About me

Hello! I am Shubham Mansingka. I spend most of my time on the road, and make full use of my life after a battle with asthma. I hope my experiences excite you to see more of this world. I travel with a backpack and want to inspire you to do the same; let no hindrance be too big when you think about travel.

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My journey

I was born in a bustling town in Rajasthan and topped my way across schools to study from Symbiosis, Pune. I lived in Bombay for three years while completing a major in Economics and Finance. My parents were avid travellers (consider a traditional marwari household) and nothing made my mom happier than being on a carefree road-trip in the Himalayas. I worked and partied for some months in Bombay learning discipline and the ways of the world in local trains. My friends had already started telling me on various weekend trips that I was meant to be a wanderer.

After my education, I went back home to the family business. In seven years that I worked there, our factories in a small village did fabulously well and the turnover quadrupled from seven crores to almost twenty-eight crores. The industries were awash with dust and I began having allergic troubles within a year of starting work. The doctors duly announced I had chronic asthma and that it wasn’t going away. Experiential and luxurious vacations happened while with my family.

In the meanwhile, I had my first solo trip to Ladakh within a year of joining my family business. It made me realise that I didn’t care for worldly materialistic possessions. Maybe it was the effect of my mom’s genes. I was enchanted by the simplicity and kindness of the mountain people. Next year, I randomly arrived in Chandigarh and unknowingly made my way around Kinnaur and Spiti for a month, happy to fill my lungs with clean mountain air. It was in Spiti that it dawned upon me that I could live a life happily like this forever.

I kept going on small vacations to fulfil my wanderlust and along the way I noticed that listening to people’s stories and experiences fascinated me. I was hooked to the myriad cultural and historical pleasures India had to offer. A Nikon dslr was bought on a whim in Singapore and I started experimenting with photography.

Back in the factories powerful chronic medication was prescribed and I had two brain scans due to asthma attacks in that torrid period. My asthma got unbearable by the seventh year. One fine day, I was shocked to google and find out that ‘medicines meant for fatal patients’ were the latest in my list of prescriptions.

I had never felt weaker in my entire life. I was 28 and was a slave to medicines every day, the side effects of which had caused havoc. My days passed in a trance due to the headlessness and breathlessness caused by asthma. I told myself, there are better ways of dying.

Then I took a decision that changed my life. On 8th January, 2014 in a conservative Indian household, without telling anyone and armed with some sixteen thousand rupees I boarded a train to Delhi. I spent fifty-five days in total in that meagre amount first recuperating in Rishikesh and then in the snowy Himalaya. I knew I would survive. I called my parents and told them I wasn’t coming home.

I haven’t gone home since. The mountains are the closest place that my mind thinks of when the word home comes to mind. I have slow travelled my way across more than fifteen states in India and endeavour to explore more of this wonderful country and the world in the years to come.

How I travel

I travel solo on a strict budget and walk a lot. I like to stay in homestays that are located in the midst of nature enabling me to sample local cuisine and know more about the customs. I have never used an auto or a taxi in the last two years of my travels and try to use as much local help as possible. I trust my instinct and prefer to hitchhike above using any other means of transport. I like to call it ‘The goodness of strangers.’ Fixed itineraries don’t appeal to me and I normally don’t plan my journeys. I travel responsibly and do not drink bottled water and carry all the disposable waste with me on my travels to be dumped into a dustbin later.

In the year gone by, I began with a grand winter trip to Ladakh and barely escaped alive slow travelling in Garhwal in February when I had a morbid experience. I mustered enough courage to venture solo again in April when I traipsed around Kumaon for over two months. I experienced the bountiful monsoons of Goa and parts of Karnataka in July. Himachal Pradesh (my favourite state!) was the state of my temporary residence for three months while I explored and worked from various places. I currently live in Jaipur, Rajasthan.

Come, travel with me!

Connect with me on FacebookInstagram & Twitter.

 

41 Comments Add yours

  1. Good luck with your wish🙂 We hope you travel all over India and the world! Happy travels and happy blogging! PS – we too love seeing the goodness in people because it is out there!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey! Thanks so much. Happy travels to you too.🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. dhiranshah says:

    Hi,
    My name is Dhiran Shah and am from Bangalore. I develop Entrepreneurship and Entrepreneurial opportunities for the 99%, currently working on a group travel platform with a team of crowdsourced tech guys, seeking travelers and bloggers to cowork with me on this project for mutual benefit. Hence I am contacting you here as I found the link via Twitter search…. If it may interest you, then let’s discuss further. Looking forward in hearing from you.
    Regards
    Dhiran Shah
    0 9900105179

    Like

  3. hackernewbie says:

    Slow travel is the best thing I hear, have been ‘seeing’ the same and dream to embark on a similar journey someday, soon.

    Thumbs up to you!


    Cheers,
    Rajiv

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Rajiv. Hope you embark on that journey soon!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. hackernewbie says:

        Thanks a lot man!🙂

        Like

  4. ravi says:

    Just met subham and hats Off to share his experience! enjoyed the travel with chit chat! I am lucky to read your blogs! Keep it up amd be in touch

    Like

    1. Hi Ravi! Good to meet you too. Thanks for the encouragement.

      Like

  5. Eishaan says:

    Totally loved your blog! Some of the photographs are almost as breathtaking as the stories behind them!

