I’m surrounded by the jungles of Jim Corbett as I write this, my 200th post. This trip to India’s oldest Tiger Reserve is as special as today’s post; this is my first ever travel blogging trip, with the awesome social media folks at Club Mahindra. And I owe it to you, for reading my blog & keeping me company while I travel! So I’m going to thank you, and celebrate these two momentous occasions by giving away my copies of two of these 4 unlikely travel books to inspire you to travel.
The first of these is ‘From Heaven Lake,’ by Vikram Seth. The book is a captivating travelogue set in the 90s, of our author hitch-hiking from China to India, via Tibet and Nepal.
The second is ‘Into Thin Air,’ by Jon Krakauer, who gives a moving first-hand account of the infamous 1996 expedition to Mount Everest.
To win one of these, all you have to do is leave me a comment, telling me about the ONE place you’ve visited off-the-beaten-track that’ll make me want to pack my bags and find your trails right away. Then I’ll wrap the books, write you a nice note, and post them to you, wherever in the world you are.
You’re also invited to join my newly created Facebook page, incase you haven’t yet joined it. Here, I’ve been sharing live snippets of my adventures in the wilderness, among other things. I hope we’ll continue to travel together virtually, because I for one, love your company 🙂
Update: The entries for this giveaway are now closed. Thank you everyone for participating & for some awesome-sounding travel ideas. I’m working hard to pick a winner now! Stay tuned 🙂
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.
hello mam..interesting to know about your adventurous trip to Jim Corbett. I am pleased with the giveaway, so i’m dropping this comment. The place to which i made a visit is named “Dudhwa”, the only national park in UP after Jim Corbett was separated. The park premises are very soothing. It also has a museum, a library and a theatre. If you’re lucky enough, you would surely catch a glimpse of THE TIGER. The tree-house is worth a watch.
Sounds lovely! Jim Corbett’s helped me rediscover my love for the forest, but I could surely do without the crowds & the almost racing jeeps. Thanks for sharing that 🙂
First, congrats on #200! That must be a good feeling. 2nd-my off the beaten location is Bwejuu on the island of Zanzibar in Tanzania. We spent three days there and felt like we had ridden a dalla-dalla to the end of the world, and been dropped off into paradise. There were very few people around, except locals, and no electricity. Right on the ocean and pretty amazing 😉
Feels good indeed, though I have long way to 200 since my switch to travel blogging! Bwejuu sounds so beautiful. I’m googling for pictures right away. Thanks Claire!
Congratulations Shivya. 200 is a big achievement. I am yet to discover a real off-beat place to qualify for the award so I would give it a miss and work harder for your 300th post. 🙂
All the very best.
Thanks Nandan 🙂 100 more posts means a lot more traveling, so I hope I get there soon.
Congratulations on the 200th post, Shivya! I would suggest Siquijor Islands in the Philippines: pristine white beaches, lush greenery, friendly people and yummy seafood! Oh, and the place is infamous for magic potions, shamans, sorcerers and witches. Many Filipinos refuse to stay overnight on this island because of this superstition. But it’s a beautiful place nevertheless!
Sounds magical, Nadia. I’ve never heard of it before although I’ve traveled in some parts of the Philippines. I’m dreaming of it now. Thanks for sharing!
Congratulations on hitting a double ton.
I have been planning to hit it for a while, but the magical figure of 200 has been eluding me 😉
I would suggest that you go to a place called Munabao in Rajasthan’s Barmer district. I have been there and luckily, have documented my journey at
This place is home to India’s last railway station and you can actually see Pakistan’s last railway station from here. This is the very place where the Thar Express takes a long halt for passport verification etc. But it was not just the destination that excited me to select suc a strange place to visit…that too in summers when temperatures were soaring to 50s. It was also about the drive of 500Kms through the Thar and remote and ‘astonishingly’ dry villages of India.
I know that places like these are tough to even think of going to. But that is the very purpose of life. Doing things which people say you cant do 🙂
As far as I am concerned, I can swear on Berkshire Hathaway [ 😉 ] that my trip to Munabao was one of the most liberating experiences of my life.
Hang in there, Dev. I’m sure you’ll get to 200 sooner than later 🙂
The drive through the Thar desert sounds beautiful. I’ve been only as far as Jaisalmer, never struck me that India’s last railway station will lie along this route. Thanks for the suggestion! I’m going to have a tough time choosing a winner for this book giveaway.
Hi Shivya, my suggestion would be Amorogos in the Greek Isles. I had the chance to visit it because a friend got married there. It’s so different from the touristy Santaroni or Mykanos and so seeped in the Greek culture. It’s also where Luc Besson’s The Big Blue was shot. The island is where people say the Greeks go for their vacation. Exploring the island and the many beaches and a cliffside monastery is as easy as riding a scooter (automatic) which can be hired real cheap. Good luck on your travels
Wow, sounds lovely. I’m yet to visit Greece. Hoping some friend of mine will married there soon too, haha 🙂 Thanks for sharing that, Raghav!
