Anuradha Goyal is a self-proclaimed nomad! She has lived in 15 cities totally and itchy-feet is the city she is most comfortable in :D. We thought she is a great inspiration for all wannabe-travelers especially since she is lone woman traveler who has been to almost all states in India! Aptly, she sums up the bathroom-troubles for travelers in India and also talks about the need to develop better guides for our heritage sites. Read on…
You are a traveler, innovation consultant and a book reviewer. How do all of them culminate together? Is there a common thread?
Yes, they are very much related. Innovation is all about learning from others and incorporating what they are doing into your ways in a way that it helps you grow. Traveling brings you in touch with people and places unlike yours and reading is learning from people in different time and space, sometimes even through their imaginations. So they all feed each other.
The story of your very first solo trip
I think I went on my first solo trip when I was in class 3 or so, not too far but I do remember traveling alone by bus to another city. The solo trip that I like to talk about is my 10-day trip to Bhutan and Sikkim way before it became a fad and way before the days of social media. It is an experience that I would cherish forever. Bhutan was still a kingdom and I traveled alone with a can and a cab driver.
One extremely funny incident from your travels
I am blessed with a face and personality that blends almost everywhere, so many times people think I belong to their region and community and that leads to many funny incidents, and more than that it helps me get great insights as people do not see me as other.
The longest you lived in one place?
Chandigarh – a city where I did most of my education for about 13 years, followed by Delhi for about 9 years and then Bangalore for about 6 years and rest of the places anywhere between 6 months to 2 years. Goa is the 15th city I am living in.
What irks you most about travel?
Non-availability of toilets across the country. It makes travel very uncomfortable for all travelers but for women it is all the more difficult, unhealthy and sometimes embarrassing. If I could demand one things tourism ministry – it would be availability of neat and clean toilets across the country.
Do you visit Heritage Sites? What reasons would you give to encourage people to travel to heritage sites?
Yes, I travel primarily to Heritage Sites. I think we need to document our heritage sites much better, we need to develop good guides who can explain the sites and their importance to visitors. Most visitors visit heritage sites and come back lost after seeing abandoned structures. I have at times played tour guide at these places and the people I spoke to have never lost touch with me. They always say – we never understood the site until you explained it – that is the gap we need to address.
Hills or beaches? Both and plains and deserts and jungles and everything on earth
Summer travel or winter travel? Winter, Winter, Winter – If I could I would wipe out the summer season from face of earth
India or outside? India first and then outside
Tips for people to sustain and continue their travel dreams
Travel for yourself and not to play some number game, or because someone is flashing their travel pics on facebook. See that you grow with each travel – you come back wiser and enriched. Try to explore various aspects of the place you visit and over few travels you would discover your inclinations of traveling in a certain way or for certain reasons.
Where is your next trip to?
Nothing yet planned for the summer. Recently moved to Goa so plan to explore this state while I am here.