Travel Hippies – Travel Interview

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I’m Purvi, an Indian traveler, fearless adventurer and blogger at Travel Hippies. Exploring local cultures and discovering the essence of the places I visit is my passion. I find the real joy of travelling in going off the grid. Mountains feed my soul and the verdant valleys enlighten it. And I love capturing the vistas that my eyes see and present it in the form of words for you all to imagine. And my camera creates the ultimate magic!

I started with my great travel dream in the year 2013. I remember the day when I was rejoicing the deposit of my first salary and had booked three back to back treks with the hopes to find the cure of my incurable cravings to venture into the wild. My first wild venture of an extensive trekking in the golden granules of Thar Desert only added to my travel addiction and landed me into the Himalayas for around a month-long trekking and cycling endeavor.

Since then I have hardly looked back , and have headed as high as 16000 ft in the snow-clad mountains of Himalayas to 11 meter deep into the romantic blue waters of the mystery islands of Andaman and Nicobar.

My blog Travel Hippies was created in 2015 to present my travel journal and exclusive first hand travel tips to all the hippie souls who wish to wander around with their tight budget without caring for the society that expected them to follow the traditionally lavish lifestyle and save money for the future. My love for offbeat ventures has added my blog to offbeat exploration and adventure niche. From budget travel guides, hidden places, solo travelling, to trekking expedition, my blog guides you with whatever enthralls you the most.

Travel Interview

What plans do you have in the future for your blog?
My future plans for the blog is to enrich it with the content that can inspire others to think beyond the ‘Top Places to Travel’. And also guide them well to spend the least possible amount to get the best experiences. I would soon be off to cover the least explored part of India that falls in the north-east region of the country. I would be focusing on reviving the ancient travel folk tales where people landed in strange places of black magic or natural wonders like living root bridges and cave gardens.

Further in the month of March-June, I have collaborated with Barcelona, Ronda, Aarhus, Munich, Frankfurt, Berlin, Vienna, Salzburg and Prague tourism boards for my 3 months long exploration in Europe. Though it would be a first exploratory trip there, I would be focusing on finding some not so frequented places with the help of the tourism officers, couch surfers and the locals.

Being a mountain lover, I spend my summers in the mountains, mainly near Manali in India. Himalayas in India is my home for the warmer days. I would be trekking in the Himalayas or explore Ladakh in my home country.

 

What can our readers find on your website? 
The readers can thus expect a variety of blogs on the cultures of the world, strange and unseen beautiful places, a wide range of solo travel blogs and tips for traveling in India and abroad.

For an instance, my blog on 10 Experiences You Must Not Miss in Rajasthan would guide you with interesting experiences in Rajasthan which is probably a cultural capital of North India, whereas my blog on ‘Quirky Solo Travel Hacks For All the Female Travellers Out There’ would guide with practical hacks to all the first time solo female travellers. While most of them travel to Nepal for the lofty mountains, they can scroll through the interesting cultural exploration in Nepal in my blog Kathmandu in a Day; A Crazy Ride With a Night Long Friend. And the mountain lovers have a variety of short and long trek guides across the hills and mountains of India.

Do you have any travel tips or advice for our readers who might want to start a travel blog?

While sharing my blogging and travelling experiences, many people get curious and wish to start their own travel blog. I want all of them to know that good and ‘informative’ content is the key to get more readers. Even if you are writing a narrative, write it in a way that your readers can connect with you through your narration.

Maintain the quality of your pictures by learning some basic photography skills because photos on the blog many a times compel people to read through the articles. Keep posting frequently on a variety of travel topics and also maintain a particular niche if you wish to maintain the ratio of the returning visitors.

For an instance, a few readers may not connect with your long philosophy/recipe/fashion blogs merged along with other travel blogs. Your readers should be curious every time you post something new.

And of course, join all the travel and blogging related facebook groups to start getting the collaborative and link developing opportunities.

What are some of the highs and lows of travel blogging?

Travel blogging is a field where you would be sailing in the sea with thousands of other competitors. The collaborations and earning through blogging keeps the life cool and happening; mainly because your work and passion are same. But, it needs a lot of patience and continuous efforts to keep up with the noticeable ‘digits’. Many a times, while traveling, you need to be busy with writing, answering the comments and sharing the pictures on social media. Thus, blogging is demanding but the efforts surely bring the results in the long run.

The blogging business may give you an opportunity to travel, but initially, it does not give you an income with which you can survive or lead a lavish lifestyle. The uncertainty of income for the new bloggers certainly set them off. And this is where you must focus on developing some patience and planning a right strategy.

Travel Interview

What type of traveler are you? 

I started blogging as a hobby while I still had a full-time job as a teacher. In India, we have plenty of holidays for the festivals of all religions and of course a 40 days long vacation every year that helped me to quench my thirst for traveling to new places. This is how I developed my tryst with traveling and used to write the stories for a few local magazines.

In the year 2017, I left my job to set off as a nomad who does not have to report anywhere anytime. Now I backpack to most of the places without an itinerary or any plan of returning. This has given me the freedom to explore in a true sense rather than just hopping around a place in 24-48-72 hours. I also volunteer at schools usually not just to get food/stay but to experience a local life and culture which becomes easier if you are a volunteer especially in the villages.

What sites or other resources do you use to decide where and when you will go to a certain places or destination?

