Top 20 People I Met On Road And Incredibly Fell In Love With


The Moment You Doubt Whether You Can Fly, 

You Cease Forever To Be Able To Do It - Peter Pan 

 How often have we survived on what is called the trauma tactics - we can’t travel now because we have babies, we can’t do this because we are not good writers, we can’t do that because we are introverts, or we can’t do whatever because of what so ever reason we create in our heads.

But for people, I met on road in the past 4 years, may have had their own battles, but that’s not what makes them today. What makes them today and what makes them forever, is their intense passion to drive them forward come what may. They are not abla naaris but able naaris , they are not tired men but men with dreams. What drives them today is hope they create in limited souls. What drives them today is their own sunshine.

In spite of their achievements, they are humble, grounded, loving and supportive and see the world as a team where they are their own competition. Surprisingly for all those negative minds, who think their life may not be sorted out due to their way forward which is different than how regular people live their life, let me tell you, they have mastered balance that makes them stand out.

They have earned every recognition they are applauded for by readers or by people and there's no easy way to do it. But so can you.  

Today, I acknowledge them, and say how great all of you have been, without which, my life would have been just ordinary as everyone else’s. This is not a list of Top bloggers in India but this is something I always wanted to write about like a testimonial to them and this is a list of people I have intimately known and fell in love with, thankfully due to their blogs or sometimes otherwise:

1) Nisha Jha, Travel Blogger at Lemonicks 

She is poetry in herself

 Me and Nisha met on the first FAM trip to Spain and again second FAM trip to Suryagarh and we instantly clicked. Ever since, we have only connected over phone, that too sometimes. She is someone who doesn’t give up even with Bandages. She is someone who is like me but better - she laughs off and shrugs off even if she’s hurt - not obsessed about social media but living it up to the fullest. She is someone who you would feel a child wrapped in a women frivolously voicing her opinion when needed and living in Hostels, Backpacking and Volunteering when she feels like and not to rant to the world , but to gain her own experience. Like me, she despises negativity and we had a whole evening online chat when we discussed on how negative people can get. She is not scared but she doesn’t flaunt. She is Nisha and I admire her for when we met, till when we meet again.

2) Sonia Nazareth, Anthropologist and Writer 

I was elated on finding Namita's name and Sonia's name in one of the magazines when I was leaving Bangalore home, I was like I know them! Yey.

I met Sonia on my trip to Scotland. Sonia is like an every guy’s dream. She’s intelligent, beautiful and forthright. She is very sweet to talk to, and she is a very sweet person. She knows how to have limitless fun too. She is a person who doesn’t need multiple impressions, her first impression stays. She travels 9 months a year and many travel of her is for great causes. She is someone I didn’t connected post my trip because I didn't had her contact number or anything, but I truly admired her till when we were there.

3) Sankara Subramanian, Travel Blogger on Beontheroad

Sankara is endless good talk.

I would tell you guys a story. Sankara and me met on a flight to Malaysia. We started connecting as two bloggers and then he asked if he can sit with me on the seat which was empty next to me. He talks nonstop. He talks things that are interesting and he knows how to earn through his blog. He has got his own team. For people who complain that one cannot make a profession must have to have a word with him. A part of him is all about his plans and his team and a part of him on how he connects in his long term stay at every part of the world. He’s got real life stories that would make you listen to him, in fact the moment he’d leave you, you might even miss his voice. Incredibly romantic in an old fashion way to possibly people he loves, he is a great good friend. A part of him speaks Bhojhpuri Hindi when he is not speaking English and that’s the part of him, is so different from his business sense in real world.

4) Siddharth Joshi, Travel Blogger at Sid The Wanderer 

Sid is as passionate as his passion projects.

