It can be tough for Indian students to imagine traveling intensely when they are just out of school and into college. However , not just me but any backpacker would state that , college time is the best time to start if you want to truly wander all over the world. When you start during your college days , you start early which will help you not just to give you more time to reach those dream destinations but also connect you to loads of people who will help you. They will help you not just to travel but also to find a job or make a profession or earn in a way that helps you to sustain on the road. I am an example of that. I hold no degree in travel and tourism yet I now boast of 2 year of success in tourism industry as a professional. Well it would not have been possible if I did not start early from the first year of my college. So here are the basic hacks you need to DO if you want to start early in persing your travel dreams.
Let's start with the three big obstacles that a young college student faces against its travel dreams.
a. MONEY .................. b. PERMISSIONS FROM PARENTS ................... c. SAFETY & SECURITY
In this piece I will talk mostly on the first two , the third one will be talked about next week as it depends on gender basis too.
MONEY is important , but don't think it as the only thing. So how to solve your money issues? here is the basic three steps you gotta follow and do.
1. Take up a part-time Job / Work.
This is essential and easy too. There are loads of part time works out there in restaurants , shops and others. Or most easily available be a home tutor and teach kids and children. Earning money is very important if you want to fulfill your travel dreams. And you can't give into excuses such as " I have a tough course or college , I can't make out time" or " I get tired or drained out ". Let me tell you my case , I started out teaching two children after my college hours at first. Gradually I taught 15 -20 children. I have taught students who were just a year younger and junior to me in education hierarchy and I have worked even during my semester exams , when rest of my class mates studied hard. Well the bad part was , I was always with the poor results , just passing , but on the good side , I had earned enough to go for wonderful adventures at the semester breaks. So set your priorities , if you want to travel you got to WORK & EARN!
2. Get rid of expensive habits.
Its futile to earn if you can't keep your expenses low or save it. The basic of saving is simple , don't spend anything on which your life can do without. Easy steps are quit smoking and alcohol ( trust me , it does save up enough to buy you the round transportation tickets ) . Avoid clubbing and eating out in expensive restaurants. Well I am not telling you to reject a fun filled social life with friends. Substitute those clubs and pubs with house parties and get together at city parks or natural places such as river fronts , sea sides , close hill tops or small forests. Stop eating at restaurants because I can assure you after traveling all over India , our country offers much tastier street foods than that the big malls or food joints can, that too , so CHEAP.
Try avoiding buying new clothes if not absolutely necessary. Do not buy clothes just because a festival is coming or people around you are buying. This is India , we have festivals every year , every month !! And the people who are buying does not have the wanderlust like you , so differentiate yourself from them. Don't buy until absolutely necessary. I have bought my last jeans in 2013 , so you understand I hope. When you finally travel and click a picture of yours , nobody will notice what clothes you are wearing , they will notice only the exotic background. To prove my point, you guys can check out my profile to see, most of my photos I wear some common jackets , t-shirts and trousers. Have you seen the adventurous Tintin change clothes , its mostly the sky blue sweater. So got the point ??
Try to use public transport , instead of spending on fuel costs in your bike or car. Or use a bicycle to go around , that did save a lot of transport cost for me , and it will for you too surely.
If you follow this small steps , I can assure you and and guarantee this , with in next four months you will have earned and saved around 15000 INR easily, which is good enough to take you to lot of places to start with and travel.
Now you might think Do i have to earn tirelessly like this and save , following this miserable routine for rest of my life. The answer is NO. This is the solution as a student to earn and save enough to travel. Once you your student life ends , you would either turn into a expert traveler like us , and then make a career out of traveling or you will join a better job that will help you make money more easily. So this are the steps to start with.
Now lets come to the second obstacle. GETTING PERMISSION FROM PARENTS.
Indian parenting ideology is complicated and most of the times they will not allow you to travel , as they are afraid and care for you more than you do for yourself. Even I had the same parents , so how do you solve that? lets start.
Your freedom is directly proportional to the finances and savings you make. It means , if you have the money to travel and will not as from parents , most of the times they can't reject your proposals. They will see your hard work, you do day in and out , after college at your part time job , and most likely know , that you are slowly growing up capable of taking care of yourself and earning money. So if you follow the first step , you have 75 percent chances of getting a YES anyways.
Still there are some parents , who might not be convinced so easily. You can try out two options.
a. run away for the trip , which I did for the first time and then they never stopped me as they knew I would run away anyways.
b. try to talk to them with time and patience , or let other elders who are able to understand your urge of travel convince them.
If you try A , which I will not recommend , though I was successful, you must be a little sure that your parents won't have a heart attack. Hence , avoid trying this.
If you try B , and you want someone to convince them , you can get in contact with me through my profile or website. I am pretty good in convincing , but I will charge a food treat from you when we meet for that.
