The name says it all, but for a better understanding, Instaride is simply when fellow Instagramers meet up in there bikes, bicycles, mopeds or cars. Then a post goes up on the organisers post mentioning the date, time and starting point of the entire ride. Simple! Then all the interested people share the posts, they show up and then begins a cool new riding experience with people you almost never met before.
Here is a short snippet from my first Instaride.
The second Instaride, was to a very cool location in Dehradun, India. An exotic waterfall which I am glad I explored with a big group of crazy people.
InstaRide Vol. 2
Instaride Vol. 3. to Khalanga, Dehradun.
The 3rd ride was short yet refreshing. Now the temperatures are rising and a short ride to a cool place like Khalanga is a prefect travellers retreat!
Watch the extended version below.
In Video: InstaRide Vol.3
Group photo from Instaride Vol.3.
Plan yours in 3 steps
3. Thirdly, pack some snacks, find a chilling place and get to know everyone. Enjoy the ride, the journey and the destination. Make the most of this time to know people from your local community and finally, ride safe!
These 3 instarides are an initiative by EaseYourTravel.com and have been organised by Harshil Singh and Harry Malhotra, in association with Doonography and Uttarakhand Travel Diaries. While I (Chris Rathore) remain there official videographer and photographer for all the rides.
Read all my travels stories on my instagram @traveller.chris
Craving for more travel adventures?
Read my Magazine Photo Story here.
Exclusive photo story for creative magazine Inspiro India
I could not have chosen a better time to visit Rajasthan. The weather is the perfect and the sun shines at all the right spots. My photos have never looked more vibrant and I have never felt so much energy before.
In fact the timing was so good that I got a chance to write a photo story for print magazine Inspiro India, featuring my photos from Rajasthan and a beautiful travel story to tell.
Read the photo story below.
(click enlarge icon on bottom right to view full size.)
"Jaipur and Ajmer have been a gold addition to my travel diary. The experiences I had while solo backpacking these places have evolved me in ways I had never imagined. I unlocked the colors of life and you can too."
Here is a piece from the story:
"The Instameet became too boring inside a Café, so we decided to head out to a nearby park in Vaishali Nagar, Jaipur. Everything became alive. I met some lovely kids at the park; I clicked their photos and gave my camera away for them to see. The smile on their faces was priceless. Sharing love with #travellerchris clicked from iPhone 5. I still have a lot to see in my homeland India. I believe I have only seen 1% of this beautiful country and I would like to inspire more and more people to backpack India and taste the beautiful favours of life. "
Download the entire issue and get access to more interesting things only on InspiroIndia.com
Photo taken with iPhone 5
#InstameetJaipur at Cafe Celebrazio
I am currently backpacking Rajasthan and it remains incomplete until I do a meet in Jaipur. Get all the info below and please RSVP the available form as per your convince. Waiting to see you all soon.
Calling all instagramers and travellers in Dehradun, India.
I am excited to announce my first ever instameet in Dehradun. It's a great pleasure to organise this event and help the Instagram community in Dehradun grow and connect at another level. Thank you @saanyabajaj and @indiameets for all the help and motivation.
And before signing off here is a panorama I took from my iPhone 5 today while reviewing the location for our instameet. See you all there. Enjoy! #instameerdoon #nofilter #travellerchris
So I scroll through my email booking which has the passcode and just when I want it the most, random touch screen shows it's magic and deletes the email!
But thanks to smart me, I pre-printed all my booking emails organised in that blue plastic file of joy. Viola! traveller Chris was saved! If I did not have the passcode my friends would have never known I had arrived or at least for a while because my flight was already delayed and they didn't know when exactly to expect me. So yeah, long story short: organise organise organise, it's no harm never.
If not days before at least a few hours before. But plan before hand if you really want to travel longer. I know travelling without plans and being spontaneous sounds fun and daring but don't you want to make the most of the time on road? Then grab a paper and make a dotted trail through the map, marking your way through a city, country or the world. But don't just stop here, when you are travelling you will meet other people who have been exotic places already. Share your route plans and see if you and your fellow traveller share similar destinations. Its always better to know a thing or two from someone who has been in the same boat before you.
