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Today’s featured blogger is Vaibhav from The Wandering Vegetable!
Vaibhav Mehta is an actor, travel-blogger, and personal growth writer from Hyderabad, India. He is a traveller who inspires people to explore the world in an offbeat and adventurous way. He took his first solo trip to Spain while working as an actor in a Bollywood musical in Dubai and has never looked back since. Living by the mantra “Have Money, Will Travel”, he places travel experiences at a higher pedestal than materialistic pleasures. He aims to explore every country on the planet and host a travel show in the future. You can find more of his inspiring travels and slice of life blogs at The Wandering Vegetable or on Instagram and Pinterest.
How long have you been blogging for? Why’d you decide to start a travel blog?
I have been blogging since 2012. But my first blog was more of a hobby and an account of my personal experiences rather than a professional travel blog. I started my travel blog “The Wandering Vegetable” in Aug, 2018. Interestingly, it was my mother who bounced the idea of sharing my travels with other people and starting a travel blog.
I wasn’t so serious about it but when I started writing and sharing travel tips and helpful resources, I started feeling better about the whole idea. Since then, it’s been a journey of both – commitment and enjoyment. I decided to start the travel blog to share my experiences and travels with other people and help them travel smarter and better.
Do you have any tips for new travel bloggers/aspiring travel bloggers?
I’d like to give two tips to aspiring travel bloggers. The first tip is to understand if you actually enjoy travelling and blogging or are you in love with just the idea of Instagram photos and free stays.
You need to have a clear motive in your head. Blogging is not a day’s work. It takes effort to get those glamorous free stays and collaborations. So be prepared to do the extensive groundwork.
The second tip I’d like to give is to persevere even when things seem overwhelming. There are a lot of technical aspects to blogging that can seem too complicated. But if you stay calm, be patient and give it time, you’ll understand the tropes and eventually start enjoying it.
What’s the one thing you wish you knew before you started travelling?
The one thing I wish I knew before I started travelling was that I’d be starting a travel blog one day. As a kid, I rushed through some European countries instead of exploring them at a slower pace and getting to know them better.
So now these trips are a blur and though I have photographic memories of the places, I can’t exactly share my feelings, write blogs on these places, and share them with other travellers and travel enthusiasts.
Why do you love to travel?
I love to travel because it makes me happy and keeps the child in me alive. Simple as that. I feel life’s too short to waste on superficial things. I’d rather invest in experiences. Therefore, I am always on the lookout for new experiences, sights, sounds, smells, tastes, etc., that enrich my soul and give me a fresh perspective of life.
The one thing that attracts me towards travelling is unpredictability. It keeps me on my toes and always excited for the future. Besides, I get to make amazing friends across the globe which wouldn’t have been possible had I stayed at home.
What’s your best and worst travel experience?
It’s difficult to choose the best experience as I’ve had quite a few memorable ones. I’d list skydiving in Auckland (NZ), Hot air ballooning in Cappadocia (Turkey), and ziplining with my parents through the forests of Chiang Mai (Thailand) as some of my best travel experiences. The worst experience has to be when I was threatened and ripped off by a cab driver in Tbilisi, Georgia.
Do you prefer solo travel or travelling with other people? Why?
The thing with me is I enjoy both – solo travel and travelling with other people. And by people, I mean either a single travel buddy or my parents. I am not comfortable travelling in groups.
Solo travel is more liberating as I get to do what I want, wherever I want, with whoever I want and at any time I want. I can set the pace for my travel and be open to endless possibilities of experiences with other travellers or locals. While travelling with parents is enjoyable as I love their company and they are travel lovers themselves so they never say a “No” to anything unless it’s jumping off a bridge or a plane.
Travelling with a friend/single travel buddy has its own charm as it helps me get to know them and understand them better during the journey. Travel forges stronger relationships.
What’s your favourite place you’ve ever been to? Why?
It’s a tie between two places – New Zealand and Turkey. New Zealand because no country compares to its sheer natural beauty. Also, I felt a connection with the local Maori tribes and loved the hospitality of the locals.
And Turkey because Istanbul is my soul city and given an option, I wouldn’t mind living in Istanbul for the rest of my life. In fact, spending time in Istanbul has to be amongst my favourite travel memories. Besides that, the topographical diversity and rich history associated with places like Pamukkale, and Cappadocia leave you awestruck and wanting more.
What’s your biggest travel tip?
My biggest travel tip would be to always trust your instincts. Your gut feeling is always right. If it feels wrong, then it most probably is.
Is there one specific thing you like to do, see, or buy in every place that you visit?
There are two things that I like to do everywhere – 1) walk the streets and explore a place on foot and 2) indulge in some kind of adventure sport, hiking, or trekking activity in the area.
And the one thing that I like to buy from every place is a souvenir plate that features popular attractions from that particular place. I have quite a colourful collection already.
Is there one specific food or drink that you’ve tried while travelling that you loved? What was it and why do you love it so much?
The one specific drink that I tried while travelling and I absolutely loved was this Georgian vodka called “Chacha”. I love it because of its fragrance, taste, and interesting technique you have to apply to drink it so as to enjoy its flavour and texture to the maximum.
Plane or train? Plane.
Hotel or hostel? Hotel.
City or Nature? Nature.
Popular site or off-the-beaten-path? Both.
Suitcase or backpack? Suitcase.
Fast travel or slow travel? Medium pace travel.
Professional Camera or iPhone photography? Samsung phone photography.
Warm or Cold weather? Cold weather.
All photos used throughout this post are courtesy of Vaibhav.