1. When was the first time that you felt like exploring the world?When I first read the Kannada Version of "The Coral Island", a famous novel by R M Ballantyne. That book was titled "Havala Dweepa" and it was a prose textbook of my mother during her college. I was still in my primary school and to read this story of 3 friends who get stranded on an island after a shipwreck was just so inspiring.
2. Do you have a bucket list of places that you want to visit? Which is one such place that you want to surely visit at least once?I have a huge travel bucket list. All added onto list through different inspirations. On 15 Jan 2014, a friend of mine shared this magical video over messenger, and it was of Faroe Islands. Been 6 years now, and I think about that place every single day. I will visit that place.
3. As your Instagram has an influence of Indian colours, which Indian city stands out to you as one of the most colourful places that you have visited?
It's really hard to pick one place for I have found a home in almost every place I have explored throughout India. If I really must pick, I will say Spiti Region of Himachal, Shekhawati Region of Rajasthan, Zanskar Valley of Leh, and the Great Lakes of Kashmir.View this post on Instagram
4. How do you think travelling has caused a change in your experience of being a woman?
With travel and explorations, I have realised that the world is beautiful, there are wonderful people around, I am more capable and creative than I ever thought, as long as I know where to draw the line I will be safe, and that life is meant to be happy, and as women, we should aspire to be independent in its truest sense.View this post on Instagram
5. Which are the top experiences that a person should have when they visit Vietnam?
- Night Walks at Da Nang
- Riding around Ninh Binh
- Offbeat Cave Explorations at Phong Nha
- Trekking the highest Peak of Indochina - Fansipan
6. How was your experience of visiting Hikkim?Nostalgic. Writing and posting letters to your loved ones all the way from the highest post office in the world, pure bliss.
7. How do you connect with local people while travelling? Do you have any special stories tied to a particular place?
I do not rush my travels. I do not try to save every penny during my journey. I do not just travel and spend time with only those I know or other travellers I meet. And above all, I do not settle only with famous and touristy places.View this post on Instagram
I spend a long time in every place. Prefer homestays over hotels. I spend time interacting with different people about their lifestyle, culture, heritage, and history. At times I teach the crafts I know to women and children. I buy local/handmade items like caps, shawls, dresses, etc. I know this family of 4 at Nako. I must say it's my second home and they are my extended family.
8. What are some of the tips that you will suggest for travelling through India?
Own your expenses. Earn-Save-Travel, Travel-Get Creative-Earn-Travel. Earn your money with hard work. Never burden locals for your free rides, free stays, and other things for free. Penniless travelling is not cool. And travel cannot be FREE unless you earn it. Respect the culture and heritage of every place. India is diverse.View this post on Instagram
Know when to go where, what to wear where, and what to do where. Wearing shorts inside the monastery or pointing the camera into the faces of locals during Holi, such things are never justified. Travel Responsibly. Care about people, environment, and nature.
And believe me, India is among the safest countries for travel, India is affordable, India is full of historical marvels and India is incredibly beautiful. So go and explore your heart out. A lifetime is not enough.
9. Do you ever feel homesick when you are travelling for a long time?
With such loving family and friends in Karnataka, I definitely feel homesick at times.View this post on Instagram
10. How do you juggle between being an engineer and your passion for travel all at once?I save my leaves and take pre-planned long vacations. I usually take long breaks during a job change. I even took a year-long break from the job to explore India. And I stepped down from a high paying MNC Job and took up a job with a start-up where every small thing I do matters directly, I feel more valued, and it gives me a great balance between personal and professional life.
Do follow Shruthi's Instagram account 'Lifeoutsidecubicle' here.