Ello! I am Deepti Khera, a solo traveller from India.
I am on a self-exploration journey and each day, I am getting richer by the experiences I embark on the go.
Professionally, I worked as a journalist in the print media and eventually moved to the social sector. I was fortunate to take up jobs that I really liked. My work allowed me to travel and everything was going well in my life.
In the quest to learn more about myself and the world out there, I ditched my 9 to 5 life. I like coming out of my comfort zone and fear leading a monotonous life. I like change.
Travel has helped me restore my faith in humanity and I am humbled by the experiences I embark on the go. The Better India article talks about my travels and experiencing humanity in India.
People in the country have been warm and kind. There have been times when I reached a destination with no booking whatsoever and was welcomed into the homes of people. I have lived with strangers in villages and have felt safe. You can read about my experience: Here
Instinct and a bit of common sense have kept me going. I have realised : Safety is a mindset and unless you go out there, you will never be able to overcome your fear.
How do I travel?
I am a solo- backpacker and travel on a budget. I do not have a fixed itinerary. I do not book a hotel/homestay/hostel for long. Most times, I reach my destination and ask the locals for their recommendations and then choose a place. You can read about my experiences by clicking this link. How an unplanned trip of spotting Peacocks in Maharashtra became one of the best experiences
If I feel like staying longer at a place, I simply do that. Most of the times, my return tickets are booked depending on my mood.
I am also a big fan of my country- India and want to travel to every city in the country first before I set my foot to a foreign land.
Travelling with a purpose
I thrive on new experiences and I like to travel with a purpose. For me, travel is both an inward and outward journey. The inward journey requires more of self-introspection, learning through reflection.
Hence, I keep experimenting with the way I travel. One one such trips, I lived without a phone, camera and even a watch! How traveling solo for five days without using technology shaped my perspectives.
I also like to volunteer while I am travelling. I think volunteering is more of unlearning than giving back to people.
As I like purpose driven travels, I was sponsored by Coca-Cola on a 15-day train journey – Jagriti Yatra, where I traveled for 8000 km in 15 days and covered 12 cities in India. I learnt about nation building through enterprise.That apart, imagine living in a train for 15 days and I mean having a bath on a train! This by far has been one of my best travel experiences
You can read about my experiences here: How does it feel to come home
How has it been quitting my job?
I am often asked this question. How do I manage to fund my travel without a job and how do I sustain myself?
I do not want to sugarcoat this for you. Some days are good, some days are bad.
I am not a filthy rich girl. I do not use the money of my parents. I have my savings and I am using that to travel.
I take up freelance projects that keep me going. I am a writer, researcher and I love field work.Thanks to my journalism and NGO experience.
Scavenging for work is not as easy and I have to tell people time and again freelance does not mean free! I value my work and take up assignments that I enjoy working on. That way, I give my 100 % to it.
What kind of travel stories interest me and what do I write on?
I stay clear of labels. I do not believe in “oh you are a tourist and a traveler kind of story”. Everyone has a unique style to travel. Who am I to judge?
I do not romanticise travel.Yes, I do talk about a beauty of a place but for me, travel is more than capturing the beauty. I am also interested in capturing the everyday stories and the everydayness of people. I travel local, responsible and do not invade anyone’s privacy while clicking pictures. I do not like to edit my pictures so much so that, the originality goes away.
My vision is to capture everything and anything about my country India. I also want to inspire more and more people to travel.
My journey is my destination.