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Cycling From Ottapalam To Kenya, Meet Arunima IP

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Arunima IP, hailing from the quaint town of Ottapalam in Palakkad, Kerala, has redefined the meaning of adventure and freedom. This daring backpacker has traversed the length and breadth of India and ventured into 12 foreign countries, experiencing cultures and landscapes. As an LGBTQ+IA girl from a small town, she’s living her life in a way that most only dream of.

A Journey Born from Family Adventures

Arunima’s love for travel didn’t just spring up overnight. From childhood, she embarked on numerous trips with her family and friends. These early adventures ignited a passion for exploration that would later define her life. Her first solo trip to Goa, where she traveled by bus and train, marked the beginning of her solo travel saga. Her independent streak set the stage for her future exploits.

Cycling Through Africa: A Solo Adventure

Currently, Arunima is on an awe-inspiring solo cycling tour across Africa. Pedaling through remote villages and vast landscapes, she immerses herself in the continent’s rich culture and natural beauty. Her courage and determination have stunned many, as she navigates her way through unfamiliar territories alone.

From Civil Aviation to Full-Time Traveler

Before dedicating herself to full-time travel, Arunima worked various jobs to fund her journeys, despite having a background in civil aviation. It was in mid-2020 that she decided to embrace traveling as a full-time pursuit. The traveller is committed to a life on the move and doesn’t intend to settle in one place.

Exploring the World: One Country at a Time

Arunima’s international travel adventures began with a trip to Nepal, followed by explorations in Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Oman, the UAE, Bhutan, Bangladesh, and Ethiopia. Currently, she is exploring Kenya, the 12th country on her list. Each destination adds a new chapter to her incredible journey, filled with unique experiences and learnings.

The Epic Bicycle Journey Across 22 Countries

In November 2022, Arunima embarked on a two-year bicycle journey to explore 22 countries. This ambitious expedition was flagged off by Sports Minister V. Abdurahiman in Malappuram. Starting from Kerala, she cycled 2,500 km to Mumbai in just ten days before flying to Oman. Her journey through Oman included visits to stunning locations like Quriyat, Bimmah Sinkhole, Amerat Heights, Sal Steps, and Muttrah Souq.

Passion Turned Profession

Arunima has seamlessly blended her passion for travel with her profession by creating content for social media platforms. Her vlogs, which document her travels and the everyday lives of the people she meets, have garnered a loyal following. Her engaging storytelling and authentic experiences make her content relatable and inspiring.

A Community of Followers and Supporters

Throughout her travels, Arunima connects with her followers and subscribers, who often provide her with food, shelter, and valuable travel tips. In Oman, she was warmly welcomed by her followers in Bausher, who were thrilled to host her and hear about her adventures firsthand. While she has a whole community that supports her, there are many who criticize as well. On a recent post where she dressed like a tribal community in Kenya, she faced a lot of backlash for not covering up appropriately. But her supporters were quick to defend and encourage her to embrace all such experiences.

Embracing the Unexpected

Initially planning to visit nearly 20 countries, Arunima has had to adapt her plans along the way. The unpredictable nature of travel means that flexibility is key, and she embraces every twist and turn with enthusiasm and grace.

An Inspiration for Aspiring Travelers

Arunima’s story is one of independence, and a relentless pursuit of dreams. Her adventures and the way she navigates the world serve as a powerful inspiration to young women and aspiring travelers everywhere. She proves that with courage and determination, the world is yours to explore.

Anusuya is a content samurai, slaying mediocrity with creativity. This Calcutta-born and Bengaluru-raised girl loves crafting compelling content across all realms; social media posts that pop to website copy that sells. When she's not hunched over her laptop, you'll find her creating Pinterest boards for her next vacation or binge-watching Asian dramas.

Lifestyle

Vietnam is Paradise on a Budget for Indian Travelers

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Vietnam is a Southeast Asian gem that beckons Indian travelers with its rich culture, stunning landscapes, and delicious cuisine – all at a price that won’t break the bank. This Asian destination became one of the top-tourist destinations for Indians post Covid-19 and the hype doesn’t seem likely to die down anytime soon! Buckle up for an unforgettable adventure that’s easy on your wallet!

Here’s what you need to know to help you get started with your Vietnam itinerary; with some tips we stole from slow travel content creator Komal Maheshwari!