You are young and adventurous and really happy to see you got to places which are really learning experiences and which offers you challenges, I for one will sit and enjoy your adventurous trips. But this comment is not to get that prize. You know that 🙂
Thank you Chitra, and thanks for encouraging me all along 🙂 I appreciate all your comments. Wish I had more books to give away at this point, because I’m sure you’d enjoy reading them.
Congrats Shivya, too encouraging a journey represented by few words, hope travel much more n more…
One of the getaway can be Shivpuri resort in MP near Gwalior, with lake flowing by its side and not many Human species to disturb you..Hope you find it useful..
Thanks Anoop 🙂 Sounds lovely. I haven’t heard of it before. I shall google it now!
Wow Shivya!! congrats to you for your 200 posts. I am sure it must have been great feeling, as I am eagerly waiting for my turn to come but still it will take some time. Great info. and experience is presented here on your blog in these 200 posts.
Though, I am not sure if it actually truly off-beat but do check out Tirthan Valley in Himachal Pradesh which is actually a base for Great Himalayan National Park that offers many secluded hikes. You can check the details here: http://devilonwheels.com/index.php/list-of-5-must-visit-off-beat-places-in-himachal-pradesh/ and here: http://devilonwheels.com/index.php/travel-guide-delhi-to-tirthan-valley-himachal-pradesh/
The homestay at Sringi Vatika near Tirthan Valley is a great experience and of course Raju Bharti Guest House is something that is unforgettable.
Thanks Dheeraj, I’m sure you’ll get there sooner than later. As wordpress says, Just Write 🙂
I’m drawn by anything in the Himalayas – one of the reasons why I love & hate your blog, because I have so much more to see each time I visit it. Thanks for the idea, I’ll check out your post.
Have you been to the Andaman Islands?
No sir, but I’ve been eyeing it for the longest time.
Hi,I suggest you to visit Eastern Tibet, the Tibet part which doesn’t need permit to visit them.I visited Chengdu then took sleeper train to Xining,went to a lovely monastery and met a lovely Chinese people there.After Xining,you can take bus to Repkong-Labrang-Langmusi-Zoige. The challenge is it’s very very difficult to meet someone who can speak English over there. But the view is lovely.My favorite is Langmusi. I left my heart there 🙂 I enjoyed seeing young monks play football,listenig to Tibetan song and seeing they dance! Everybody greets me,smiles and says “ni hao”. I hope that I can come back to those places again someday!
Thanks Sysilia for the idea. I’ve always been fascinated by the idea of visiting Tibet, but the more I think about it, the more I’m convinced that it’ll be really sad to see the state of affairs in that part of the world.
Hi Shivya, well done on 200 blog posts. that’s pretty impressive!
First thought: Nagaland. Have you been? Apparently now getting in is easier (when we went we needed a special permit). Go for headhunters and the ultimate, rather rough ‘off-the-beaten-track’ experience. I am myself working on a post about my trip there… hope you check it out once it’s up!
Second one: Lake Samosir on Sumatra. One of the most peaceful places on earth. Beautiful volcano crater lake with an island as big as Singapore in the middle of it. Good food, rice paddies, Batak culture.
Have fun exploring and stay in touch!
Thanks Sara! I haven’t been to the Northeast yet, but I must. I’ll look forward to reading all about your trip to Nagaland.
Lake Samosir sounds really nice. Surprised I never heard about it while in Southeast Asia. Looking it up now 🙂
Congrats on the 200th post!! 🙂
One of the off-the-beaten path is the village of Alchi in Ladakh – it has an ancient but well-preserved monastery with great wall-paintings. A tip for going there: take a torchlight with you as the monastery rooms are kept a bit dark for preservation.
Thanks Abhijit! That sounds spooky. Ladakh’s on my travel list for too long there. I’m toying with the idea of a winter trip in December!
A winter trip to Ladakh.. that’s interesting. You’d have to fly in to Leh, as the roads would be closed. Check with the locals if it’s a good idea, since I expect the main mountain passes to be closed as well – you won’t able to visit Khardungla or Pangong Tso. Most people who go in winters, go for Chadar trek – which is basically walking on frozen river!
The winners of this travel books giveaway have been chosen 🙂 Mini drumroll please… these two awesome travel books go to… Dev and Claire. Please email me at email@example.com with your book preference & your mailing address, so I can post the books to you!
Great… Congrats to Dev and Claire!! Looks like I missed by some narrow margin 😆 kidding… But do check out tirthan, especially in Spring… it is one great place to spend some quality time 🙂
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