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Interview with travel blogger Lakshmi Sharath
Tuesday, March 5th, 2013

By Sudha Mathew

Travel Blogger Lakshmi Sharath
Lakshmi Sharath

In the second edition of Interviews with Exceptional Travelers, I am in conversation with the lively and lovely Lakshmi Sharath. Lakshmi is a well-known Indian travel blogger through her blog. She flits across the world but her heart remains in the little villages and temples of India. She tells us about her journey from media professional to travel blogger and what travel means to her.

1. I follow you on Twitter and it often seems to me Bangalore is more a place to catch your breath before moving on rather than your home. What motivates you to travel almost incessantly? And how do you keep the wonder of travel fresh on each trip?

Let me start with the first question. Bangalore is a city that has more interesting things near it than in the city itself. And they are easily accessible too. This lures me to go away as often as I can. And to the second question, travel for me is more than a destination or a festival or an event. Travel is more about me… the way I see things, what thread of history that I am following through places. When I went on a sabbatical and followed the Hoysala trail, I would chance upon an old temple in a desolate place and then imagine how lively the place would have been in its heyday. I love the process of discovery and imagining its glory days, even romanticizing the place. That Hoysala Trail trip was what actually kick started my wanderlust.

About not being jaded about travel, I guess the great thing about travel for me is the travel in itself. Even if I am visiting the same destination again, I will find new things about it to see and explore. I will look at it from a different perspective. That’s how it remains a fresh experience each time. Take Coorg, which I have visited many times. Initially I did the coffee estate homestay experience and the well-known sights. After that, on another trip I explored the Haleri Dynasty through different parts of Coorg and stumbled upon Nalaknad, which most travelers don’t visit.  On a third visit, I had a relaxed holiday in an area that is good for wildlife and bird sightings.

Travel blogger-Poompuhar-Tamil Nadu
Poompuhar, Tamil Nadu courtesy Lakshmi Sharath

2. What did you do before your travel blogger avatar and why did you chuck it all up?

I was a media professional for 15 years and traveled a lot for work. But by the end I felt limited to a cubicle. From one holiday a year, I made it two then four a year. Soon even that seemed too less. I wanted to see the world without limitations of carefully rationed leave. So I quit. Once I was my own master, I decided to focus on my two favorite pastimes  – writing and travel. And that’s how I became a travel blogger.

3. I know that some of our readers are considering a sabbatical or even a complete break from corporate life to travel? Do you have any advice for them on how to sustain it?

I could go on and on about this but I’ll keep it brief. A life dedicated to travel is NOT an easy life. Don’t quit your job because it sounds cool and glamorous because it is not. It is hard work. I have worked harder in this phase of my life than in my corporate job. Unless you are deeply passionate about travel, willing to live on a reduced and uncertain paycheck in return for the flexibility on a life on the move and have the maturity to handle the pressures of irregular work, don’t do it. But if you are all of the above, then it is a great life. I personally have no regrets about what I left behind and the job offers I said no to.

A sabbatical from work to travel for a while is a different thing. That is something that I have done while I was working and I think that works for most people.

Since I am asked this question all the time, my 500th post was dedicated to this question. For a more detailed answer, you can check it out here.

4. You have traveled extensively and visited a lot of places that are on most ordinary people’s bucket lists. Are there any places that you still dream of visiting?

That’s an impossible question to answer! I feel I am nowhere close to seeing all the places I want to see. In India itself I haven’t been to Orissa and most of Gujarat. There’s still so much more to explore in my home state of Tamil Nadu. There’s even more overseas. Machu Picchu and Scandinavia for starters. I’d like to explore more of South America and UK. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Travel blogger-Orchha
Orchha courtesy Lakshmi Sharath

5. And a silly question to end the interview, what’s the first thing a person is likely to say on hearing that you are a well known travel blogger?

Invariably the person will say “Lucky you!” But make no mistake; I am not here by luck but by sheer hard work and will.

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I would love to hear suggestions on people in travel that you would like me to interview here. Don’t be shy, write in with your suggestions :-)

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Cheers

Sudha


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Posted by Sudha at 5:26 pm
2 comments
    Comments ( 2 2)
  • Destination Infinity

    March 16, 2013

    Interesting interview. Though I do know a few travel bloggers in India who have quit their job to travel, it’s more due to the love they have for traveling (and perhaps writing) than to create a business venture around travel that sustains them. What I would like to see is the combination of passion with sound economics. That’s when, I feel, a venture can self-sustain itself.

  • sudha

    March 18, 2013

    That’s an interesting insight. Thank you for sharing it with us.

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Plan to travel to an Indian holiday destination?

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About me

The wise man travels to discover himself - JR Lowell

 

My name is Sudha Mathew. I'm an ex-banker who quit the rat race after a decade to follow my passion for travel and to combine it with my experience in understanding client requirements and exceeding their expectations.

 

While our content is mostly about the holiday experience, the accommodation and services, there's so much more to a journey. I have discovered a whole new me through travel. So I've reserved this corner of the website to share the unexpected aspects of travel. This space is also to hear from you about your journeys and discoveries. Bon Voyage!

 
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