About the Blogger – Manisha Singh

Story until October 2016

I grew up in a family of six. I have three siblings and I’m the third one in line. Both my elder siblings are married. Which makes me the center of all the concerns right now at home. Being 34 and single is not the best position to be in in India.

My father served in the Indian Navy which should explain why packing and unpacking isn’t a nuisance to me at all. 

This has been my journey to where I’m today:

School

Engineering (Computer Science)

Software Engineer (With Infosys)

MBA- Human Resources (From XIMB)

Placed in one of the Big 4 consulting firms (Mumbai)

Two women and a man seated wearing black and yellow robes that's traditionally worn for convocation. All three looking into the camera smiling.
That’s a moderately career oriented Me on the convocation day

Life After Oct 2016

In Oct 2016, very dramatically, I quit my corporate job in Mumbai and left for an adventure to fill my soul with joy again.

I backpacked around Latin America from Nov 2016 to Nov 2017 and it was the year that was life-changing in every sense of the word.

Since my return to India in 2017, I continued traveling for months on end in India and occasionally to other Asian countries. But, now I travel while also taking up freelancing work which ranges in commitment time from a few hours to a few months.

Some of the projects I have taken up in the last few years –

  • Leading diversity and inclusion initiatives at an Indian conglomerate
  • Project managing a backpackers hostel set-up in Kodaikanal
  • Painting a cafe in Mcleodganj
  • Freelance writing
  • Helped someone with spoken English
A woman smiling widely looking into the camera, a pink flower in her short hair and in the background is a green valley.
A very happy me somewhere in Ecuador

My Travel Style:

When I started traveling, I had the urgency of a wild animal let loose for the first time. But full-time travel changed that, now I prefer traveling slow, a month is what I have found to be my ideal duration at a place. I enjoy meeting locals, eating local food, and public transport is my preferred way of commuting (also pocket friendly).

I like quieter places where I can walk around to my heart’s content. I enjoy hiking but I stay away from popular treks in busy seasons.

The Blog’s focus:

I primarily write about:

  • Budget travel
  • Traveling as a woman
  • Traveling with an Indian passport
  • Minimalist’s way of travel

Most commonly asked question- What is the most important thing I learned from my travels?

Imagine taking a year to just focus on yourself, spending every penny you’ve ever earned on yourself, not to become a travel influencer or to write a book, or to add a CV point, just for the joy of it. It is unfathomable what that can do to your personality.

Of everything I learned, the one thing that stuck around is I found my voice. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Who funds your travels?

I do. 100% of it.

The first year of my full time travel (starting Oct 2016), was completely on my savings where I made no money (nor had any intention to). A few months after that, I lived on personal debt (A fellow traveler had booked my return flight from Brazil and refused to take back money until I started making some). A few months in, I started taking up odd-jobs to make money on the road. This is one of the reason I stuck to Asia (predominantly India) as I was just about making ends meet.

Q. Do you always travel Solo?

Almost always.

I do travel by myself however, as a solo traveler it’s far easier for me to tag along with other people. So, occasionally I tag along with fellow traveler(s). But it’s often for the next place or a trek. The longest I have ever had company on the road since 2016 is about 9 days. This was in Ecuador in 2017 where I hiked with a group of friends from my hostel and after the 5 day hike, a friend from the group continued traveling with me to the next place. We parted ways after that as I was continuing north to Colombia and he was heading south to return to his home country.

P.S: As an Indian, my travel plans often depend on my Visa situation which can often mean a faster pace compared to other travelers.

Q. Do you not miss (romantic) companionship?

Once in a while.

Occasionally, I do miss companionship like when I don’t feel safe or would like someone else to share decision-making burden. I’d say it’s usually once a month when I’m PMSing. But more often than not, I’m very content in my company. I enjoy reading, writing, painting, crocheting, and a lot of these hobbies thrive in solitude and some even demand it. Having lived and travelled by myself for years, I have gotten used to the luxury of not having to put up with anyone in my physical or mental space. For me to give up on that, it would take someone incredible and because my happiness is not hinged to finding companionship, I don’t prioritise dating in my life.

Q. Does it not get boring out there?

It does faster than I could have guessed.

After a few months of traveling full-time, my enthusiasm to see a new waterfall or to take a new hike was kind of dwindled. That’s when I paused and volunteered at a place for two weeks. Whatever we do day after day ends up becoming monotonous even a life of adventure.

This is why it’s important to find what brings meaning to our lives. Traveling with purpose is bound to keep an individual too busy to get bored.

57 thoughts on “About the Blogger – Manisha Singh”

  1. Pretty gutsy to have done what you have done so congratulations and all the best. The site itself seems like a great resource in terms of planning and reflections so congratulations on that as well.

