By- Aaindrila Dey
Traveling messes you up, but in all the good ways. It leaves you always craving more, an addiction that can never quite be met. Every place, every trip, every person is a new adventure; pulling you deeper into the love of wanderlust. Your heart begins to hurt when you’re standing still, and your mind begins to itch over the idea of new places you haven’t been. Fill your soul with adventure and traveling and you will live a fulfilled life.
Travel is more than having a destination in mind; it’s discovering a place in your heart you’ve never been before.
There are several travel bloggers I admire for their amazing creativity, talent, and sense of adventure. I think according to them the world is big and they want to have a good look at it before it gets dark.
These travel bloggers literally influenced everyone to ‘get out and travel’.
Whether it was through their writing or creative media, they’ve inspired me to travel the world.
Here are the top 10 travel bloggers you should already be following.
1. Neelima Vallangi
It was raining in Khalsar on Monday, September 13, 2011. The sky looked murky and the road muddy and slippery enough to lower the frequency of local buses and jeeps. And after a 16.5-hour-long back-breaking journey from Keylong to Khalsar in a jeep crammed with locals, she was standing on the deserted and cold Diskit-Turtok highway at 3:00 PM, waiting for some vehicle to appear and help her reach Turtuk. This is not what she had expected when she first thought of planning a journey to the REMOTE HIMALAYAS, all alone!
Yes I am talking about NEELIMA
She became a solo traveler out of necessity, rather than a choice. When she wanted to travel, some of her friends didn’t have money and some of them didn’t have the time. So she told myself if ‘I want to travel it will have to be on my own. And after that, there was no stopping me’.
A brilliant, brilliant photographer and solo traveler, Neelima Vallangi is a true inspiration to budding travelers and explorers. If you’re having a bad day, just go to her Instagram profile and scroll through her feed for some refreshing pictures of heavenly landscapes. Neelima is a trekker, adventurer, and you will mostly find her in the mighty Himalayas.
· What kind of travel does Neelima like?
Neelima is a sucker for adventure, trekking, and anything that involves traveling to the magnificent Himalayas.
· What are Neelima’s top travel experiences?
She has stalked a snow leopard in Ladakh, snorkeled in one of the world’s most pristine coral reefs, hiked for a whole month in Turkey, explored the vast steppes of Mongolia by a truck for weeks, and spent a lot of time in the snowfields and slopes of Himalayas.
2. Archana Singh
A Brand Management Expert turned Travel Entrepreneur, who loves to explore offbeat places in search of untold human stories.
What sets her apart from the rest of the travel professionals is her result oriented attitude and over 15-years of work experience in the fields of Brand Management, Strategic Planning, Market Research, Consumer Insight Mining, Media Planning, Event Management, Tie-Ups, and Public Relations.
A solo traveler, who has been exploring the world in spite of having a full time high pressure corporate job. Who says you can’t have best of both the worlds. Travel See Write is the proof of my conviction. As Jon Krakauer said “Happiness (is) only real when shared”. Travel See Write is my tool of sharing my happiness with others.
Travel See Write, as the same suggests, was born in Aug 2014 with a vision to inspire people to move out of their comfort zone to Travel See and Write about offbeat experiences. Offbeat doesn’t just mean going to far-flung places but it could be as simple as rediscovering a forgotten backstreet. It’s seeing travel from a curious mind’s perspective. A perspective that touches the soul and which brings to the foreground the untold stories of people that get pushed to the background or footnotes.
· What prompted her to go on your first journey?
Thanks to an army background and hostel life, she have been traveling since she was a kid. But one trip that changed her outlook on solo travel was her trip to Europe in 2012. She was a bundle of nerves when she went on that trip, but since then, there has been no looking back.
· What’s her favorite travel destination?
Japan. She loved it for the unique mix of culture and modernity it offers. She visited it during the autumn season when the whole country was ablaze with autumn foliage.
· What’s that one travel gadget she always keep in your backpack?
Camera either in the form of a mobile phone or a DSLR/GoPro.
3. Ajay Sood
Ajay Sood runs ‘Travelure’. He is a Getty Photographer and the 2016 winner of OSM (Outlook Social Media) Photographer of the Year by Outlook Magazine.
He is all about experiential Travel Photography and Travel Writing. His travel photography makes destinations desirable and his passion is to capture the sights, sounds and stories of the places he visit. He have been featured as a Master Craftsman in Smart Photography (May 2012) and in Asian Photography (February 2012) – leading photography magazines of India. He relish the varied challenges meted out by the diverse images he capture. These images straddle a vast range – cityscapes, landscapes, ruins, heritage, wildlife, street, people, nightscapes, and much more. In his travel writing, I stay clear of the usual 10 things to do, 15 landmarks, 12 tips, etc. I recently made a weeklong visit to Mauritius on Mauritius Tourism’s invite.