When I first met Sid on my trip to Suryagarh, I didn’t know much about him, except that we clicked well. There are very few people, I can be outspoken with comfortably, and he is one of them. He is one of those guys, who is incredibly genuine and sweet and really nice to talk to you, not just to you but to people surrounding him. He is a very good people person - he by far doesn't judge anyone - very very down to earth person. And every time, when you’d talk you’d know he’s beyond his lustrous hair locks. He is got a depth in his character and dedication in his soul for causes he believes in. Whether its catching dreams of people for 365 days, or missing the jeep when talking to a priest at the temple or clicking pictures with perfection, he is got his life tied up beautifully and he is incredibly sweet person. It's difficult to not fall in love with what work he does.

5) Namita Gupta, Deccan Chronicle 

Namita you were my best travel companion - you are the right amount of fun.

To be humble and to be graceful is what Namita is all about. She is energy abounds. I first met Namita at Avirate where we won the real women contest and me and she were a team for the rest of the evening because in between the loudness the ambience had, she was an escape. She is a very no nonsense, go getting person. We did a trip together to Turkey, and I wouldn’t have had found a better partner, we even gate crashed a local jazz pub for free! She looks half her age, and talks with a energy of a kid who flirts and giggles and laughs and lives life and she’s got a drive within her, that can sparkle anyplace anywhere. I still remember she got cookies for me, her daughter made. Namita you are a perfectionist and sweet as sugar. If I have to choose one travel partner, who I can truly be myself with, It would be you.

6) Mridula Dwivedi, Travel Blogger at  Travel Tales From India

Look at her smile, isn't that radiant enough to make you pack your bags?

I haven’t travelled with Mridula, but by the few moments I spent with her at Dilli Hat Delhi, I knew we have a connection. Our Dads were in railways which I got to know when I first met her and we could talk a lot of Sarkari stuff, and how we grew up. Apart from that, she is got a zeal in her smile, and an energy you get inspired from. She really does know how to take care and help. And I hope that in future we get to travel together sometime. I do follow her blog and she is the only blogger I follow a lot..I just happen to bump into her blog quite often - just to see where her daughter is trekking with her sometimes. I love to watch her kids grow and how adventurous they are becoming.. For folks who always think kids are a hindrance to travel or otherwise or age is, must and must read her blog. She has her smile you wouldn’t be able to compete with. She is blogging for quite a while now, probably 10 years or so, making her one of the oldest in the field, but she is what she is, because you would know when you meet her.

7) Lakshmi Sharath, Travel Blogger at Lakshmi Sharath

Lakshmi, You are the most organized person I have known about..

 I met Lakshmi on my trip to Punjab. I wonder how Lakshmi manages time , she is always doing the right thing at the right time. Even when we were there, she was writing freelance articles. She was also very put together with her words on the interview. She has media experience and she is incredibly fun to be had with. She is always encouraging and she has explored a lot of places in India and abroad and that perfectly sums up her beautiful Instagram frequent updates.

8) Neelima Vallangi , Travel Blogger at Travel With Neelima

Neelima, we have got to go crazy next time too! How about Ice Skating :P

I met Neelima on my trip to Switzerland and I always wanted to meet her because I have had heard about her and because she is all about trekking and hiking and doing super crazy stuff. But Neelima is a vulnerable sweet lady and you’ve got to spend couple of hours or (get drunk) to really know her. Because she is someone who believes that everyone could do it, if she can. She knows her weaknesses and her strength and talks about both, and that's the beauty of her.

9) Shivya Nath, Travel Blogger at The Shooting Star

She is just a girl who travels but she is just a girl who travels a lot lot. She does responsible travel and she meets and stays with locals. When I first met her at the Delhi Travel Massive Meet years ago, she was quiet , probably by then we didn’t even know each other, I was newbie in blogging(5 months old). I love her blog and her writing style and her stories, they really make one think to head to an offbeat place right away. It gives you ample hope that as shooting stars, wishes do come true if you happen to make them and follow through it.

 She has a knack for discovering new things, offbeat places and not giving up. She is a very bold lady who makes her choices in life and speaks about it openly on her blog or through her updates on social media. I have been following her journey, and I wish her all the best. She is one of the best known travel bloggers in India, and for all the great reasons. She writes well, she is unintimated by life experiences and she keeps on experimenting with new stuff.