First, meet Komal! She’s a slow traveller who takes her followers along on her journeys on social media. This engineering graduate from Siliguri, quit her IT job to pursue content creation full-time and there’s been no looking back. She now has 53K followers on Instagram! If you’ve got the travel bug, follow Komal Maheshwari for some authentic travel tips!

Now, let’s dive into our take on what you can do to make your Vietnam trip a success, with some tips from this traveller!

Must-Visit Cities in Vietnam:

  • Hanoi: Immerse yourself in the vibrant energy of Vietnam’s capital. Explore the Old Quarter’s bustling streets, visit the iconic Hoan Kiem Lake, and delve into the city’s fascinating history at museums like the War Remnants Museum.
  • Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon): Experience the dynamic heart of South Vietnam. Take a motorbike tour, wander through Ben Thanh Market, or visit the Notre Dame Cathedral and Reunification Palace. Don’t miss the Cu Chi Tunnels for a glimpse into the war’s complexities.
  • Hoi An: This UNESCO World Heritage Site is a photographer’s paradise. Explore the charming ancient town with its colorful lanterns, tailor-made clothes, and Japanese Covered Bridge. Relax on the nearby beaches of Cua Dai or An Bang.
  • Nha Trang: Craving beach bliss? Nha Trang boasts pristine coastline with turquoise waters and soft sand. Explore nearby islands like Hon Mun for snorkeling and diving adventures.
  • Ha Long Bay: Embark on a magical cruise through this UNESCO World Heritage Site. Witness towering limestone pillars rising from the emerald waters, explore hidden caves, and discover a breathtaking natural wonder.

Foods to Try:

  • Phở (Noodle Soup): A quintessential Vietnamese dish, Phở features fragrant broth, rice noodles, and thinly sliced meat (often beef or chicken).
  • Bánh Mì (Savory Sandwiches): These delightful baguettes are filled with savory ingredients like pate, grilled pork, pickled vegetables, and fresh herbs.
  • Bún Chả (Grilled Pork with Noodles): Tender grilled pork served over rice noodles with a sweet and savory dipping sauce is a must-try.
  • Gỏi Cuốn (Spring Rolls): Fresh rice paper rolls filled with vegetables, meat, or shrimp, dipped in a flavorful peanut sauce.
  • Cà phê Phin (Vietnamese Coffee): Enjoy a strong and silky coffee brewed with a traditional phin filter.

Experiences to Try:

  • Motorbike Tour: Explore the countryside or bustling cities on a motorbike for an authentic Vietnamese experience.
  • Cooking Class: Learn the secrets of Vietnamese cuisine by taking a cooking class and whipping up your favorite dishes.
  • Tailor-Made Clothing: Hoi An is famous for its skilled tailors, so take advantage of getting custom-made clothes at affordable prices.
  • Water Puppet Show: Witness a unique Vietnamese tradition where puppets come alive on water, accompanied by live music.
  • Kayaking in Ha Long Bay: Explore the hidden grottoes and emerald waters of Ha Long Bay on a kayaking adventure.

How to Plan Your Budget-Friendly Vietnamese Escape:

Wondering how to plan the trip and budget? According to @komalified, your budget could range anywhere between INR 25,000 to INR 70,000+ and it all depends on what kind of traveller you are.

Here’s how to can plan in advance, save some money and figure out exactly how much you’ll need! But remember, you should always carry a little extra, just in case!

  • Travel During Shoulder Seasons: Avoid peak tourist season (December-February, July) for better deals on flights and accommodation. Shoulder seasons (April-May or September-October) offer pleasant weather and fewer crowds.
  • Book in Advance: Secure flights and accommodation well in advance, especially during peak season, to get the best deals.
  • Embrace Public Transportation: Buses, trains, and local taxis are affordable ways to get around Vietnam.
  • Explore Street Food: Indulge in delicious and budget-friendly street food for an authentic culinary experience.
  • Accommodation Options: Opt for guesthouses, homestays, or hostels for comfortable and affordable lodging.
  • Visa on Arrival: Indians can conveniently obtain a visa upon arrival in Vietnam, simplifying the travel process.

