11 Indian Girls That Are Totally Rocking Solo Travel

11 Indian Girls That Are Totally Rocking Solo Travel

I’m not lost. I know where I’m going.

Yes, I’m alone. Doesn’t mean I’m lonely.

You think I’m gutsy? Thanks – feels good.

No I’m not traveling solo to nurse a broken heart. (But that’s a good idea).

No, I’m definitely not running away from anything.

No, I’m not rich, I know how to save.

Yes, I’m an Indian girl and I travel solo.

A little scared but excited, I hopped on a plane to travel solo back in 2009. My first hour was painful because I was frightened.

WTF, am I crazy to be doing this? 

Shit, what if something happens to me?

The guilt of having lied to everyone in my family made matters worse.

Sorry Mom, sorry Dad, I should have been honest with you that I was traveling alone.

In the course of the next hour I became extra vigilant of my surroundings and suspicious of random people who innocently glanced at me.

All of a sudden, it dawned on me that I was about to embark on one of the greatest adventures of my life and I should make the most of it. In that instant, my excitement ate my fear and I was ready to conquer the world!

It did turn out to be one of the best trips of my life, even though it was a little short.

It’s always nice to see a solo female traveler, but for me, it’s bloody AWESOME to see an Indian solo female traveler.

Why? Well, because we’re rare.

We grew up in a society where it’s unheard of a woman traveling alone. We live in a country with a high rate of crime against women. Obviously safety is always a concern. BTW, check this if you’re planning on backpacking India alone.

I want to introduce you to 11 Indian Girls Who Travel Solo… Badass!

 *****Drum Roll*****

01 | Namrata Das Adhikary (Scattered Maps)

Namrata Das Adhikary - 10 Indian Girls That Are Totally Rocking Solo Travel

Namrata Das Adhikary – Indian Girls Who Travel Solo

Hailing from a city of extreme contrasts, Calcutta, I have always been a fan of extremities: Madness and solitude being my prime aspirations.

In 2014, when I first made it to the Mount Kun base camp all alone, I couldn’t obviously believe it. It was not my first visit to the mountains, nor my first time with the snow. Yet, everything felt strangely different. I was in a strikingly surreal landscape, with a few adventurous locals and some likeminded travellers to give me company. My mind was as white as the snow surrounding me- reflective of thoughts, with my warm senses helping me acclimatize my body to the subzero temperatures. We started our trek from Gulmatongo (110km. from Kargil), the serving base camp for the ascending peak. However, due to extreme climatic conditions in December, we had to extend our days in order to cross the Suru river over a slippery, ice-covered footbridge. What I received in the end was a magically changed vision of inner myself: I come, I see, I conquer.

Solo travelling has given me a friend. I’ve learnt to befriend myself in the most difficult of all situations. The world is definitely not big enough!

02 | Sushmita Haldar

Sushmita Haldar - 10 Indian Girls That Are Totally Rocking Solo Travel

Sushmita Haldar – 11 Indian Girls That Travel Solo

I wanted to travel and lack of company was not a good enough reason not to. As a woman you have to be cautious, but once you learn to follow your intuition you would know when it is fine to drink at a bar and sing with the locals, when a stranger genuinely offers you help, and when you are making a friend.

Each trip has helped me to find myself a little more – whether it was a trek to the mountains, exploring Bhutan with the locals, scuba diving in the Andamans, backpacking around Europe or trying to figure out what is it about USA. I won’t say solo traveling is always fun. Sometime you feel lonely and miss home. You just need to accept it and wait for another day. What it won’t be is regret. You will soon discover the community of fellow travelers. Each travelling for one’s own reason. Each trying to find one’s way, each unique with a different insight on life.

I have met many female solo travellers in the last one year, unfortunately hardly any Indian. All I can say, it may seem scary at first, the unknown, but a few trips, and you would wonder why you waited so long.

03 | Anisha Victor

Anisha Victor - 10 Indian Girls That Are Totally Rocking Solo Travel

Anisha Victor – 11 Indian Girls Travel Solo

I was born in Allahabad, raised all over the county (yup I’m an Army kid) and now l live in Bombay. (Sorry we call it Mumbai now). As clichéd as it might sound but I did not choose travelling, travelling chose me.

I recently decided to revisit Rajasthan on a solo trip. Convincing my parents surprisingly was not a problem. I hopped on the cheapest flight I could find to Udaipur (BTW Tuesdays are the best days to book flights. You can thank me later) as going solo means there’s no sharing cost. I started from Udaipur and traveled north to Ajmer and Pushkar from there I headed west to the beautiful city of Jodhpur (where I stayed for two years as a baby) and finally to Jaisalmer and San. I took state run buses to travel from one city to another – which was so much fun. I was sandwiched between two people most of the times but after a point it didn’t bother because they had interesting stories to tell.

I was skeptical about the entire thing because of safety issues but my doubts faded with every passing. Although people were very warm and welcoming but every time someone asked me about myself, I would make up stories! I was a newly wedded on my honeymoon, I was a second year college student on a field trip or a newly commissioned army officer posted in Jaipur. I thought it was funny!

