A Leading Lady Explorer, Parita Bhansali!

Indian women have been pursuing their dreams and Parita Bhansali is a leading example of it. She tackles her job as well as her dream of exploring the world. She has already managed to enjoy 30 trips in just 3 years and there is more to come. Parita also cares about the environment and makes sure to follow a sustainable lifestyle even during travelling. She also manages a great blog along with an amazing Instagram profile which has inspired many people into following her journey as a traveller. We here at Holidify were enthusiastic to know more about her and so we asked her some questions. 

1. What motto do you live by when travelling?

Explore the offbeat and touristy trails both in a responsible way.

2. Out of the different destinations you have travelled in India, name a destination that was 1. Most fun 2. Most inspiring 3. Most challenging?

Most Fun - Meetings the last surviving tattooed Headhunters of Konyak tribe in Nagaland.
Most inspiring - ALL of them! Because each trip helped me contributing a piece to fit my bigger puzzle called LIFE.
Most Challenging - Witnessing Theyyam ritual in Kerala - There are no blogs and information available on the internet about the performance date, time and place. I connected with a few people on Instagram and via those connects I could finally make this trip.
 
 
 
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I wish I could time travel and tell the 10 year old me that I've visited this place!⁣ ⁣ This distinctive church that I've grown up watching on television in @iamsrk 's movie Josh! ⁣ ⁣ The naive brain of a 5 year old defied all the logic and definition of a "good movie" (not that it knew of any ) and held on to the love of raw Goa, SRK and vibe of the movie! ⁣♥️ ⁣ ~~~~~⁣ ⁣ The Panjim Church of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception is placed on the hillside and just high above the Idalco Palace built by Adil Shah.⁣ ⁣ Standing on the gallery of the church, you can see the entire view of the city.⁣ ⁣ The colonial Portuguese Baroque style church was first built in 1541 houses the ancient bell that was removed from the St. Augustinian ruins from Old Goa formerly known as Ela! ⁣ ⁣ ~~~ ⁣ ⁣ Has this happened to you? Love for Bollywood taking you to a place that you feel is home? ♥️

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3. How do you manage your yearly trips while handling a full-time job? Have you ever felt problems while getting a leave?

Fortunately, my company believes in work-life balance. I thankfully have no or less trouble in getting my leaves approved is because -
  • I COMPLETE my targets every-time
  • I take advantage of long weekends, long calendar leaves and paid leaves separately or combined.

4. As you are a proponent of sustainability, what are the ways in which you try to remain sustainable while travelling?

Out of the inexhaustible list here are a few baby steps that I take - 
  • Carrying biodegradable cutlery along since carrying reusable cutlery is an issue because of cleaning it and putting it back without cleaning it. I found biodegradable spoons on Amazon which cost just Re 1 for 1 spoon! It is cost-effective, saves space and no hassle of cleaning it at the point or later.
  • Replace the reusable bottle with Lifestraw. This company purifies ANY water to 99.99%. I had fallen sick in Bhutan by drinking unclean unbottled water. Thankfully, I learned about LifeStraw and there is no looking back now
  • Packing light - The more the weight, more the fuel is required by your mode of transport to pull the same.
  • Menstrual Cups - Most of the sanitary napkins are non-biodegradable and harmful for us, animals and the environment. Switching to cups not only saves us, animals, environment but also is cost-effective and YOU FORGET YOU ARE ON YOUR periods because they are SO COMFORTABLE - there is no tension of leakage and it allows you to swim, scuba, snorkel with ease too!
  • Choosing land travel over air travel wherever possible. To make the land journey more bearable I choose nighttime to travel so as to spend travel time in sleeping away and hence making it easier and tolerable!
 
 
 
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(1/3) Why do I have an ear to ear grin? ⁣ ⁣ Considering my passion for travel and saving our only home - the earth, off lately, unfortunately, is a paradox ⁣ ⁣ Last year during my Bhutan trip, I tried to go plastic free and didn't buy any single use plastic bottle to drink water. I fell sick the next morning itself and was forced to drink bottled water.⁣ That sickness ruined 4 days of my trip and this scarred me in having bottled water for all my trips till October 2019.⁣ ⁣ This September, I read @shivya 's recommendation about @lifes and got one in time for my Meghalaya excursion. I am happy to announce that @lifestraw is not going to be replaced! ⁣ ⁣ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ⁣ We were served some hot food at the Indo-China border by our very own kind soldiers on our trip to Arunachal Pradesh with @undiscoverednortheast. I was extremely disheartened to see the penetration of single use plastic forks (thankfully they had reusable plastic cups)! ⁣ Carrying reusable cutlery would again cause nuisance of keeping them soiled back in the bag. ⁣ ⁣ Fortunately, I found use and throw biodegradable spoons of just 4cm on @amazondotin ! They cost just A RUPEE for one and are so tiny that they can fit even in your pocket! ⁣ ⁣ An extremely small price to save our planet, isn't it? Let me know what steps you take to protect our Earth. on @gopro #gopro #goproindia #goprohero7black

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5. Will you recommend some spots in Goa which haven’t been overdone by tourists lately?

