All posts filed under: Offbeat

mopin festival, galo tribe

The Mystical Ways of Arunachal Pradesh’s Galo Tribe.

My adventures celebrating the Mopin Festival with the Galo tribe in a remote village in Arunachal Pradesh. Hint: A lot of apong! I will never forget that moment. In the house of the village pradhan, I sat with the who’s who of Arunachal Pradesh, sipping apong from a bamboo stem. My empty tummy grumbled as our gorgeous hostess appeared with a tray of starters. At first glimpse, the food looked gray, finely chopped, hairy. What is it? our troop asked in unison, all seven of us curious visitors, here to celebrate the biggest festival of the Galo tribe – the Mopin. RATS. My jaw dropped. Someone spilled their apong. Rats? RATS? Mopin is a time of delicacies, so rats were followed by flying squirrels, pig blood barbecued in a bamboo stem, and finally bear meat. I was glad my vegetarian taste buds had consumed enough apong, a mildly potent homemade rice brew, and were too intoxicated to react to the surprising menu. Also Read: In Photos: Hiking from Darjeeling to Sikkim Arunachal Pradesh, tucked away remotely in the northeastern Himalayas of India, surprised me in unfathomable ways. …

Secret Ways to Experience Singapore.

There are plenty of “top 10 things to do in Singapore” out there. Well, this one is a bit different – a collection of unusual, cool, sometimes weird but always fun things to do in Singapore. If you’re on a budget and looking for free things to do in Singapore, look here. My restless soul has a strange relationship with the little red dot on the world map. In the six years I studied and worked in Singapore, I spent my days planning adventures and craving excitement in the far reaches of Southeast Asia. But when I moved away in 2011, I was filled with nostalgia and a curious desire to rediscover Singapore itself – especially given that it’s just a short hop and an e-visa away from India. I’ve discovered hidden beaches, password-protected bars, mangroves to kayak through and pristine forests over my last few trips to the country; it’s time to spill the secrets: Leave your footprints on a hidden beach You’ve reveled in the underwater world and manmade beaches of Sentosa. Now …

Pench National Park: Wandering in the Wild.

Wild times in Pench National Park – sleeping in a machan in the buffer zone of Pench Tiger Reserve and haunting stories of collarwali. I woke up to a distant roar, and felt a chill run down my spine. Sitting up, I slowly moved the curtain behind me, half expecting two fierce eyes staring back. Much to my relief, the only glow in the pitch black night was from the million stars twinkling above. A cool breeze tingled my face, and the stillness of the surrounding forest washed over me. I oriented myself in the dim light of a lantern, reminding myself that I was sleeping in a machan in the buffer zone of Pench National Park. Also read: Why Satpura National Park is the Most Unique in Madhya Pradesh My love affair with Madhya Pradesh’s forests began a couple of years ago, when I lost myself in their wild ecosystem. It made me question whether encroaching on tiger territory on safari is the environmentally responsible thing to do. Surprisingly, I learnt about the precarious connection between wildlife tourism and conservation, not just in India …

Central America travel blog

6 Months, 6 Countries: Epic Memories from Central America.

This week, I made the long journey back to India from the Americas. Having a glass of wine at the bar on my Virgin Atlantic flight, I got chatting with a fellow passenger from Costa Rica, and began reminiscing about my adventures of the last six months. When he asked me what my most memorable experiences in Central America were, I was torn. Should I tell him about the wild dolphins playing in front of my rancho in Panama? Or how a Tico mugged me in San Jose, Costa Rica? Or living with an indigenous Mayan family in Guatemala?

So I emptied my glass, and promised to tell him this story on my blog!

Thiksey monastery, Thiksey Ladakh, Ladakh photos, Ladakh blogs

My 14 “Incredible India” Moments in 2014!

As I swayed on my hammock, hearing the gentle waves of the Pacific Ocean in Costa Rica, India seemed pretty far away. But I only had to traverse the crevices of my mind, to recall the solitude of the Himalayas, the serenity of the backwaters and my serendipitous encounters over the past year. Shivya NathWelcome to my blog, The Shooting Star. I’ve been called a storyteller, writer, photographer, digital nomad, instagrammer, social entrepreneur, solo traveller, vegan, sustainable tourism consultant and environmentalist. But in my heart, I’m just a girl who believes in the transformative power of travel.

Guanaja island, Guanaja honduras, Guanaja photos

Guanaja Island: Sshh… A Secret in the Caribbean.

I had to pinch myself as my tiny 20-seater plane with an open cockpit, circled a lush mountainous island surrounded by the deep blue Atlantic Ocean. It looked a little like Isla Sonora from the Jurassic Park movies. The plane descended sharply as the hillocks parted to reveal a tiny airstrip, which ended just a few feet away from the ocean. The airport was only connected to the rest of the island by boat. Shivya NathWelcome to my blog, The Shooting Star. I’ve been called a storyteller, writer, photographer, digital nomad, instagrammer, social entrepreneur, solo traveller, vegan, sustainable tourism consultant and environmentalist. But in my heart, I’m just a girl who believes in the transformative power of travel.

My Impressions of Guatemala.

I was a bundle of nerves before I left NYC for Guatemala. I had read enough stories about how unsafe it was, hadn’t travelled solo in another country for a while, and Central America just felt like a world away. My fears were gradually alleviated when I landed here, realizing how laid back the locals are, and in some ways, how much more organized travelling here is than many developing countries I’ve been to. Shivya NathWelcome to my blog, The Shooting Star. I’ve been called a storyteller, writer, photographer, digital nomad, instagrammer, social entrepreneur, solo traveller, vegan, sustainable tourism consultant and environmentalist. But in my heart, I’m just a girl who believes in the transformative power of travel.

A Glimpse of Antigua, Guatemala.

In my first tryst with Latin America, I’ve found myself joyfully lost amidst the cobblestoned streets and quaint colonial houses of Antigua in Guatemala. I feel like I’m still in a dream, as I gaze out at the surrounding volcanoes while lying on a hammock from the rooftop of my bohemian apartment. I’ve had conversations entirely in broken spanish, indulged in hand-rolled corn tortillas stuffed with frijoles (black beans), sipped some of the world’s finest coffee, marvelled at the colourful traditional dresses worn by many Mayan women, and well, quite simply fallen in love. Shivya NathWelcome to my blog, The Shooting Star. I’ve been called a storyteller, writer, photographer, digital nomad, instagrammer, social entrepreneur, solo traveller, vegan, sustainable tourism consultant and environmentalist. But in my heart, I’m just a girl who believes in the transformative power of travel.

Goa monsoon, Goa rains

Offbeat Goa: 12 Mind-Blowing Experiences.

I’ve spent months seeking out Goa experiences you won’t find in any travel guide. If you’re looking for offbeat places to stay in Goa or places to see in Goa other than beaches, go after my finds! On a rainy afternoon, wrapped up in my blue poncho, I drive my bike past verdant rice paddies, abandoned railway tracks and sleepy hamlets. The search for soulful Goa experiences leads me 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 home to mist-laden meadows. Adorned with old Portuguese homes. Large populations of birds and tiny populations of people who, far from the beaches and revellers of Goa, exemplify the susagade (content) way of life. Goa experiences off the beaten path I’ve spent two blissful monsoon seasons discovering Goa experiences beyond the beaches. Take my list and go, and soak in moments you never could have imagined: 1. Discover the sleepy Chorao Island – my favorite among offbeat places in Goa In the heart of North Goa, this …