"Wander away into the unknown depths of this world and let your soul be your guide."
The above quote by Rumi has driven me lately. To let our soul be our guide means to let go of the control and desire of any end result. To just focus on the process, in the journey itself.
Journey for me is what happens within and what we experience on the outside. I am a seeker, just destination travel from the outside is not my forte. Many great scholars and poets have been writing about the importance of being a traveler. For this moment I will focus on the travel through various geographies and how they continue to have an impact on me. I have been traveling for as long as I remember. Growing up I was hip-hopping places every 3-4 years, thanks to the moving job dad had at the time. The journey made me travel to different parts of India and as a result, made me aware of the socio-cultural aspects of this diverse country known as INDIA.
I entered the corporate job world in the mid-2000s and the work made me travel to the vast, complex countryside of my country. I experienced the cultures of different regions of this diverse country. It was like traveling through the continent. Traveling through the hinterland helped me in understanding the core values and principles of living a sustainable conscious life, the importance of organic farming, and the importance of community-based living in the growth of society. I have had the good fortune to meet amazing inspiring personalities in my journey so far. Organic farmers, Social Cultural change makers have helped me shape my outlook on life.
I only realized the subtle benefits of traveling only after when I left my corporate job world. At the time it was all about achieving growth targets.
I am consciously moving towards living a life beyond banal existence.
Last few years I am able to experience cultures beyond India. I realized that geography can separate us but as humans we remain similar, seeking similar experiences.
The journey through NEPAL was absolutely amazing for photography purposes. The vast rugged landscapes of Nepal made me humble in a way. The Nepal journey made me realize that I am just a tiny spec in the grand scheme of things in our universe. I was able to create Photography books in three volumes which received excellent responses from the people across geography.
By the divine arrangement of the universe, I got an opportunity to visit BALI in 2018. I had to conquer my fear of the unknown and put forth my trust in the universe. After all, it was my first International trip. I grabbed the opportunity with both hands. What a mind-blowing trip it was to Bali which resulted in a second trip to the island of Gods in 2019. These two trips to Bali made me culturally more aware and opened my eyes to the possibility of becoming a digital nomad.
Pandemic put a stop to everything, especially for someone like me who breathes travel photography. After a break of more than 2 years, I decided on visiting THAILAND. To be honest, Thailand has never been on my radar. This trip was made more out of desperation to move out of home and feel the tropical air. Thailand's trip has been nothing but spectacular. I will definitely return to Bangkok as I feel a tremendous opportunity is there in creating a street photography book. I am fascinated by the old town and china town vibes of Bangkok.
Travel Bucket List
I have never been a person creating bucket lists but the Pandemic surely changed my perspective and for good reason.
The countries and cities not on the list below are not bad to visit. It is just based on my travel preference at the present moment of time, based on my desire to create visual stories and experience local cultures.
England - Ever since I saw the Doc Martin tv series on Netflix, I have been fixated on everything Cornwall. Rick Stein’s food program based in Cornwall makes me want to experience the rugged southwestern tip of England in all its glory. I am very much interested in the history of England’s ancient past. I would love to visit Glastonbury for its rich history of spiritual pilgrimage. The place is also believed to be the Heart Chakra of the planet Earth. Sacred feminine rules the land here. How can I miss a chance not to visit this healing place? London is not a primary choice but It would be great to soak in the contemporary vibes of the big city and explore its little corners and alleys.
Scotland - Edinburg
The medieval Old Town of Edinburgh with gardens and neoclassical buildings has my attention for a long time now.
Europe has fascinated me for a while now. For most people, Europe is about Germany, France, Switzerland, and Italy. I would like to go into the regional specificity of the continent as I look to see beyond the mainstream vision.
Western Europe - Germany, France, Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland
Northern Europe - Finland, Ireland, Denmark
Eastern Europe - Romania, Hungary, Moldova
Southern Europe - Italy, Spain, Greece, Portugal, Malta, Croatia
New Zealand - The underdog of the countries. This small nation packs a punch.
Srilanka- an Island nation in the south of India presents an ideal opportunity to experience tropical bliss.
Bhutan - The Kingdom of Bhutan in the eastern Himalayas is known for its monasteries and breathtaking landscapes.
Morocco - Sahara desert, Chefchaouen, soaking up Moroccan lifestyle. It will be quite an experience to visit a paradise of sand and stone.
Dubai - The desire to photograph tall buildings and do long-exposure photography makes Dubai an ideal choice for me.
and the list continues to grow and expand.....
How do I like to Travel?
I like to explore the place while walking. I am a big advocate of slow travel. I prefer to soak in the surroundings and do slow travel. I have done enough of hardcore difficult travels while I was on job especially visiting the Indian countryside where transportation was not at its best in those years. These days with expensive pieces of equipment in the bag I prefer to have a safe comfortable place to stay before I arrive at the location.
Result of entering the 40s club you think?