“Be fearless in the pursuit of what sets your soul on fire.” – Jennifer Lee
Apen Tanujang might be one of the few people who’ve explored almost every part of Nagaland. An adventure and nature lover at heart, Apen belongs to Mokokchung in Nagaland. After a trip he took in 2015, he was inspired to travel and explore his homeland and all of Northeast. So far, he has covered Meghalaya, Assam, Sikkim, Mizoram and Manipur, and dreams to travel to more places here.
Born and brought up Nagaland, he was always curious and adventurous about exploring every part of his homeland. This led him to explore most of Nagaland and Northeast. His Instagram feed is a visual treat that is sure to inspire you to grab your backpacks and go on an expedition. Read on to find out more about him!
Hey Apen, it’s a pleasure to have you here. Please introduce yourself to our readers!
Hello, my name is Apen Tanujang, and I’m from Mokokchung Nagaland. I like to think of myself as a positive person, explorer, travel enthusiast, nature lover, foodie and one who always look for new challenges and adventures of any kind.
Apen with a loaded rucksack, towards another adventure!
Your Instagram is full of gorgeous photos from your trips across Nagaland. How do you manage to travel?
Yes, I have been to almost all parts of Nagaland. Apart from that, I have also visited Meghalaya, Assam, Sikkim, Mizoram and Manipur. I find travel a never-ending cycle. The more we travel, the more we get inspired to explore. I always work hard, earn from every possible way and travel by myself. I try to grab every opportunity if it involves travel and to get in touch with the local people. There is no denying that travelling teaches us things which we cannot learn in any other way.
By taking a break from the mundane life, we get an opportunity to perceive and discover new things like culture, food, history and more. It connects us to new cultures and gives us a chance to meet new people and learn from them.
Apen Tanujang camping on the banks of River Doyang, Nagaland.
Any interesting travel stories that you’d like to share?
Some of my favourite travel memories include the trek to Dzükou valley festival which was organized by India trail in 2018. To trek Dzükou was always on my bucket list and ever since I heard about the Dzükou fest, I was very excited and my heart was pounding out of my chest, out of excitement, and me and my two friends started to plan for the trek. We met many new travel enthusiasts not only from Nagaland but also from different parts of the country, and shared our stories with them.
I always love exploring Nagaland, visit rural villages and learn their stories and lifestyles.
Apen with his travel partner, Alimayang Jamir, during the Dzükou Fest 2018, Nagaland
What sparked your interest in travelling?
I don’t think there’s a particular ‘thing’ that sparked an interest. Travelling has always been my passion since childhood but being born and brought up in a village, I never got the opportunity to go out. I was always fascinated by the natural beauty of the Northeast region and it was my dream to explore it.
It was in the year 2015, I went on a short road trip with a few of my friends and that feeling of peace, without a single negative thought on my mind is what kept me hooked onto traveling.
Apen on a boat in the clear waters of River Dawki in Meghalaya
Since you’ve spent your life in Nagaland, do you think your roots and culture inspired you to travel?
Travel has connected me to my roots! I have always been fond of meeting new people and learning their stories from them. Exploring my own state Nagaland, and listening to the stories from village elders and local people about our culture and heritage is inspiring.
“The most important lesson I have learned while travelling is to appreciate each other’s culture and to understand the fact that we are not that different as we may think we are.”
What message would you like to give to our readers who aspire to travel and explore more?
Take it easy, don’t rush. Enjoy every single place you visit and appreciate the fact that you got there. Try to understand the place by interacting with the locals. Don’t be a tourist, be a traveler. All it takes is the passion and willingness to do it!
“Work hard, earn and travel when you are young”
Thank you, Apen for sharing your story. We wish you a great future ahead. Happy travelling!