This blog is for those of you in search of experiential travel and adventures. I will be sharing travel stories and highlights, adventures and misadventures, lesser-known locations, life-enriching travel experiences, budget travel, responsible travel, road trips and much more.
I am Raksha Rao. A passionate traveller, photographer, and a lifelong learner. I have always loved new travel experiences. However, it reached a whole new level when I took off for a Himalayan trek in May 2015 – it made me realize how totally gratifying and life-changing travel can be. Since then, I have travelled near and far, as much as I can, always looking for new and immersive adventures.
Be it snow trekking in the mighty Himalayan range, bungee jumping with a river view in Rishikesh, scuba diving in the clear turquoise blue waters of Maldives, ziplining amidst the abundant forests of Thailand, high-altitude river rafting in the freezing cold rivers of Zanskar in Leh – my propensity for new experiences is ever growing and as is my wishlist.
After coming back from my first Himalayan trek, I was itching to document my travel stories. I have always had this vision of travelling the world while getting paid for it. In order to hone my writing skills, I started jotting down my travel stories on a popular travel community site called Tripoto in October 2015. I was waiting for some sort of sign(which I regret now) before I started my own travel blog and that only came in a year later.
Because of my posts on Tripoto, I got a chance to collaborate with Tourism Authority of Thailand on an all expenses paid trip as part of the Great Girly Getaway campaign. That included experiencing Phuket and Bangkok staying away from the usual tourist trail in what was probably my first luxury vacation! The day it was announced that I was going to be part of the campaign, I thought it was too good to be true!
Next day, for the first time in a long time( except when I am travelling), I got up early looking forward to the day still feeling it unreal. Right then, I promised myself that when I’m back from the trip, I am going to start a travel blog. And what you are seeing today is the realization of that dream.
When I was writing on Tripoto, it was merely as a hobby, but when I started this site I had a clear picture in mind. I wanted to inspire others to travel in spite of all the excuses and see how beautiful the world is out there! The more I travelled, the less prejudiced I became! I wanted to have a forum where we forget about our differences, erase our borders and celebrate our diversity. And be open-minded to the world, in general.
If at all I had a dime for every time someone told me they couldn’t travel for the lack of money or they didn’t have company or that they are busy or several other reasons, I could be a millionaire right now. Over time I realized that money doesn’t have much to do with travelling. It is possible to travel on a shoestring budget if needed. And, moreover, with careful planning and cutting down on other expenses like partying or shopping, travel doesn’t seem too far-fetched.
However, did I have problems at work when I had to leave Thailand in a week’s notice? Of course! Was my manager sceptical of me going to a Himachal for a trek just within a few days I was back? Hell yes! But I found a way to make it happen. I worked late nights and weekends to make up for all the work that was left out. One thing was for sure – I wasn’t letting this opportunity pass by.
So, what I’m trying to say is if you want something badly enough be it travel or anything else in life, you will find a way to make it happen.
It has been a year now since I started this blog and it has been a very rewarding learning experience for me. Within a few months of travel blogging, I was lucky enough to go on a luxury train experience aboard the Golden Chariot train. I have done several stay collaborations, and brand collaborations since then. I even made back the money I spent on hosting and domain without even monetizing the site. But the best part has to be that I was inspiring others to travel.
Lot of my school and college friends and even strangers, who probably wouldn’t have talked to me otherwise, approached me to tell me how inspiring it was for them. They wanted to do the same things I was doing and have new experiences and stories to tell! Which is what makes me come back to this site day after day even when things seem a little overwhelming!
Travel has changed me as a person. From a timid girl who couldn’t talk to strangers, I have now evolved into a conversation starter and even talk about life at length with strangers. Constantly putting myself out of my comfort zone, travel has shown me that happiness lies outside not inside it even though it might not seem that way sometimes. Meeting people from different walks of life has taught me to be more open-minded and less prejudiced. I hardly could recognize the diffident girl that I once was and travel for me, has been a process of healing.
I hope to inspire and heal others in a way travel has done for me through stories, adventures and life-enriching travel experiences.
There are some minor lifestyle changes which have helped me to save money for travelling. I have cut down on partying or eating out or shopping and all the other unnecessary expenses. It may not seem as much, but it has a way of adding up soon. I spend most of my money on experiences and learning new things. I have learned hip-hop, salsa and contemporary dance styles, swimming, trading, photography, marketing, writing and now blogging and SEO. For me, learning is a never-ending process.
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