The dream of travelling and living together started from the back seat of the school bus at DPS R K Puram and turned into a reality in 2008 when Vidit Taneja (Vid), 33 and Savi Munjal (Savi), 31, owners Bruisedpassports.com, exchanged rings in court and started travelling as a couple. For Vid, his travelling instinct came from his father, but Savi realised it later when she boarded her first flight at the age of 18. When they started, they never expected the turn of events it would lead to. They never thought they would quit their jobs for travelling. But after travelling 65 countries in the last 8 years they finally did that in 2015 and today they are full-time travellers and run their own travel blog which is not just a source of information for travellers globally but also the source of their livelihood too.
Excerpts from a free-wheeling conversation with the couple, who were recently in town to share their travelling experiences:
How and when did the idea of turning into full-time travellers happen?
Vid: It all happened in 2008 when I quit my job and joined Savi in UK where she was pursing her P.Hd. It was then we decided to start exploring new places and in the same year we got married so it gave us another reason to explore new places. With time, we started loving it and made it a point to explore at least one place every month. Gradually, we started travelling 12 months and now it is like we travel 365 days.
So the selection of places had a pattern or was a random choice?
Savi: To be frank, it was never planned. Initially we used to look for the cheapest flights to any place and that would become our destination for the month. As we had not seen major parts of the world, every place was an experience in itself.
Is the passion for travel ling inherited or you developed it with time?
Savi: I was not addicted to travelling. I boarded my first flight when I was 18 and that too because I wanted to meet him in Singapore. And ever since, I have boarded almost 900 flights in past 10 years.
Vid: I have inherited it from my father. In my childhood, during vacations, he made it a routine affair of travelling to at least 3-4 new places within India.
What was the idea behind naming the blog ‘Bruised Passports’?
Vid: After 8 years of regular travelling, if we look at our passports it has become a thick book with three booklets relating all paper formalities of visa. It was in 2013 when we decided to start our own blog that could actually make travelling easier and cheaper for large audiences across teh globe. Thus, we thought of this name.
What all information can one find on Bruised Passports?
Savi: We write about everything. We write a day-by-day-breakdown blog of how we explore a particular place. We even write about how to finance a trip to make the best in budget. And that comes only if we pen down the details of every single penny we spent in a particular city/country. Apart from this, we write about how to pack for a road trip.
The blog also has a section where we include our personal narratives of what we feel about the place, our likes and dislikes. Our mutual love for cafes, photography, market and heritage places also help readers to understand the best places in a city
What hardships or challenges you people face while travelling to a new place?
Vid: Your smile can take you places. We believe in this and on every trip it has made things easier for us. Initially, we had a fear of travelling to a new place but with time we realised that everywhere people are like us and love is what binds them together. When language becomes a barrier, our smile works and things become easy. We always travel with a positive and inquisitive mind that helps us to neglect fear and explore more.
Any experience/memory from the first place you people travelled together?
Savi: It was freezing in Scotland when we visited in 2008. As it was our first trip we had no clue how to go about the place. After experiencing the food and places, we decided to move out and make friends and surprisingly we made a couple of friends who have become close friends with time.
Vid: All my memories travel through my camera and as it was our first trip together so I was trying my new camera. It was a full moon night and we were sitting on grass, gazing at open and clean sky.
Both of you had quit your job in 2015. So how do you manage the travelling expenses?
Savi: Yes, in 2015 we realised that we can move out and make travelling our full-time profession. Earlier, we had been juggling for a couple of years managing our office work and passion for travelling. As far as expenses are concerned, our blog/website (www.bruisedpassports.com) which has more than 1 million visitors every year helps us generate revenue through Google advertisements. Apart from this, as Vid is a professional photographer, we get photography assignments. All of this together makes us self-sufficient. With a good academic background, I also write for all the leading publications including Huffington post and national dailies.
Last place you people visited and a memorable moment from the place?
Vid: Last we were at Myanmar and I think the place is amazing for photographers. I used to wake up at 4.30 in the morning and take my rented scooter to drive to Vantage point where there are 2200 Buddhist temples and from behind the temples your get a scenic view of sunrise. It is worth capturing.
After travelling to 65 countries, how do you feel about your own country?
Vid: Earlier the concept of ‘Incredible India’ was difficult to understand. But after travelling the world, we have realised that actually India is incredible in every sense. Right from diversified culture to food habits, we have abundant heritage to explore, write and talk about. The only thing we found easier in other countries was government related paper formalities. In India, it is still a daunting task. We can say this because with each trip we face new challenges and that disappoints your patience level. We feel that the government needs to make things a little easy for common people.
How would you describe the entire experience of travelling?
Savi: For me it is all about inner happiness. It has helped me to understand that irrespective of caste and color, somewhere we all think alike. It’s a humbling thought.
Vid: I think for me it is all about education. School and college education is compulsory, but with my experience I feel one should travel to at least one place every year. It not only relaxes you, but also gives a different perspective and keeps you grounded.
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