“…because life is too exciting to not share.”
Hullo! I’m Shikha, the founder of Nomad Scribblings, a travel blog about India. I’m a solo traveller in search of surprises in India. Here, on my blog, you will find my travel stories from across India, photo essays that capture my trips – right from the cold, high altitude deserts of Spiti to the solitary beaches of Diu to the surprisingly beautiful backwaters of Kerala. Plus, the very enchanting north-eastern India. More often than note, you’ll find anecdotes from my solo trips here.
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There are places that I write about. And then, there are places that I am in love with and wish to keep close to myself; as secrets that I do not wish to let anybody in on. A friend asked me to write about things to do in Landour, which, for sure, is one of the latter...read more
I perched myself on a rock at one of the Goa beaches, looking at the Sun going down the sea. A couple passed me, walking hand in hand into a beach shack. A woman sat flopped in the sand with a dog by her side. A couple of kids sped by on bikes, yelling in glee. Bob Marley’s ‘Don’t worry, be happy…’ started streaming from one of the beach cafes as the Sun dipped.read more
Photo taken during a trek in Manali, Himachal Pradesh, India. Flower offerings in the Vashisht Temple complex. Marigold flowers can be seen strewn around altars at many temples, a sign of respect and faith.read more
You do not need to be a professional photographer to capture Kerala photos. That’s the magic of this state in the south of India. A place that has beauty in such abundance that it looks like a canvas that is still wet, painted by somebody who was almost a poet. No wonder Kerala is known as God’s own country, it can besot any Gods.read more
Thus, I travel, in search of calm. If you too are searching for places to reconnect with nature or yourself, these are my pick for some of the most solitary and largely offbeat Indian places.read more
There is hardly any difference between solo travelling and otherwise. Or, well, there actually is. While I am quite good at travelling with people, also goats and sheep (true story), there is nothing as calming as a solo trip. Calming even if you take away the cool quotient that people usually associate it with.
I’m writing this at 7:26 PM, some hours away from turning 30. And bless me, this doesn’t make a difference.
More so, since I’ve already turned 30 (writing this the next morning, since I could not write more than that first sentence yesterday)! People, when I turned 20, and then 25, speculated that my priorities will change. But, sorry to disappoint, they have not. My priority set is very much the same – travel, meet new people, and (never) settle. Or, perhaps, I’m settled.
I’ve a decent job, an apartment (on rent) that is huge for me, and closets that have more clothes than what I prefer choosing from (never mind I don’t fit in many of those!). My kitchen, which is nothing like Nigella Lawson’s, has kept me well-fed somehow. While I might get a dog soon, humans have kept away. And that is precisely where I tipple the equation of ‘settling down’. A lot of questions and curiosity have come my way. And damn, people are curious.
Apparently, every one that I know is neck deep in love. Good for them, for that makes the world a better place. But, this phenomenon has not struck me yet.
Or well, it has. That, if we can count in all the fairly good ‘practically good’ people who have (or wanted to) date me. But, the thing with all the practical people and their love is some oxymoron, for you can either be in love or practical. My sort of love has no practicality, no chains. It is dreamy, happy, warm and so very powerful that everything else fades. Call it a flaw or label it good, settling down for anything less is not on my mind. Not at 30, not at 40, never.
Do not confuse it with perfection; it’s perfection that is entirely mine. I’ll accept it when I feel it as ardently as I feel about travelling, the great love.
Something that can keep you going, something that makes you feel so powerful. Till then, I won’t settle. This is precisely (or almost) what I said when I turned 20, and then 25. And then, thanks for your patience for keeping up with me, at 30 as well!
To you, please do not settle. Firstly, know what you want. And then, wait for it. Be stubborn. It might be a long wait; it might be forever. But, it would not be a compromise. It will be perfection; your perfection.
Lately, no it’s been quite long, I’ve been getting messages, e-mails and more from people keen to take up travel blogging. To frame it right, a majority wants to know how to be a travel blogger (which hints at the mystery of how to get paid to travel). While this may sound brutal, no such concept exists. People, specifically bloggers, who get paid to travel are doing more than just embarking on fancy trips. These are the people using their skills and travelling from the money they make of it. So, you see, they are getting paid for certain work and not travelling exclusively.
There is a lot that you can do to get here, right from photography to writing to social media marketing. Some of the best travel bloggers with seemingly cool jobs are working even while travelling to keep, well, the trips going. Consider Derek F’real, one of the best travel bloggers out there. This amazing guy seems to have more than 24 hours for a day in hand for his work shuffles between writing for his own blog, guest posts, social media promotions, video editing, photography and what not.
Again, if you do not have any of those skills, check out websites such as Jobbatical that will lead you to a more secure, conservative approach of working as well as travelling. This site has jobs for everyone from IT and Education to Social Work and more. So, even if you have a run-of-the-mill engineering degree in your kitty and have the spark of wanderlust going strong, there is no need to let go of that comfortable pay cheque.
As for travel blogging, the queries that get pouring in my inbox are majorly from people, who still haven’t set up a blog! So, you see, you cannot get to the top of the ladder by skipping the very first steps. If you like blogging, go ahead, start a blog. If you like travelling, start travelling to places that meet your budget. Stop waiting for publications and corporate houses to pay you for your trips. It’s as simple as the times when you go shopping; you buy what you like and can afford with no expectations of somebody else paying for you.
The point is, it’s your dream, only you can/should build it.
PS – For the ones curious about my trips, I’ve a regular job for more than a year now and I’m not hating it. And yes, I’ve not stopped travelling. If anything, I’m adding more pages to my travel blog here.
Solo Travel for Women