The only problem I faced was when I had to use the loo and look out for my luggage. But who knew travelling solo could be so liberating. I’ve come back with experience, stories, a tan too and an appetite to just go and explore more…see more and travel more.

04 | Raksha Nagaraj (SoloPassport)

Raksha Nagaraj - 11 Indian Girls Who Travel Solo

Raksha Nagaraj – 11 Indian Girls Who Travel Solo

I am an Indian girl who loves to travel solo. My mantra is what Derek Walcott said ‘I read, I travel and I become’. Solo travel to me is like meditating. It provides me the control to calm my mind & bring stillness in my life, with an opportunity to do the most passionate hobby that I have – “travel”. Drama and I get along very well. All my travels have to be a tad bit dramatic. One such dramatic incident was during my first solo abroad trip to Dublin, Ireland. The lesson I learnt during this travel was that in Ireland, the bathrooms do not have water outlets on the floor and that they are carpeted for a reason. How did I get this knowledge? Well, by flooding my beautiful duplex service apartment on the first day of arrival.

Each of these dramas are ingrained in my heart as fond memories and experiences. These experiences make my life richer and better. And as they say “Life is not measured by the breaths we take, but the moments that take our breath away”.

05 | Priyanshi Singhal

Priyanshi Singhal - 11 Indian Girls Who Travel Solo

Priyanshi Singhal – 11 Indian Girls Who Travel Solo

My journey started when I opted to study architecture.  My wanderlust was further fueled by continuous site visits and educational tour. I had no one to travel with, so I decided to pursue my passion alone.

My first solo expedition was the Rann of Kutch followed by Mandvi and Bhuj. I decided to explore Mandvi on my own by walking. After walking for miles, I stopped to rest and realized I had reached a graveyard! I opted to stay in a family run guest house, who showed me with their generosity and showed me around. My next solo trip was to Varanasi. To my surprise, the locals there started treating me as a foreigner and soon I realized it was because the only people that were travelling solo there were not from India. I met a local Tibetan there who showed me Buddhist Monastries and Sarnath town.

06 | Pankti Shah (www.crazywanderer.com)

Pankti Shah - 11 Indian Girls Who Travel Solo

Pankti Shah – 11 Indian Girls Who Travel Solo

Brought up in a very small village in Gujarat. I never stepped out of my home since childhood. Traveling was a scary stuff for me from childhood to teenage. I just had a dream cradling in my mind, I wished to explore the world. My travel expedition began after my marriage. With support of my husband and parents in law, I started travelling solo.

Rishikesh the Indian city of Yoga was my first travel destination. After my first solo travel experience, I was bold, confident and independent. Until now, I have traveled all major tourist destinations in India. Some of the Indian states I covered are Gujarat, Kashmir, Leh Ladakh, Uttarakhand, Kolkata, Himachal Pradesh, Kerala, Tamilnadu, Karnataka, Orissa, Maharashtra, and Punjab.  I am sharing my travel experiences and solo travel stories via www.crazywanderer.com

07 | Aditi Roy (My Dream Travels)

Aditi Roy - 11 Indian Girls Who Travel Solo

Aditi Roy – 11 Indian Girls Who Travel Solo

I am a 30-something solo female traveler and yes! I am an Indian (against all odds). In December 2013, I decided to give up my “stable job” and travel the world. I set up a blog to document my experiences even before I told my mother what I had planned. It took me a lot of courage and rephrasing of my so-called “I want to travel around the world – solo” speech. I can never forget what my mom said to me after I was done explaining everything (took me a few hours) – “Don’t die and don’t get AIDS”.  Thus, I started my first ever solo travel mission. In the past few years, I have travelled majorly around India (without getting killed or raped or molested or robbed) and I have loved every bit of my journey. I have met amazing men and women and children along the way, and heard brilliant stories. Last year, I took my first international trip and volunteered at a school in Chiang Mai for 5 months as an English Teacher. I was the first Indian expat in Chiang Mai (everybody said so!) and I seriously wish more Indians would know about the concept of Volunteering just as much as I would love to see more women travelling freely and extensively.

08 | Sahithi Pulivarthi (Just A Girl Who Travels)

Sahithi Pulivarthi - 11 Indian Girls Who Travel Solo

Sahithi Pulivarthi – 11 Indian Girls Who Travel Solo

I’m a 20 something traveler from Andhra Pradesh. I have travelled to 17 states of India. Travelling opened up my mind. It made me realize that I really don’t need much money in life to be happy and life is all about experiencing different cultures and meeting different people having nice conversations. I don’t even think about getting settled. I want to travel around and experiencing life in different countries.

09| Priyanka Bhattacharya

Priyanka Bhattacharya - 10 Indian Girls That Are Totally Rocking Solo Travel

Priyanka Bhattacharya – 11 Indian Girls That Travel Solo

When you can’t see a way out of all the chaos, when it no longer makes sense. ‘You climb a mountain…’.  Trekking to Savitri Temple was one experience that really helped me clear my mind, as when I came back I couldn’t recall the chaos, felt like I lost it along the way, it definitely worked for me. It doesn’t look like much but the route to the temple is quite troublesome, regardless I can assure you this the view is worth all the struggle, the temple is bestowed with spirituality beyond bounds. So when nothing makes sense or you are in chaos…Climb a mountain. People often ask me, ‘Aren’t you worried when you travel alone?’ and believe me when I tell you this, it is one of the weirdest questions I come across, the answer is obvious who isn’t? But the thrill of it gets you going, the yearning for adventure gets you going, the possibility to make it yet another wonderful vicinity makes all the worries worth it.

