Hello! I am Shubham (Shoebum) Mansingka. I’ve been a full time traveller for 5+ years now and work professionally as a travel writer and consultant. I hope my offbeat stories from lesser known places excite you to experience travel differently. I want to inspire you to make a difference through sustainable and responsible tourism. No hindrance should be too big when you think about travel.
I was born in Rajasthan and topped my way across schools to study Commerce & Economics in Symbiosis, Pune. After that I lived in Bombay for three years while completing a MBA from Welingkar in Finance. My parents were avid travellers (considering a traditional marwari household) and nothing made my mom happier than being on a carefree road-trip in the Himalayas. 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. 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 family vacations happened during this period, but I kept yearning for more.
In the meanwhile, I had my first solo trip to Ladakh within a year of joining the family business. It made me realise that I didn’t care for worldly materialistic possessions and had a natural flair for travel. I was enamoured by the simplicity and kindness of the mountain people. Next year, on a random trip I made my way around Kinnaur and Spiti for a month, happy to fill my lungs with clean mountain air. It was in Spiti that I realised that I am wired to life a life of a full time traveller.
On these trips, I noticed that people’s stories and experiences fascinated me. I was hooked to the myriad cultural and historical pleasures travel had to offer. Heritage walks, food explorations and local festivals held a special interest for me. 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 and 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 managed to travel for almost two months in that meagre amount recuperating in Rishikesh and then backpacking across the snowy Himalayas. I knew I would survive. I called my parents and told them I wasn’t coming home.
I have been on the road ever since. I have slow travelled my way across 24+ states in India and 4+ countries and endeavour to keep exploring this wonderful world in the years to come.
My Travel Style
I travel solo on a strict budget and prefer keeping my carbon footprint low by walking/using local transport/hitchhiking, to the extent possible. I prefer staying in homestays located in the midst of nature that enable me to live as a local. I try to use as much local help as possible, ‘the goodness of strangers’ as I like to call it. Fixed itineraries don’t appeal to me and I normally keep travel plans flexible. I travel responsibly; avoid drinking bottled water and carry all the disposable waste with me on my travels.
Among my memorable experiences (good & bad) are : Two grand winter trips to Ladakh; Slow travelling in Garhwal when I had a morbid experience and barely escaped alive (go ahead and read the blog entry if you want to know more). I have traipsed around Kumaon for over two months. It was a joy to experience the bountiful monsoons of Goa and parts of Karnataka. Himachal Pradesh (my favourite state!) has been my temporary residence numerous times while I have explored and worked from various places. A highlight of my travel life is the solo trek from Lahaul to Zanskar.
I am currently based in Jaipur, Rajasthan.
115 Comments Add yours
Hi agings, loved your story, I too wish to start my blog. Kindly give me some tips.
Thanks! Just start it, I’d say 🙂
Greetings from North East India.
Your blog has been listed as one of the 25 best Indian Travelling blogs by FlockBrain and has been awarded a badge. FlockBrain is a directory of fresh, high-quality blogs for Indian travelling related topics.
This is a kind reminder to inform you that, you have been listed as one among the 25 best Indian Travelling blogs. Please check and confirm that your information is correct.
Thanks team 🙂
Hi Shubham, A fellow traveler here… I came across your blog yesterday while searching about Kalga. I had a question to ask…
How is the internet connectivity there? Is it good enough for WFH situation?
Hey Vishakha! Yes, the internet works pretty well in Kalga.
You should be on YouTube..
Hi Himanshu!! I post videos on youtube sparingly.
Hey! I’m planning my first solo backpacking trip, and I find myself referring to your blog more and more often, as I plan my itinerary. I was wondering if you could help me with suggestions and advice on where to go and what to do?
Hey!! All the best for your travels. Recommend checking the solo travel posts on the blog.
You are enjoying your life…
Very much inspiring story, obtain a great pleasure reading this! Best wishes!
Amazing blog, Shubham & an even amazing story. I think I have said this to even before. But saying this again and again doesn’t hurt. Keep it up. 🙂
Shoebum, it has been a really inspired turnaround of your life.
Best wishes to you for your life journey!
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Very nicely described trip to Sarnath. Should be of great help to me in my upcoming visit. Thanks a ton!