1. Tell us a little bit about yourself. Your job, education etc.?My name is Ravi and I hail from Visakhapatnam on the eastern coast of India in the state of Andhra Pradesh. My dad worked in a bank and my Mom taught economics for undergraduate and graduate students. I was raised in an average middle class family and did have access to a the basic necessities. I have always had a penchant for travel ever since I was a kid, but it was a pipe dream at best whilst growing up. I left no stone unturned to have this dream realized to fruition and here I am waiting to finish my last 9 countries in the world.
I have a Masters in Political Sciences and also a MBA from the USA. I have been working as a consultant with many organizations and currently working as a consultant in the Washington DC area. Being a consultant I methodically plan my vacations and get to travel the world and explore cultures as the world is my oyster and travel my elixir :)
2. How did you get so inclined towards travelling? Since when have you been travelling?I have always had a penchant for travel ever since I was a kid, but it was a pipe dream at best whilst growing up. I left no stone unturned to have this dream realized to fruition and here I am waiting to finish my last 9 countries in the world. I have been actively traveling for at least 15 years now. Having to balance travel with a job and family is a logistical nightmare, but I have been able to solve this puzzle and keep everything in order without having to compromise any particular element.
3. How and when did you plan to start travelling extensively to each country?It wasn't an exhaustive plan to visit every single country in the world at the start; but as I started exploring countries, the goal post continued extending further and the mission got taller. I was repeating many countries to epxlore different parts of an explored country but once I reached my 100th country - I decided to finish every country on the face of the planet.
4. How do you manage to do that along with your job?I have always been working as a consultant and I methodically plan multiple vacations around my work. I work about 8-12 weeks and then take a week or two off to explore the world.
5. How do you generally budget your travel expenses?Since I have been traveling for at least 15 years now, I have gotten good at budgeting and managing expenses. I have gotten better at this endeavor and good at exploring deals across the portals of the internet
6. As we know, you have travelled to 186/195 countries. What has been your best experience so far?There are so many amazing stories and experiences. To show case a few:
- Exploring the LIVE volcano of Mount Yasur on the island of Tanna in Vanuatu. It was quite a thriling an experience to be at the crater as the volcano sputtered and spewed lava with toxic fumes to the shuddering of earth underneath my feet
- Walking with a bunch of resuced orphaned grown Lions in Zambia.
- Exploring the area of Gilgit Baltistan which is off limits to Indians for tourism purposes.
- Exploring the Virunga forests and interacting with wild gorillas in the virunga forests of Rwanda and DR of Congo. The massive silver back, the lead of a arge Gorilla family was just a few feet away.
7. And we know there is nothing like a ‘worst experience’ but anything remotely similar that you would like to talk about?As a traveler, one often looks as a worse experience as a learning experience :) I clicked a picture of an Embassy by mistake and I was immediately taken into custody by Serbian police. A few hours of intense questioning before i was let off. So that was a huge learning experience which remaining etched in my memory for ever.
8. Can you tell us destinations that are 1. Most Fun 2. Most Inspiring 3. Most ChallengingI love Rio de Janiero and Bangkok as most fun
Most African countries tend to be very inspiring as well as challenging.
9. Any tips for our travel buddies out there for post COVID travelling?I haven't traveled ever since the pandemic set in. I would say, do not just rush...pan the options, research remedial options and then start traveling.
10. Last but not least, what are some travel essentials you don't go without?We live in an internet world and one essential thing is of course phone with data coz internet data is quite essential these days to navigate in strange places. Of course a Go Pro with extra batteries and some protein/ meal replacement shakes for quick energy when needed.
You can have a look at all his pictures and travel details on his Instagram handle @soaringeagletrots!