Who are we

Man in dhoti, woman in saree sitting on a white sofat with cluster of white houses on the black mountain at Santorini

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. So you can call us – workaholic 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 or bank balance and breaks from work we need to arrange.

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

A man holding a printed travel blog book at Heritance Kandalama

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 doesn’t pen down the memories, her husband may 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 a fact –

“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.

Man and woman confusingly driving a boat in giethroon canal .- Netehrlands travel blog

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 100 times to recollect the memories.

You find lots of filmy stories as we both love cinemas. 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”

View of Petra tresury from top - Jordan travel blog

Hiking uphill at Petra. One of us is acrophobic – Guess who

This was the hardest part for us to define -Definitely not a luxury traveller and certainly not a super budge backpacker. We fall somewhere in 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.

We backpacked, and went on private tours and independent bike trips in India before flashpacking outside India.

So we are flashpackers!

Check this Cambridge Dictionary definition in case you are in doubt about what flashpacking means

We do go with a plan of what all 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?

Woman sitting on a bench in Tehran in the crowd - Iran Travel Blog

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. Those times when we try to converse with our broken local language are our favourite memories. 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.

girl in shorts reading map in an isolated forest area - Greece Travel Blog

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 become when it comes to 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 would have moved to a budget BnB. We stay in the hostel at times 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 how we did at Petra or snooze on Mirissa beach an entire day! We love exploring off beaten tracks on the beaten paths. Culture, history and heritage are what excites us most.

White egg-shaped stone boulders in sand desert. Egypt Travel blog

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. As a flashpacker who seeks a bit more comfort, we prefer an AC coach. 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?

Asphaslt winding woad with snow covered Himalayan Mountains in the background at Sikkim - India travel blog

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

Man on scooter in Cappadocia - Turkey Travel Blog

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 to each other – That feeling is the greatest of all.

Man on bike at white salt flats- Rann of Kutch - Gujarath Travel Blog

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, 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 about 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, 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 a typical Indians, we were stigmatic about zillions of things – 

We always thought it isn’t good to meet or sit next to a Pakistani traveller. 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.

Middle funger painted with red nail polish at the entrance of a Thai Buddhist temple - Thailand Travel Blog

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.

Tehran pencil shop with 3 million pencils - Tehran Travel guide
PENCIL SHOP AT TEHRAN BAZAAR

Every time we are back 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 than before 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

Sun bed by the beach under the tree at Mirissa- Sri Lanka Travel Guide

We are super honest – we tell you the best thing did and also dumb things. Along with some idiotic things like how Sahana was about to die in Sri Lanka 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

Girl sitting on the edge of a sharp boulder in Evergreen forest of Chikmagalur - Karnataka Travel Guide

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 are a complete guide to 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 a herculean task at times. So you 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.

Ashrith

The Photographer, Chicken lover, Fish craver, Gamer, Biker – Mountain lover who basks on the beach

Follow Ashrith on Instagram & Facebook

Sahana

The Planner, eggetarian, Reader, Writer, Handicrafts collector – Walker who loves historic city alleys.

Follow Sahana on Instagram & Facebook

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