With a little planning and these tips, Vietnam is ready to unfold its magic for Indian travelers seeking an unforgettable and budget-friendly adventure. So, pack your bags, open your mind to new experiences, and get ready to discover the beauty of Vietnam!

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Raunaq Sahni: Embracing The Melodies of India

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Raunaq Sahni, popularly known as Monkey Magic, has reached a remarkable milestone with the successful launch of his debut book, “Melodies of India.” As a travel creator turned author, Sahni’s literary skills shine in this captivating exploration of Indian culture and life along the revered Ganga River.

In an impressive display of independent authorship, Raunaq wrote and published “Melodies of India,” offering readers a unique perspective on India’s rich heritage. The book has already surpassed 5,000 pre-orders, setting a new record for creator-published works in India.

6 months along the Ganga River:

Raunaq’s journey to craft this inaugural literary work spanned over four months. From the mystical origins of Gomukh to the tranquil shores of Gangasagar, his adventure along the Ganga River inspired “Melodies of India,” delivering a profound exploration of the country’s diverse heritage.

Raunaq kicked off his pre-launch tour on June 2, meeting fans and distributing pre-ordered books across seven cities, including Jaipur, Surat, Mumbai, Bangalore, Kolkata, and Varanasi. The tour concluded with a grand launch in Delhi on June 16.

The seeds of this idea were sown back in 2018, when Raunaq first visited Rishikesh and felt an instant fascination with the Ganga River. His annual tradition of visiting the river on his birthday deepened his connection, ultimately inspiring the book.

Embarking on the Narmada Parikrama:

An unexpected visa rejection in March 2023 led Raunaq to embark on the Narmada Parikrama, where he experienced incredible hospitality and warmth from the people he met. These interactions fueled his passion for exploring and documenting India’s cultural richness, culminating in “Melodies of India.”

Through “Melodies of India,” Raunaq Sahni has not only shared his experiences but also inspires countless others to explore the world around them with an open heart and mind. His story is a beacon of inspiration for anyone looking to embark on their own journey of discovery.

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Sujith Bhakthan T. R.: Kerala Techie With a Passion For Food And Travel

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Sujith Bhakthan T. R., an engineering graduate with a degree in computer science. However, he is a techie by profession and an avid traveler and foodie by passion. Sujith’s journey from the tech world to becoming one of Kerala’s most beloved influencers. Besides, he is a story of blending his professional expertise with his personal interests.

Tech Travel Eat: A Unique Blend of Passions

In 2016, Sujith launched his YouTube channel and blog portal, “Tech Travel Eat.” The platform is a vibrant showcase of his dual passions—technology and travel—interwoven with a love for food. Through his engaging content, Sujith has managed to captivate a large audience, earning the title of “Kerala’s Favorite Influencer.”

A YouTube Sensation

With over 2.17 million subscribers, Sujith’s YouTube channel. Moreover, he has grown to become one of the most popular vlogs in the Malayalam-speaking community. His videos are not just about travel; they are immersive experiences. Furthermore, that make viewers feel like they are part of the journey. Sujith’s enthusiasm and engaging storytelling transform every destination into an adventure.

Instagram: A Peek into Sujith’s Life

Sujith’s Instagram handle (with 772K followers) is a delightful mix of travel snippets, mouthwatering food, and heartwarming family moments. It’s a visual treat for his followers, offering a behind-the-scenes look at his travels. However, his life with his wife and adorable child. His social media presence is a perfect destination for anyone looking for quality content and inspiration.

Bringing Exceptional Value to Brands And Followers

Sujith’s influence extends beyond his personal brand. Besides, He is recognized for bringing exceptional value to the brands he collaborates with, introducing them to his broad audience. His credibility and the trust he has built with his followers. Moreover, it make him a valuable partner for brands looking to reach new audiences. The same applies to his followers, as they follow him for his genuine content. Furthermore, He’s established himself as an authority in travel influencing and invited as a speaker to many events. For instance, he was recently invited to Western Balkan University in Albania to speak to students.

Sujith Bhakthan is not just a content creator; he is an experience curator. However, His ability to blend his professional expertise with his passions. Besides, he has made “Tech Travel Eat” a go-to platform for travel, food, and technology enthusiasts. Through his engaging content and genuine enthusiasm, Sujith inspires and entertains his audience, making every video a new adventure.

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