Year: 2013

2013: The World Through My Lens.

Looking back at my travels in 2013 has left me filled with nostalgia. One minute, I’m hitchhiking in Bahrain, the next, walking on a glacier in Canada. I’m going down memory lane in Singapore, and joining the Fallas street parade in Spain. I’m indulging in the most delicious Thai food in Chiang Rai, overdosing on hoppers in Sri Lanka, and sipping gluhwein in Germany. What a year it’s been! Shivya NathI’m the founder of this award-winning travel blog about offbeat and sustainable travel, and author of the bestselling travel memoir, The Shooting Star. In 2011, I quit my full-time job, and gradually gave up my home, sold most of my possessions, stored some in the boot of a friend’s car and embraced a nomadic life. Connect with me on Instagram to hear more about my adventures and personal journey.

Thar desert, Rajasthan India, sand dunes india

My 13 “Incredible India” Moments in 2013.

It’s hard to believe that 2013 is coming to an end. This is the year I truly, madly fell in love with the sheer beauty of India, despite the challenges that travelling here is laced with (Read: 120 Days on The Road). I experienced the “other” side of the Himalayas and the Thar Desert, ventured deep in the interiors of Assam and Rajasthan, and developed an unexpected fascination for life in the wild. In search of an India Untravelled, I met incredible people dedicated to preserving the country’s beauty, ecology, heritage and traditions. These are 13 moments from 2013 that make me all mushy about how much I love this crazy country. Shivya NathI’m the founder of this award-winning travel blog about offbeat and sustainable travel, and author of the bestselling travel memoir, The Shooting Star. In 2011, I quit my full-time job, and gradually gave up my home, sold most of my possessions, stored some in the boot of a friend’s car and embraced a nomadic life. Connect with me on Instagram to hear …

120 Days on The Road.

The reality of being a freelance digital nomad and ambitious travel blogger hits me after 4 months on the road. This is officially the longest I’ve been on the road. I’ve lived out of my backpack for four months. And while I don’t long to have a home to go back to, the romance of being location independent is slowly wearing away. Also Read: Two Months on The Road: Highs and Lows The dream life I still wake up with starry eyed dreams and endless possibilities of where the road might lead me. One moment, I’m drinking opium with a tribal shepherd community in Rajasthan. The next I’m sipping Gluhwein in the festive Christmas markets of Germany. One day, I’m watching a tiger look for its prey in the open grasslands. The next I’m marveling at the underwater life of Seychelles. These experiences sound extraordinary on paper, and even in my head as I pen them. But the realities of long term travel – and those of being a freelance digital nomad and an ambitious travel blogger …

Call of The Wild: Tadoba Tiger Reserve!

As a recently converted wildlife enthusiast, I landed up at Tadoba Tiger Reserve (Tadoba National Park) to be awed by its beauty, wildlife and eco lodges! Between my recent trips to sunny Seychelles and festive Germany, I was drawn by the call of the wild to Svasara Jungle Lodge at the Tadoba Tiger Reserve in Maharashtra. My jungle adventures in Madhya Pradesh earlier this year made me a wildlife tourism enthusiast, but Tadoba National Park left me intoxicated. I can’t stop dreaming of forests brimming with unravelled mysteries. Or the sheer beauty and intricacy of their ecosystems. This is a visual journey through Tadoba Tiger Reserve, a world beyond ours: SVASARA, THE HOME OF A WILDLIFE PHOTOGRAPHER  converted into a jungle lodge that is both luxurious and environmentally responsible. His family and their team of wildlife enthusiasts and naturalists have transformed the once barren farm land surrounding Svasara into a natural wilderness. The soil has been revived with organic farming techniques and a waterhole attracts wildlife right to its backyard! Also read: Wildlife Tourism: Are We Saving …

travel bloggers india, travel planners, travel planning, think places

Planning Your Travels? I Can Help.

I first caught the travel bug as a college student in Singapore. I had very little money, lots of spare time, and all of Southeast Asia to explore. I would pool in my savings with friends and try to find cheap ways to travel far and long. The tables turned when I landed a job with the Singapore Tourism Board, one that left me rich (relatively speaking) but at the mercy of weekends, public holidays, and a kind boss who understood my need to head out every chance I got. Shivya NathI’m the founder of this award-winning travel blog about offbeat and sustainable travel, and author of the bestselling travel memoir, The Shooting Star. In 2011, I quit my full-time job, and gradually gave up my home, sold most of my possessions, stored some in the boot of a friend’s car and embraced a nomadic life. Connect with me on Instagram to hear more about my adventures and personal journey.

