This week’s guest post comes from Chandan (and Stuti), travel blogger behind Pirates Travelogue. He explains ‘I’m a geologist by profession and currently working in the oil and gas industry posted in the middle east. As far as I can remember, the wicked “travel bug” bit me very early in my life, courtesy my dad who was a trotter himself. I still remember holding his finger and following him to so many places in India. I did not realize it back then (probably I was too young 🙂 ) but now as the grey cells mature, I am realizing with each passing day that, the ONE thing that keeps me going in this hyper-competitive world is “Travelling”.”
1. What is your name and where do you come from?
I’m Chandan and I blog together with my wife Stuti. We hail from India.
2. What sort of traveller are you? Full time / part time / business / backpacker etc?
We’re part-time travellers and optimize our vacations and long weekends to travel as much as we can.
However, a year-long sabbatical has been on my mind for a few months now. Hopefully, I can convince the bosses for the same. I plan to extensively travel South America and Eastern Europe during this time.
3. How do you fund your travelling?
I religiously save 10-20% of my earnings every month to my travel fund and that takes care of 90% of our trips. Working a 9-5 has given me this advantage to save adequately for my trips.
4. Where is the best place you have ever been and why?
It’s hard to choose a particular place but if we have to pick one then St. Lucia would be the one for now. The Caribbean island paradise. We were absolutely floored by the island vibe there. The slow and steady pace of life, the tropical weather and the unexpected rain showers, basking in the sun sipping rum punches watching the azure Caribbean Sea all day and partying all night. We had our most vibrant sunset cruise in St. Lucia. Definitely, a place to unwind, and lose all your stress.
5. Where is the worst place you have ever been and why?
I believe no place is worse as such. It’s our personal experience that makes a place good or bad for us. In that same line, my worst experience was in a pub by the Seine in Paris where I was not allowed to enter along with a friend of mine because of our Nationalities. It hurt really bad but travelling always has its ups and down. This definitely doesn’t mean that I would rank Paris as my worst place. I loved Paris and explored the city for 2 nights on foot. It was an amazing two nights. It’s just the experience that hurts and is the first thing to come to my mind when someone talks about Paris. Ideally, it should have been the Eiffel tower right…
6. Do you have a Bucket List? If so where are the 3 top places on it?
Yes, we do have multiple ones actually. The first would be to visit the 7 wonders of the world (new). The second would be to spend a night beneath the Aurora Borealis. The 3rd is to visit Antarctica.
7. What 3 things (apart from the essentials – food/water etc) do you always travel with?
I never travel without my camera. I switched over to a mirrorless DSLR recently because of weight issues. Second is my tripod. The third would be my Mac and HDDs for backups.
8. What makes you happy and why?
More than traveling, it’s writing the stories about my travel that makes me happy. I must confess that I realized this late in my life but currently, it’s my top stress buster. My mood elevates as soon as I pen down some good lines on a place I visited. It’s like an antidote to the 9-5 grind. I also love to make travel videos.
9. How long have you been blogging and why did you start?
I’ve been blogging for over a year now and I did it especially because of my love for writing. However, I quickly found out that writing for myself and family and writing for an audience are two different sides of a coin. The later do demand good writing skills. It’s fun to learn a new thing every day.
10. What makes your blog unique and why should people read it?
We blog under the tagline – Work Smart Travel Smarter.
We believe that makes our blog unique. We try to inspire people to travel the world with a 9-5 job. And I know it’s possible because I’ve been doing it for the last 9 years. We make it a point to put more focus on short itineraries (1-2 week), weekend travels, vacation hacking, weekend road trips etcetera.
I see so many of my co-workers and friends not traveling because of uncertainties that are so vague. I blog to inspire as many people as possible working regular jobs to take traveling seriously and spend at least 4-8 weeks every year exploring new places, culture, and food. Once you get that wanderlust bug there’s no stopping anyway.
From ESLT – thank you Chandan (and Stuti) for taking the time to answer our questions. Safe Travels 🙂