10 | Shubhra Sharma

Shubhra Sharma -10 Indian Girls That Are Totally Rocking Solo Travel

Shubhra Sharma -11 Indian Girls That Travel Solo

My solo first trip was when I was only 26 to visit my dad in China. Over the years, I have traveled solo quite often and have realized it is not just travel that makes you a different person – it’s what you go through during your travels that make you into a stronger person.

On my second trip to China, my return flight got cancelled. With 30-40 minutes to spare, Air China gave me another flight and asked me to check out my luggage and check it back in. I literally ran from one point of the airport to the other only to find out that my bag had been taken to Lost & Found. So spent another 15-20mins trying to find my bag and then ran to the gate to catch my flight which thankfully I was able to. These are the experiences I enjoy more as they teach me lessons on human behavior and how much strength I have to either accommodate myself to a situation or to fight for my rights. I ALWAYS believe my gut instinct. I don’t talk to everybody (old people and kids only) as friendliness, especially coming from a young woman, can be misconstrued very easily and I have made enough mistakes to know what to do now and don’t.

11 | Amrita Chowdhury (altertrips.com/blog)

Amrita Chowdhury - 11 Indian Girls That Are Totally Rocking Solo Travel

Amrita Chowdhury – 11 Indian Girls That Travel Solo

My first solo trip was to Paris. I didn’t know the language, didn’t know the city and had to place to stay when I arrived. On the first day I was very aware and super careful of everything, since I’d never traveled alone before. I couldn’t understand what the shopkeepers were saying. I walked down Blanche on my own, and a Frenchman with a thin mustache who was all dressed-up, caught hold of my arm, whispered something and planted a kiss on my lips! And yeah, I understand, many women in my place would have freaked out. I was just stunned for a second. And burst out laughing when he just winked and walked away!

Don’t you think they are awesome? Let’s spread this post and encourage other girls to travel solo too!

 

The world definitely needs more Indian girls who travel solo.

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11 Indian Girls That Are Totally Rocking Solo Travel

11 Indian Girls That Are Totally Rocking Solo Travel

A hippie travel writer with flowers in her hair, Sonal Kwatra Paladini should have been born in the 1960s! Bitten by the infamous travel bug, she has an itch to explore resort-free destinations, offbeat islands and small villages. Join her and her husband (Sandro) on their journey as they hop from one music festival to another and explore the beautiful world that they are in love with! Follow them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Sonal Kwatra Paladini

This Guy is Traveling the World on a Bicycle and you NEED to read his story!

This Guy is Traveling the World on a Bicycle and you NEED to read his story!

It was a Sunday evening and as always, Delhi’s Hauz Khas Village was crowded. San and I stood on the main road as we tried to decide where to go next. All of a sudden, he pointed at a lone cyclist in the middle of the walking street and said “look at all those flags!”. We looked at him and then at each other and thought the same thing.

Is this person traveling the world on a bicycle?  

I knew at that instant that I HAD to speak with him. I rushed towards him and stopped him on his way. Thankfully he was not annoyed but smiled at my curiosity (maybe he was used to it). A quick chat confirmed our suspicion – he was traveling around the word on his bicycle! I told him I wanted to write a story about him on my website, and he agreed to meet us later that week for a meal.

That’s how San and I met Mike Roy, a cyclist who’s traveling the world on his bicycle.

On the agreed day, we met Mike in Dilli Haat. San and I had prepared a few questions but we threw them aside and spent the entire evening talking, eating and drinking. Mike became our friend that evening and will most likely be for a long time.

Anyway, I finally got to interview Mike and here are is HOW he’s traveling the world on his bicycle. This is his story: 

DP: Tell our readers about yourself.

I’m 31 years old and was born in the USA.  I moved to South Korea to teach English after college and have been working, traveling, and volunteering in Asia ever since.  

I’m into cycling (obviously), travel (obviously), the environment, farming, foreign languages, philosophy, anthropology, veganism, and lots of other stuff.   

 

Around the World on Bicycle - Mike Roy

Traveling the World on a Bicycle – Mike Roy

DP: When and where did you start your journey?

In the summer of 2012 I did some practice rides in South Korea, where I had been working, and then on August 14 of that year a Korean friend and I put our bikes onto a ferry and sailed from Incheon, South Korea to Dalian in Northeast China.  That was day 1!  I made it to Chennai somewhere around day 1000 and am still going! 

DP: How many countries have you visited on this journey so far?

Up to seventeen countries depending on how generous you are with the counting.  South Korea, China, Taiwan, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, Myanmar, India, Nepal, plus a day each in Hong Kong and Macau, a couple of hours in Tibet, about thirty seconds in Bhutan, the coast of California in the USA,  and a day each on longer layovers in Turkey and Qatar.  It’s been a total of about 33,000 kilometers so far.  

