Having grown up in a protective Indian family and been on the road for almost four years, I like to think I know a thing or three about freedom. Breaking away from the shackles of a cubicle-bound life was easy. Breaking away from the expectations of society continues to be a constant battle – and one that I’m not the first or last one to face.
Today, I’m hopping over to Western Europe to hike through the secret trails of the Huguenots and Waldensians – religious refugees who were once banished from their home for rebelling against the popular religion; they walked through the mountains, valleys and vineyards of France, Switzerland and Germany in search of freedom. I hope to follow in their footsteps, find solace in their monasteries and truth in their wines, and bring you stories from a region that hasn’t been discovered by most.
Why is this trip special?
This trip is a milestone in my journey as a travel blogger. It will be my first campaign with iAmbassador, perhaps the most successful travel bloggers collective of our times and one that I’ve aspired to work with. Next, it will be making country-hopping, despite my troublesome Indian passport, a norm for me; this time, I managed to score a Schengen visa at the German Consulate in Tbilisi and plan to fly back to Georgia for another month of adventure afterwards. Finally, it will be my first trip to gorgeous Switzerland; got tips?
A New Way to Experience Europe.
My most memorable adventures in Europe include kayaking in Spreewald (Germany) through villages connected only by water, cycling along the mountainous countryside of Umbria (Italy) while living in the studio of an Italian artist, traveling back in time at El Rocio (Spain) where horses are still used in lieu of cars, and hiking through picturesque small towns in the French Alps.
But on this trip, Visit Europe has promised to take adventure to a new level – on one of 33 cultural routes that showcase Europe in a different light. On the “Huguenot and Waldensian Trail”, we’ll be hiking through the German vineyards of Maulbronn, exploring unconventional gateways to the Black Forest and travelling back to the Middle Ages in the Swiss town of Lenzburg. We are 8 bloggers from 8 different countries – rebels in our own ways – on a mission to relive this walk of freedom.
I will be traveling on invitation from Visit Europe and iAmbassador; opinions on this blog are always on my own.
Welcome to my blog, The Shooting Star. I’ve been called a storyteller, writer, photographer, digital nomad, “sustainability influencer,” social entrepreneur, solo traveller, vegan, sustainable tourism consultant and environmentalist. But in my heart, I’m just a girl who believes that travel – if done right – has the power to change us and the world we live in.