Q&A with Me
Below are some of the questions that i am often asked over Instagram and Facebook. I have listed and answered the questions that according to me were the most frequent, and yeah, some funny ones too!
So go ahead and give it a read…
Keep exploring !!
4 things you love about traveling…
Well, I absolutely admire the thrill, adventure, happiness, and the freedom that comes with traveling.
- I love that when I am on the road, life constantly surprises me. I get to meet new people, have amazing experiences, and sometimes even cross paths with parts of my soul that I didn’t know ever existed.
- I am an ardent fan of stargazing, sunsets, and trying local cuisines and wines. So what better reason to hit the mountains, beaches, and isolated islands every now and then.
- I love to drift away from the city lights, explore the unseen and the undiscovered, and live a slow life amidst the locals. I long to see life first hand through my own eyes.
4 Things you learnt by traveling…
Ever since my first trip, it has been my dream to see the world one step at a time. Travelling taught me that dreams don’t exist. Instead, they demand to be created in the depths of your heart, so that they can be exhaled to the universe to turn them into reality.
- Over the years, it also taught me that it is not money that is needed to fulfill dreams. Instead, it is a deep-rooted passion, and, eventually, the rest of the things just find a way.
- Travel has also pushed me to step out of my shell, find joy in little things of life, and to be sustainable. I learnt to let go of my ego and be a part of something bigger.
- I learnt to be courageous, outspoken, and to stand up against stereotypes. I am a hardcore feminist who believes in women’s empowerment through education and equality.
When was your first trip, and where?
My first trip was during my second year of college. It was a trek to Beaskund, a beautiful paradise near Manali.
It was a casual mountain spree with my friends out of total boredom, but ever since, I have been unable to stop. You can read all about this cognizable journey in case you are curious!
Where did you go to college, and what was your major?
Well, I am a doctor by profession, a dentist to be precise. I have done Bachelors in Dental Surgery from BJS Dental College and Research Centre. It is amongst India’s top dental colleges, and I graduated in the year 2109.
Now, this may have come as a surprise to you. If yes, you can read all about me here!
How do you manage your profession and travel?
This is the question that I am asked most frequently.
So to answer this, the foremost thing, I am not a full-time traveler. I have not quit my job or given up my dental practice or sold my belongings. I love my profession as much as I love to travel. So I constantly make efforts to equipoise both the roles together.
- For traveling, I make it a point to utilize my long weekends well. I also save my leaves, gather them up, and use them for my long trips. Sometimes, just sometimes, I do take cheat leaves and elope to the mountains every now and then. 😛
How often do you travel?
So, to be honest, I don’t really have a much-planned schedule for travel. I am more of a spontaneous traveler and a packer too.
I do plan my long trips, air trips, and extended weekends in advance, but for short trips, road travel, and weekend getaways, I prefer being spontaneous, which keeps the spice up.
What is your favorite destination?
Every destination that I have ever been to, I have ended up losing a part of my heart. Every destination has its own enigma, and I think for every individual traveler, the same places also have an altogether different charm.
Also, I genuinely believe that it is not the destination a traveler ends up falling in love with. Instead, it is the sweet mixture of all the moments spent at that place.
If I still have to list my favorite destinations,
- Majuli Island tops my list for self-evident reasons. You can find out all about this rustic beauty of Northeast India in my blog.
- Second on my list is Leh Ladakh, which is an unfinished poem, a yearning of my heart, and indeed a paradise on Earth.
Is there something you do not like about traveling?
Yes, I think everything in life has two aspects. Travelling has its own challenges.
I am more of a mountain person than a beach person. I travel to the Himalayas very frequently, and these areas are not widely accessible. Hence, transportation in such areas is scarce and not very comfortable, though, with time, this is gradually improving.
- I strongly condemn fast-paced travel, though I have to do it sometimes since I am not a full-time traveler. I truly prefer slow travel, to go and live at a place, indulge in local cuisines, culture and to live in homestays instead of hotels. I like to travel without a fixed itinerary and live on the edge exploring everything as it comes my way.
- Over the years, the travel industry has flourished extensively. And with that comes the havoc of commercialization of destinations. That I something I absolutely hate because as tourism to a particular place increases, humans tend to convert it into hot spots. On the contrary, I have a thing for unexplored offbeat destinations, and I have dedicated an entire section to offbeat travel on this blog. Go ahead and read more about it!!
How do you finance your travel?
To be honest, currently, I am not the right person to answer this question as I am still figuring out a constant income source for myself. As of now, my travel resources are limited and mostly depend on freelancing content writing projects and my part-time dental practice. I am still on the course of figuring out stuff for my masters, so I do not have any elaborate constant sources for income at the moment.
