Want to explore India on a budget? Lawyer Shivangi Sharma shares how she travelled across India without leaving her job.
Even till the year 2014, Chandigarh born Shivangi Sharma was a shy girl who did not know how to speak to a stranger. But she loved exploring the city of London where she went to study. It was during that time that she decided that she want to explore the whole of India as well since India was such a diverse country.
So, after coming back she planned a road trip with her friends. But the friends cancelled at the last minute. Shivangi considered cancelling the trip, but she wanted to explore the country so badly that in June 2016, she lied to her parents and went on the trip alone. Since then, she is travelling solo across India.
She has not monetised her trips. She kept her job as a lawyer and used court holidays and online hearing days for the travel. She now has a wide range of followers online. However, back in time she was just travelling alone and had little to no support.
In 2019, after having two years plus of travelling experience, Shivangi wanted to try covering 29 Indian states in 39 days. This time she did not lie to her parents. But she did not get their support. Her parents could not understand her wish to prove that India is safe for solo female travellers. They were obviously concerned for their daughter. However, Shivangi went on that trip despite the protest from her parents. She started the trip on March 8 – on Women’s Day. On completion of the trip, she was interviewed by BBC and she had met many prominent figures and had many exciting adventures on her trip.
Shivangi still likes to travel. And in an interview with The Better India Shivangi shared some tricks to travel cheaply on a budget:
1) Create a brand
“Invest some money in your travelling, make fun videos, and take unique pictures for your social media handles. Once you have a significant number of followers, pitch it to holiday properties. Make a brand out of yourself.”
“There are several hostels, homestays, and hotels that need volunteers to manage daily operations, host guests, or create content. In return, they offer free accommodation and food. A quick search on Google or social media pages can help identify such places.”
3) Offer your skills
“Good at computers, videography, accountancy, cooking or performing arts? Host workshops in hotels, hostels, etc, and charge a fee.”
4) Collaborate with brands
While Shivangi stays away from product collaborations, she says it is a viable option to get paid by using beauty products, clothes, or eating food while on trips. “Brands even send you coupons that you can avail to get discounts on transport or accommodation,” she says.