Around the World on Bicycle - Mike Roy

Traveling the World on a Bicycle – Mike Roy

DP: What inspired you to do this?

Quite a few things – one was that I hosted some cyclists through the Couchsurfing website while I was living in Korea; their stories and photos made cycle touring sound really incredible, and they were both such normal, friendly guys that I got the idea that maybe I could do it too. 

Another was that I met a Korean friend planning to leave on his own cycle trip just when I was finishing a contract there and considering what to do with myself next.  I might not have had the courage to start an intercontinental cycle odyssey if I hadn’t had a companion at my side at the beginning. 

The fact that cycling doesn’t contribute to our planet’s environmental problems is also a major consideration for me.  I travel because I want to know the world and experience the various cultures, cuisines, and landscapes it has to offer, but it seems to me that traveling by planes and other vehicles that contribute to global climate change is actually quickening the destruction of those very same things. 

Something that’s kept me cycling long after the original inspiration faded from my memory is that it offers such an amazing travel experience.  You’re so independent, you can go wherever you want, whenever you want, without making any arrangements at all, and you don’t need to worry about whether or not you’ll be able to find a hotel or a restaurant as long as you’ve got your own tent and stove.  This frees you from some of the annoying stuff about travel, like having touts always trying to get your attention, and also keeps you away from the more dangerous spots like train stations and bus depots.  Even better, it brings you through all sorts of “in-between” places that most tourists never get a chance to experience.  People in villages everywhere are almost always extremely friendly and giving, even if there’s a significant language barrier.  It’s really a heartwarming thing to experience.    

DP: How did you prepare for this?

One of my Couchsurfing cyclist guests recommended I read the “Adventure Cycle-Touring Handbook,” so I bought the second edition and read it all the way through.  Now my own stories and tips are published in the third edition!

There are also plenty of websites out there with lots of info for cyclists.  Crazyguyonabike.com is one.  Individual cycle blogs, including my own, www.threeruleride.com also offer up good info. 

In terms of physical preparation, I hardly did any.  Cycling was already a big part of my life, so I just kept pushing my boundaries further and further.  First to work, then to downtown, then to across town, then to the next town over, then for a weekend loop, then for a week around one of Korea’s islands…I kind of became a cyclist without ever intending to.  Now I can ride 150km or more in a day and still have the energy to hang out with new friends after. 

Mike Roy - Traveling the World on a Bicycle

Mike Roy – Traveling the World on a Bicycle

DP: What resources do you use?

I do use my smartphone quite a bit. 

  • The GPS is extremely useful since it works without a cell signal or a WIFI connection. Maps.me is a great offline maps application.  Google Maps tends to be a little better with the details, but you’ve got to have a local SIM and a data package to use it, which isn’t always so easy when you keep crossing borders. 
  • The Couchsurfing and Warmshowers hospitality sites both have apps that I use to find hosts in bigger towns and cities.
  • Various messaging and chatting programs to keep in touch with friends and family.
  • A compass app to make sure I’ve got my directions right, an altitude meter app so I know how far I’ve climbed on any given day, and a level app so I can measure the slope of whatever mountain I’m climbing.
  • It’s really nice to have a Kindle or another e-reader, since you can carry as many e-books as you like without taking up space or adding weight.
  • I’ve also got my laptop for blogging and entertainment, an old mp3 player with really good battery life, a flashlight for when I’m camping or riding in the dark, and a UV water sterilizer pen for when I can’t find filtered water anywhere.
  • I also carry my own spork, pocket knife, chopsticks, straw, camping pot, and Tupperware so that I don’t have to use disposable silverware or plates when buying snacks. 

DP: What do you do to make money on the road?

There’s a saying in the USA: “a penny saved is a penny earned.”  I have hardly earned any money on this trip, but I do a lot to keep my spending low.  I camp, Couchsurf, or sleep at temples as much as I can to save on hotel costs, eat local food at simple restaurants, do my own laundry by hand, repair my clothes and bike myself, and in general try to prioritize experiences over possessions.  Bicycle travel is naturally pretty cheap since you don’t really have space to accumulate lots of clothes or souvenirs, and you don’t need to pay for entertainment since it’s so much fun to ride through the great outdoors and experience local life along the way.   I also spend a lot of time volunteering; working alongside locals is a great way to make friends and learn about their lives, and at the same time you usually get your accommodation and food for free.  It’s also a nice excuse to get off the bike for a week or two, and a good way to give back. 

Traveling has so far cost me about $10 per day – that’s for food, rooms, bicycle parts and repairs, visas, everything.  I did a pretty good job of saving my salary while working in South Korea, so as long as my expenses stay low I can keep doing this for another few years. 

Around the World on Bicycle - Mike Roy

Traveling the World on a Bicycle – Mike Roy

DP: Do you have any interesting stories that you want to share with our readers?

