“The secret of happiness is to see all the marvels of the world and never to forget the drops of oil on the spoon.”Paulo Cohelo.
Hi! If you are here, you may have come across vacaywork for the first time. We are Ashrith and Sahana, travelling the world since 2018, keeping our 9-5 daily jobs. If you ask us to choose one among “Full Time Travelling” or “Our Job” – We can’t. Travelling is our passion and inspires us to continue working.
Meanwhile, we can’t imagine not working at our jobs after two months of vacation. So you can call us – workaholics and traveloholic. We travelled across multiple states in India before we began our global wandering in 2018 together. We dreamt of particular destinations then. But now we know every corner of the world is beautiful – It is just our bank balance and breaks from work we need to arrange with no particular destination in mind.
So what is that “Great Profession” we are into that we love most?
Haha! Our profession isn’t as unique as you imagine it to be! We are just middle-class Indian guys who love their jobs. Ashrith is a Computer Science engineer, Sahana is an architect plus educator.
Why Travel Blogging
The first attempt – Sahana’s gift to Ashrith on their first anniversary in Sri Lanka
It began when the forgetful man Ashrith asked his wife Sahana with eidetic memory, “Where is Madaba” when she bragged about how beautiful Madaba Mosaics were. Soon she realised if she didn’t pen down the memories, her husband might even ask, “Did we go to Bruges ever?”- So the idea of documenting stories started here.
After our first two international trips, it didn’t take much time to realise that “There exist thousands of part-time travellers like us.”
If you want to be an independent part-time traveller, it takes a lot of planning. We neither have the leisurely time nor the lumpsum money to go to a particular place and decide slowly on how/what to explore. So we are here to help you plan to travel independently on a mid-range budget with our success stories, and epic fails.
WELL, IT IS OBVIOUS – WE KNOW NOTHING ABOUT DRIVING A BOAT – GIETHORRN, NETHERLANDS
Plus, Ashrith is forgetful, and Sahana is messy. So this is our treasure book where Sahana can store her memories safely in an organised manner, and Ashrith can read them 100 times to recollect them. Ashrith is a gamer, too, and Sahana is a selective gamer (the one that involves architecture). So you can expect a lot of “Filmy stories.”
What is our “type of travelling.”
Hiking uphill at Petra. One of us is acrophobic – Guess who
This is the hardest part -Definitely not a luxury traveller and certainly not a super-budget backpacker. We fall somewhere between Luxury and Budget. We plan and book everything by ourselves after reading many other blogs. If comes a situation where we have to go with a tour organiser, it will be a local agency from that particular country and not a Global agency.
Before flashpacking outside India, we backpacked and went on private tours and independent bike trips in India.
So we are flashpackers!
Check this Cambridge Dictionary definition in case you doubt what flashpacking means.
We do go with a plan of what to experience, but we won’t rush to achieve the plan perfectly – we go with the flow as long as it is under budget and time limit. You will find us walking, strolling and watching people in local squares and parks because that is how you get the essence of a place. Right?
THE SQUARE OPPOSITE TO GRAND BAZAR IN TEHRAN IS WHERE WE ENJOYED MOST – WATCHING PEOPLE
More than the destination & seeing a place, experiences matter to us most. Our favourite memories are those times when we try to converse in our broken local language. Figuring out the route with a printed map excites us. The local cuisine and a cheaper food joint suggested by a local shopkeeper is where we munch.
GOD KNOWS HOW WE LANDED UP AT THIS PARTICULAR SPOT IN METEORA, GREECE – TRYING TO LOCATE OURSELF AFTER MISSING THE ROUTE ON OUR BIKE
You can’t imagine how lazy we are when carrying luggage. So we pack light. Like most beginner travellers, we bought a good DSLR camera too. Soon, we switched to iPhones so that we could travel even lighter. We carry it only when necessary. So we are neither photographers nor selfie-takers.
You will find us at a luxury Dana Villas for a day, and the next day we will have moved to a budget BnB. We sometimes stay in the hostel in a private room and move to a local guesthouse in the next town. We even sleep at airports to save money overnight in a hotel.
