Arti - My Yatra Diary
Arti loves travelling to spiritual destinations and loves chronicling her experiences on her blog. She enjoys doing both, travelling as well as travel blogging. They have both been complementary in giving her life a new direction and purpose. We caught up with Arti to get know her a little better, about her travel experiences & her choices in traveling responsibly.
Can you tell us when and how did the travel bug bite you?
India is a land of pilgrimages, and pilgrimages have been an inherent part of our culture since times immemorial, though earlier it was considered to be a traditional thing of old age. My parents started it young though. And as a child, I followed them wherever they went. I have always been a believer in God but their Yatras meant little to me then.
Today, however – they make more sense – and I am glad to be learning and experiencing new things along the way. I love that feel of walking in the footsteps of my ancestors. My Yatras help me slow down and I feel more connected, more settled in my heart. My parents are my inspiration and I am grateful to them for passing on this wanderlust gene to me.
And how do you fund your travel ?(savings/work whilst traveling/other)
Savings. I have learnt that, like in most matters, even those that are related to money, patience is really the key. God takes care of the rest.
How long have you been documenting your travel stories ?
I started documenting my experiences in November 2009. It’s been close to 7 years now that I have been blogging on My Yatra Diary.
Can you share with us, that one travel memory that you cherish till date ?
My entire trip to Japan is a travel memory (you can read all about it here ) that will be closer to my heart for ever. It was my first international trip and I had won it as an award for writing an article on my blog.
I felt a warm welcome in the country the moment I had landed. I met several of my blogger friends there, stayed with them in their house, ate with them and laughed together. The country and its people were so good to me, that the day I left, I almost had tears in my eyes. I just did not want to leave.
Have you been to any place, which turned out to be totally different to how you had imagined? If so, how?
I consciously try and keep my imaginations to a bare minimum when speaking of places. That way my curiosity takes the driving seat and expectations and other such ideas go out of the window. When the slate of the mind is void, your heart leads the way and you can get more out of the place. You tend to see things as they are and appreciate them for what they are rather than try and fit them in your perspective.
Your preferred travel companions?
My family is fun to travel with. They all enrich me with different, newer perspectives while travelling and I love seeing all of them.
Do you have a bucket list? If so what is the first item?
The whole of North East India, Kashmir, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, New Zealand. I am eagerly waiting for my chance to explore them – fingers crossed!
We all know that travel teaches us a great deal of things about life. Can you share with us what has travel taught you ?
Travel has bestowed on me a sense that there is something bigger than myself. It has made me humble by showing me how minuscule a place on this earth I occupy.
Travel has taught me to be curious and go with the flow. That’s when life happens. When you open yourself to the Universe, only then do you put yourself in a position to receive its bountiful gifts. Look at Mother Ganga! She is a great school to me just by being Herself.
The importance of travelling light is another aspect that can be applied to life. When you declutter and let go of the excess, both in travels and life, not only do you feel lighter but you also make the space to accommodate the things which are actually necessary.
Is there anything you do on your travels or in your every day life to try to minimize your impact on the environment?
I respect our sacred rivers by never throwing any waste or garbage in them. Same applies to all the other elements in nature as well. I do my best to raise awareness about these issues and help in sensitizing people about their actions towards our Mother Nature.
Please share with us, your message to aspiring women travelers?
Listen to what your heart says, and follow that way.
We asked Arti to give a one word substitute on few travel related questions.
- If some one asked you to give up travel and choose exactly one thing to do in life, what would you choose?
Volunteering / Service.
- A fictional character would you most like to meet or travel with ?
Calvin and Hobbes.
- One Dream Destination?
Some place not on the map, high in the mountains, Himalayas may be, by the River Ganga
- Your most preferred way of travelling (Backpacking/Economy/Luxury)?
- What describes you as a travel style as a woman, the best? Nomad / Diva / Aam Aurat
- A traveler who inspires you
You can follow Arti’s travel journey on the below platforms
‘F5 Escapes’ is a Bangalore-based, experiential travel company, with a focus on redefining the way women travel in India. The premise of F5 is an ambitious dream – to put India on the global travel map as a preferred destination for women from across the globe.
F5 Escapes offers fixed departure all-women group tours, customized itineraries for families, groups and solo travellers. We also do in-city engagements which include #JustGo travel meetups, workshops to educate women on travel safety, sustainable menstruation, motorbiking etc.