· What prompted him to go on your first journey?
He was 9 years old and his parents had to visit my grandparents’ place in Phagwara, which is a town 35km from his hometown, Ludhiana. According to him His grandma was a brilliant cook. So, visiting her was always a treat. He insisted he’ll also come to Phagwara after school gets over. So, he travelled alone as a 9-year old. And, ever since, got hooked on travel!
What’s that one travel gadget he always keep in your backpack? My iPhone with scores of apps that range from Translate Voice Pro (his go-to app in countries where very few can communicate in English), The Photographer’s Ephemeris (it tells him the sunrise/sunset time and direction of sun at any spot I plan to shoot in), Night Sky (helps him find the Pole Star during my Astro-photography night outs), and many more.
She left the corporate world and its associated terms for a life of freedom and adventure, but it’s taken hard work to make this a sustainable way of life. One of the biggest challenges was, and continues to be, the mindset of the travel industry with respect to how bloggers and freelancers should be compensated. she’ve done her fair share of free wok in early days, and now it takes thick skin to not be bogged down by such requests!
A prominent name in the travel industry, Shivya needs no introduction. At the age of 23, she quit her comfortable and high-paying corporate job to travel the world. This solo female traveller has packed her life into a backpack and now inspiring people around the world to do what they love. She has travelled in parts of Africa, Europe, Southeast Asia, the Middle East, Latin America, the Caucasus region and the Indian subcontinent.
No matter the rules society creates for her, she alone can define how she wants to live her life. She don’t need a ton of money or a posh apartment to live a fulfilling life. It’s the little things– serendipity in the most unexpected places, kindness in the most unexpected times, beauty in the most unexpected parts of the world – that make life worth living. That despite being an introvert, she can make friends with locals around the world even if there’s no common language between us.
· How does Shivya like to travel?
Shivya is an offbeat traveller who loves to explore the lesser explored parts of the world. She likes to go slow while travelling, go under the skin of a place, talk to the locals, and live her stay. She’s usually seen travelling solo in the lesser known countries and cities of Europe.
· Tips to save money for travel?
1. Don’t do unnecessary shopping and find free hobbies to keep you entertained and busy at weekends.
2. Avoid eating out in restaurants and cafes. You can easily save INR 500 to INR 1000 a day.
3. Shivya recommends working online.
4. Sell the things you don’t need.
5. Get rid of that credit card and save for small and budget trips.
5. Ami Bhat
She was told that she was born with a travel bug. She was just a few weeks old when she moved to Abu Dhabi with her parents. They used to travel to India almost every year to meet the rest of the family and while they were at it, they would take a few short holidays to places nearby. Even when they were in the Gulf, her parents would take short road trips on weekends. She suppose, that is where she got her hunger for travel.
She started travel writing a couple of years ago for other websites. However, owing to her work pressure, could not really pursue it. It is only last year that she set up my travel blog Thrilling Travel to share her stories and hand out travel tips to fellow travelers.
The trigger to set up her blog came in from her friends and family, who used to call her for various travel suggestions and ideas. While I shared her travel tips & ideas with them, she used to also, recount her experiences to them. She realized more than the travel tips, it was her own experience that helped them make a decision on travel destination. That is when she set up her own blog to chronicle her experiences and share my travel tips to help people travel better.
A restless ball of energy, Ami is a wandere for life and one of the top Indian travel bloggers. She’s a photography enthusiast and a travel blogger by passion. Ami is a total sucker for heritage destinations, turquoise beaches, and lofty mountains.
What’s her favorite travel destination?
She doesn’t have one, she have many and it keeps increasing. For now, Ladakh, Meghalaya, Bhutan, Gold Coast, and Udaipur.
What’s that one travel gadget she always keep in her backpack?
Her Camera. She just cannot travel without it.
6. Umang Trivedi
The faint sound of a fountain played in the backdrop. As soon he alighted from his bus, he was received by the resort staff, dressed in crisp white uniforms. They carried his luggage to the reception and he took a moment to admire the surroundings. The afternoon sun was hidden behind fluffy clouds and a pleasant breeze swayed the palm trees gently. The beautiful resort stood covered by canopies of lush greenery. It was the onset of monsoon and the contrast between the grey skies and the lush green trees looked enchanting.
He entered the lobby and were welcomed by fresh coconut water and soothing music accompanied by a whiff of the ocean.
One of the top travel bloggers of India, Umang Trivedi loves to explore the remote corners of the world. He’s an adventurer, mountain lover and an admirer of unspoiled nature. Umang has conquered mountain peaks like Rupin Pass and Stok Kangri.
His favorite travel destination?
Bhutan would forever remain as his favourite travel destination. In fact, he started writing about his travels after paying a visit to Bhutan. The surreal landscapes and friendly people with great hospitality left an everlasting impression on him.
One travel gadget he always keep in his backpack?