Be it a mountain or a desert – we love to explore everything. We can walk for 20km a day like we did at Petra or snooze on Mirissa beach for an entire day! We love exploring off-beaten tracks on the beaten paths. Culture, history and heritage are what excite us most.
Have you heard of this less-visited place in Egypt?
The local transports are our first choice unless there is no other option. Like a typical backpacker, trains are our favourite, whenever and wherever possible. We prefer an AC coach as a flashpacker who seeks a bit more comfort. Unless someone decides to sponsor our business class air tickets, we are always in the economy section of the cheapest airline available.
What does travelling mean to us?
I realised how beautiful Sikkim and its people are after I went there
One sentence: It is making us “Less Judgemental.”
As a teenager, travelling in India was to savour different cuisines. Slowly, we enjoyed observing and learning new traditions and cultures. Later we realised that travelling is beyond seeing; it is to experience – culture, tradition, language and food. The time when the destination seemed most important has faded, and the journey is what matters to us most. We read a lot about a place before going there, but it always feels like “We know, but don’t know.”
Moving from Known to Unknown
There was a map and some poor internet – Sahana was supposed to look for a data network to get better clarity on the route. Instead, she went clicking, and they both went on a hike somewhere in the middle of nowhere later at Cappadocia.
After we got married, the first foreign trip to Greece and Turkey for 24 days gave us a new perspective. We loved exploring everything ourselves.
“Managing in Athens without knowing Greek, walking kilometres together & eating Simet in Istanbul to save money, wandering in Pyrgos and catching a bus later to get to Perissa with local people’s help” –
These are the memories that are etched forever in our minds. In an unknown land, when we travel, we are the only two known people each other – That feeling is the greatest of all.
Ashrith’s Rajasthan-Gujarath Bike trip – at the white salt land – Rann of Kutch
Checking which chilli is better for curry in Madurai with the local seller, draping a Chuba with a local woman help at Kalimpong, and staying with Kengar Bhai at Kutch to listen to his stories about how they consumed salt directly from the salt flat without processing are our favourite stories.
Travelling and Perspectives
Our perspective on the world is changing as we continue to travel globally. The naiveness, that Judgemental nature, fear of a new place, exposure to a different culture, food, ethnicities, and languages – It is the ocean where we want to be swimming, and our home is the shore to look at the things we learned from that ocean. As naive travellers and typical Indians, we were stigmatic about zillions of things –
We always thought meeting or sitting next to a Pakistani traveller wasn’t good. It happened so that a Pakistani girl helped us bargain with a Songathew driver at Pattaya. We shared our taxi with a couple from Lahore, where we gabbed about the latest Bollywood movies and how much they adore our superstar Rajnikanth.
No offence- This is from my Thailand archives
We had a notion that you don’t get a variety of veg food in Middle east countries until we savoured one of the most delicious veg food in Turkey and Egypt in their authentic local restaurants (not an Indian food joint)
Iran opened our minds to how the media portrays the nicest people on earth as dangerous people.
Every time we return to work after the trip, our work efficiency is at its highest. When it starts to reduce, we travel again to recharge and be more excited to work. Well, there is nothing better than visiting all the 197 countries during our lifetime, but we know the difficulties behind it. So we aim to travel as much as possible, wherever possible, whenever our wallet allows us.
What can you expect from vacaywork
We are super honest – we tell you the best and dumb things. Along with some idiotic things like how Sahana was about to die in Sri Lanka for being “Over Adventurous.”
The blog is a mixture of two different people – a vegetarian+architect and a computer engineer who loves Chicken Biryani. The first one doesn’t bother to walk for 20km to see an ancient building, while the latter rides a bike from Kanyakumari to Kashmir. With a fairly mid-range budget, our articles help you to plan your trip better.
The minute details like if you need a power socket adapter, the scams, currency to carry, what to wear, where not to eat, what you can see and when, and a lot of travel stories based on personal experience
Born, brought up and living in India, we show you some hidden gems of India.
You find lots of historical and architectural stories
Our posts guide mid-range flashpackers who want to enjoy the best in their limited time. Plus, as Indians, getting a tourist Visa without any other nation’s residence permit is sometimes a herculean task. So you will find details of Visa and also stories.
Most of the time, we have different opinions, views and likes – So you find multiple angles of an experience here by two different people.