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Mansi Khandelwal

IWB Blogger

Travel Blogger Namita Confesses To IWB, ‘I Have Black Belt In Badassery’

  • IWB Post
  •  February 7, 2017


TRAVEL! This word is infectious to me. Whenever I read or write about traveling, I go in some trance. Is it because I am a travel freak? 

And, I guess that’s why I love reading travel tales, and a long hearty conversation with Namita Kulkarni, who is a travel blogger, yoga teacher, and a writer, was all that my soul needed.

namita_nefariousLift like you mean it. Lift like a woman #ladylike #decathlon #domyos #sportsforall #keepcalmandliftweights #kettlebellyoga #kettlebell #pink #yoga #workout #weights #hm #strength #yogagivesbackchallenge #yogachallenge #yogainspiration #fitness #yogaeverydamnday

“Fill your life with experiences, not things. Have stories to tell not stuff to show.”  Don’t you think so? Well, I completely do!

So, here’s a conversation between two bloggers who share their mutual love for travel.

Me: How did your blog ‘Radically Ever After’ come into being?

Namita Kulkarni: After two solo trips to Mauritius and Bali in 2014, I had a ton of new experiences to share. I could’ve talked anyone’s ears off with ten weeks’ worth of travel stories. A blog seemed a more civilized and efficient way of channeling that energy. So the writing began, and with it flowed more writing and more travel opportunities. 

namita_nefariousWhat dreams may dream of #doyoulake #doyoulakevarese #lombardy #Italy #traveldeeper #mywherever #lake #swans #nuts_about_birds

The word ‘rad’ first walked into my brain at a yoga course in Rishikesh, a couple of years ago. An Indo-Canadian girl in my dorm used it often enough for me to take a liking to the word. A few months later, on the first morning of the Bali Spirit Festival, the yoga teacher walked in wearing a tank top that said ‘Stay Rad’. There was something about the energy of the word that stayed with me, I suppose. Later, I heard Gloria Steinem say at an event – Women get more radical as they age. I loved that! Was it the word chasing me or me choosing the word? Either way, when I decided to rename my blog last year, ‘Radically Ever After’ perfectly fitted.

Just when I thought what’s so radical about it, she explained, To me, a major part of being radical is facing my fears. From my experience, I have learned that I’m bigger than my fears, as they are largely stories that my imagination spins. Being ‘safe’ is not an absolute guarantee anywhere, so I might as well take the risks that excite me and be game for the ones I couldn’t have imagined.

namita_nefariousBurano, Venice. An island that asks everyone ‘Isn’t life too short to be anything other than colourful?’ #burano #colour #venice #italy #life_in_italy #island #lovetheworld

Me: How many cities and countries have you traveled and which one of them you lost your heart in and found yourself?

Namita Kulkarni: Well, I’ve been in 14 countries and 11 Indian states. Going to 8 different schools while growing up was quite the education in becoming a traveler! I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve lost my heart and found myself, though. If there’s one thing traveling has taught me, it’s that there’s no limit to the number of times one can fall madly in love. That being said, GiliTrawangan (Indonesia) still has my heart. But so does Laguna Colorada in Bolivia and Netala in the Himalayas, Lake Bohinj in Slovenia, that jellyfish I held in the Bahamas…you get the drift, right?

Me: Hotels or backpacker hostels, which one do you prefer?

Namita Kulkarni: Hostels any day! Nothing like a hostel dorm in a foreign country to make you realize how very similar and just as unique human beings are.

namita_nefarious#europe #italy #lombardy #lakemaggiore #travellingthroughtheworld #instatravel

Me: Beaches or mountains? What’s your pick?

Namita Kulkarni: This question always makes my head swim. Well, I guess it depends on what I’m geographically closer to. I cannot ever pick between the two. There has to be some third factor that breaks the tie for me.

Me: What’s on your list for this year? *much curious*

Namita Kulkarni: I’m way too unplanned to have a bucket list. I as it is, struggle around my to-do lists every day so a bucket list would be too much pressure for me. I’m more a go-where-the-wind-blows kind of a traveler.

namita_nefariousI remember sitting there for anything between two minutes to two hours. Some places make time obsolete 💜💜💜💜💜💜💜💜💜 #italy #sliceofheaven #ig_italy #lake #sunset_vision #enchanting_sunsets #worlderlust #lovetheworld #discoverglobe #bestlombardiapics #ig_lombardia #top_italia_photo #instatravel #travelgram #europe

Me: What do you like doing apart from blogging when traveling?

Namita Kulkarni: While traveling I love interacting with people, walking my legs off, and pretending to be a local as much as I can get away with.

I am sure, that helps!

Me: What is your scariest travel experience?

