Welcome to another Globe Gazer Interview, where we learn more about a fellow Globe Gazer’s travel tastes. A Revolving Compass.
Interview with A Revolving Compass
1. When were you first struck by wanderlust?
After our wedding, we didn’t have time for a conventional honeymoon. As soon as we got a chance, we took our first day trip from Bangalore to Mysore. We enjoyed that day so much, we knew we were going to do it again and again. Soon, the next long weekend arrived and we packed our bags and headed to a nearby hill station. After that, there was no stopping us. Guess the wanderlust was always inside us, deep asleep. It was awoken by that first trip.
2. What’s your favorite phrase in another language?
“Je vous remercie,“ which means thank you in French. “Thank you” is one of the most beautiful phrases, no matter in which language it is spoken. We use it profusely wherever we go on our travels, and it has magical effect on human heart.
3. What song or artist gets you in the travel mood?
We love watching movies in which the backdrops revolve around travel. There’s a secret joke of ours that when we watch such movies, the characters disappear and we only see the beautiful landscapes beyond them.
4. What is the best food or drink you’ve stumbled upon in your travels?
The first time we had momos (veg momos filled with noodles, as we are vegetarians), we were so amazed by the taste. Nowadays, we do a lot of homestays and every time we do, we get to taste home-cooked, local cuisines. Sometimes, we help our hosts in the kitchen and learn about some authentic delicacies from them. There is also a particular street in Bangalore known as, “Food Street.” We once did a special visit there to enjoy the different street foods of India.
5. What would you say has been your favorite city so far?
Udaipur in Rajasthan, India. We visited there last year. The city has everything to offer, from beautiful lakes to massive palaces and old buildings, museums, temples for the spiritual souls, art centres, gardens and more. It is a small and cute city with so much to offer. It is fondly called the Venice of the East because of the romantic aura its lakes add to the city. Art is always close to our hearts as well, and Udaipur has lots of beautiful street art all over. Apart from this, there are some great day trips that can be taken from Udaipur to nearby places.
6. What is your go-to pick for souvenirs?
We love collecting a small souvenir from wherever we visit, but it has to be something local – connected to the art and culture of that place. For example, when we travelled to Rajasthan, we bought beautiful fabrics, and some small handmade fabric paintings that are specialities of that region. When we travelled to Mahabalipuram, a beach town, we bought small souvenirs made of shells. From yet another place, we got clay masks that adorn the walls of our house now.
7. What is one place you’ve visited that turned out not to be what you expected?
We had both visited Shimla and Manali, two beautiful hill stations in North India, as children. After almost 20 years, we went there again. But we were saddened by the state of the two towns. Massive urbanization has taken place there over the past 20 years and, as a result, the natural beauty has diminished significantly. We hope mankind takes care, as the urbanization proceeds, to preserve the natural beauty and conserve the natural resources around us.
8. Tell us one of your most adventurous travel stories.
Once, while trekking through the thick forest of Himalayas, we encountered a herd of wild dogs. As we sat at a rock and had some snacks to energize ourselves, the smell attracted several wild dogs, one after the other, that surrounded us in no time. We were so scared and had no clue what to do next. Just in time, a local tribal man appeared and advised us to start talking loudly. We obliged, loudly shouting some prayers! Hearing our loud sounds, the dogs retreated. However, the memory of that event will stay with us forever.
9. Number one travel tip?
Plan ahead, grab the deal, travel light, have your backpack ready and enjoy as much as you can on each one of your travels.
10. Most important lesson travel has taught you?
The world is beautiful. And no school can introduce you to its beauty, diversity, cultures, traditions and different colours better than travel. Travel teaches you to embrace differences, love across boundaries and live happily in all situations.
11. What’s one thing people should know about your home country?
Our home country, India, is a very beautiful land. It is a mini-world in and of itself. Every state has a different culture, cuisines, language, soil colour, customs and traditions. There is so much diversity to experience in this one country. The same is true of its landscapes. From the highest mountain range in the world – the Himalayas, to one of the longest coastlines in the world spanning two different oceans, rainforests, mountain peaks, reserve forests, beautiful valleys, sunny beaches, sand desert, white salt desert to islands – India has everything a traveller looks for. It also has a very rich history, and is home to one of the oldest civilizations in the world. It has 50+ UNESCO world heritage centres, ancient ruins, old forts and palaces, and even stone age carvings. A must-visit for everyone, we would say.