I have three years of blog posts for anyone who’s interested!  Cycling gets you into all sorts of fun situations, like road trips with a bunch of Chinese students trying to cycle to Tibet, or camping during a storm at the rainiest place on earth, or having a Buddhist monk get me drunk on Jack Daniel’s. 

Around the World on Bicycle - Mike Roy

Traveling the World on a Bicycle – Mike Roy

Out of all the moments that will stick with me long after I’ve finished my cycling, one experience in Laos is pretty special.  A friendly kid on a bike caught up to me while I was making my way up pretty hefty hill.  We chatted over the course of the long climb and at the end he invited me back to his village.  All the adults were out working in the fields, so I just played with the village children all afternoon, rolling tires around, chasing chickens, throwing my Frisbee.  At one point about ten of the children, including a naked two year old, led me through the back of the village to a small river.  They played in it without any supervision while I sat on a rock and observed.  A few minutes later, they all started gathering flowers from the banks and took turns bringing them to me, mimicking me every time I went “Awwww!”at their sweetness.

DP: What were the most beautiful / scariest / difficult terrains / destinations on the way?

Beautiful – So many places.  Jungles, forests, plains, mountains, rivers, oceans, farmland, small villages anywhere….just being on a bicycle makes you so much more awake to the beauty all around you (so long as there’s not much traffic). 

Difficult terrains – I’ve come up against the Himalayas a number of times now – first in southwest China, then in the Indian states of Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim, then in Nepal, now in north India.   Big mountains are always tough because of the long climbs, high altitudes (low oxygen), cold weather, and bumpy roads, but the scenery is so spectacular that it’s always worth it.  Plains are nice for the first day but boring after that. 

Around the World on Bicycle - Mike Roy

Traveling the World on a Bicycle – Mike Roy

Riding in the hot season in Myanmar and Thailand was also pretty difficult.  Sometimes the air temperature got up to about 45C, and the temperature of the road surface got up to 62C!  My friends and I had to stop riding for fear that we’d melt our wheels. 

I haven’t really been scared at all this whole time.  Sometimes it can be a little nerve-wracking trying to find a place to camp once the sun has gone down, but so far things have always worked out well.  There’s always a field or a temple or a friendly family willing to help me out.  

DP: How often do you get to meet your family back home? How do they react to your nomadic lifestyle?

This is one of the hardest things.  My parents came to visit me in Thailand after I had been on the road for a year, and I flew back to the US to visit them just recently, after a total of 30 months or so on the road.  We do email and Skype pretty frequently.  I also feel like if I were living in the USA, which is such a big country, the chances are pretty low that I’d get to see them more than once or twice a year.  At least this way we get to meet up in new places and go on some adventures together. 

My parents and friends have been remarkably supportive – reading my blog, publicizing it, helping me find hosts, soliciting donations of money or goods.  I think everybody has a bit of an inner vagabond that makes them want to support people on crazy journeys. 

Around the World on a bicycle - Mike at Annapurna

Traveling the World on a bicycle – Mike at Annapurna

DP: Have you even fallen in love while on the road? If yes, how do you deal with it, knowing the fact you don’t end up staying in one place for a very long time. Would you be open to the idea of her joining you on the road?

Definitely.  As a matter of fact, I’m going through this right now.  Finding a way to make relationships work while on the road is much more challenging than cycling up and over a mountain pass.  The former takes a lot of thought and compromise, while the latter just requires shutting your brain off and pedaling for a few hours. 

I have often dreamed of having a partner join me on the road, but there are so many obstacles for people who come from different backgrounds.  Cultural obstacles, financial obstacles, practical things like passports, visas, and even the plain availability of decent bikes.  Plus, even if you could solve all these problems, it’s only a very small minority of people that would be willing to take on the challenges of bike travel, even after having gotten close to someone who can’t shut up about all wonderful experiences it leads to.  

It looks like for the next month or two I’m just going to put the cycle away and stay somewhere volunteering together with my special someone.   Maybe seeing this article online will convince her to hit the road with me afterwards, though…

DP: You have crossed many countries since the time you started. Is there any particular destination that made you feel “at home”?  Where did you stay the longest?

Traveling the World on a Bicycle - Mike Roy

Traveling the World on a Bicycle – Mike Roy

After so much time in countries other than the one I was born in, I feel pretty “at home” everywhere.  Korea was actually my home for five years.  China was nice because I had a year-long visa and was able to put in the time and effort to learn the language, which always leads to an easier, deeper, better travel experience.  India and Nepal, where I’ve spent nearly a year and a half, are also pretty special in this regard – though in this case because so many of the locals speak my language, rather than that I’ve learned theirs.  But everywhere else, too, Couchsurfing hosts, churches, temples, friends of friends, and random individuals open up their doors to me and invite me in for a meal or a rest, language barrier or not. 

Plus, my bike is my home!  I don’t own anything aside from it and the 25kg of luggage I’m using it to carry.  It’s got my tent, my clothes, my electronics, and my journal.  All of it is always with me, so home is anywhere I park myself for the night.   

DP: What’s next? Do you have your next destinations in mind?