10) Rutavi ,  Travel Blogger at Photokatha

I have never met Rutavi, but we have connected and talked on phone but she is got an aura that very few can create. She is ideas in plenty. She is like a mastermind. She is well with people and she looks forward to things with no restrictions whatsoever in mind. She is a go getter, and do things than talk about it. She is incredibly brave and have done things that has got many publications and channels featuring her. She is strong and she knows what she is doing. When we first connected, I was a little overwhelmed,  however, I realize that’s her, she wants everyone to connect as a collective and work together and that’s such a beautiful thing in a competitive world.

11) Shrinidhi , Travel Blogger at enidhi 

Simplicity is the best thing to wear on sleeve.

Shrinidhi has got a very basic template on his blog and it stays and it works. And it does because that’s precisely him. He is purity. Whether its talking about coconuts in an international country, or comparing two things honestly, he is honesty. I have seen and read his blog posts, that I felt I could rely on with my eyes closed only because he doesn’t need creamy words to lace an article or heavily edited photos to get readers. His research, his honesty is more than enough. A lover of animals and simple things, this is the guy you got to meet.

12) Aanchal Khurrana, Skydiver 

The real dedication comes from heart, and as she races her heartbeats with her adrenaline rush,
she is one of the most caring people I have met.

Aanchal was my manager at Skydiving team but I always felt she was more than a friend. A manager at a very young age, she has her own story to tell. However, she is very brave, and very very caring. So caring that you wonder how come Delhi hasn’t spoiled her. She takes care of all her crew as friends, she is stern when she needs to, but she is someone who’d never leave you alone or if you give her a call she’ll make a reason to not help you. She’s a good business women because she’s practical and she expects the world to be generally nice, and that’s the beauty of her.

13) Archana Sardana, Skydiver and Base Jumper

I haven’t met Archana. We connected on mails long back. She is India’s First women Base Jumper / Skydiver and if you go by her Facebook , she is not only just a Skydiver but her whole family seems to be in top something or the other including her kids who recently got the appreciation for the youngest Scuba Diver. Her drive towards her passion is impeccable. In the past few years, she emerged as a Model, Skydiver, Scuba diver, Base Jumper and had opened her own diving center. She is a flawless, married with two kids, perfect women.

14) Avi & Anita Malik, Templepilots 

An ex Air force officer meets his lady love and opens a paragliding school. I have stayed with Avi and Anita in Talegaon Pune and they are the humblest people I have ever met. Why? Because..they inspire you with what they do - what recently seems like they are paragliding throughout the world. When you talk to them, you wouldn’t feel an air of pride. They are very humble people and they have got a dog on field which sometimes travels with them too. I really love them.

15) Supriya Sehgal, Lonely Planet 

Me and my hubby both met Supriya just once when we went to Coorg and Surpriya is a handful. She writes for Lonely Planet and knows thereby a lot about India. When you see those guidebooks on places, she is many times a contributor. She is very enthusiastic always, tomboyish and a real happy heppy trekky person.

16) Nilu Yuleena Thapa, Fashion Blogger at Big Hair Loud Mouth

 I have met her just once in Splash Event and she is very fluid and very very down to earth person unlike other fashion bloggers I have met and felt had an air about, Nilu makes you at ease. What magically transforms her , is how she creates perfect ensembles when she wears them. She is bold and doesn’t mind experimenting. In fact, her clothes, her style and her change of hair often is what I love the most. Inspite of being the biggest in Fashion Blog, she doesn’t have that air of wasteful pride in her. She believes in doing her best, and that’s what she is doing currently.