He recently purchased a GoPro and since then, he always make sure of keeping it. It’s very easy to handle and produces great results for both, photos and videos.
7. Indrani Ghose
It all started with dreaming about a Europe tour when she got married four years back. Her mother-in-law kept telling her she wanted to go abroad and she have always loved to travel, so they started saving up for a trip. This year in January, she realized, that saving up for a Europe trip would take too long a time, and why not take one destination at a time? So one Sunday evening, she looked at her husband and asked him, “Why don’t I take Ma to London this summer?” He said “Yes” instantly and that set the ball rolling. She booked the flight tickets online and started getting ready to travel in June. They planned a 10-day trip to London and surroundings.
Indrani is no ordinary traveller. A fun and courageous wanderer, she’s an ex-Indian Air Force employee, who once dreamt of travelling around the globe. From Singapore to Portugal and Jaisalmer to Guwahati, she has travelled to over 21 countries and 250+ cities till now. She has done many road trips across Europe and Southeast Asia with her family.
Her favorite travel destination?
It is all the Unesco World Heritage sites. Her road trips in different countries have been planned along the Unesco sites of that country. The last major road trip we did was through Spain and Portugal – 3155kms. She covered 23 sites on this trip alone.
One travel gadget she always keeps in your backpack?
She is not a big fan of tech gadgets but mobiles with google maps, good camera and a good collection of music have been a constant companion on het road trips.
8. Swati & Sam
They would love to treasure their travel memories until they get old and gray. Through their blog, inspiring others to tear themselves away from the cubical and explore the beautiful world.
They saved all of their hard earned money to travel the world apart from occasional sponsored trips. They love to splurge on finer things in life, pamper themselves at luxurious resorts and spa, take detours, live like locals and visit less touristy and offbeat destination. They aspire to inspire people to blaze their own trail.
This software engineer duo, Swati and Sam are among the top Indian travel bloggers in luxury travel segment. They have travelled to 16 international destinations and to many corners of Indian towns and cities. Now the pair are the go-to travel guides for travelers in and around the world.
· Their favorite travel destination?
It’s difficult to pick one. They love Bali, Maldives, Seychelles, Switzerland and Thailand.
· The travel gadget they always keep in your backpack?
Power bank is what they need with them on our trips.
9. Agniswar and Amrita
Their love for travel has taken us to various places. They have met many wonderful people and had amazing experiences that could have been only possible because of their travel. They thought it would have been a waste if they did not share their experiences with others. That is why they started their travel blog where they chronicled their travel tales. In the beginning it was only about their experiences, but soon they had readers asking them questions about various destinations. The appreciation they received inspired them to work hard and make the blog better and more informative.
Sharing their thoughts and helping others were the prime motive behind Tale of 2 Backpackers.
Tale of 2 Backpackers specializes in unique cultural experiences. They are always on the lookout for various cultural and tribal festivals that are on the verge of getting lost in the throes of time. They write about them so that people know about the rich cultural heritage of our country. And in this way they are also helping those people who are trying hard to keep their traditions alive.
· Your favourite travel destination?
Northeast India is their favourite destination. They love the rugged and unexplored terrains and the varied cultures and customs of Northeast lure us the most.
· One travel gadget you always keep in your backpack?
Their Camera, smartphone, and power bank.
10. Siddhartha Joshi
Siddhartha Joshi is a Blogger, Designer, Travel Writer, and Photographer. He likes traveling and sharing memorable moments from his travels in the form of stories and pictures to inspire others to live a life full of wonder. ‘The Wanderer’, as he calls himself says his travels are all about wandering around, exploring the place with wonder and curiosity, meeting people he has never met before, enjoying new experiences and living in the moment.
The Wanderer is a travel and living blog from India. It’s a space where he shares stories of his travels from across the world, along with travel and photography tips. His hope is that by sharing these stories he will be able to inspire more people to travel and explore the world even more. He is working on two different projects right now.
· Top bucket List Destination –
Greenland, Iran, Mongolia
· Strangest food item you’ve tasted –
Turtle shell soup in Singapore, especially because he is vegetarian
A story from your travels – It’s always about his last trip – right now it’s stories of Sikkim, especially how it was independent country till the 1970s and how it then ended up becoming a part of India. He is always fascinated with history when traveling and incorporate it into my travel stories.
AT THE END I JUST WANT TO TELL…..
You’ll be anxious and unsure about your plan the night before you leave. But your fears will vanish away like a mass of dust, like they were never there, like you were born to do this. Once you get the hang of it, you’ll realize that travel is addictive as hell. And the best part is you’ll have stories to tell, you’ll meet people that’ll teach you to value life, live in the moment, and respect the little joys of life.
Cliche alert! And it’s going to change you forever and prepare you for a better, happier, and carefree version of yourself. Won’t you love that, my love?