- As for my travel finances during college, I used to save every penny I used to get as my pocket money in college. I would avoid shopping, expensive lunches and dinners, and parties. Most of the pocket money I used to get in college used to go to my travel fund.
- To top up my savings, I used to take up various freelancing content writing projects on Internshala and for multiple brands such as Stemjar.
What is your travel style?
This is probably my favorite question to answer…
I am more of a gypsy travel soul who prefers budgeted travel over luxury, adventure over routine, offbeat over the mainstream, and a backpack over a suitcase. I truly believe that a not large sum of money is needed to travel but a deep-rooted passion.
- I like to travel slow, to go and live at a place, indulge in local cuisines, culture, and to live in homestays instead of hotels. I like to travel without a fixed itinerary and live on the edge and explore things as they come my way.
- I prefer mountains over beaches, and I have a thing for seraphic sunsets, starry night skies, bonfires, and cute homestays by the river banks.
Where are you planning to go next?
Well, I have a long list of bucket list ideas lined up for the year 2020.
- To have a laid back vacation at the Gokarna Beach in Karnataka.
- Unravel the hidden mysteries of the sea with Scuba diving at Andaman and Nicobar islands.
- Explore the terrains of the winter wonderland at Lahaul and Spiti valley.
- Shake hands with the Head Hunting Tribes in Nagaland.
What is that one thing that makes Letters to Neet special?
Letters to Neet has been an ardent attempt to create a travel diary stacked with all my unfiltered travel stories to immortalize each of them. It is this original and unfiltered content that makes Letters to Neet so unique.
Also, Letters to Neet wishes to inspire every little girl and young woman out there to step out of her comfort zone and experience the vastness of life. Therefore, through my letters, I want to shout out to all females to empower themselves and build a life they would fall in love with.
To read all about the Letters to Neet and the things that set it apart head over to About Letters to Neet.
What advice would you give to a first-time traveler?
Well, to both first-time solo and group travelers, I would definitely want to say, “Take a leap of faith, step out of your comfort zone and just go hit the road. Because after a few years, you would be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the things you did.”And heading over to the suggestions-
- I think first and foremost would be to do thorough research on the destination you are going to visit. Since it is your first trip by yourself, too much improvisation might cause anxiety. Hence, having a detailed itinerary can come really handy.
- The most important tip would be to pack light. Honestly, I am more of a backpack person, and I pack incredibly light using packing cubes. This helps me to stay organized and be handy with essential things. For a detailed packing guide for different kinds of vacations, feel free to go through the tips and tricks section of the blog.
- Carry enough cash and don’t rely much on ATMs as not all destinations have reliable ATM service, especially in the Himalayan regions.
- While traveling across India is pretty safe, a little cautiousness does no harm.
Is it safe to travel as a solo female traveler?
I think the answer to this is both Yes and No.
This mostly depends on the place you are visiting. I wouldn’t say that certain areas aren’t safe for women to visit; rather, I would say that certain destinations are conservative, and hence, cautionary measures should be taken while visiting them. You should respect their culture and dress up accordingly and maybe do elaborate research before planning a vacation there.
Also, I believe that no matter how safe a place is for solo travel, a little cautiousness does no harm. You should trust your instincts and never let your guard down entirely as things don’t always go by the book.
From a broader perspective, I believe solo travel for women is safe. Over the years, I have had many solo trips, and I have felt absolutely safe with the locals.
If you are still a little low on motivation for solo travel, do check out my blog on trekking. I hope this would fuel you with just the right amount of enthusiasm.
What are the safest destinations for solo female travelers in India?
Well, you can trust me when I say that the world isn’t a scary place as you think it to be. And solo travel is a fantastic idea and maybe one of the most exquisite experiences you would have in your life.
Amongst the destinations that I have visited in India, I think Himachal Pradesh, Uttrakhand, and Northeast India are the safest. And not deny, all three of them are incredibly gorgeous as well!!
How do I convince my parents for solo travel?
Oh!! That’s not a really good question. Or rather, I am not at all the right person to answer this question.
Honestly, I haven’t been able to do myself, but I am trying each day…
Once I have an answer to this, I am surely going to tell you the secret to this.
What is your preferred kind of Accommodation?
Well, my preferred types of accommodations include-
- Cute Air Bnb(s).
- Homestays by the river banks
- Backpacking hostels
Such accommodation options are cheap, raw, and allow meeting like-minded travelers.
What things should I do before a domestic trip?
Here is an overview of things you need to do before a domestic trip-
- Research thoroughly about your upcoming travel plan.
- Prepare a detailed itinerary.
- Make your accommodation and transport bookings well in advance to get cheaper options.
- Making a packing list and pack accordingly in advance to avoid last-minute panic.
- Make sure to take essential items such as first aid and your medications, if any.
- Gather and pack your photography gear securely, if any.
