For the adventure-loving duo, Lila and Praveen, travel blogging started as a means to documenting experiences for family and friends. Five years later, it has turned into a full-blown career. From skiing in Canada to bungee jumping in New Zealand, and to snorkelling in Hawaii and canyoneering in Jordan, you will find a detailed account of all that and more on their blog Minikin Escapades. By Charu Chowdhary
1.How did the both of you decide to pursue travel blogging as your full-time career?
It started as a way to document our adventures for friends and family. As we kept sharing our travel memories, more people joined along our journey and as they say, the rest is history.
2. How do you manage to stand out as a couple blogger at a time when fresh blogs are sprouting by the minute?
We believe in sharing authentic experiences, be it the nice ones, the bittersweet ones or the ones where we failed. You will most often see the both of us in our battered boots, exhausted yet smiling on mountain tops. We also share our experiences when we don’t make it through our planned adventures due to unforeseen circumstances. We also like to indulge and splurge in cities sampling local culture and food. Keeping it raw and unfiltered is what makes us more relatable and real.
3. What do you particularly like to cover when you travel and why?
We like to think of ourselves as active travellers. Going on adventures, enjoying those adrenaline pumping moments and coming out smiling is something we love. There is an inexplicable connection we make to a place when we sweat it out to get to that mountain top, or when we arrive soaked in water to the other side of a lake after hours of kayaking. Indulging in these activities has afforded us innumerable opportunities to interact with the locals and reach the remotest parts of even the well-trodden places.
4. What’s your mantra for a balanced relationship when both your personal and professional lives are intertwined?
Over time we have learnt to respect each other’s choices and give each another personal space when needed. It has helped us tremendously to value the time we get to spend together, be it while travelling or when we are back home.
5. Your favourite country so far out of the 41 you’ve visited.
If we had to pick one which we could re-visit over and over again, it would be Chile in South America. The long and narrow coastline extending thousands of kilometres from north to south means that, there is every kind of landscape imaginable in that country. The mars like volcanic landscapes of Atacama in the North, the thriving capital city of Santiago and the wine regions around it, the wild frontier of Patagonia in the South, the craggy fjords interspersed with massive glaciers on the western edges, the prospect of seeing penguins and whales in the wild — Chile can be explored for months together. The best part is, it isn’t crowded like many other beautiful countries we visit, and the people are so welcoming!
6. Places in India you’d love to visit or re-visit?
We have been longing to go skiing in Gulmarg again; just the idea of whizzing past the raw beauty of Himalayas on skis has us excited. The warmth of the Kashmiris and their hospitality had made it even more special. Gulmarg is a great juxtaposition of high-adrenaline activities and rich culture.
7. Any photography or blogging tips that may help aspiring bloggers?
You’ve got to keep at it. Also, trying out a new technique each time really helps you find your niche and style, and from there on, it is all about consistency.
8. What’s one adventure activity that you’d recommend to all the adventure junkies out there?
It isn’t very easy to pick among the activities we have tried, but if there is one thing that had our heart racing like no other, it’s bungee jumping. The feeling of a free fall is something that is hard to put in words and has to be experienced. We say this after having tried numerous activities including skydiving, downhill skiing, river rafting, zorbing, zip-lining and sand-boarding. Nothing had our blood rushing as bungee jumping.
9. What’s next in the pipeline for you?
The beginning of this year we finally worked on our resolution to learn snowboarding in Bulgaria. We want to further this skill and would like to go back to snowboarding this winter in the Alps. We are also planning a trip to Japan later in the spring.