I usually refer the blogs of ‘The Hindu’ magazine and The Shooting Star by Shivya Nath for some unusual travel experiences in India. Moreover, I also rely on the locals for the places that are not on google. I connect with the locals through Couch Surfing and many of them have helped me in exploring some of the unseen and untouched destinations. For other countries , fortunately I come across many travel blogs in the facebook group the ‘Travel Bloggers Club’, I pin the articles and use many of them as reference to plan my itinerary to a place. For an instance, I planned my whole Europe trip to multiple countries just based on the travel blogs I came across in this group. I

 

What’s been some of your favourite destinations & why? 

My favorite destination is the cultural capital of North India and that is Rajasthan. The stunning architecture, the vibrant culture and the scrumptious food lures me to Rajasthan again and again. Being a mountain lover, Himalayas are another favourite destination of mine. Undoubtedly, the natural beauty makes me fall in love with the mighty mountains but the loving people of the hills are the main reason that has made it my favourite destination.

What equipment do you use to blog or for your blog?

I always carry my Inspiron N5110, a laptop by Dell and an external hard drive (Sea Gate) wherever I travel. Canon 700D is my current camera with a 18-135 mm lense and a premium 50 mm lens. My blogging work, Photography and photo storage totally depend on these gadgets. Apart from this my Go Pro Hero5 helps me capture the moments and the crazy actions during my journey.

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Do you have any photography or making travel videos tips?

Composition and lighting are the two important factors in photography. If you can create a dramatic paining out of your camera then you have nailed the basic stage. Have an eye of an artist and try unusual angles to create amazing pictures. Check your camera grid before capturing as a falling building or a slant beach doesn’t make a good picture. Try to keep at least one subject to make your pictures more interesting. It can be anyone with candid movement or pose. Avoid making the subject conscious by making them aware of the camera.

Travel Interview

What’s the TOP blog posts on your page? Travel Hippies 
1. A walk through the Colourful Portuguese Colony of Goa – Photostory
2. The Ultimate List of Volunteering Opportunities in India
3. Postcards From Lumbini , An Atheist’s Travel Account

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Do you have any tips or suggestions one how bloggers can earn an income from blogging?

— Sponsored posts on your blog. Work on improving your DA/PA and you can charge a relatively higher amount for the same.
— Once you have established yourself as a blogger, organizing trips, travel workshops and blogging workshop can help you earn much.
— If you are good at marketing you can also opt for B2B for many home stays or hotels that needs a person who can get them customers on commission basis.

Top 5 Bucket-list Destinations?
1. Italy
2. Jordan
3. Croatia
4. Iran
5. Istanbul

Do you have a money saving travel tips?

— Keep looking for the flight sales and save on your trips.
— Try Couch Surfing or collaboration with hostel/hotel in exchange of stay.
— Opt for hostels/ home stay/ apartment and cook your own food rather than spending in restaurants.
— Take overnight sleeper train or bus wherever possible and save on a night stay.
— If traveling in hills, carry your own tent and sleeping bag to save on expensive hillside hotels.

 

What’s in your travel bag?

1. A Rain Jacket
2. Power Bank
3. A sleeping Sheet
4. Flip Flops
5. Sun screen

What travel apps do you use and why

Couch surfing is the only app that I use for traveling apart from a few online booking portals like Make My Trip and Gobibo. Couch surfing doesn’t only help me find the hosts but also helps me in connecting with local travellersTravel Interview in a place.

 

What are 3 things travelling has thought you?

The most important thing traveling has taught me is to trust people. I rely more on the local people for any information than an app. I travelled for around a month in Ladakh staying at local people’s homes and hitchhiking; the journey has taught me a a lot about the world that exist beyond my home and the one shown by media. I have started trusting locals for food and stay as well. Now I don’t rely just on restaurants or hotels for food and stay. And the help I get during my journey from the locals makes me realise at every step that humanity is still alive. Travelling has also made me smart enough to judge people’s intentions and possible threats. I am no more a timid, delicate darling and can give a tight punch right in the face if required.

 

Do you have any recommendations for cities and beach places that you have visited and loved?I would like to recommend Andaman and Nicobar Islands in India to all those who wish to ditch the loud crazy parties and want to immerse in solitude with nature. It is also one of the best places to learn scuba diving at cheap rates. A few of Asia’s most beautiful beaches like Radhanagar Beach, Govind Nagar and the spectacular beaches of Neil’s island would definitely leave you spellbound. Moreover, one can also encounter the indigenous tribes of Andaman that are still unaware of the modern civilization and technologies. And of course, the lip-smacking sea food can’t just be praised here. You ought to go and try it with a pinch of Indian spices.

Travel Interview

Please share one travel quote you love.

“Dare to follow your heart and pursue your passion ‘cause humans were never meant to be settled, we were nomads and hippie at hearts.”

Travel Interview

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Travel Interview

 

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Showing 4 comments
  • Avatar
    Alex Trembath
    Reply

    Enjoying this interview series. Purvi your story is a compelling one! It’s hard to find good and genuine insights into the hidden places off the main tourist track, so I will be following future posts to learn more. Have a great time on the European trip, it looks amazing!

  • Avatar
    Jess
    Reply

    Great interview! I have used couch surfing type sites in the past, and made a lot of friends through it, but it hadn’t occurred to me to use it as a way to find those off-the-beaten-path finds that I love so much! Thanks!

  • Avatar
    Danny
    Reply

    Amazing interview story! I agree with her tips on photography and for traveling – I’ve used Couchsurfing in the past and even now. Great way to cut costs on accommodation and connect with the locals !

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