Archana Singh is a solo woman traveller who loves to travel at her own pace and for whom experience is more important than the company. She loves to explore new places and absorb all the details, rather than just ticking a place off her list. She is an inquisitive and impulsive traveller. We got into a candid interview with her. Read on to find out what this solo woman traveller has to say about supporting her passion for travelling-
What inspired you to start your own travel blog?
It is a well know cliché that Ladakh changes. But it surely does. I too wasn’t an exception. Last year in August, when I first made my solo trip to Ladakh I had incredibly beautiful and different experiences which were worth sharing. Ladakh was beyond physical beauty I experienced different faces of eternal beauty – the beauty of the land and beauty of the people. A wrote a series of travelogue – 11 days in Ladakh. 11 faces of beauty. The response that I got towards this post was phenomenal. And as they say, rest is history.
Top 5 essentials which you must carry along with you on a trip.
- My Mobile loaded offline travel maps, itineraries, curated travel info, tickets, passport, visa and other imp documents
- My DSLR to capture and share the beauty I see
- Comfortable shoes and clothes. Nothing fancy or fashionable
- Food & water: Being a vegetarian comes with its own problems. So instead of being at the mercy of others, I carry my own food. Chocolates and dry fruits are a given.
- Sunscreen and first aid box for precaution and cure
How do you support your passion for travelling?
I have a full-time job to support my passion for travelling. I once gave up my cushy job for it but I learnt the hard way that travel cannot pay your bills and support your passion. You need to be practical. I plan my weekends, long weekends and holidays well in advance. I make a practical travel wish list for the year and then execute it with the help of holidays, travel deals, flight sales etc. I don’t wait for company. I travel solo and in backpacker style. Backpacking not only saves you money but it also exposes you to the real culture of a place.
What are you favorite Indian holiday destinations?
2) Arunachal Pradesh
3) Himachal Pradesh
Which destinations are still on your bucket list?
Exploring the seven sisters – entire North East belt – is still on my bucket list.
Tell us about one defining moment of your life which took place while you were travelling.
During my recent solo travel to Puerto Galera, Philippines, I met a Filipino and we had a lengthy discussion about people, places, culture, economy, global issues, passions and everything under the sun. During our conversation, I realised that in spite of us being separated by geographies and following seemingly different culture we are still the same from inside. Language or race is not a barrier. It is our unwillingness to look beyond our differences that create most of the problems in the world. The most beautiful thing he said after the trip was,“Hey Arch, thanks for inspiring me to travel solo. You are a foreigner yet you know more about my country than I do. You don’t fear traveling solo here whereas I do. You made me realise that if I keep waiting for others to travel along then I’ll always be traveling as per their travel plans, not mine. From hereon, I’ll try to travel every weekend”.
Do you like to plan your travel or do you just go with the flow?
I usually plan my travel but sometimes I don’t mind going with the flow too. I have realised during many of my travels that sometimes having no plan is actually the best plan. But sometimes it can make you a victim of travel scams too. If I have researched a lot about the destination, know where I heading to and after being assured of the people and place, I sometimes do let me guard down but I always stay alerted.
Do you use any apps to plan your travel?
Yes I use various apps to plan my travel:
- Tripadvisor to plan my travel by reading reviews about places
- Skyscanner to book my flight tickets
- IRCTC to book my train tickets
- Google maps and offline maps to find my way
- Triposo for travel guides
- Google Translate to help me communicate with the locals
- Accuweather to plan my activities
Have you tried the Holidify app yet? What are your reviews?
Yes, I have. I love the user interface. Uncluttered and easy to navigate. Trending places near you is pretty neat. There is just the right kind of information travellers look for. No overload of information or complicated design. I am definitely using it.
What are your reviews? Did you find the app helpful?
Already answered above.