Well, I was planning on returning to Sadhana Forest, a reforestation project in South India , and staying for a year as a long-term volunteer.  They do really great work planting trees and introducing travelers to a very eco-conscious way of life – living in simple huts, cooking vegan meals, using only solar power, composting and recycling food waste, recycling just about everything.   I want to give at least a year of my life to supporting them. 

However, at the moment, those plans are on the back burner.  I’m letting someone else take the lead for a little while.  It’s a different kind of adventure.    

DP: What advice do you have for new travelers?

Get out of your comfort zone. 

You don’t need hot showers, cushy beds, or banana pancakes to be happy.  Try to adapt yourself to local life as it is rather than searching out things that are similar to what you’ve got at home.  Opt for small homestays rather than hotels.  Volunteer.  Do as much independently as you can, rather than letting travel agencies take the reins.  Be honest with yourself about what you enjoy and are interested in!  It’s ok not to care too much about those famous “sights,” which only make up only a tiny, tiny, tiny fraction of what there is to experience out there.  Get a bicycle and go!

DP: You’ve named your journey the “Three Rule Ride.”  Can you explain what that means?

Three Rule Ride

Mike’s Three Rule Ride

Yeah.   I feel that it’s important not only to be kind to all the people that I interact with directly, but to do what I can not to damage their environments or future wellbeing by any of my actions.  So, I’ve given myself three rules to abide by while traveling (though I lived by them in Korea and in the USA as well). 

First is “No Gas,” meaning that I try to do as much of my moving by bicycle as possible and minimize my use of fossil fuels. 

Second is “No Meat” – I stick to a vegetarian or vegan diet everywhere it’s possible, both for the good of animals and of the environment. 

Third, “No Trash.” 

Few of the countries I’ve passed through (including my own) have really satisfactory ways of dealing with all their trash, usually just dumping it on the side of the road or burning it out in the open.  Knowing that this is the case, I decided several years ago not to buy bottled drinks (including water), not to buy snacks in plastic wrappers, to repair stuff rather than replace it, and in general to reduce the amount of waste I generate as much as possible. 

It might sound strict, but actually I think following these rules has in many ways increased the quality of my experiences.  I wind up learning more of local languages in order to search out exactly what I’m looking for, going out of my way to find vegetarian restaurants, and wandering deep into local markets in search of that one guy with wholesale peanuts.  It’s not as convenient as just popping by the nearest convenience store, but it’s a lot more rewarding. 

Around the World on Bicycle - Mike in Myanmar

Traveling the World on a Bicycle – Mike in Myanmar

Meeting Mike tremendously inspired San and me in many ways. We love how he is not in a hurry to check off destinations off any list. He takes things slow, spends times with the locals, learns about the culture and tries to help others as much as possible.

He cares about the environment and volunteers wherever possible to make a difference. We met him at a time when we had just quit meat but were on the verge of falling off the wagon. However, listening to his reasons to be a vegetarian made us more determined. We hope his story inspires you too!

We encourage you to follow his travel blog Three Rule Ride on Facebook, and subscribe to him on his website. If you like this story, you will LOVE this interactive page where you can see his journey.

Did you enjoy reading how Mike is traveling the world on a bicycle? If yes, you will LOVE to read how Piya created GOTG Club and travels the world!

Mike is Traveling the world on a bicycle

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A hippie travel writer with flowers in her hair, Sonal Kwatra Paladini should have been born in the 1960s! Bitten by the infamous travel bug, she has an itch to explore resort-free destinations, offbeat islands and small villages. Join her and her husband (Sandro) on their journey as they hop from one music festival to another and explore the beautiful world that they are in love with! Follow them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Sonal Kwatra Paladini

How Piya Created GOTG Club & Travels the World

How Piya Created GOTG Club & Travels the World

Piya Bose of GOTG Club

Piya Bose of GOTG Club

Meet Piya Bose, founder of GOTG (Girls On The Go) Club who has been traveling non stop since September 2008. Back in 2010, GOTG club caught my interest instantly when I saw a Facebook event for an all girls trip to Laddakh. More than the club, my curiosity about the founder grew as the club flourished. Recently, I was lucky enough to interview Piya, who patiently answered all my questions in the middle of her village exploration in North India. Curious about her and GOTG Club? Scroll down to read how Piya created GOTG club & travels the world. Her story is IMPRESSIVE!

 

Please tell us a little about yourself. 

I used to be a lawyer by profession. Back in 2007, I quit working in a high paying corporate law firm and decided to pursue my passion for travel.

So what is and GOTG Club all about?

GOTG (Girls On The Go) is a travel club for women that takes women travelling to exotic and off beat places in India and around the world, with an aim of inspiring women through travel.

Piya Bose's GOTG Club in Mongolia

Piya Bose’s GOTG Club in Mongolia

When was the inception of GOTG?

September 2008.

What inspired you to create this club?

I first traveled solo to Brazil at 16 years of age and barely saw any women from India travelling on their own. This trip gave me a lot of confidence to later live by myself in Kuala Lumpur when I was in college. It also inspired me to quit my corporate legal career in a high paying law firm to take off on an overland trip from Lucknow – Nepal – Tibet. This trip was my inspiration to finally start a travel club for women.

