Siddhartha Joshi, aka Sid ‘The Wanderer’ is a travel blogger from the Himalayas with bundles of insider tips for touring in his homeland. Want to hang in India like a local (or just in need of a little escapism)? Read on…
Tell us a bit about yourself…
I am a designer, photographer, traveller and an Instagrammer who loves to explore people and cultures. I come from northern part of India, from the Himalayas. I am a graduate in Mechanical Engineering [with a] masters in Product Design and have done a fellowship in Biodesign from Stanford.
What led you to becoming a travel blogger?
My love for people and my inherent interest in story telling. The blog was initially just a way to share my experiences, but overtime it became a medium to connect with the world and make friends with some amazing like-minded people. Travel blogging now allows me to travel even more and collect even more stories.
You call yourself “homeless” – what attracted you to a life of travel, on the road?
I am homeless because I am at home everywhere. I am currently based in a city called Pune and I travel at every possible opportunity. For me life in transit is how life is meant to me.
Where’s your favourite place to soak up natural beauty in India?
I love Kashmir and could spend my entire life soaking up the beauty of the place. I go there often, sometimes alone and sometimes not, and every visit has been special to me. To me the best way to see Kashmir would be through a trek across the Himalayas there or a slow road trip from state’s capital Srinagar to Leh.
Your favourite place for culture?
India is full of places for exploring culture, but there is none like Kashi or Varanasi. One of the oldest habituated towns in the world, Varanasi takes you back in time like none other in the country. Apart from Varanasi, a visit to India can also be planned around one of its many festivals. The two that I would strongly recommend are Holi celebrations in Mathura and Kumbh Mela (which takes place every three years).
By far, Goa is the party capital of the country. Every year during winter the tiny state comes alive with parties on almost every beach and island. Sunburn has become an iconic name in the party circuit of Goa and it’s a must visit for lovers of electronic music. However, the more arty scene of India exists in the North Eastern state of Meghalaya and its capital, Shillong.
A special, secret spot that only a local would know about?
I think the entire North East is highly under explored and even very few Indian tourists venture out to that part of the country. Whether it’s the tea gardens of Assam, the monasteries of Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh or the some exotic food of Nagaland, the entire region remains undiscovered.
Top tip for India travel…
I think many people come to India to see India, and in my opinion it should change to ‘Experience India’. So when you come to India next, take time out to interact with the locals and get a fresh context about the country. As an Indian I do this every day as part of my 365-day project, Tell Me Your Dream, where I talk to a new person everyday of the year and ask them about their lives and most importantly, their dreams.