Every travel enthusiast that we meet inspires us to explore, take chances and get out of our comfort zone. Today, we have one such traveller, Yaoza from Manipur, who believes that there is no better teacher than experience, more so travel experience. For him, travel not only allows you to see beauty but also helps you become a better and more aware person. He has been living and working in Mumbai for over a decade and his work is taking him to places, yet he still backpacks and wanders to new destinations on his own. Scroll down to know more about his adventures and find out the places he has been to.
We had a chat with Yaoza from Manipur to talk about his travel experience to various places, his favorite destinations and to get some travel tips from him!
Hi! Please introduce yourself.
Hello! I’m Yaoza, originally from the northeastern part of India, a Tangkhul (tribe) from Manipur state. Now, I have been away from home for more than 15 years and currently settled and working in Mumbai. I like to think of myself as a person who finds beauty in anything and everything that I see and feel. These past couple of months have been crazy with work and travel; and even crazier times are ahead.
What does travelling mean to you and what inspired you to start travelling?
Travelling to me is hard to explain. Passion? Not sure, but learning about new cultures, places, history, indulging in different culinary, experiencing the local lifestyle/products etc. excites me on a very different level. What inspires me to travel? Well there are multiple factors that influence me. Word of mouth from friends, colleagues, print materials, online, social media etc, but overall it’s me wanting to experience the place with my own eyes, feel the environment and indulge in beautiful cultures and history of the place.
When Yaoza made it to the Khardungla top, Ladakh
Yaoza at Unawatuna beach of Sri Lanka
Yaoza at the Amatara Wellness Resort in Phuket, Thailand
How do you decide or plan your upcoming trips?
I usually don’t plan well in advance but if certain things knock my head through various source than I felt out of control and ended up having a multiple online search, reaching out to people who have been there or get connected to someone from that place which helps out a lot.
How do you afford to travel?
Luckily, my work takes me places a lot of times. Apart from that, you burn your own pocket and I’m getting old with zero bank balance. But the knowledge and happiness you received while visiting places, it’s definitely worth it.
Yaoza at India’s French colony, Pondicherry
Yaoza’s visit to Ellora, Maharashtra
Yaoza’s visit to the ancient rock fortress of Sigiriya, Srilanka
The beautiful shot of the yacht, blue sea and the blue sky at Maldives by Yaoza
What are your travel essentials in your bag?
Mobile phone, cookies/healthy bar, small first-aid kit, toiletries and money. I used to carry camera but lately I have been taking pictures with my mobile phone. It saves extra burden of weight and even saves a lot of space but sometimes compromises on the quality of the images.
Which destinations are your favourites and why?
Kutch in Gujarat because of the nature and embroidery work of the region; Angkor Wat in Siem reap, Cambodia because of history and architecture; Ladakh( J&K) and Spiti valley(Himachal) – amazing landscape; Ko Samui (Thailand) for the pristine white beach.
And the list goes on…
Yaoza’s visit to Spiti valley located at Himachal Pradesh
Yaoza at Ladakh’s famous Pangong Lake
What would be your top bucket list destinations?
As of now, snowy season in Gulmarg (J&K).
Travel tips or advice for those planning to travel.
Don’t get stuck with your planning, just go for it. Respect the people, their cultures and ways of life.
Why do you think people should travel?
To learn about other cultures/history and to see this beautiful world. TV screen and print media don’t do justice. It’s a big world, filled with amazing history and culture, beautiful people, mouth watering dishes. The things you learn on the road, you will never learn it in the book. Go places!
To know more about Yaoza’s travel adventure, follow him on Instagram!
A lovely shot of local people fetching water in a traditional basket at Yaoza’s hometown, Ukhrul Manipur.
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