There are many outstanding travel bloggers from all around the world. Today I’d like to feature an Indian blogger who not only has plenty of international travel experience but is a real expert on India. Please meet Renuka.
What is your name?
Which country do you come from/call home?
Are you a backpacker/long term traveller/business traveller/live and work abroad?
I’d call myself a spontaneous traveller. I travel as often as possible.
How do you fund your travel (savings/work whilst travelling/other)?
I save on short term basis. I save and travel. Also, I take up freelance writing projects, which allows me to work from anywhere.
What is the first trip you remember taking and how old were you?
My earliest memory of a holiday is of the weekend trips to Mussoorie, (a hill station) which is an hour and a half away from Dehradun (North India). I was 8 at that time and I enjoyed myself a lot with my siblings and family.
Have you been anywhere which turned out to be totally different to how you imagined? If so, how?
Yes! I remember I went on an overnight trip to Rajgarh (a hill station in Himachal Pradesh) with my colleagues and it turned out to be wonderful. I wasn’t very keen on this place, but when I reached there, I was amazed at its natural beauty! Rajgarh is particularly a place for trekking, camping and adventure activities. Since I am a nature lover, I fell in love with it pronto!
Have you had any bad experiences whilst travelling?
Oh sure! There are many actually. I have dedicated a post on ‘my worst travel experiences’ on my blog.
Do you have any funny travel stories?
I don’t know if it’s funny, but when I think of it now I am amused at my own spirit and curiosity. I travelled solo to the desert in Rajasthan in the heat of the day. I hadn’t ridden on a camel before and I could see no soul around. I was all alone with just two camel riders. I wondered to myself that what am I doing here with just desertion and me! But, I was too eager to see the desert to keep myself from going ahead.
Which is the worst place you’ve been to and why?
Mysore Palace in Mysore (Karnataka, South India). It’s one of the popular palaces in India, but I found it disappointing. It’s not as great as it’s made out to be.
Where is your favourite place in the world?
Oh, many are there! But I’d pick Rajasthan in India and Melbourne in Australia.
Do you have a bucket list? If so what is on it?
I want to explore the North east region of India. I am heading there next month, and then I also want to visit Kashmir.
Can you imagine life without travel?
Absolutely not! Less or more, near or far, I want to keep travelling all my life.
If you were not travelling what would you be doing instead?
Ummm… hard to think.
What is the name of your travel blog and the url?
Voyager For Life
When did you begin your website?
I started blogging in August 2012 with an idea of sharing my travel photographs along with little stories around them. Later, I was inspired to write more and I gradually turned it into a professional travel blog. Now Voyager For Life has all kinds of travel inspiring articles, travel tips and advice, destination specific pieces, experiential travel stories and photo essays.
Why do you write (for money/connecting with people/therapeutic/fun)?
I write for happiness. If I am not happy doing something I will not do it. There are other means to earn money, but I love blogging – voicing my own thoughts and inspiring people. It has polished my skills as a writer and photographer. I like challenging myself.
What makes your site so unique and why should people read it?
Voyager For Life is for everybody. It is for travellers who would like to travel more often and also for those who lack inspiration and courage to travel. I aim to awaken people to travel as much as possible, because it’s the only thing that’s worthwhile in life. Travel unveils the happier side of life. I promote the idea of solo travel because it’s the most convenient option to travel. Most of the time, people don’t travel due to lack of company. So I tell them that they don’t need anybody! All you need is ‘you’ to explore a place!
Do you have any products or services to offer?
Besides travel writing, I offer photography and travel consultancy services. I can help people plan their travel, build an itinerary, recommend hotels, etc.
What advice would you give to women who want to travel solo? How should they plan their trip and how can they stay safe?
In fact, there are many men out there (especially in India) who are wary of traveling alone. More than safety, I think, it’s the loneliness that stops people from traveling solo. I am sure that’s not the case anywhere else in the world. Indians still don’t give in to solo travel so easily. Coming to your question, women solo travelers should just research deeply about each and everything – accommodation, culture, people, city, transport, etc and plan ahead. I believe there is no place safe or unsafe. You have to be careful no matter where you are! Just don’t do anything obviously foolish like walking alone in a deserted area or staying out late at night.
What has been your most successful blog post to date and what was it about?
Solo Travel is a hot topic on my blog.
Here are the links to my most successful posts – http://www.renuka-voyagerforlife.com/2013/10/5-best-solo-travel-destinations-in-india.html
What has been your favourite article to write either for your blog or another publication?
My favourite article is on my blog – 7 Excuses To Travel Often.
My guest post on The Planet D is also close to my heart – 10 Lessons That Travel Has Taught Me.
What is your favourite mode of transport? (plane/train/boat/car)
Depends on how short or long the journey is. I like travelling by a plane as long as it’s comfy and not very expensive.
Do you have any advice or tips for aspiring travellers?
Just travel. Don’t think much. You will never regret it.
What has travel taught you?
It has made me a better person. I value people, life and moments more than I ever did! I have learnt to see the happier side of life now. I clearly know what matters and what doesn’t.
Quick fire questions:-
Favourite airline? Jet airways in India and I guess, Emirates is good for international travel.
Favourite country? India
Favourite city? Mumbai
Favourite beach? Beaches of Australia
Favourite food? Italian
Favourite language? Italian (I want to learn it)
Please provide the following:-
Website url? http://www.renuka-voyagerforlife.com
Twitter handle? https://twitter.com/renns20
Facebook page? https://www.facebook.com/renukatravelbuff