17) Alicia Souza, Illustrator and Entrepreneur 

She is young and she is happiness.  I have met her twice once on my trip to Chikmagalur and another on a Tanishq Event. As cute as she is when she smiles or talk, she uses her cuteness for creativity and today is a businesswomen with her own enterprise as an illustrator. I love her doodles, whether on Tshirts or cards or her own Facebook page, she is optimistic always as seen, radiant to some extent. She loves her dogs and her doodles are always about her real life stories in very humorous ways - something we notice but sometimes we miss ! It makes me think of childhood thoughts we once had that she beautifully portrays.

18) Vikram Karve, Academic and Creative Writer at KarveDiat

An ex-navy officer journals his ordeal in the armed forces. I used to read his blog a lot, sometimes as inspiration and sometimes as how things work from relationships to services couple of years back. Whatever is penned down, is penned down with humour. I love it because real life stories are told, and I love it because it feels like a diary of sorts. And I also love it because there is no negativity in his blog. He could be a therapist to many. We have briefly interacted on comments, and hardly known each other, but Sir, your writings are loved. Whenever I am down, I reach onto them. Even today. Very nicely written, like someone’s telling you his own life experience with a lot of rolfl and lol.

19) Arvind Passey, Fictional Writer at Passey

When I started reading his blog, it felt like how could a man so aged be so enthusiastic. He’s got a zeal to learn. From Biking on rough terrains, to creating doodles to telling us stories, to introducing us to his wife on the blog, one cannot determine his age. A gentleman cadet from IMA to today head of corporate communication who has worked with major media homes, and today a writer, he is bundles of hope. Often when I used to write for contests and would view his piece, I would feel I lack so much and that’s why he has won so many contests. His words flow. And his age isn’t what makes him. Applauds.

20) Madhvi Vij, Was with Canada Tourism

 Often professional differs from personal. Often people keep them separate. I have worked with Madhvi on Canada, and I felt she was so easy. So easy to talk to, so easy to break the ice between professional and personal and so caring. You could feel like a momma bear protecting her kids with Madhvi and that’s what I love about her is, conversations with her never end on an end of engagement, her or mine. It could extend to discussion on lifestyle topics or this and that and blah blah, she blends so well, and she cares so deep, that you instantly feel the love for her as long as she’s there. Between she was a model once.

Bharath from Flameback Chickmagalur, was another great person who I met on road and he travels a lot. And he is not a blogger. 14 years back he drove on a bike across the country. After which he worked on cruise ships and wildlife lodges and today he works for Flameback and takes care of resort and the environment around and nearby areas, and rescue snakes and takes part in offroading contests. He is very humble to talk to and a very nice person.

And there are few others that I haven't interacted with fully, or had a chance to spend time with them although I have met them are Hrish Thota, Nivedith Ganapathy who are social media tycoons - they are doing so so well in social media and traveling too.

So guys what I have learnt from these people are 

1)The best time to travel is above 40+ when your life is settled and when you are looking forward to your dreams.

2)The best time to pursue your dreams and quit your job is anytime if you are that passionate and sure. It contradicts point 1 right? I know it does. And both of them are true, depending on what preferences in life you have. If you don't want to have a family, or your partner is your traveling partner, then by all means travel early and the whole life. But if you have a family who you want to spend time with, and have other priorities then early 20's and late 40's looks like a good blanket.

I remember I got a query from a fresh new school pass out, if she can pursue travel blogging without having to go to college right away and earn, and I said, no don't fall for those dreams, until you are stable enough. All of us, have had a bit of experience to be able to take a risk. So these queries do terrify me, everyone looks at travel blogging like a fantasy, because they don't know that earning through blog needs a lot of hard work and patience, and they only see free travel, which only a bit of experience can bring in internally or externally. You must be ready enough to be planning earning is what I mean.

3) The best time to start your business is today, it doesn't need prior experience probably good ideas, and planning. Probably what you love the most, and going forward with how you can capitalize it is what matters most.

 4) When you fail, get up. Nothing comes easy. No profession is as good or as bad or fearful it may look from the outside, or as people say it, just go forward.