    Reply
  2. nice blog…my brother( your college senior introduce to it)….kudos to you for following your path and not someone else.

    like the honesty in the blog, many of them r just too embellish…

    Keep traveling and living

    Reply
  3. Hey Manisha,

    Got to know about you from your school mate Vikas. I’m so glad he told me about you. I’m completely mesmerized and spell bound as I read about you and your travelogs . I’ve just started and will continue to read your blog. Thank you so much for taking the giant leap of faith. You inspire me. Loads of love and best wishes to you.

    -Annapurna

    Reply
  4. Hi Manisha! Love your blog.

    May I ask you a bit of a personal question? Please do ignore if it’s too nosy in any way.

    I’m also thinking of quitting and taking a year off to travel. South America is definitely on my list! Like you, I’m also an MBA. However, I do enjoy my job a fair amount and would like to return to the corporate world.

    How was your professional experience on your return? Did you actively look to rejoin the typical corporate job? If yes, was it hard to get interviews? What kind of questions were you asked by HR, what was the kind of reaction to your gap year, etc.

    Thanks again for your blog,
    D

    Reply
    • Hey,

      Thank you so much!
      It’s not nosy at all, it’s important that I share this information. I completely get what you’re going through right now, I never hated my job either in fact some projects I returned to my room, only to sleep and still loved it.
      Upon my return, I got multiple offers but none came close to paying what I used to earn. I would say, I didn’t give it enough time either. I looked for jobs for 1.5 months before picking up my first freelancing project. Interviews weren’t hard to get, getting right openings seemed difficult. Gap year didn’t seem to bother anyone but it was not treated with like a big learning either which is how I see it.
      Very soon I’m going to try to go back to corporate and can only hope it goes well 🙂

      Good luck for your planning. Personally, taking that gap year is the best decision I have ever taken.

      Reply
      • Thank you so much for your reply. Your comments do reduce my stress quite a bit. I’m planning to take a break in April 2020 (I get my bonus if I stay till March 31) and am having fun planning till then.

        Cheers, and wish you good luck too, both for your job and for future travels!

        Reply
  5. Hey also btw could you please enlighten about your columbia experience….visa,stay,travel etc please if possible. Thanks a ton.

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  6. Hey Manisha,
    Lovely inspiring blog 🙂 . Thanks for sharing your experiences. God bless you ( with more lovely experiences ;p )

    Reply
  7. A few days back I met a beautiful wonderful loving soul at Kodai. It was my first time there and it happened to be the best trip of my life to date. I met this girl at 12 am in midnight who was waiting for her late night guests me and my friend. Within in 2 mins, she made me felt like being at home.

    The more I came to know about you the more I felt like knowing about you. I got astonished when I accidentally stumbled upon your Travelogue folder. An hour went by in amazement.

    I have never met a soul who is young intelligent, talented and most importantly down to earth person like you ever. Thank you for being so nice and sharing a pic with me and my friend. I will be patiently waiting for your new updates.

    Thank You, Manisha. Thank You, you wonderful soul.

    Reply
  8. Hello Manisha , Missed you ! Got an update from you in my inbox after a long time . I like to read your Blogs since it has lot of Factual Information .There are too many travel bloggers around and most are just too melodramatic .
    Cheers ! Keep Going ! Hope our paths cross some day !

    Reply
  9. Awesome yaar Mani…
    You are definitely an inspiration for many..
    And for me, your blogs are like windows through which I’m seeing the world
    So thank you so much and keep up the spirit girl.
    I’m with You, always 😀

    Reply
  10. I am glad you have found happiness and motivation in traveling. Great to have found your blog and then you, Way to go Girl!

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  11. It is good to hear that you are on path to happiness! More and more people are realizing the dark side of corporate jobs and monotony of life. But only a few can move ahead. I’m glad that you are much more happier now!

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  12. Hi heroine ! You remember I said – “you are living the life I dream for” but after reading your blogs and stories it encourages me that you are doing it so right 😁 really proud of you ,lucky to know you , interact with you and wish you very many happiness for future events 🤘🏻Cheers 🍺🍻🍾

    Reply
  13. Go to know of this page from links in your lonely planet post. Gone through most of your blogs, it was very helpful especially the “visa for Indians” section. Thanks much.

    Reply
    • Hey, Thank you so much for the encouraging words.
      I’m still traveling so not very active but there’s much to write and would continue to update my blog with helpful information 🙂

      Reply
  14. Loved this Bit .

    “””I’m starting this blog to document my journey which is intended to also help anyone looking for tips to Budget travel, Solo travel, or travel on Indian passport.””””
    Keep Going
    Cheers!

    Reply
  15. Hopping over here from Minaxi’s place. And boy am I glad I did! It is so refreshing to see you Indian women pursuing the dream of solo travel 😀 Kudos to you girl. Can’t wait to read more about your adventures! 🙂

    Reply

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