When you don’t speak the language of the place you are visiting it can lead to interesting outcomes. Find out what happened to today’s travel blogger Vishnu Kumar of Thinking Particle when he conversed with hand signs.
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:
Backpacker is the closest one.
How do you fund your travel (savings/work whilst travelling/other):
In the beginning, I traveled on the fund I saved from my previous job. Later I started a venture for crafting itineraries and custom tours which helped me to continue my travel.
What is the first trip you remember taking and how old were you:
To Bundi in the Western Rajasthan which is known for hill-top forts, murals, step-wells and magnificent palaces. I was traveling with my family was 5 years old.
Have you been anywhere which turned out to be totally different to how you imagined? If so, how:
Few years back I was traveling to Western Madhya Pradesh to Maheshwar and Omkareshwar those sit on river Narmada. Before commencing my journey I read a lot of those places and found those serene. I was anticipating quaint peaceful towns but on the contrary these turned out vociferous with shedload of pilgrims shuttling between temples. It was a learning experience to travel with crowd.
Have you had any bad experiences whilst travelling:
I would not like to tag those as bad but I had some really acrid and unnerving experiences on the road. Negotiating 500 meter tunnel without a torch while doing a trek in Western Ghat is one I won’t forget.
Do you have any funny travel stories:
Yes, there are many. In fact all my travel memoirs have these funny stories. It was raining incessantly in Tamilnandu those days and I arrived in Trichy by mid-night. After getting down at bus stand, I asked an auto wala to take me to some nearby hotel. As I don’t speak/understand Tamil so communication was more through signs. We kept communicating through language which we both were unaware of and he ended up dropping me to some place which I suspected as a brothel. I ran as fast as I could and took another auto back to Bus stand. I still amuse myself remembering that incident.
Which is the worst place you’ve been to and why:
I embrace all sort of experiences so never had any aversion to a particular place. It would be tough to pick one place and tag it bad.
Where is your favorite place in the world:
Spiti Valley in Himachal Pradesh are one of those geographies I would love to go back many times.
Do you have a bucket list? If so what is on it:
I don’t have any bucket list and content revisiting places which I like. However I would like to discover Sahara, the desert of dreams.
Can you imagine life without travel:
NO. It’s now a habit and my mind never stop thinking of places, near, far, obscure, ordinary. I always hope for ever-changing horizon which I can glimpse from a window seat.
If you were not travelling what would you be doing instead:
I might have been into movie making.
What is the name of your travel blog and the url:
Thinking Particle, http://thinkingparticle.com/
When did you begin your website:
Why do you write (for money/connecting with people/therapeutic/fun):
To be honest, I write for connection with people and to share my travel stories with fellow travelers and help them planning their own adventures.
What makes your site so unique and why should people read it:
My website is more than a standard travel blog. It has spaces for travel guides, galleries, videos, forums and much more where other people can discuss itineraries and post their queries. I generally post about travel tips, budget travel and other useful information which keeps it unique from other websites.
Do you have any products or services to offer:
I also run another small business to offer custom tours. Here is the web-link of that venture: http://myriadtrails.com/
What has been your most successful blog post to date and what was it about:
An Article on Bhangarh Fort has been the most successful post so far. Bhangarh is considered as the most haunted place in India and the mystique about the place attracted a good number of visitors.
What has been your favorite article to write either for your blog or another publication:
There are many travel bloggers I follow. Following post from nomadic matt is one of my favorites.
What is your favorite mode of transport? (plane/train/boat/car):
I love trains.
Do you have any advice or tips for aspiring travelers:
World is full of incredible destinations and these amazing destinations are scattered everywhere. No matter in which part you live, you will always find itineraries to travel around for all type of duration. Travel might look an expensive hobby but it’s not really. There is no right time to start traveling. Start it now with a leisure pace and keep it rolling. Though It’s a never ending circle but worth traversing.
What has travel taught you:
Travel had been incredible source of learning cultures, customs, flora, fauna and many other diverse subjects. Travel has also taught me to overcome the apprehension of leaving comfort zone, took me much closer to Earth, made me grounded human.
Travelling or Travel Blogging – which one do you enjoy more and why? How do you manage your time between the two?
I enjoy traveling more than travel writing. When I am traveling, I feel much closer to the earth, live more in present and always open to new experiences. I am an adamant believer that every journey folds something enriching and I enjoy these little things. Travel writing on the other hand is my way to reflect upon those experiences on the road and I am glad that so many people find my stories inspiring and helpful in a way to plan their own adventures. Managing time between two is challenging specially after a long travel when you tend to lose track. I keep short notes during time on the road.
Which according to you are some of the most unexplored and underrated destinations in India:
Chhattisgarh is not much explored and very much underrated. Most of the travelers consume these vacations around glamorous destinations hence not much is written about Chhattisgarh at all.
Some tips on making your travels more affordable
Use public transport, don’t hesitate to take help from locals, travel light, do enough research but don’t overdo it otherwise you might end up traveling under pre-conceived notions.
Quick fire questions:-
Favorite airline: Singapore Airlines
Favorite country: India
Favorite city: Jaipur
Favorite beach: Ross and Smith, North Andamans
Favorite food: North India Vegetarian Cuisines
Favorite language: Bengali (would love to learn it)
Please provide the following:-
Website url: http://thinkingparticle.com/
Twitter handle: https://twitter.com/vagrantbreeze
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/thinkingparticle