Indian travellers pursue solo dreams

Shilpa Raina (IANS)
Sunday, August 18, 2013

More and more Indian travellers are on a self-discovery trail, busy exploring places and lapping up the historical knowledge that comes along with it. The quest to attain this "ultimate experience" is driving one category of Indians to shun stereotyped journeys and embark on solo expeditions.

In 2009, when Tushar Agarwal thought about a break from the daily grind of life, he looked at a world map and thought: Why not drive from London to Delhi? He persistently worked at it for a year and embarked on his incredible road trip in April 2010.

"It was a lifetime experience," recollected Agarwal, who took 51 days to travel 12,000 kilometres in his SUV, traversing Europe, Central Asia, Russia, China/Tibet and Nepal, consuming 1,571 litres of fuel.

"A road trip comes with an experience that is culturally enriching. You connect with local people, see vibrant cultures and meet good and bad people," he added, saying it was a self-financed expedition.

Ajay Reddy's solo wanderlust began in a rather unexpected way and had an unexpected spinoff.

Reddy, who works in the corporate sector in Bangalore, came across an image on Twitter that challenged people to identify India's World Heritage Sites. Like many others, he miserably failed to name anything beyond the Taj Mahal, Khajuraho, Ellora and a few others.

So, he took it on himself to visit all the 29 such sites in India and says he has been to most of them.

"I first started travelling to these sites on my own. This was because you might not be with like-minded people when it comes to exploring heritage sites. People have different notions about holidaying," Reddy told IANS.

"Cultivating love for history and historical monuments is not everyone's cup of tea," added.

Then came the spinoff. Reddy started an online initiative, www.gounesco.com, in 2012 that urged travellers to take up the challenge and visit World Heritage Sites across the globe on their own.

There are 981 Unesco World Heritage Sites and a travel enthusiast can take up his country of residence or the epic challenge where one has to travel to all the heritage sites. Leading the latter race is Gary Arndt of the US with 10,500 points.

Each visit to a site gets you 100 points. And there are no prizes in kind - just the satisfaction that you've been there.



"History is not everyone's cup of tea. This challenge is for those who don't boast about places they have travelled to, but the ones who like to know about the culture, the people and the places," Reddy explained.

These solo endeavours reflect the paradigm shift in the travel industry, which has reaped benefits from religious, rural, health and adventure tourism, tour operators say. In a country where a vacation becomes more of a family ritual, solo expeditions are purely for experience seekers.

"Today's youngsters want a vacation of their own. They go for their annual family vacation, but the explorer in them is always on a look-out for something new," pointed out Vikrant Nath, founder of Travel Quotient that offers designer holidays to exotic destinations like the Arctic region, Latin America and Mongolia.

This again is a spinoff from his solo expeditions.

"Before I organise my trips, I go on the route to familiarise myself with the terrain and the people. Personal attention is given to everything as we provide an experience that will stay with you forever," said Vikrant Nath.

This tailor-made travel experiences do come with a hefty price-tag.

Vikrant Nath admits his target audience is well-travelled individuals who have exhausted their options and are now seeking destinations that they can boast about.

"Europe, Southeast Asia, North America, Africa ... they are done to death for people who travel frequently. I cater to a niche, sophisticated audience," Nath told IANS, pointing out that for his 14-day expedition to the North Pole, one has to shell out Rs. 600,000.

It requires passion, dedication and money to satiate these solo drives, and the Indian traveller isn't shying away from it. div>


Express your comment on this article

Submit your comments...
     
Disclaimer: The views expressed here are strictly personal and IndiansinKuwait.com does not hold any responsibility on them. We shall endeavour to upload/publish as many of the comments that are submitted as possible within a reasonable span of time, but we do not guarantee that all comments that are submitted will be uploaded/published. Messages that harass, abuse or threaten other members; have obscene, unlawful, defamatory, libellous, hateful, or otherwise objectionable content; or have spam, commercial or advertising content or links are liable to be removed by the editors. We also reserve the right to edit the comments that do get published. Please do not post any private information unless you want it to be available publicly.
Image

Love is in air when he sings, Shahbaz Aman

What could be the appropriate adjective to describe this man; singer; composer; or an unusual embod

Image

Don’t Want a Day… Want a Deal!

I am a Woman and like me, there are countless other women out there who do not want Days to commemo

Image

My heart, my soul and all my sincerity is for this country – Ajiaz Ahmad Sarfaraz

“By serving this great country for more than three decades, I feel that the word ‘great’ fully appl

Image

Teamwork Makes The Dream Work! – Nomaan Sidiq Budroo, Captain of Kuwait U-19 Cricket Team

Kuwait Cricket’s National U 19 team returned home after their best ever performance in the ICC U 19

Image

A Walk in the Garden…

Our garden in Salmiya is an exciting learning-place… Every walk in it, teaches something every time

Image

Take Thoughts Outside Box

"Where are the songs of spring? Ay, where are they?’’ I sighed, when others were busy with Keats, S

Image

‘Be what you are, Do what you can’, a self-confident go getter, N.K. Ramachandran Menon

He believes, ‘No one can influence anyone’. He believes, ‘I can only be me and it is true for ever

Image

How to carry out a winning scientific project?

I have been involved in judging scientific projects in schools and colleges for the past three deca

Image

Extraordinary artist of ribbon work – Mrs Poornima

Hand Embroidery is one of the most beautiful artworks. There are variety of Embroideries which uses

Image

Work hard, but enjoy your job – Ravi Varrier spending 40 years in a company!

Spending long working years with a company may not be a big deal if you are a sincere employee. But

Image

Zafran Indian Bistro with innovative Indian Cuisines

Indian Cuisines are packed with interesting ingredients and enticing aromas that make it super deli

Image

New Menu at Zafran Puts Contemporary Spin on the Traditional

Fans of Zafran can rejoice as the popular Indian bistro launches a new menu this week. The front

Image

A nostalgic and delicious train journey in Kuwait at Kerala Express Restaurant

A train journey during our annual vacation in India is definitely a nostalgic experience for many o

Image

Mughal Mahal Exotica - An aromatic and exotic twist to Indian food

When it comes to Indian food in Kuwait, no doubt ‘Mughal Mahal’ set an example among the residents

Image

Kuwait Cricket set to host ICC World Twenty20 Asia Qualifier ‘A’

Whilst this is not the first International tournament to be hosted in Kuwait, this particular editi

Image

Himanta Biswa Sarma elected BAI President

Assam Health and Education Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma was on Tuesday unanimously elected the Badm

Image

Fahaheel English Madrasa wins Shifa Al Jazeera Al-Nahil Soccer Championship Cup

Fahaheel English Madrasa emerges champions in the inter-madrasa soccer championship tournament or

Image

Shifa Al Jazeera Soccer Kerala Fest– 2018 - United Goan Centre (Ugc) Emerge The Champions

United Goan Centre (UGC) on of the oldest Football Club in Kuwait Indian Football Federation, Kuwai

Image

Del Potro eliminates Ferrer at Indian Wells

Sixth-seeded Argentine Juan Martin del Potro rose to the round of 16 of the Indian Wells Masters te