    I’m running this blog/site called http://www.lifebehindthescenes.com that features photo stories. Our endeavour is to tell the story behind every photograph, straight from the photographers themselves.
    I randomly came across your blog on Twitter and wondered if you would like to contribute a photo story.
    Like I said, this message is a truly random spur of the moment msg.. This is not a sales pitch, and there’s no strings attached to any of it. The rights to your photo are always yours; we just want to tell the story.
    If you can spare a minute some time, please do go through the site (and our Twitter profile @lifeBTscenes and my own Twitter feed @ekbdangel just so you know that I’m not a bot!) and have a look: we have a few stories published from people ranging from professional photographers to absolutely amateur phoneographers.. The only thing in common is that they all had a story to tell.

    Like

  6. Being a COPD patient myself for last 42 years of my life,i can easily empathize with you and feel the frustration and pain caused by choked lungs.Great courage you have.Best of luck.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I owe my recovery to the Himalayas! Best of luck to you too. Thanks for the good wishes.

      Like

  7. More power to you buddy. May you have many more wonderful, magical and moving experiences on the open road. Cheers – Prathap

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the good wishes! Same to you.

      Like

  8. hi Shubham,
    i read this, i also love to travel solo, i did j&k, ladakh, spiti, in himalaya.
    i m also living in Jaipur,
    let’s have a cup of tea,
    call me any time i m always free to meet u.

    9261615151

    Like

  9. ullash gutgutia says:

    awesome man….very inspiring…

    Like

    1. 🙂 Ullash. I hope it inspires you to travel more.

      Like

  10. joyclubsunil says:

    Your story is very touching and inspiring…..keep traveling and spreading smiles.

    Like

  11. fokarkargil says:

    You have an inspiring tale to tell. I had started this blog on wordpress which is the free one. I want to have a website or a blog which have some good features like yours one. How to get the domain, and how much I have to pay for getting that? I shall be thankful to you.

    Like

    1. Thanks🙂 The options for buying a website are all listed on wordpress. Happy writing and travels🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Rashminotes says:

    Very inspiring! Great blog and look forward to reading many of your posts:) Thanks for stopping by mine:)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Rashmi🙂

      Like

  13. Maybe some day, I’d be proud enough to say I’ve traveled around the country…so far, just a handful of places🙂 Traveling is in my blood🙂

    Like

    1. Yes, best of luck with that. If its in the heart, you shall definitely do it someday.

      Like

  14. Pushpendra Singh Jhala says:

    Started Twitter few days ago. After retirement from Tea gardens(35)yrs started Homestay in Jaipur Civil Lines at my home. Following you. Happy to see you are travelling with lot of guts and determination. You write well and your photos are nice too. Drop by if in jaipur. My plan is also to see my country as much as I can. I enjoy travelling abroad every year. This is a Bug. I already hv a golf Bug !! Ha ha !! All the best. Do take care of your Asthama. Nature cures but there is a threshold. God Bless !!

    Like

    1. Thank you. Wow, you ‘ve sure lived a good life. Shall sure drop by sometime when I’m in Jaipur.

      Like

  15. Ankit Sharma says:

    What an inspirational touch. May you explore lot of places. Keep spreading smiles🙂 Happy travel

    Like

    1. Thank you Ankit for the good wishes🙂

      Like

  16. I’m sitting in Bombay, sweat trembling down my face and just reading about your journey through the Himalayas makes me feel so refreshed!
    You’ve inspired me (a mountain virgin) to take on a solo backpacking trip through the Himalayas and I’m leaving tomorrow. Thanks a lot! And may you achieve a lot more success.
    P.S. Any ideas as to where I should go for a week or so?

    Like

    1. That is such a powerful compliment! Thank you. Hope you are having a great time on the road.

      Like

  17. vicki says:

    god bless you . am sure we can learn alot through your experiences and blogs .

    Like

  18. Vicki p says:

    Hi shubham , khamma khanni , firstly i lovd readi ng all ur blogs n cant describe how beautiful most pictures and clicks are . Well i too share the same ho by like urs but i prefer n travel more of uttarakhand and do it on my bull ..(bullet machismo) . Im based in mumbai but ensure i visit dev bhoomi every alternate month as its somewhat my second home n so relaxing enchanting n intoxicating for me . Im just too much in love with it . Well i have my experiences but am not so good in publishing it like you do but yes i also have some good clicks …id love to meet you sometime n we can may b hitch hike or backpack sometime somewhere and ahare our experiences n joys … all the best n god bless you .

    Like

    1. Hey Vicki! Thank you for this wonderful message. Happy travels to you too🙂

      Like

  19. vikenblog says:

    Hi Shubham! People like you terribly inspire me. I have always had one question to which I’m still seeking an answer. How does one manage his finances to survive fulfilling such aspirations? How did you do that?

    Like

    1. Hey Viken. Thanks for the kind words. Life always finds a way to fulfil your dreams – you have to start walking on that difficult path first.

      Like

    2. Hi Viken! Thank you🙂 Well, I do freelance work with travel companies and have lots of ways by way of photography and writing.

      Like

  20. Wow. You are like my travel twin! So glad to have found you on Twitter.

    Like

    1. Thanks🙂 Look forward to sharing experiences someday.

      Liked by 1 person

  21. Jen says:

    Wonderful story! I love mountains and hiking, too. Just recently moved to the Austrian Alps. I experienced the Himalayas while I was in Rishikesh. It was a stunning experience. I am looking forward to your next posts.

    Like

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