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Buck All Traditions! These 6 Women Travellers Will Inspire You To Conquer The World logo 08-03-2016


1. Parvinder Chawla’s Wanderlust Is Undimmed By Her Disability

‘My wheelchair is my biggest travel companion,’ says Parvinder Chawla. She believes that travel, not her wheelchair, defines her. Parvinder has worked at call centres for companies like Wipro and as a yoga instructor. “My father has been my biggest inspiration. He taught me to be self-dependent and confident, which pushed me to take my first solo trip to London, 14 years ago,” she exclaimed. Parvinder had a manual wheelchair initially, which made her dependent on friends and family while travelling. “Now, I have an automated wheelchair. I can travel on my own!” she says enthusiastically. But there are times when her disability has been an impediment to her travel plans abroad. She lives by the mantra, “take your first step and the rest will come its way. I am a sum of my experiences and I truly believe that travel is destiny; not my wheelchair.”


2. This 29 Year-Old Woman Has Travelled To All 7 Continents In The World- Divya Nawale

“The world is not enough,” says Divya Nawale, a BITS Pilani graduate. She is currently working as a consultant in the CSR and sustainability space. Divya was bitten by the travel bug at the age of 22 when she travelled to the most inaccessible continent, Antarctica as a part of an Expedition Team on Environmental Leadership. “This was the turning point of my life,” she expressed. The trip made her realise her love for nature. And then there was no stopping. “This trip fueled my passion for conservation and sustainable living. And suddenly the world had become my oyster.” Be it an expedition to the Sahara desert, backpacking across Europe, scuba diving in the Great Barrier Reef, dancing to the tunes of Bollywood blockbusters on-stage in London, getting lost in the busy streets of Shanghai, taking Tango lessons in Buenos Aires or Salsa beach parties in Goa, travelling has always increased my appetite for more. Her crazy work schedules and countless projects did not stop her from exploring. She believes, “With no time and no money, you can still travel if you want to travel.”


3. The 68 Year Old Psychiatrist and Avid Traveller- Saranya Devanathan

"What makes travel interesting is its twists and turns,” Saranya Devanathan, a 68 year old Psychiatrist and HIQ traveller. She recalls her journey by the Patna-Gaya Passenger Train. She enthusiastically says, “My friend and I were the only women travellers aboard. After few stations, we got a window seat. Promptly, we shifted, but two men, in a stern voice, told us to move away from the window seat. We were concerned. However, a few moments later, they came up to us and in an apologetic voice, told us that the railway station we halted in is infamous for chain snatchers. Since then, they helped and saw to it that we were comfortable throughout the journey.”


4. Conquering The Chadar Trek Was No Mean Feat- Sangeeta Das

“I travel to experience that something which cannot be learnt through books, degrees and jobs, says Sangeeta Das. She would rather be wealthy with experiences than to collect money in a safe. Sangeeta feels that her relationship with mountains has transformed from fear, to awe to love. I was drawn to Chadar for its pristine beauty to experience living in extreme satisfaction and feel what the people of Zanskar go through each winter. She shares her experience, “It is a 7 day trek on snow, ice sheets, rocky cliffs and icy water, braving temperatures between -5 degrees and -25 degrees. Sometimes it is physically challenging, sometimes mentally during the nearly 75-80 km route so it is best to prepare for a few months before heading out to this magical land.”


5. When I ride, I live- Radhika Paul

“Biking sets me free and makes me feel happy and strong,” says Mumbai base Assistant Director, Radhika Paul. A biker and an inspiration to many, Radhika Paul loves doing solo trips. One of her favourite trips have been to Goa. She loves the feeling of being anonymous in an unknown town.

© Aanchal Dhara Photography

6. This Woman Walked 583 Kms From Mumbai To Goa- Aanchal Dhara

“Travelling is finding myself. The further I travel, the more I connect with myself,” says photographer Aanchal Dhara. Goa is her one of her favourite holiday destinations. To take a life-changing experience, Dhara took a long walk from Mumbai to Goa in 26 days. While the idea of a woman walking by herself through the interiors of India sounds unsafe, Dhara’s experience was anything but scary. “I never felt unsafe, not even for a moment. There were a lot of curious people and most of them would just stare while some would come up to me and ask what I was doing. But I always felt at ease while interacting with them,” shares Dhara.So, where are you headed? Do share your tr avel experiences with us!

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