Namita Kulkarni: So many, like I can’t even count! The scariest one was a guy on a bike who tried to snatch my handbag late at night as I was walking back to my guesthouse in Ubud, Bali. But I’m enough of an Indian woman to know how to be super alert and street-smart in public spaces. And I’d heard of these bag-snatching incidents as well. So I shifted my bag to the non-street-facing shoulder seconds before he made the attempt to snatch it. He caught the shoulder strap of my top but I yelled and he zoomed off. He stopped his bike further down the street and turned his helmeted head back to look at me. I was still yelling at him like I was getting paid for it. I guess he decided I was too high-maintenance a victim and went out of my sight. But that was a close call, so I took extra precautions after that.

namita_nefarious#walkingonsunshine #beach #enchanting_sunsets #sunsets #ocean #traveldeeper #india #slippers #mywherever #haveaniceday

Me: From deciding on a place to finding accommodation to packing, what do you like and hate doing the most while preparing for your next trip?

Namita Kulkarni:

What I like: Daydreaming about the experience. Picking up a smattering of the local language. Taking wild guesses at the ways in which the place and the people are going to shake off my preconceptions. Looking up the best food/drink recommendations from people who live there or have visited recently, is what keeps me busy.

What I hate or rather ‘least like’: Packing and unpacking! All my multiple personalities show themselves up in that space between an empty backpack and a packed one. There’s the control freak that wants to carry everything from a nail cutter to a nuclear bomb shelter, and there’s the free spirit that insists on carrying only the bare minimum essentials. Throw in a hygiene maniac and a disaster-imaginer and I have a debate worthy of Times Now in my brain.


namita_nefariousGotta love starfish! Call them brainless and it won’t be an insult. Maybe brains are overrated after all! Was amazing watching this little guy move.. some things one never forgets 💜 #seastar #starfish #ocean #beach #sealife #marine #throwback #Mauritius #lonelyplanet #lovetheworld #shore #ilemaurice #mauritiusisland #mauritiusexplored #wishuponastarfish

Me: Share with us your travel playlist?

Namita Kulkarni: Ah, it’s as random as it can be. On my last trip, Bruno Mars was my guilty pleasure, as much as my earphones would allow. Also, Daft Punk, Junior Boys, Simon & Garfunkel, a Spanish singer called Bebe, our own Sona Mohapatra and Hard Kaur a French singer called Myrtille, Ingrid Michelson, and a whole bunch of Shazam’d tracks from various parts of the world.

That’s a lot of options to choose from, isn’t it?

namita_nefariousWhy blend in when you can stand out? Had to get used to running into white peacocks every few steps on Isola Bella, a privately owned island on Lake Maggiore #white #peacock #bird #isolabella #italy #ig_italy #birdsofinstagram #stunner #beauty

Me: One conversation with a stranger you will never forget?

Namita Kulkarni: It once happened, as I was walking back to my hostel in Slovenia one night, I saw a man and a woman at the side of a street with packed suitcases and an open map in front of them. They seemed lost and ‘foreign’ enough but no one seemed to notice. People kept minding their own business and walking by as if they had blinkers on, but I felt I had to check on them. As Indians, going out of our way and talking to strangers on the street comes way easier to us than it does to Europeans I suppose. I asked them and sure enough, they were indeed lost at 11 pm in Ljubljana without any accommodation and orientation. A missed connecting bus to Budapest was the reason and they were from Brazil. I asked them to follow me to my hostel, where I told the hostel owner they were my friends and soon enough they had a safe inexpensive place to spend the night in. I was glad to have been the random helper-on-the-road that we all at some point meet during our travels.

Me: What would be that one place for female solo travelers to begin from?

Namita Kulkarni: It would be definitely Bali. There isn’t a 100% safety guarantee anywhere so you might as well begin somewhere. And sure it’s a big bad world, but that’s as true in your own backyard as anywhere else. And speaking from my own experience, if you’ve grown up in India, you already have a black belt in badassery by shutting down chauvinism, patriarchy, and misogyny. Having retained your sanity through it all, going solo shouldn’t be difficult. I wrote an entire blog post addressing this so do read it here.

namita_nefariousDon’t forget to look up every now and then #nymphenburg #munich #germany #palace #art #painting #baroque #bavaria #history #europe #instatravel #throwback #gtgi #travellingthroughtheworld #castle #castleofthenymph

Me: What does your backpack reveal about you?

Namita Kulkarni: I think it says that I have some solid back strength because I tend to err on the side of overpacking. Still working on that one.

namita_nefariousWhen the travel daydreams first invaded, I was in my mid-twenties and juggling two jobs. Teaching Yoga early mornings and editing legal journals all day. Within the pressure cooker of that lifestyle, I felt a deep desire to ‘see the world’. A desire that needed examining, not ignoring. Head over to the blog (link in bio 👍) to find out how those daydreams came true, and the risks and misadventures that tagged along #ladakh #pangong #traveldeeper #budgettravel #mywherever #incredibleindia #lovetheworld #writersofinstagram #backpacker

Me: Are you a nomad or you crave to come back home after few days of traveling?

Namita Kulkarni: The whole point for me is to make myself at home in a whole new setting. So, despite I miss my literal home in Bangalore at times, I wouldn’t call myself a nomad, though. I love the feeling of ‘being home’ and I keep recreating that or at least try to, in various places in all possible ways. Home to me is where one feels most close to oneself. Home is a feeling I strive to never leave home without.

Wow, what a beautiful thought!

Pictures courtesy: Namita Kulkarni Instagram

(This article was first published on October 5, 2016.)

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