Who doesn’t love to travel and relax in the lap of nature like there is no tomorrow? Well, we all wish to, but the very next thing that concerns us is, how are we going to survive once we are out of our funds? Well, here’s Varun Vagish, the man behind the popular YouTube Channel Mountain Trekker to answer all those queries for travel enthusiasts out there.
While speaking to HotFridayTalks.com, Varun shared how he manages to see the world and gave tips to make our travel worthwhile.
Born in Delhi, Varun was brought up in several parts of India. Owing to his parents’ transferable job, Varun got to stay at different Indian cities, like Haryana, Hyderabad, Rajasthan, UP etc. So, when asked whether the love for traveling got instilled in him from his very childhood, Varun shared a really interesting story.
“A major part of my childhood was spent in Maharashtra. It is funny that as a kid, I used to hate maths. So, my mom, who was a teacher, asked one of her colleagues to give me tuitions, so that I get to learn better. I used to make excuses that madam is unwell today, bunk tuitions and wander off. That time I was in Maharashtra in a place called Tarapur (India’s first Atomic Power station) and the Sahyadris (Western Ghats) was nearby. So with my bicycle, I used to go off to the hills alone, for 2-3 hours. That’s quite a memorable experience of my childhood days. And the love for the mountains was something I grew from a very tender age” Varun says.
Just like the name of his channel suggests, Varun is a mountain man. He is very fond of the mountains. Although he has been to almost every part of India and in every terrain, from beaches, to forests to valleys, his love for mountains has never lessened. Thus, that very much justifies the name of his channel and therefore he has never thought of changing the name of it either.
When we asked Varun about his advice on how to manage funds when traveling, Varun says, “Whenever people think of traveling, they have the three basic things in mind, first, managing funds, second, fear about the unknown in an unacquainted place and third, whether he/she can manage leaves at his job.
The basic thing that I always believe and say to people is, when you are traveling, it is not about the money, but about the risk you are taking, about the courage. I had mentioned this in my series of Thailand travel videos too. You can get to see the actual magic of travelling, once you go a bit off-route, off the same beaten tracks and popular tourist destinations, a little bit away from your comfort zone out of the conducted tours, away from the commercialized tourist attractions. Another major thing is trust. You have to learn to trust people if you wish to enjoy your travel. If you wish to go hitchhiking, you have to trust people when you ask them for lift or wish to stay over at a stranger’s place. Even I had issues initially, but once I started believing in people I got to know how beautiful it feels. The world is not as bad as we assume it to be, after watching news channels and shows which portray negativity.”
Suppressed with pressure and stress, many people resort to traveling these days. However, there are some of us, who actually wish to quit our jobs and keep travelling the world. But is that possible without fund or with limited funds? Here’s what Varun has to say.
“I had once hosted a person from Australia, whom I had hosted in Delhi, in 2004 or 2005. We had become good friends and I got to learn a lot from him. I asked him how he managed to travel so much with limited funds. A great advice that I got from him is, when you wish to travel with less funds, you need to keep your necessities and wants limited too. You should be prepared to use public transport, you have to curb luxuriousness and lead a simple life if you wish to make the most of your travel. Secondly, you can put the internet to use to earn your expenses, you can opt for freelance jobs and whatever skills you are good at, you can put that to use. There is a plethora of opportunities to earn money online; all you need is an internet connection and a laptop. You can run a blog, create a YouTube channel or even make a website and monetize them to earn money.”
Varun also introduces us to a very interesting and comparatively new concept. “Another great option is volunteering, which is not yet very popular in India. It’s a concept, where you volunteer your services and in return, you get free accommodation and food, instead of being paid for your service. I have recently uploaded a video of a girl whom I met in Turkey, and she shares her experience about how she travels the world without spending money, as she volunteers her services in return of the basic needs” he says.
Finally, Varun has a great message for his fellow travelers. “You should respect nature and culture. Every culture has something beautiful about it. Whenever you come across the positives of any specific culture you should always take a lesson from it. Whatever nice you learn from a culture, you can implement that into your own lifestyle and community. On the other hand, you must also share the best things about your culture to other communities in the places you travel and teach them to imbibe your culture. If all travelers across the world can do this, the world ill really become a better place to live in.”
Traveling thus, is not just a hobby or a passion, it is an art, which when practiced properly, can be magical.