Many places around touristy spots in Goa are unheard of. Does anyone know of Divar Island in North Goa which is 15km away from Baga Panjim etc. Most of the South Goa is unexplored - Palolem, Quepem, Cola, Agonda etc

6. Can you name any three destinations that are on your bucket list for 2020?

Australia, Africa and more of North East India
 
 
 
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'The Green Unknown' written by Peter Rogers covers a lot of places in Meghalaya which are not even in the radar of people who travel to unexplored places! ⁣ ⁣ He's mentioned about the living root bridges and how this botanical architectural marvel is present in every village in Meghalaya! ⁣ ⁣ Isn't it amazing how we live in a country that offers nature exploration which is unique in every 1000 kilometers! ⁣ ⁣ How the nature keeps us enticed into it and also helps us with our health too in the form of Ayurveda! ⁣ ⁣ Mawphlong also has many trees which cure ailments like cancer! ⁣ ⁣ And in such lifestyle of ours, I'm happy to have @amrutamofficial with us who get the best of Ayurveda for us and to us! ⁣ ⁣ If you check the ingredients, they're straight outta our Granny's kitchen ! ⁣ ⁣ The cherry on the cake for me is that my body is in its most cleanse form even while travelling thanks to these travel size packs! ⁣ ⁣ Go spread the love with grabbing a discount of 10% by code PARITA10? ⁣ ⁣ #withmyamrutam #amrutamfamily #kuntalcare

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7. As a female traveller in India, how do you decide on a place that you visit and what are the things that you research about?

I select a touristy place for my solo travel places. I have also visited offbeat paths in Meghalaya alone. The curiosity of travelling to that place helps me get over my fears (also the availability of public transport and sticking to it, trusting your guy wrt to any human who's trying to help/talk to you there goes a long way in solo travel.
 
 
 
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"There's a Shiva temple down there" ⁣ Our driver told us after he stopped his car. ⁣ ⁣ When we looked outside, the clouds had taken cover and could see only a storey. ⁣ ⁣ We reluctantly got out of the car , huddled and discussed if we really want to see the temple !⁣ ⁣ Unanimously, decided to skip it and sat in the car again. ⁣ ⁣ The driver looked at us and would have thought to himself "What fools!".⁣ ⁣ He insisted that we go inside and we listened to him.⁣ ⁣ Half heartedly we started walking towards the single storey.⁣ ⁣ Upon reaching there we were mesmerised by the mountain views, clouds, mist, fog and the cold winds!⁣ ⁣ And to our surprise we saw a flight of stairs spiraling downwards and wasted no time in reaching the base!⁣ ⁣ We were awestruck by the majestic structures on left, center and right. ⁣ ⁣ We climbed a few stairs from the left to enter the center area where we saw a stream of water which runs for 365 days! ⁣ ⁣ We also saw random fascinating things (second image) at the centre of the temple! Anyone knows what it is? Please let me know! ⁣ ⁣ Also, you've had any such stories? Where you were forced to go and ended up loving it? Let me know below!

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8. Do you think that travelling as a woman is harder in India compared to men?

OF COURSE! I cannot stress enough on this! I envy men just for this reason that they do not have the fearing of getting raped, groped, touched inappropriately in crowded places, "available" anywhere they're stuck or travelling alone!

9. What are your thoughts on female solo trips in India? Have you ever tried one or would you like to?

I have travelled to 4 places solo - Singapore (my first international trip), Kodaikanal, Kochi and half of Meghalaya trip. I would prefer having at least a company with me during my travels to avoid boredom. However, I have met interesting people during my solo trips and are still in touch with them! It also gives you some solace and peace of mind - a break from all your thoughts and activities to ponder over things that you want and/or love.

10. What are the 3 must-haves for a woman when they are travelling?

Internet / cellular connections, important number (family back home, hotel's numbers, local hospital and police numbers) in a dairy and cash in secret pocket/s.
 
 
 
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A year ago, I remember seeing a distinct high raise ceiling cottage with thatched long roof engulfed in the woods. It undoubtedly, looked like a place to relax in the arms of the wilderness.⁣ ⁣ ⁣ I visited the website and read about the traditional services being offered and I was immediately sold!⁣ ⁣ ⁣ Moreover, I loved the fact that it was accessible from Mumbai (and Bangalore) by just an overnight journey. I made a few plans which unfortunately, did not materialize.⁣ ⁣ ⁣ This year, I got lucky. My plans became a reality. I couldn’t stop daydreaming about reading on the chairs in the veranda while I also listen to the birds chirping, crickets stridulating, winds playing music with the dense leaves of the plantations.⁣ ⁣ ⁣ I couldn’t stop daydreaming about getting a pain in the nape by staring at tall beetle trees which literally touch the sky! ⁣ Seeing Alphonso trees for the first time.⁣ Knowing about teak tree's tiny ant sized white flowers, learning and seeing naturally available herb shatavari which helps in getting BP under control. ⁣ ⁣ ⁣ I couldn't stop daydreaming about consuming organically grown food. Wandering around the paths around the huts inside the plantations.⁣ Drinking water originating from the streams.⁣ Running on a bleak bridge made from bamboo shoots and taking a fish pedicure in a natural environment instead in closed walls of a parlour! ⁣ ⁣ ⁣ And I could finally stop daydreaming while I lay on the bed staring at the greens right out of my gorgeous window! Thank you for making my dreams a reality by hosting me and @aishwaryaa26 , @maachli !⁣ ⁣ ⁣ #tsbbgxmaharashtra

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11. What has these three years of travelling taught you the most? Have there been any realisations which changed your thought?

Travelling has helped me leave a lot of my fears behind - heights, darkness, animals etc. It has taught me to trust my gut all the time and most importantly it has opened my eyes to a possibility of finding a zillion stories in the remotest of a place like Mon Village in Nagaland or in Divar Island, Goa and here I have the entire world waiting to be explored!

12. How do you explore the culture of a particular place once you are there?

I try to take up local walk and heritage walking tours or tie-up with a local tour agency specializing in cultural immersion activities. Because this is the most important part of the trip for me - History and cultural immersion along with vibing with nature.

Do checkout Parita's Website and her Instagram Page here!

This post was published by Aishika Mitra

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