Interview with Lostloveadventure – Shalini Magdel Das

1. Okay, Miss Shalini, what was the specific incident that got you to this interview?

 I love to talk about my travel stories. Traveling brings joy, peace, and blessings. I want to share my experience with you, with everyone around the world. I want to represent offbeat travel destinations in India, spread awareness regarding our culture, history, heritage and much more. I believe this would be a great platform to do so. 

2. What has earned you the right to be an authority on this topic?

 I was featured in the newspaper. I worked with different resorts and farm stays. Now I work with different brands and companies who support an offbeat destination, budget traveling, backpacking, camping, etc

3. What is your brand, your topic exactly about?

My brand name is – lostloveadventure All I always wanted to do was to travel, budget travels all over India, and experience beautiful India and share the best of it… I love to explore with the locals and write stories about real people, I try to bring out different things that identify the true meaning of life. Pushing my limits each day. 

Also, I write real-life stories – inspiring stories, controversial stories, heartbreaking stories, love stories, gossip issues – like extramarital affairs, child abuse, depression etc

4. Why is it important?

Oh, why is it important: it is not just important but very important to know where we belong. To know our roots. To know our own land, our country, our culture. India is overloaded with different cultures, food, structures, languages and so much more. We need to be responsible for our own country. As an individual we need to take ownership of Knowing where we belong as I have mentioned. 

Budget traveling – As I’m in my 20’s it’s difficult to manage finances and travel. Hectic job schedule is part of our everyday life so I want to curate and customize trips that are doable for anyone and everyone.

Gossip issues – because it’s difficult to talk about – extramarital affairs, divorce, intercaste marriage, inter-religion marriage’s, Depression, Adoption, Down syndrome etc. We all have a story and I just want to bring those stories out so that we don’t feel that we are alone. There is someone who is going through a similar situation or maybe worst but virtually we can know about them and their story of trails, struggle etc .. so yes I want the reality to come forward.

5. Now that I know what it is, now that I know why it’s important and relevant, how are you implementing this on your travels? I mean like, is there a process, that you follow when traveling?

To make a checklist of where you would like to visit. It’s important to do research a proper research. Always keep those research work saved in your phone (offline) also write it down in a small notebook. It’s a must. Carry it around with you.

Always keep a budget in mind and stick to it.

Take local help and local transportation.

Be careful of what you eat and what you drink

Always travel light, backpacks are best. Avoid taking too many gadgets. This is what I strictly follow.

6. What if people took advantage of your tips and steps you are providing? What will happen, how will their travels change? 

I want a traveler, especially women, to feel more empowered. I would be delighted and overwhelmed if I can help others with the little tips that I have for them to improve their travel. I would never even take this as an advantage, rather it’s my pleasure to be able to share my experience. 

The changes that possible can take place is the approach towards traveling, budgeting, safety and most importantly not overpacking travel bag.

7. Now we would like to get just some general information about you and your travels:

– When did you start traveling? Do you remember how you felt when you traveled alone for the first time?

When I was 16 I decided to take my first ever solo trip and my parents were excited for me. They did taught me self defense, survival drills, emergency medical drills etc. I watched many YouTube videos regarding the same. I was prepared for my first solo trip at the age of 16 and since then there has been no stop regarding the same.

– How did you, or do you deal with fears?

Restrictions I haven’t really faced as such but sometimes language becomes a barrier specially when I travel to extremely remote areas. It’s difficult to communicate at times with the Locals that becomes an issue. No, I haven’t really faced any Eve-teasing. I do get stared at but teasing none yet. I do feel unsafe and scared but I keep telling myself to think positive and always be aware and reactive regarding your surroundings. Keep all your senses open all the time until you feel safe and secure. 

– Is there a place where you have been and you would definitely not recommend it for women on their own and why?

Nope, I haven’t yet.

But safety is a major concern, and we need to stay aplomb and vigilante, and it is in our own hands. Be alert and organized for all kinds of unwanted situations.

– Do you still have this excitement, when you go for a trip?

Yes, definitely… I am always excited in fact this is my next trip which is already being planned – Kolkata to Delhi 6th Feb – March 24th. Delhi – Alwar – Jaipur – Ajmer – Pushkar – Jodhpur – Makhu – Amritsar – Chandigarh – Delhi – Kolkata

– what are your top 5 destinations and why?

1. I went to Pondicherry, Pitchavaram. And thus my itinerary included the following places: from Chennai to Bangalore to Shimoga, followed by the splendid Jog falls, then Yana, Gokarna, Hampa and finally the heartbeat of every youngster- Goa. I remember that this trip was scheduled to be of around eighteen days.

2. Sikkim is beautiful. It has so much to offer, beautiful roads to endless waterfalls. Every moment was filled with excitement. Glittering glacial lakes, endless pastures, waterfalls at every turn, quiet monastery towns, and scenic drives.Lachen – Lachung – Gurudongmar Lake – Yumthung Valley – Kala Patthar.

3. Similipal forest is a tiger reserve National Park which is situated in Orissa Mayurbhanj district this forest is a protected area as this place includes a Similipal tiger reserve which is about to 2750 kilometer. Kuldiha wildlife sanctuary 272.75km Hadgarh wildlife sanctuary 191.06 km. Similipal National Park is the second-largest National Park

4. Sunderban

5. Kerala – Cochin – Thekkady – Munnar .. like the entire Kerala

– The funniest story that happened to you when traveling?

I usually trip and fall around places due to my excitement.

Also, I was in an elephant rescue camp and I was giving a bath to the elephant. The elephant decided to give me a bath instead and all the other elephants joined in. So I had about 8 elephants giving me a bath. It was hilarious. 

8. Call to action – what do you want people to do?

I do feel scared of eve-teasing sometimes, but God has been kind and I keep myself positive when I am out on my own. It is very important to stay proactive at such times. Be aware of people who are around and keep your senses open to get a feeling of safety and security.

Few challenge incidents that have happened to me. There have been many challenges some pretty drastic. I did encounter elephants, wild elephants in the forest. I did see huge crocodile’s in Sunderbans like just 50 feet away I didn’t realize it’s actually alive till it moved as I was willing to walk past it thinking it was a man-made statue for awareness. So yes that was pretty scary and awesome.In crook and Coonoor tea estates, I had leeches stuck on the legs and later realized how important it is to wear the right kind of shoes and shocks which traveling. I love sitting on the edge of cliffs, hills etc and taking a picture with fisheye lenses. So in jog falls while I was on the edge I slipped but somehow I balanced myself from falling more than 1000ft. It is very important to be physically fit and careful all the time. There have been many such uncountable incidents.

Thanks for giving me this opportunity.

Find Shalini on Social media:

Instagram: @lost_loveadventure
Fb: lostloveadventure

Free your travels, be a Travelita! #travelita #iamatravelita

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