In Photos: German Christmas Markets.

I’ve forever romanticized about a white winter in Europe. The kind where I would watch snowflakes gently descend upon cobbled streets, and look poetically at the gloomy skies for a ray of sunshine. On this whirlwind trip across Germany with Lufthansa and German Tourism, I did just that. I sipped my first of many cups of gluhwein in Frankfurt, found myself in a time warp with Rothenburg’s medieval era festivities, fell in love with the colorful celebrations in Cologne and Berlin in the backdrop of quaint old churches, and revisited Dresden with much nostalgia. It was festive and charming, but just so cold, reminding me of What I’ve Learnt From Winter in Europe. By the time you’re reading this, I’ll be on my way back to sunshine! *** 1. AERIAL VIEW OF DRESDEN’S CHRISTMAS MARKETS  from a Ferris Wheel! Glittery festivities lie in contrast against gloomy midday skies, symbolic of winter in Europe. *** 2. A LOCAL ARTIST’S WOOD-CARVING COLLECTION at Cologne’s Christmas Market aka Weihnachtsmärkte on the Alter Markt; wood-carvers, crystal painters, glass glazers, all showcased their …

mulled wine Germany, German christmas, Germany christmas, winter Germany

Ho Ho Ho! Christmas Cheer From Germany!

Guten tag from a cold and festive Germany! I’m on a train from Frankfurt to the quaint Bavarian village of Rothenburg as I pen this. Outside, the landscape is a stark contrast between bare brown forests and colorful countryside homes. It’s symbolic of winter in Europe; introspective and festive at the same time. Shivya NathI’m the founder of this award-winning travel blog about offbeat and sustainable travel, and author of the bestselling travel memoir, The Shooting Star. In 2011, I quit my full-time job, and gradually gave up my home, sold most of my possessions, stored some in the boot of a friend’s car and embraced a nomadic life. Connect with me on Instagram to hear more about my adventures and personal journey.

What Seychelles’ Most Famous Musician Taught Me About Dreams.

I decide to call it a night after an indulgent Creole dinner. Why didn’t you dance? a distant voice calls out to me. I turn to face the night’s live musician. I don’t know then that I’m confessing  I have two left feet to one of Seychelles’ most famous artists! I hear him say, sometimes you should just close your eyes and let the music take you, and I know I shouldn’t call it a night just yet. Shivya NathI’m the founder of this award-winning travel blog about offbeat and sustainable travel, and author of the bestselling travel memoir, The Shooting Star. In 2011, I quit my full-time job, and gradually gave up my home, sold most of my possessions, stored some in the boot of a friend’s car and embraced a nomadic life. Connect with me on Instagram to hear more about my adventures and personal journey.

Safranbolu turkey, shivya nath

Dear Turkey: My Million Reasons to Visit You.

Why visit Turkey? Over a month of exploring the country, I met the sweetest locals and formed amazing friendships, despite no common language between us. Dear Turkey, I left you with a heavy heart, etched with the magnanimity of your people. A kind lady in the small town of Safranbolu opened her doors to me on a late rainy afternoon, to feed my vegetarian self a special meal of Peruhi (Turkish pasta) and Pasta (cake in Turkish) prepared for a family gathering. Also read: 10 Travel Tips for Your First Trip to Turkey An old man from a bakery in Ordu gave me a ride in his truck to the town’s chocolate factory, after I walked five kilometers and stumbled into his shop for directions for the remaining three. A family living in an isolated hut on Boztepe Hill invited me in for a meal of home grown aubergine. Also read: Mauritius is Not Just About The Seas You Sail, But Also the People You Meet Ashore A blacksmith who found me admiring his creations invited me …

Seychelles island, Seychelles photos, Seychelles review

My First Impressions of the Seychelles.

My first memory in the Seychelles is standing on the deck of a ferry, with the wind caressing my hair and the seagulls whispering my name, as I counted the shades of blue in the vast ocean before me. I slowly realized it was a pointless task. Over the last three days, I’ve rekindled my love affair with the Indian Ocean, spent lazy afternoons on a hammock, snorkeled into the underwater world, rediscovered the goodness of Creole curries, and settled into the susagade island life. These are my first impressions of the Seychelles: 1. The ocean is as blue as it’s been in my dreams! On a clear day, you can see at least four shades of blue in the water, and when you walk closer on the soft white sand, you can see the base of the sea; I snorkeled into the water right from the beach at Kempinski, and found myself amid schools of tiny fish, black sea urchins, and big colorful fish. The blues of the Indian Ocean can cure any other kind of …