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Contest: Win the Adventure of a Lifetime with #AirbnbBucketList

A week ago, I marked ONE YEAR of being on the road without a home. On my adventures across the globe, I’ve stayed with some special people and unearthed experiences that few knew existed. At a vineyard in South Australia, my host turned out to be a Polish refugee who had been sheltered during World War II by an Indian Maharaja. In little-known neighborhoods in Spain, Turkey, Philippines and Romania, I’ve sampled the way the locals live. And most recently, at a sprawling estate in the dense forests of Uttarakhand, I was hosted by a descendant of Burma’s royal family!

Airbnb igloo, #AirbnbBucketList

A glimpse of where you could stay if you win #AirbnbBucketList!

How do I constantly find and afford such experiences? Airbnb, a website that connects local hosts with a home to offer and travellers looking for unique accommodations, is a big part of my answer.

So to celebrate my one year of being location independent, Airbnb has partnered with me to offer THREE OF YOU, the chance to tick off your bucket list and experience the world like a local! If you win, you could be living in an igloo, by a fjord in Norway, by the icebergs of Greenland, inside a beer barrel in Germany, or on a yacht in Southeast Asia. Or even on your own private island!


Three grand prizes worth INR 30,000, INR 20,000 and INR 10,000, to book Airbnb stays anywhere across the world.

That means on your next trip, you can be staying at places like:

Airbnb island, #AirbnbBucketlist

A private island in Fiji!

Jack sparrow house airbnb, #AirbnbBucketlist

A Jack Sparrow-inspired villa in England!

Airbnb yurt, #AirbnbBucketList

A traditional Mongolian yurt!

Airbnb germany, #AirbnbBucketList

A Beer Barrel Bed in Germany!


1) Sign up on Airbnb with this link. Whether you win or not, you get an instant bonus of INR 1,500 for use towards your first Airbnb stay (hell, yeah!). If you are already signed up, move to (2).

2) Browse through Airbnb’s Hand-picked Wish Lists or other awesome stays on Airbnb.

3) Creatively share an Airbnb experience that you want to tick off your bucket list, using #AirbnbBucketList on Twitter. Remember to specify WHERE you want to stay with a link or picture, and WHY.

If you are not on Twitter, write your answer as a comment on The Shooting Star Facebook page.

The most creative answers win, picked by yours truly!

Remember that your entry will be eligible to win only if you are signed up on Airbnb. You are allowed a maximum of 3 entries per person. This contest is open to Indian citizens only. Read the Terms and Conditions.


The contest starts at 3 pm on September 5th, and ends at 11:59 pm on September 10th.

Winners will be announced on September 13th 15th.


Spread the word! Share the contest on your blog and social networks, get your family and friends to enter, tell everyone.

That also inspires me to source more such awesome opportunities for you to travel.


Dream big and win your bucket list stay for your next holiday.

Airbnb UK, #AirbnbBucketList

Fancy staying at this British castle for a holiday?


Join me on FacebookTwitter and Instagram to stay posted on contest results!

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Offbeat Goa: 12 Mind-Blowing Experiences.

On a rainy Goan afternoon, wrapped up in my blue poncho, I drive my bike past verdant rice paddies, abandoned railway tracks and sleepy hamlets, to cross over to little-known islands in the interiors of Goa. On the empty ferry, the surprised driver asks me why I’m going there. Why? Because these islands are covered in mangroves and mist-laden meadows, adorned with old Portuguese homes, and home to large populations of colourful migratory birds and tiny populations of people who, far from the beaches and revellers of Goa, exemplify the susagade (content) way of life. Read more

Tasting Romania: A Vegetarian’s Guide to Romanian Food.

In meat-loving Eastern Europe, Romania was an unexpected treat for my vegetarian taste buds. Partly because the country’s orthodox population goes on a vegan fast twice a week or six weeks a year, and partly because the countryside produces some of the finest vegetables and fruits in the region.

This is my little guide to vegetarian food in Romania, and the best places to sample Romanian food in Bucharest, Brasov, Sibiu and Sighet: Read more

Romania, You Can Fool The World With Your Smiles, But Not With Your Heart.

Romania had one hell of a way to welcome us. We had dragged ourselves out of the flight after 20 hours in transit, when 3 burly ashen-faced men stopped us the moment we stepped into the airport. Passport, they demanded. Confused and intimidated by these casually-dressed men, we dug around in our bags. A little police badge on their belt was our only solace. They examined us well, comparing our passport photos with our faces for what felt like an eternity, and finally let us enter a country that would stop us from judging people by their stern expressions and lack of smiles. Read more

Snapshots from Romania!

It all began one night, when a friend and I sat staring at the world map. I had landed a fat assignment and finally reached my savings goal for a long overdue trip out of India. After turning down many drab international 3-4 day FAM trips that offered nothing immersive or even remotely exciting, I craved a mix of the east and the west, interesting food and the chance to experience a culture I knew little about. Romania seemed to tick all the boxes. Flights were booked, visa hurdles painfully crossed, and off we went. Into a world that continues to delight and surprise me.

Read more

Travel Contest: Win an Epic Trip Through Kashmir and Ladakh!

I tearfully parted ways with Ladakh over a month ago, but I feel like I’ve never really left. A part of me still wanders around the cold mountain desert, gazing at the stark scenery and merrily greeting jullay to the village folk. I might not be going back anytime soon, but I hope TWO of you, my readers, win a once-in-a-lifetime expedition by Ceat Tyres and Mahindra Adventure, and get to experience the immense beauty of the snow-capped Himalayas of Kashmir and Ladakh! Read more

Heartwarming & Heartbreaking: Living With The Nuns of Ladakh.

On a sunny afternoon, I sit on the steps outside my room, gazing at the bare, brown mountains and their snow-clad peaks. I’m lost in thought when four kids, wearing maroon sweaters and warm stockings, their heads shaved off, come and sit next to me. Word has gotten around that I speak Hindi, and the curious ones have come to check for themselves. On first glance they look like young boys from the village, so I ask Aap sab bhai hain? (Are you brothers?). They solemnly nod no, point towards the nunnery, and tell me they are nuns. Read more

The Joy of Slow Travel.

I’m sitting on a window sill as I write this, feeling the cool breeze on my face and watching the incessant rains spring new life into the wilderness that surrounds my (temporary) home in Goa. The joy of driving, walking and just being in the monsoons is not mine alone. The village folk are out in their carpet-like rice paddies, tilling the land in their colorful ponchos, humming along cheerful tunes at the late monsoon arrival. It took me a few days of being here to slip into the susagade mode of Goa, feeling content with life, appreciating the little things like hot tea and freshly-baked Goan poi on rainy evenings, happy to gaze out at the wild beauty that surrounds me. Read more

The World From the Lens of Ladakhi Nuns.

When I went to live at a nunnery in the high Himalayas of Ladakh, I didn’t imagine that I would be interacting with nuns as young as six years! Living with these Ladakhi nuns for a fortnight was beautiful, insightful, heartbreaking and introspective, in that order. But that’s a story for another post. Today, I want to show you the world from their lens, in photos taken by them with my Sony Cybershot camera. Read more

Jullay from Leh!

I groggily board the flight to Leh at an unearthly hour. Waking up irritably to the flight attendant’s announcement, the view outside my window quickly changes my mood. We are flying precariously close to the snow-covered Himalayas, and would soon land in the cold mountain desert of Ladakh. Three years after my first solo trip to Spiti, I am back in the trans-Himalayas, still dreamy and wide-eyed, a little nervous, and hoping to find solitude in the mountains. It feels like life has come a full circle. Read more


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