This Rajasthani traveller portrays the unseen side of North East India through his powerful pictures
By SHWETA RAJ KANWAR | August 31, 2018
Pat Conroy once said, "Once you have travelled, the voyage never ends, but is played out over and over again in the quietest chambers. The mind can never break off from the journey."
Such is the story of this 33-yr-old travel blogger from Rajasthan Shubham Mansingka who is portraying an unseen picture of not only Northeast India but the entire country through his unique lens.
It can be termed as a sheer co-incidence as to how I got in touch with this travel blogger (this story for another time) and what followed was a series of mails and finally a revelation that he was one of the most sought after travel bloggers in India that led to a realization that everything happens for a reason, and the reason is this…
Talking about purpose, it may be mentioned that Shubham was diagnosed with chronic asthma which made him a slave to medications. After a 7-year-long battle with the illness, he realised that this cannot be allowed to go on forever and that he has to take charge.
He says, "In the meantime while I was still into family business, I had my first solo trip to Ladakh within a year of joining my family business. It made me realise that I didn't care for worldly materialistic possessions. I was enchanted by the simplicity and kindness of the mountain people. Next year, I randomly arrived in Chandigarh and unknowingly made my way around Kinnaur and Spiti for a month, happy to fill my lungs with clean mountain air. It was in Spiti that it dawned upon me that I could live a life happily like this forever." And since 2014, he has been a full time traveller.
Well, this was only the initiation of his solo travels and he went on to travel to more than 22 states of India and also across Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia and Bhutan. He has extensively slow travelled across the Himalayas, Rajasthan, Goa, Uttarakhand, Kerala and Northeast India among other states.
Talking about his expeditions in Northeast India, he has extensively jotted down his experiences in Manipur's capital city Imphal and also deemed Meghalaya as the new Ladakh!
"I do not patronize the idea of dream destinations or bucket lists because each and every place is beautiful in its own unique way", he says.
One of the best memories for Shubham from Northeast India remains the Naga Sticky Rice Wine. Narrating more about this experience, he says, "I went to Nagaland not to attend the Hornbill but only for the wine! The cherry blossoms at Phek were incredible but the wine, it was simply awesome".
He also recalls with pleasure his time at Arunachal Pradesh and especially Manipur where he stayed at the little homestay at Loktak Lake and how he was filled with admiration at the awesome community service with respect to tourism. He also lists out his experiences in Manipur as one of his top 10 cherished experiences in India.
His experiences in Northeast India can be read in minute details on his website travelshoebum
However, it is definitely not a rosy picture for a full time traveller as Shubham says, "Travelling for a living definitely comes at a cost- especially when you are your own marketing, social media and promotion guy. On an average, I travel fifteen days a month and use the rest of the days for jotting down my experiences.I usually prefer travelling alone because then there is no influence of anybody/anything else. Hard work is definitely the key to sustenance for a travel blogger because initially I would pitch my articles to various magazines but now, they ask me to write for them which makes it so much easier".
Shubham has an advice for aspiring travel bloggers who are planning to venture fulltime into travelling. With regards to this, he says, "It is very important to have a financial cushion for atleast 2 years and make sure not to work for lesser rates. In two years, you will somehow figure out how to go about."
He also says that it is very important for locals to benefit from tourism, hence he is very selective when collaborating with brands and does so only after much analysis and observation with respect to their work.
Shubham has written for various reputed platforms like Times of India, Travel Earth, Livemint, The Hindu and many others. He narrates interesting tales of his expeditions in his website travelshoebum.com
Shubham Mansingka can be reached firstname.lastname@example.org
You can follow his works at the social media handles below:
The interviewer can be reached at email@example.com & firstname.lastname@example.org