― Frank Zappa
Cover story on a Sunday, could it get any better?
@anushree_fadnavis and of course, you're very own @traveller.chris. The cover photo features my latest click of Westminster, London.Here is a preview of my take on the story.
Thank you Rajal aka Rajlaxmi Arora for giving me this opportunity. Make sure y'all follow her on Twitter @rajalarora.
And finally, thank you all for being part of my travels and following my journey on Instagram. You know I wait to hear about your travel memories, so please leave a reply/email when you get time.
Till then, never stop travelling.
To read more work by Rajlaxmi Arora click here.
View the full story below:
Top 10 Bucket List Destinations Not To Be Missed: Cities
1. Marrakesh Morroco
Koutoubia Mosque, Marrakesh | Image Source: Pinterest
Why I want to visit Marrakesh
I personally love the stunning architecture of this city. The traditional Moroccan patterns are a feast for the eyes. The warm colors and complex patterns wrap the entire city in a harmonious way.
I was so inspired by the architecture that I decided to redesign my entire living space with a Morrocan design with a zest of Indian patterns making a perfectly timeless living space.
Also known as The “Red City”, Marrakesh is an exotic destination, sculpted by colorful markets, gardens, Moroccan palaces, and mosques. A day spent in the intricate courtyards and stretched alleyways of the ancient Medina is a day well spent. Take a peaceful peek at Jardin Majorelle or soak in the vibes of one of the city’s historic mosques (note: unless you are Muslim, you are not allowed to enter).
2. Siem Reap Cambodia
This magical ancient destination is an escape to the 12th century. When these majestic temples light up every morning, simple Angor Wat sunrise becomes a profound event. These are one of the largest religious complexes in the world. Apparently these were Hindu temples which were abandoned and later became Buddhist temples. Although the architecture has not been disturbed in any way and has been left to nature.
Angkor Thom royal city are considered the main reasons to visit Siem Reap.
Why I want to visit Cambodia
Most of the population lives in urban well-developed areas, including myself. Therefore, this left to nature place brings in a wave of freshness and a face off to reality of a harmonious blend of cultures, rituals, religion and faith bonded by mother nature. Number 2 on my list this place is a must for nature lovers.
Angor Wat | Image Source: Pinterest
3. Turkey Istanbul
Why I want to visit Istanbul
Having an Indian Passport, I can get a visa on arrival for this beautiful country (more info on Visa on arrival). This makes my travel file less of visa red tape and more of city maps and reservations. Being a photographer the Muslim architecture of this city is a paradise for my lens. After seeing this city in movies including 007 and having a visa on arrival option, there is no way I would miss this travellers paradise in this life.
4. Agra India
The majestic Taj Mahal, how can this not be on my list. Ranked third in the list of top 25 landmarks in the world by TripAdvisor and being one of the 7 wonders of the world.
The spellbound allure of the Taj Mahal attracts tourists to Agra like bees to a flower. Along with the Taj stands the legacy of the Mughal empire represented by its fascinating tombs and mausoleums, and the fun that awaits in the colourful chowks (marketplaces).
Many tourists choose to visit Agra on a whistle-stop day trip from Delhi. This is a shame. There is much more of interest here than can be seen in that time. In fact, you can enjoy several days’ sightseeing with side trips to the superb ruined city of Fatehpur Sikri and the Hindu pilgrimage centre of Mathura.
Agra rests on a large curve in the holy Yamuna River. The fort and the Taj, 2km apart, both overlook the river on different parts of the bend. The main train and bus stations are a few kilometres southwest. - Lonely Planet
Why I want to visit Agra, again!
I remember on 7th July 2007 (7.7.7), visiting the iconic Taj Mahal as a little child. I was mesmerized by this gigantic shimmering marble architecture. Massive pure white marble domes wrap the ambience just to take you back to the royal Mughal era. Back then I was not equipped with the photographer's skills and eye but now I can't wait to capture this iconic wonder with my Nikon.