How much did you save to start this venture?

I used a zero cash startup model to kick start my venture.  I had very little savings and I wanted to bust the myth that one needs money necessarily to start a business. I achieved this by using various innovative techniques to spread word about my venture.

How long did it take you to turn this into a profitable organization?

Since monetary investments were negligible, I started earning profits after the very first trip.

Piya Bose's GOTG Club

Piya Bose’s GOTG Club

What challenges did you face in the first few years / months?

The fact that I was a young entrepreneur of 24 years was a major challenge while convincing ladies to travel with me. Also, convincing family and friends of the seemingly strange decision I made required a lot of persuasive skills. Startup cash was a challenge and I overcame that by adopting innovative methods and experimentation.

What is it like traveling with a group of women that you have never met? Tell us about an interesting event or situation?

Travelling together with a group of women you have not met is possibly the best part of the trip. Women really bond and share stories of their lives and inspire others in the group. During a drive past the Red Sea in Egypt, a group of women started discussing their lives on their own and it turned out that at least 9 of them were divorced. It was amazing how they started sharing their stories and later became great friends.

GOT's Culinary Trip to Morocco

Piya Bose’s GOTG Club’s Culinary Trip to Morocco

Did you ever feel overwhelmed at all while planning travel for an entire group? If so, how did you get over it?

I don’t feel overwhelmed, but yes it is challenging for sure. Even when you think you have taken care of all logistics, something unpredictable may happen. I need to always think on the spot and use common sense to come up with the best solution to suit a situation.

How many employees do you have? Is it just you working alone? How many trips do you do in a year / month?

It is a sole proprietorship model as of now and I work with others on an assignment basis. I do around 40 trips a year.

How much longer are you going to do this? What’s next?

I hope to introduce new genres in women only trips and hopefully start some other exciting ventures as well.

What is your travel style? (backpacker / flashpacker / luxury)

A mix of all, depending on the destination and the experience I am seeking. Most importantly the accommodation has to enhance the experience and add a different dimension.

How many countries have you been to? What was your first international trip?

My first international trip was to Brazil. I have visited around 25 countries since.

What has been the most memorable travel moment for you?

Crossing the infamous Drake’s passage where the waves rise up as high as 40 feet to get to Antarctica is one of the most memorable trips amongst many others.

GOTG says hello from the World's Last Frontier - The Great White Continent, Antarctica.

Piya Bose’s GOTG Club says hello from the World’s Last Frontier – The Great White Continent, Antarctica.

Do you have any favorite travel themed book / movie?

Chicken Soup for the Traveler’s Soul

GOTG's Everest Base Camp Trek

GOTG’s Everest Base Camp Trek

What is your advice to the new travelers / solo female travelers / group of girls all over the world? 

  • Avoid unnecessary attention, wear sun glasses when you step out or want to block the world out. No eye contact means less people walking up to you and giving you unwanted attention.
  • If you use your common sense while travelling, no place is unsafe unless of course there are political disturbances going on there. Research well, connect with locals before you go and keep your friends and family updated about your movements through social media.
  • Dress like locals as far as possible so you can blend in and also show that you respect their culture.

If you want to read more about Piya’s club, check it out on Facebook. Visit her website to know more about the upcoming trips.

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Read How Piya travels the world with her GOTG Club. Oh and she gets PAID to do so.

Read How Piya travels the world with her GOTG Club. Oh and she gets PAID to do so.

A hippie travel writer with flowers in her hair, Sonal Kwatra Paladini should have been born in the 1960s! Bitten by the infamous travel bug, she has an itch to explore resort-free destinations, offbeat islands and small villages. Join her and her husband (Sandro) on their journey as they hop from one music festival to another and explore the beautiful world that they are in love with! Follow them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Sonal Kwatra Paladini

25 of the Best Travel Instagram Accounts

25 of the Best Travel Instagram Accounts

Have you ever met anyone that doesn’t like traveling? Neither have we. However, from time to time, many of us need a little inspiration or a kick on our asses to quit procrastinating and just go. Here’s a little list that we have handpicked for you with 25 of the best Travel Instagram accounts that are guaranteed to spark your wanderlust instantly and we recommend you follow!

WARNING: This will provoke a serious “itchy feet” syndrome.

 Best Travel Instagram Accounts

1. Roy Dufek, USA

Roy is a photographer and he’s based in the Portland, Oregon. He says he’s living vicariously! His instagram profile picture looks like he’s floating in the air.

A photo posted by Roy Dufek (@roydufek) on

via Instagram.com

 

2. Travis Burke, USA Travis is on a year long road trip at the moment. His photographs encourage others to get out.

instagram.com

 

3. Cladio Bezerra, Brazil

Cladio is a Brazilian – American photographer and is based in South of Florida. His focus is world travel photography.

instagram.com

 

4. Kostya Kyiv, Ukraine Kostya’s landscape shots and beautiful nature photography will get you addicted to his Instagram feed.

