Today’s interview subject is Prasad Np. He is a shy character who does everything possible to stay out of photos and behind the camera. (Which is why you won’t see his photo in this interview, but you can find a photo of him in my Kerala houseboat post.) Prasad’s love of photography is evident in both the way he conducts himself and the quality of his photos.
He is a corporate executive in Hyderabad, India and works as a travel blogger in his spare time. A proud family man, he finds time to travel in between his busy schedule. Prasad’s blog, desi Traveler is an amazing glimpse into India and its people. I had the opportunity to spend time with him in India and his knowledge and passion about the country truly amaze me. On to the interview!
1. How long have you been writing/blogging about travel and why did you start?
I started blogging in 2009, but with great inconsistency. In the beginning I would post maybe once every 3-6 months. At the time I had no idea what a blog was and a colleague helped me set up the site on Blogger. The idea of the site was to share my travel stories on the blog. I began posting more regularly in 2013 when I moved to WordPress on my own domain desiTraveler.com.
2. What was your first memorable travel experience/trip?
My earliest memory is of traveling with my family as a child. Traveling by train was the most fun as we had these small cabins in trains which had only 4 seats and could be locked from the inside. On those trains it would be only us in the cabin and we would enjoy it to the maximum by playing games, looking out of the window and making as much noise as humanly possible.
3. Can you tell me what makes your blog unique?
I try to add a touch of my personal experience in the form of a little fun story that my readers can relate to. Also try to make sure that the readers get useful information related to cost, transport, etc. This information is extremely useful when you are traveling as a family
4. What is your absolute favorite place in the world and why?
Outside of my home country India, I just loved my visit to San Francisco. It is one city I can revisit again and again. San Francisco has some of the best food, a wonderful sea front and a very vibrant cultural scene.
Though it is in USA, I feel that it could have been in any part of world, since it has so many people from all over the world. Within the city I love the heritage trams, the little houses on the hills and the absolutely stunning view of the Golden Gate bridge from every angle.
5. Can you share a useful travel tip with my readers? Something that you have learned through your own travel experiences.
A lot of people rely just on tour guides and the internet, but I feel that talking with a local always gives a more delightful experience of your destination. With local knowledge, you will get the best of the food joints, the less expensive hotels and also information about some of the happening events while you are there. So yes guide books have their role, but nothing can match the current local knowledge.
6. What inspires you?
The vast expanse of natural beauty in our wilderness is something to always look forward to. Once you visit the national parks, or the mighty mountains, you realize how magnificent nature around us is. This inspires me to try as much as possible to try save nature and leave as little a foot print as possible.
Looking at the pristine rainforest, or the snowy peaks and clean rivers in the wilderness also tells me how devastating we are as as species and we need to change our ways to make the planet a better place. Remember we do not have another planet to go to as a backup.
7. What is your overall favorite travel experience and why?
Within India, I love going to wildlife sanctuaries and looking at the tigers in their natural habitat. There are less than 2000 tigers left in the wild and we need to act to protect them as much as possible. Every time I see a tiger, it is a wonderful experience, but I also shiver with fear that our generation may be the last one to see the tigers in wild, and they may go extinct from India like the Asiatic Cheetah that vanished in the 1950s.
8. Why do you continue to travel?
There is so much to see, experience and learn. I don’t think even ten lifetimes are enough to see this beautiful world and it’s wonderful people. We may all be different in many ways, but we are more similar than we often realize. Traveling is the best way to know and learn about different cultures and people. The more I travel, the better I understand this world and the people.
9. Backpack or suitcase and why?
When I travel alone I don’t care much about the luxuries and am fine with backpacking, but when I travel with kids then we like to have some comforts like a safe and clean hotel, running hot water and maybe a pool for the kids to jump into. So I would say it all depends on whether I am traveling alone or with family.
10. Do you have anything else to share with my readers?
I would like to invite your readers in USA to visit India and see the many wonderful places that we have. We are one of the few blessed countries that have everything to offer from high mountains, to deserts ( both hot and cold), wildlife, historical monuments and a civilization that has been around for thousands of years. So please go ahead and book your tickets to visit India! That is my message for your international readers 🙂
I want to thank Prasad for sharing his experiences and photos with us. As mentioned before, you can view his blog at desiTraveler.com and his amazing photos on his Flickr page. Next week in the interview series is Filipino blogger Ivan Henares. Have a great weekend!