show ‘Life Mein Ek Baar’ (Hosted by actor Purab Kohli)
- 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
- 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.
(READ THE LINKS TO KNOW MORE ABOUT ME)
I have been interviewed by:
- Times Of India on Everest Base Camp Trek
- Indiatimes on getting fired for travelling too much
- 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
- 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.