Dedication: All the beautiful souls
Travel date : 5th Jan. 2017 to 25th Feb. 2018
Countries : Mumbai/Bangalore(India) , Myanmar , Thailand , Cambodia , Philippine , Taiwan , Sumtra(Indonesia) , Australia , New Zealand , Fiji , Vanuatu .
I have generally travelled penniless at many places since last 13+ months of my travel. Last 10 months I never paid for my stay. But I always keep some money with me. But Nov. 2017 I explored completely penniless. Did not exchange currency when I reach to Vanuatu and didn’t keep any money at all.
I use barter system to survive. I ask for lift (hitchhiking), sharing my henna art and cooking skills,Tried wall painting in exchange of food and shelter, even for getting SIM card and credit in it!
At the starting of my travel I use to sometimes stay in hostels in Asian countries, go for selected free or not expensive sightseeing.
Gradually my travel perception changed, I was more focused into people and experiences which I enjoyed more . I was happy to offer henna, cooking, etc for people I met. It was a good way to connect with people and I get chance to cook in big restaurants. And I receive unlimited kindness from people.
Wahoo bar & grill , Vanuatu
I did hitchhiking and stayed with random people whom I met on street see video , gave lift. I stayed at typhoon affected area where people stay in completely broken house and find difficult to maintain personal hygiene (I love to stay with them for long but difficult to manage basic hygiene so I had to move after spending 1 night with them, stayed few times with slum area (weird smell at their place as there wall was made from cardboard and raining. But after few minutes all good I was impressed with their love and bond with me. All these place people don’t speak English still they want to help me or interact with me. I stayed at temples (Iskcon and Sikh temple), stayed on mountain and ate roots, flowers, leaves (after cooking or sometime raw) read in detail , I got chance to stay with people who believe in alternative lifestyle. They try to live self sufficient way .Grow their own food (tobacco and weed too;-) ), Stayed with modern tribe people (they don’t use any chemical, no sunscreen, shampoo, soap, detergent etc. They use vinegar or fresh water from creek for cleaning.
Staying in Gurudwara/Sikh temple
1 person I stayed his place is on his wheelchair , He can’t use hand to hold things properly. Below chest his body is paralyzed. Now in his 50’s he is so happy. Does his many things by himself during day, Helpers come in morning and night to put him on bed and wake him up and do routine work for him. He goes to work in his ultra modified car, which is design by himself. He makes awesome paintings (inspite of having problem to hold pencil or brush) read in detail. I also stayed with people who are well to do, enough money to spend and live semi luxurious life buying multiple things. All these people somehow inspire me . I see life through their perspective. I also stayed at airports and did camping many times in Asian countries.
Camping in Cambodia (Koh ta kive island)
Stayed with transgender person, Stayed in small houseboat made on 3 floats by 1 person as it was his childhood dream to stay at sea. I stayed in bushes, did camping next to ghost house. Stayed with swinger. Once I got lift from person having criminal records (See video goo.gl/ma3rno) . All people were so amazing and respectful to me. I never feel scared. I don’t remember any time I feel scared. Met amazing travellers, not many, few but very unique. They inspired my journey. I tried raw food diet (Inspired from 2 French travellers. They were fruitarians since last 3 years. Yes! They eat just fruits.) And guys we think a lot to find vegetarian/vegan food,
Staying in this cute little house boat, Gold coast , QLD , Australia.
I connected with people without using internet / mobile or any other resources , Had good bond with people we didn’t communicate with verbal language . And understand that you don’t need language to communicate with people. I mean not all the time. Tried humanitarian work when I get chance (I feel myself more sensitive and believe in giving either in money or things . Feel happy that I get chance and I did it without hesitation, I feel thankful for having met people I met and get inspiration). I always get blessed with people and some people say I am very fortunate or lucky that nothing wrong happen with me or that I got to travel so much.
camping at ghost house place with my Indo Canadian friend/Traveller, Donghe, Taiwan
I explored myself and felt that this Desi nomad cooks well. People are happy to eat when she cooks. People like her Heena art, and recently I tried wall painting, painting on glassware, even speaking English. I was never confident to speak or write English. I get more confident to speak English and write (with lots of mistakes). I am not perfect and still not good. But I know I communicate well and people understand me and that’s enough for me.
One country police caught me as I walked on freeway.They help me a lot(3 times in one day)To guide me, offer me food even when I refuse and made big sign board for me in their language for hitchhiking .So kind and friendly police. Few times I was at nowhere, at road difficult to find lift or ask people. Not reach my destination same day.
But things got managed when I was not panicking. Like just 3 hours journey took 2 days and that too with so many lifts and 13+ hours journey did in 1 day with less lifts.🤣
2 time fall in love
I accept and respect my feelings , I cherish it and move. .
1 time I was drunk and tried ganja for first time so I fell down from chair and badly hurt. Couldn’t walk that time. I feel some fracture happened, pain was extreme. No-buddy was there to understand actually. So I had to push myself and took me to clinic. On the way some random white people ask me and suggest me going to hospital instead of clinic, as doctor was not good and gives duplicate medicine, charges a lot. Hospital is a bit better. I travel 2 hours by taxi to reach hospital in extreme pain. It was not fracture. But hospital also doctor was not expert at all. They didn’t do my x-ray properly and were confused to say that I have a fracture or not. Doctor worked 3 years in some airline and 1 year practicing. Pain didn’t stop after eating medicine also. I got scared little bit that my ankylosing spondilyties disease is activated and I have to go back to India. This had happened in just 2nd month of my travel .
I send email of my x-ray and inform my rheumatologist. He said it might be just because I fell badly. It’s not that because of ankylosing spondilyties. I have suffered with that pain for more than month. Couldn’t sleep properly for 2 week because of pain but I did travelling/camping and all. After that also for few months I feel pain all time if I seat little bit longer. Now all good since many months.
I never wear sun glasses on this whole journey of more than 13 months. Rarely use sunscreen, no waxing, no salon, and no using soaps. Very rarely I used deodorant. Never buy new clothes (I ask clothes from people when I travel to cold area from warm area/country). No shopping.
I am lucky that my family also didn’t ask me to bring anything. I truly enjoyed that minimalist living. I am not sure what I will do in Mumbai. How I will carry all those memories and changes in my life. But I am sure I will find something to make me happy
Huvasgal lake , Mongolia July 2016
My Facebook page : fb.com/Sheetalthedesinomad