Hyderabad girl Renuka caught our attention for her cheerful, down-to-earth voice. Her blog, Voyager For Life, features some of India’s most beautiful places through photos and words.
Why do you travel solo? What are som of the joys and downsides of going it alone?
I started travelling solo with the thought of exploring the idea of travelling alone. I wanted to know what it really is to explore a place alone. But, as I started travelling more frequently, I realised I had no company! That’s when I decided to do it on my own, and it’s been an incredible journey so far. The idea is not to give up on your travel dream just because you don’t have anybody to travel with.
Solo travel gives you freedom to do your own thing. You can travel spontaneously at a slow pace. You get to connect with people, make new friends and are able to absorb a place more deeply. The only downside to solo travel is that there’s nobody to take your pictures!
Since when have you been blogging about travel, and how did the idea come up?
I have been blogging since August 2012. I started blogging very casually with no big idea on my mind. I just wanted to showcase my travel photographs and perhaps write a few lines around them. But then, I started enjoying blogging and it seemed a good way to build my travel writing portfolio.
How often do you post on your blog? Are you a disciplined blogger or post only when you have the time and urge to?
I try to post at least once a week. Yes, I’m a disciplined blogger for sure, because I do stick to a schedule. I believe a blogger should post often only if he/she has solid content to share, otherwise it’s better to post once a week. Quality is always better than quantity.
Please share 3 to 5 tips for aspiring bloggers on how they can gain more followers and visibility.
To begin with, a blogger should focus on churning out good and interesting content. As long as your content is valuable, people will notice your blog eventually. So, write with honesty. If it’s a travel blog, make sure you use high quality pictures. Connect with people both online and offline. Build a strong social media presence.
One stamp on your passport that you are proudest of, and why.
In fact, I have only one stamp on my passport so far, which is of Australia and I’m extremely proud of it. Looking forward to a lot more stamps in the near future.
You have said that a good stay adds a lot of substance to one’s travel experience. Which of your stays so far would you pick as the best ever?
My favourite stays have been in Sikkim and Darjeeling – I stayed with a Bhutia family in Gangtok (Shire Guest House) and a Nepali family in Darjeeling (Kettle Valley Home Stay). They were wonderful people, extremely hospitable and gracious.
Shire Guest House (Image Source)
Which camera do you use?
I use Nikon DSLR 5100.
What is the most stunning sight that you have laid your eyes on?
Ah! Well, there have been many sights that have stunned me – Backwaters of Kerala, Dandeli, remote regions of Sikkim and recently Sonmarg really gripped me.
Sonmarg (Image Source)
Your crown for the world’s most relaxing place would go to…
I can’t say about the world, but yes, I enjoyed my stay tremendously at Sai Vishram Beach Resort in Paduvari (Coastal Karnataka). You can recline on the beach whole day long without a thing on your mind.
Point us to a great place for dinner (anywhere in the world!)
Ambrai Bar & Restaurant in Udaipur. It’s a lovely place for romantic lake-side evenings. Who wouldn’t be mesmerised by the picturesque Lake Pichola and the divine Lake Palace?
An unforgettable meal memory from your travels…
It was the scrumptious South-Indian platter served on a houseboat in Kerala. Though I am not a fan of South Indian cuisine, the food I had in Kerala was delectable!
A travel app or gadget you would recommend…
It’s better to keep technology at bay on your travels.
One place you think did not live up to the hype.
Well, that would be Mysore Palace.
One travel mistake you would never make again.
I can’t think of any one particular travel mistake, because I make so many mistakes on my travels! I’m just trying to get better and better with each travel experience.
Next on your travel wish list, and why.
Ladakh. It’s on my wish list for quite a while now. I want to get done with it as soon as possible. I want to go there more as a photographer. I can’t wait to capture its magnificent landscapes.
“I believe more than money one needs ‘courage’ to travel, and more than destinations, I like to count ‘experiences’, because the real meaning of travel is to discover, learn and grow.” Renuka
Connect with Renuka:
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/renukatravelbuff
Twitter – https://twitter.com/renns20