- And, last but definitely not the least, don’t forget to dream about your vacation!!
How do you plan your trip?
Well, planning for a weekend getaway is pretty straightforward and doesn’t require much effort. But I do understand that planning a long trip requires elaborate research, and thus, a lot of effort goes into it.
Hence, I have dedicated an intricate section of the blog to Planning with Me. Don’t forget to check it out for detailed steps.
What are the tips for packing for a trip?
The only tip I wish to give you for packing is to “pack light.”
To put it into a rather light and a funny note I would say, “Pack like men do” (LOL)
Honestly, I am more of a backpack person, and I pack extremely light using packing cubes. This helps me to stay organized and be handy with essential things.
For a detailed packing guide for different kinds of vacations, feel free to go through the tips and tricks section of the blog.
Can you help me plan my trip?
Of course, I mean, why not!!
To help you plan out your trips, there are numerous blogs published from every location. Go ahead and refer to them.
In case your desired destination has not been included in the blogs, worry not, write to at firstname.lastname@example.org and send in your request. You can also forward your request on Instagram for a faster response. Since there are a lot of requests which come by each day, please be patient for a reply. My team will surely get back to you as soon as we can.
I don't see a blog from a specific place on the website. Could you please pen it down?
Well, your wish is my command. You asked, and I listened. I publish blogs 2* week, and there is a separate section dedicated specially for you to make requests for blogs.
Head over to Request a Blog Post and send in your request. Since there are a lot of requests which come by each day, please be patient for a reply. My team will surely get back to you as soon as we can.
BLOGGING & PHOTOGRAPHY FAQ
Did you travel before you started blogging?
Yes, of course. I traveled for 4 years before I started blogging.
Ever since I embarked on my travel journey, I used to maintain a travel journal for myself to read when I probably get old or maybe for my grand-kids. But with time, I had a heartfelt desire to convert it into an elaborate globe-trotting blog to share it with the world and to be able to inspire maybe just a few people out there.
Hence, I came up with letters to Neet. You can read all about the blog here.
I want to start my blog. Where do I begin?
Well, I would say try not to figure out all the dimensions of blogging all in advance as there are tons to it. Honestly, figuring out so much content at an initial stage sometimes becomes overwhelming and might seem scary. Hence, best is to just start and figure out stuff along the way.
To start first of all, you need to figure out your niche, make up your mind, and have a rough idea of your motive behind the blog and your audience. Next, buy yourself a relevant domain name and web hosting and get started on WordPress and discover other things along the way.
By this, I don’t really mean to mislead you and make it seem like it is effortless. Trust me, it going to take your heart and soul to set up a blog. Getting started and being consistent is the key.
Can I become a guest author on your blog?
Yes, of course, you can. We do have a certain set of rules to accept guest author blogs, but don’t worry; they are simple to abide by. We do accept quality content, which is original and plagiarism free.
Check out the requirements to be guest writer head over here and submit your request.
What are upsides and downsides to blogging?
Well, like any other job in this world, blogging too has its ups and downs.
- It is a location independent job and gives you the freedom of being your own boss. Hence, it provides a lot of liberty to choose the working time and space.
- Also, blogging is eccentric with your passion and is associated with an extensive dimension. Thus, you can never get enough of it.
- Blogging needs you to be much more consistent, creative, and hard-working than most other jobs. With such high competition in the market, one needs to put something new out there each day.
- The income in blogging is quite fluctuating and starts only after a certain point. This is the hard truth which not many people are vocal about. But once it starts, it grows eventually.
What photography gear do you use?
I do not prefer to carry elaborate photography gear while traveling. You would be surprised to know that most of the pictures that post on Instagram and the blog are clicked using an iPhone. And that by far is the only photography gear I take along with me on my travel sprees.
How do you edit your photographs?
I edit all my photos myself on my iPhone using two apps- Adobe Lightroom and Google Snapseed. These apps are sufficient enough to bring out the best in your photos.
I do use VSCO sometimes, although mostly for Instagram stories.
Who takes your photos while you are traveling?
Well, this mostly depends on how I am traveling. If I go with my friends, then the task of clicking good photos is half done, as I can always ask them to click tons of them.
While on solo travel, I use a tripod or request my fellow travelers to lend me a hand. And mostly, they are glad enough to so.
Who has clicked all the pictures for your blog?
Well, most of the pictures on this website are clicked by fellow traveler friends or by me. I mostly resort to minimal photography gear, which is an iPhone. You can stalk all my photographs on Instagram or in the gallery.
Probing further, some of the pictures have been clicked by a very dear friend of mine @Tarun Gahlawat on our travel expeditions using his photography gear. He is an extremely talented photographer, and you can check out his work on Instagram at wanderlustguyfilms. So, a massive shout-out to him and heartfelt gratitude!!
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