A photo posted by Kostya (@cloud_kyiv) on

instagram.com

 

5. Dave & Deb, Canada

They are a blogger couple of “The Planet D” and have been named the top travel Instagrammer by USA Today, Yahoo Travel, Forbes, Harpers Bazaar, Reader’s Digest and AOL.

instagram.com

 

6. Mike Theiss, USA Another Florida based photographer with extreme nature based shots.  His video of Hurricane Katrina has been ranked as the “best” or “worst” (i.e. most extreme, most terrifying) by AccuWeather.com.

A photo posted by Mike Theiss (@extremenature) on

instagram.com

 

7. Nik Cyclist, Thailand

He’s a Thai photographer with an album that features beautiful shots of temples, waterfalls, beaches and everything that will make you want to pack your bags for a trip to SE Asia.  We love his water reflection shots.

A photo posted by @nikcyclist on

instagram.com

 

8. Sabrina Iovino, Germany Sabrina is a blogger and founder of the famous “Just One Way Ticket“.  She has achieved a huge following very fast and there’s a good reason for this. Her blog is highly addictive and so is her instagram feed.

instagram.com

 

9. Jacob Riglin, England

He’s a 20 year old who has been creating some serious magic with his lens.  He lives in London.  Check him out!

A photo posted by J A C O B R I G L I N (@jacob) on

instagram.com

 

10. Thiago Correa, Brazil He’s a blogger and has been making waves on Instagram. His pictures will make you want to visit a beach! Some of his pictures will cause an instant rush of vertigo. Not recommended for the faint hearted!

A photo posted by Thiago Correa (@thiagomlcorrea) on

instagram.com

 

11. Beth and Randy, USA

Beth and Randy are also a blogger couple from USA. Their pictures showcase their arty style. Check out their blog Beers and beans.

She never disappoints. Beauty around every corner. #italy #venice

A photo posted by Beers & Beans (@beersandbeans) on

instagram.com

 

12. Jessica, England Jessica is an English woman who grew up in California and is an expat in Spain. Her instatgam feed will give you a taste of Spanish culture and art. Oh and she is also a blogger, check out her blog Barcelona Blonde.

A photo posted by Jessica (@barcelonablonde) on

instagram.com

 

13. Ashlea Wheeler, Australia

Ashlea is an Australian photographer and blogger (A Globe Well Traveled) who’s currently based in NYC.  Her instagram feed has a variety of pictures including city skyline, beaches and some seriously adorable animals.

instagram.com

 

14. Halzaim, Saudi Arabia We could not find much information about this instagrammer but the mystery about him is what makes him exciting to follow.  His surreal camera magic is sure to leave a WOW effect on you.

A photo posted by Hamdi (@halzaim) on

instagram.com

 

15. Christy Woodrow, USA

Christy Woodrow is an american photographer and a blogger with Ordinary Traveler. Her pictures speak of her adventures and she has a massive following for a good reason.

instagram.com

 

16. Stian Klo, Norway This Norwegian landscape photographer has been featured by National Geographic,  BBC, Lonely Planet and Apple. Every picture on his instagram is a work of art.

A photo posted by Stian Klo (@stianmklo) on

instagram.com

 

17. M. Alajeel, Spain

Mo is a landscape photographer and a nature lover.  He has a big fan-base on National Geographic website. We love how he plays with color and creates a surreal effect.

A photo posted by Mo (@alajeel) on

instagram.com

 

18. Elena Kalis, Bahamas Elena’s underwater shots will give you a serious craving for a vacation in the Bahamas. If you like clear water, marine life, mermaids and beauty, then you have every reason to follow her on instagram.

A photo posted by Elena Kalis (@elenakalis) on

instagram.com

 

19. Matthew Karsten, USA

Matthew is a very famous blogger, more commonly knows as an Expert Vagabond. His recent Greenland and Ireland pictures will leave you craving for more.

instagram.com

 

20. Jess Naylor, USA Jess specializes in landscape as well as wedding photography but his instagram feed only features his landscape shots. We love his beach photography.

instagram.com

 

21. Abhinav Singhai, India

Abhinav is a talented photographer from India. His shots will inspire you to go camping and indulge in a bit of star gazing.

instagram.com

 

22. Lisa Bao, USA She’s a young America photographer an account that features some breathtaking pictures of beaches, lakes, state parks and waterfalls.

A photo posted by Lisa Bao ✌?️ (@lisabao) on

instagram.com

 

23. Daniel Kordan, Russia

He’s a landscape photographer and a happy dreamer.  His recent Greenland sailing expedition shots will leave you speechless.

A photo posted by Daniel Kordan (@danielkordan) on

instagram.com

 

24. Patrick, Paris Left your heart in Paris?  His romantic shots of Paris will revive your memories and will make you smile.

A photo posted by @candidcameraman on

instagram.com

 

25. İlhan Eroglu, No Information about the country

Another talented photographer with very little information about himself. His pictures will encourage you to plan your next (or first) Euro Trip to visit some beautiful castles.

A photo posted by İlhan Eroğlu (@ilhan1077) on

  Oh and if you want, you can follow our “humble” Instagram account for some travel inspiration. 🙂

What did you think of this list? If these Instagram accounts sparked your wanderlust, then we recommend you follow them and show us some love by sharing this list. 🙂

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