All posts tagged: Shivya Nath

Sri Lanka airbnb, Shivya nath

My 15 Most Memorable Moments of 2015.

I fell asleep with local rum and Spanish music in Nicaragua when the calendars flipped to 2015. The year feels like a racy dream – from the Himalayas to the Caucasus, from working on a vineyard in Germany to going vegan in New York, from living with nomads in the Mars-like desert of Jordan to watching a meteor shower in the cracked salty desert of Gujarat. These moments of incredulous beauty and serendipity filled me with an inexplicable love for the road. Behold, my 2015 in a nutshell: The Caribbean spirit: Trinidad & Tobago I knew nothing about the West Indies (well, except cricket) until I actually landed in Trinidad, thanks to an incredibly cheap flight from New York. And it was an instant love affair. Trinidadians have the coolest accent I’ve ever heard. We had pristine white sand beaches all to ourselves, pigged out on Caribbean-Creole-Indian influenced food like “Buss Ab Shut”, and hiked in the mountains of the indigenous herb-growing Paramin community. Giraffes in my backyard: South Africa I was a bit bummed out when my first South Africa trip, planned by South …

Svaneti georgia, shivya nath, the shooting star blog

Easy Ways to Take Awesome Photos When You Travel Solo.

When I travel alone and post an introspective photo of myself gazing into a magnificent horizon beyond, I often get asked if a photographer is shadowing me. The answer is no, but thanks for the compliment! Those dreamy pictures rarely do justice to the overwhelming feeling of solitude, in a place of raw beauty. Indeed, some of my earliest travels, like to pristine Bunaken in Indonesia and remote north-western Vietnam went completely uncaptured. I eventually decided to start taking photographs on my travels in the hope that it will lure others to kick their comfort zone and go exploring. I now use my beloved iPhone 6 and handy Sony Cybershot RX II on the road, and here are my tips: Remotely control your camera with a smartphone This is my favorite way to get an introspective shot. I connect my camera using its internal wifi to my iPhone, so I can see exactly how I look in the frame and have no time limit. It works brilliantly, so much so that I prefer getting my own photos even when I’m …

Confession: I’m Not a Backpacker.

This is the 4th post of my Travel Secrets series. It is a common assumption that someone who travels as much and as often as I do, is a backpacker. And that as per the conventional definition of a backpacker, I carry only a backpack when I travel, I get by with the lowest possible budget, I stay in hostels, I spend a large amount of my time interacting with fellow backpackers, and I swear by a guidebook (most likely the lonely planet). While I have nothing against such a style of travelling, and in fact have a certain sense of admiration for people who travel that way, I have a confession to make: I’m not a backpacker.

Of Rural India & The Aasha Build

The soul of an Indian is incomplete without a journey into the heart of rural India. The 2 weeks I spent in the slum region of Hegdenagar / Kamanahalli (to which I partly owe my long absence from the blogosphere) has transformed my perspective on India’s development, and my own ambitions and issues. Hegdenagar is an ignored little village, about an hour’s distance from Bangalore city, and a few decades’ development. Honestly though, I had imagined a replica of the Dharavi slums, and Hegnenagar’s cemented, albiet small and dilapidated houses, alleviated, if only for the shortest time, my anticipation of the living standards of our rural countrymen. I learnt later that most Dharavi-styled slums stand on illegal land, and Habitat India has fought its fair battle to abide by the law and take Hegdenagar through its first stage of development. The same houses which teased us with a heartening peek into rural life, home 8-10 families in their 300-350 sq-ft boundaries, math that left me bewildered. Constructing new homes for such families that could afford …

Happy Birthday Blog!

T hree-6-5 days ago, this was just another wordpress.com weblog H ere its umbilical chord was cut, it became The Shooting Star. E nchanted by its first post, first reader & first comment, this blog S ang its way into the blogosphere, with cliched themes & bizarre. H ome to 105 posts & graced by 16,000 readers, now is a moment O f reflection & joy, and gratitude & celebration. O nce upon a time, a blog was merely meant T o be a goofy forum; today it redefines communication I n a world where time & ideas are hard to find. N ow I deviate from this happy, proud occasion, G lad indeed that The Shooting Star has defined S omething in my life that was once mere anticipation. T hrough this journey, my blog has become a part of me A s I write this, I think about the future and what has been R eally, all I want to say is, dear blog, Happy Birthday! On The Shooting Star’s first birthday, I …