5) It's important to take care. And by my own experience, blogging is not the start and end of the world, I had put in a lot of effort in last 4 years, but I miss the quality time I used to spend on initial days of my marriage, I juggle a lot between the two and its a struggle. I actually sleep just 5 hours. So my new goal in life is to take care of my health. Consistent travel takes up a lot of energy, so you need to be in good health, so that you could travel better and so that you can write about them.

6) It's important to Balance: I miss being real in the real world when my passion solely goes into one thing and that's why I picked up volunteering and now I am starting to define my work time and not going beyond it. It was sometime back that I used to get up and the first thing I would do is check Twitter or Facebook and its actually a pathetic habit. My hubby is making me let go of that habit. Probably I'll start biking when I'll change city.

I also get so many mails, that I tend to lose a lot of time, on first sorting them and then replying to them. Mail management has been my biggest challenge in the past one year. I keep on getting mails and I keep on starring them with amusement :)

It's very easy to fall into addiction of travel because lets face it, if travel comes free, who wouldn't want to travel? But it looks like free, and isn't so. Its work. You go to a place and work in exchange. But its good work, you learn a lot.

7) It's okay to return back to a job after you quit: After my dwindling income that blogging does provide (Its a lot of effort than a regular job),  I feel no shame, that I am wanting to work again in a proper travel industry if travel is my passion, and that will only happen when my visa gets changed. So, I have already told my hubby, that I now want to share costs, surprisingly I still have savings from Blogging, but I want something consistent so that he doesn't feel that he needs to take care alone or the unpredictability blog earning brings is something I don't want to rely on anymore. I need to get out and interact with real people any profession provides than be stagnant and rely on occasional people when I travel.

8) Know your priorities: I realized I am not one of those who is going to sacrifice the joy of marriage, or babies( if we have any in future) to travel. I ain't even a social media addict. Yes, I love travel but I love my hubby too and I don't want to get old without either/or of them. I can't be anymore traveling 12 months a year like last to last year, because I have other obligation too. But that doesn't mean that I wouldn't travel. I have goals and in time, each of them would be fulfilled, without having to sacrifice one to another. I don't make long term plans, but small little small little plans. There are few countries that I wish to go, one is Iceland, New Zealand, Africa and Japan. And apart from that, since I am already in a different country than mine, I can sit and explore different sides to it.

9) Get real: Yes, the world is huge, but so is love and life passing everyday. To be online, we can't miss offline. And that's where when I look at Archana or Mridula or Lakshmi or Nisha, comes into picture - they know how to balance their personal vs professional. Or when I look at Sid or Shrinidhi, because they work and they travel too. If you are downright adventurous and free - spirited look at Shivya, she writes freelance from anywhere around the world or look at Sonia, she's got a profession that makes her travel. It's important to have that balance of what you are passionate about and what love and passion means to you.

10) Stop procrastinating and work: Still, I guess 40+ or the early 20's is the right time for it! You can build up in your 30's slowly and steadily at your pace, but understand that life is not a race and not all of us want to die one day and say 'we blogged'. Some of us just want to have a simple life, be loved, but want to explore the excitement that new places brings.

But look above to the list, and get inspired on how everyone is doing it, so one has no reason to complain why they cannot and there are several many ways to follow passion or your dreams.

Remember always age is just a number. Stop complaining, relying on destiny and start working on it. Don't believe in whatever is meant to be, will come. Because whatever comes, is often outcome of your effort. What you give in, comes out!


  1. Super list! I discovered so many more interesting people here :)

  2. Superb! Its very interesting article & all clicks are fabulous.I am waiting for your next article.

  3. Such a sweet lovely post Ankita, coming right from the heart. I am humbled. Thank you for kind and generous words. Loved reading about others and couldn't agree more about those with whom I have traveled.

    Great lessons there for everyone.

    Miss talking to you.

  4. Thanks a lot for the kind words... Happy to have met 11 out of the 19 other people...Hope to connect with others too

  5. Wonderful and honest article Ankita. I echo almost everything here.


  6. Thanks for the blog, A very nice read!


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