This week’s guest post comes from Le Travel Chica at Alpha Traveler. She describes herself as a travel writer, energy healer (Reiki Grandmaster), nature aficionado and take photographs as a hobby. I urge you to please check out the photos on her blog as I think they are amazing! Le Travel Chica has expertise in trip planning, offering travel tips & advice, content writing, promoting ideas & products. She can also assist all the solo female travellers out their by preparing an itinerary of where to go and what to see across India. Her blog is all about travel, places, people and perspectives. ‘We all seek refuge in travel at some point of time. And the other thing which is synonymous with travel is ‘food’. Travel & Food are those inseparable entities we invest all our five senses into and sometimes even more than that. We learn, we enjoy, we explore, we grow and we become better human beings in the process.’
1. What is your name and where do you come from?
My name is Akriti and I am from India. I was born and brought up in North India and after many failed chances to go to the Southern end I ended up completing my education here and been working here since then.
I am an Engineer by degree, writer by profession and Reiki healer by passion. Mostly I am high on travel, gallivanting in the most unusual places, alternating between parallel lives, travelling, writing, cooking and clicking.
2. What sort of traveller are you? Full time / part time / business / backpacker etc?
I am a backpacker mostly, a part time traveller when I am fulfilling my full time professional commitments and a luxury traveller whenever I am on a travel spending spree. I totally love the spontaneity involved in the process of travel and the whole new perspective it gives to understanding life.
In a country like India, if you are a solo female traveller, you can’t rely on backpacking solely. So I research about the place and then plan my travel accordingly. I love the freedom and vagabonding involved in backpacking as well as the luxe and lavishness in luxury travelling.
3. How do you fund your travelling?
Well that’s something I am still working on. I save a part of my earnings to sustain me during my usual sabbaticals. For this reason, I had to leave a lot many jobs to keep up with my itchy feet every now and then. And that explains why I couldn’t make a stable career in any firm because I love to travel more for that matter.
So far I have travelled to four countries and counting. I am looking forward to see the whole of India as soon as I feel I can fund myself for this months-long trip. I have plans to go to Bhutan by the start of next year and have already started saving for that. Basically I swear by few things that help me save a great deal while travelling like eating local food which is way cheaper, refilling water instead of buying it every time, preferring a guest house or budget inn over a hotel and utilising travel miles or availing discounts on membership cards with hotels/eateries wherever possible.
I am a shopaholic and I have this tendency to over buy things while on a trip. So I shop for souvenirs or gifts which are unique to that place and which I can keep for a long time or doesn’t require high maintenance. I always make it a point to buy postcards and bookmarks back home if I don’t feel like shelling out much on stuff (which of course rarely happens in my case 😀 )
4. Where is the best place you have ever been and why?
Well there are a lot of places. Since I am more of a mountain person, I’d pick Mustang region of Nepal. It is such a beautiful place to explore, full of wilderness and quiet. I particularly like the LUBRA village in Lower Mustang which is not a tourist spot but a detour to this place is worth it. It is a quaint little village with no modern facilities like mobile signals or such. People still use primitive methods to eke out their living and you can actually spot sheep rugs, dried Yak meat, charcoal ovens and age old meditation caves in the hills around. The village consists of rare Bon community with one of the few left Bon monasteries in the world. According to the legends, the place was inhabited by a demon. It’s only after their deity defeated the demon and a walnut tree sprouted in that place that it was considered safe for settlement. The walnut tree can still be spotted there, right in the middle of the village. The most intriguing thing about this place was its quiet. The quiet like this, I never found anywhere else in the world. This place had strange, mysterious yet peaceful vibes. I would love to go back again and probably try meditation in one of the mysterious sky caves.
5. Where is the worst place you have ever been and why?
Honestly, I believe there is no worst place as such, not on our Earth. Or maybe I never came across a place which I disliked entirely. There are places which are dirty, noisy and polluted but none of them qualifies to go into the worst list for me.
6. Do you have a Bucket List? If so where are the 3 top places on it?
Well I do have one. And the places are Bhutan (which is on my radar already) and Europe with Antarctica topping the list. More specifically, I want to go watch Auroras and it could be anywhere I get the chance to witness. Apart from that, I want to see all the Seven Wonders of the World starting with Taj Mahal in India.
7. What 3 things (apart from the essentials – food/water etc) do you always travel with?
My music player and my laptop. And yes, a scarf and a sunscreen too 😛
8. What makes you happy and why?
There are many things like exploring, observing, cooking, writing, star gazing, shopping and waking up to the view of misty mountains. All these things put me in a good mood and never fail to cheer me up on a not-so-perfect day.
9. How long have you been blogging and why did you start?
I have been blogging since two years. I started to write in order to document my travel or simply blog my travel musings. But as I travelled more, I blogged more and it became a part of my life, just like travel. I always had this thing for writing since time immemorial and travel just helped me get better in this.
10. What makes your blog unique and why should people read it?
Well, whatever makes everyone else’s blog unique, so does mine – Hands-on travel experience coupled with personal reflections. The primary genre of my blog is travel and I make a point to give my readers the best possible travel guidance and advice. My blog is everything from a photo blog to travel guide, making it a complete travel resource. It’s simple, to the point and would click with every kind of audience.
Besides, I cover those rare places and hidden gems that are less frequented so as to help my readers explore those unique, unfamiliar trails.
From ESLT – thank you Akriti for taking the time to complete the questions. Your photographs are fantastic and really capture real life in the places you have visited. I love the fact that you want to visit the Seven Wonders of the World and I hope you get to do this. I myself would love to visit the Taj Mahal and as I am thinking of visiting India next year I hope I can plan it into the itinerery. I must admit one of your articles that caught my eye certainly got my stomach rumbling ’10 Drool Worthy Punjabi Foods You Can’t Miss On Your Next ‘Gedhi’ to Punjab’. Yum 🙂