But mostly when you have earned yourself a saving to travel , you have also earned yourself the permission to relax and chill by your own ways for a few days , and the permission comes automatically.
So choose your priorities right. There is nothing wrong with people who does not want to travel , and there is nothing wrong with us , for whom travel is life. Its perspective. So if you have the wanderlust , you want to see places , meet new people and possibly someday earn your living by traveling like me or our community of backpackers , start following this instructions from today. Ask questions or any queries to me regarding on this matter freely.
Remember , for all who wanders are not lost.
None who are in love with wildlife can or could have ever forgotten the first time they have seen a wild tiger roaming free in the forest. It is a blessing for us that such majestic beast resides in our country and we are lucky to witness them so easily compared to people from other parts of the world. Most of us have seen it in zoo or captivity , but belive me untill you have seen it in its own territory and kingdom , my friend you don't know what you are missing on life. And those of who have seen it , we understand the bliss.
It was spring in the year of 2013 and I had made my journey to kanha national park , in the heart of india of Madhya pradesh. I still remember it as if , it was only yesterday , for such experiences only happens in life once.
It was a saturday morning with the sun burning bright over the head. I was taking my 3rd gypsy safari inside the forest in the Kisli zone. My previous two attempts gifted me with wonderful experiences of the jungle , but the tiger was still elusive. I had seen the pugs marks , the claw marks and every other signs that proved that the tiger was always watching me , even if I could not. The gypsy safari started early in dawn and in dark , for animal movement is high during the dusk and dawn. But now it was 8.30 in the morning and our chances of sighting the tiger was as fragile as me passing my maths paper in my coming semester.
Hopes were coming low , as our tiger expert driver and guides had told us , the majestic beast hates sun and hence as soon as the lights are out , they generally like to sleep under a boulder or deep in some den in the forest. However we decided to keep our search on for another hour. Even if it was spring the scorching sun was producing heat enough for us to give away and surrender the search for the majestic animal. But we fought on for another hour , when most of the other game drives were on their way out , without success , obviously we decided to make a last try towards a water hole.
As we were driving in a leisurely pace , the famous alarm call of the spotted deers were triggered. An alarm call is the warning sound made by the deers and monkeys when they feel a predator in its proximity. That is the signaling system of the forest that a predator is in vicinity. Our driver jumped to his feet, more excited than me and my fellow travellers. He pushed the accelerator , and headed for the source of the sound. We reached a open space from where the vast grasslands of kanha was visible. In the far meadows at about 400 metres from our gypsy , a herd of spotted deers stood still , as if on a guard. They were giving out the alarm call. And near to us in a 200 metre was a water hole. Now my driver shut down the engine , and asked us to be silent and be patient.
It was my drivers who's instinct was strong he affirmed and he said , IT IS NEAR!!
We were shifting our gaze and head from side to side to see where might the elusive cat be. After some ten minutes , in a hurriedness the herd of deers just ran off and vanished in the distant with in few seconds. As if they were chased by a monster or might have sighted death. On observing this all of us stood up or rather jumped on our feets to see. We could not detect anything at first , then ..........
Around 200 metres in the grass , finally we spotted a moving miracle. The most majestic thing I have ever witnessed truly. In a strips of black and orange a figure moved towards the lake. All of us were in shock. A kind of shock inexplicable. It felt like witnessing God walking into the garden of eden. The majestic walk , movements so sublime , a perfect personification of pride and power. It looked dangerous yet beautiful. Neither any of us moved , nor they blinked I suppose for all of us it was sheer excitement mixed with upheaval of emotions. It was free and wild and Sita signified that the most. THE TIGER and its grace , unforgettable.
It was called Sita , as our guides told us. It walked towards the waterhole. The strength and raw power were eminent in its muscles and paw. I zoomed in. All of us did. None of us uttered anything just observed and some clicked. Amazed by the wonder we behold , we were kids again. Nobody realised the time passed so fast , and Sita again took back the same route to disappear in the jungle. We could hardly shifted our any attention from that creature for that time being , for it had captured heart , mind , senses and my soul for sure.
Later I have been lucky to see a lot of tigers even participate in a tiger census and work as a forest interpreter, but the first time sighting is a memory as clear as my reflection in a mirror. For those of you who are yet to see their first wild tiger , rush for it now , everything in life cannot wait !!! For to behold a tiger in the wild for first time is to witness GOD !!
Join the tiger sighting tours this summer at Kanha in April , May , June. contact Deep.
Note from the Author,
" Travel made me rich and free. Magic and miracles are true , once you wander on the roads to places different and divine. I have collected so many thoughts and stories while being a Tour & Trek guide for last seven years. Sharing with you all, those memories and stories , and wishing you all , that someday you guys travel far and wide too. I am not a great writer , so ignore my grammar and spellings, read it with feelings, and you might just be affected with the wanderlust to hit the road"