5. Santorini Greece
Oia | Image Source: Traveller.Chris
Talk about endless ocean blues and white washed towns and not mention Santorini? is no less than a crime. When it comes to the Greek islands one must not miss the iconic town of Oia, sitting on a hilltop. Read more about the village of Oia here.
Why I visited Santorini
My initial plan to visit Italy was immediately extended to visit the greek islands as soon as I started browsing the map of southern Europe. White washed houses and the blue skies were only seen virtually but became a reality in July 2015. The simple, aesthetic and relaxing beauty of Santorini was just enough reason to visit this absolute heaven. I would revisit the Greek Islands time and time again.
6. Paris France
Read it so many times, with love from Paris. After visiting the intricate streets of the French capital, I was left in a moment of awe at every corner. The sky piercing Eiffel Tower could be viewed from our apartment in Rue Terrage. The night sky image below was taken from our balcony. The grandeur of this city was like no other I had ever seen. On the downside what I really did not like was the bland food experience I had at one of the restaurants near the Tower. But overall it's an absolute must visit for Europe lovers around the globe.
Eiffel Tower | Image Source: Traveller.Chris
The architecture in this city is one of the most beautiful I have ever seen. Not to forget Versailes Hall of Mirrors is hands down a must visit if you come to Paris.
Eiffel Tower | Image Source: Traveller.Chris
Why I visited Paris
The ultimate tourist destination. The amount of tourists at the Eiffel Tower is something I have never seen in my life. The painfully long que to climb up this french tower was absolutely demotivating. Instead of going up Eiffel I went up the Observatory Tower building, tallest in Paris, this building gave the stunning view of the city with the Eiffel Tower in it. Although visiting the Eiffel will always be on my bucket list and I hope to do it one day.
7. Prague Czech Republic
The bohemian charm and gothic features of Prague, #5 in the World by Travellers' Choice Destination Awards, making it a perfect destination for gothic lovers wanting to bath in 12th-century culture. Spend a full day exploring Prazsky Hrad (Prague Castle), then re-energise over a dinner at a classic Czech tavern. Don't forget to miss the iconic Old Town Square (image below) before heading over to The Old Town Hall and the world famous Astronomical Clock.
Why I visited Prague
This might sound a bit cheesy, but Prague was my first ever bucket list destination in Europe. Why? A Bollywood movie named Rockstar. The movie showcases Prague as a tour destination for the singer. Once I saw the town on the silver screen, it was pinned right away back in 2012 and I lived my dream destination in 2015.
Prague Castle | Image Source: Traveller.Chris
This gothic town is a visual treat in itself. The cuisine is mouth-watering and can be enjoyed with gorgeous views if you get a chance to visit any restaurants on the high altitudes. Overall Prague is a backpacker friendly city. I enjoyed this Gothic town 200% and will never forget the times spent and the friends I made here.
8. Venice, Italy
Why I visited Venice
Venice! Of course, Venice. How could I visit Italy and not travel to this magical city floating over waters of blues. Street jungles, vanishing marble domes in misty fog and sparking into the setting sun is the most surreal scene I have ever seen. Step into this web of beautiful streets and forget the world. Enjoy perfect Italian cuisine in the homely squares with the view of the moody street or slurp down that spaghetti with the buzz of St. Marks Square. Venice is a perfect place to relax for travellers of all kinds. Even after my sojourns, I don't think I will be tired of this magician anytime soon.
9. London, England
One of the world's most visited cities, London has something for everyone: from history and culture to fine food and good times - Lonely Planet
An incorporation of leafy escapes and densely crowded explorations, Central London is a place of museums, galleries, expensive high streets, fast supercars and buzzing English pubs.
Technically, London was my second home for 3 long years. I did my bachelor's in science degree in Business and Management and spent the entire course living in Zone 6. That's 45 mins from Piccadilly Circus you visited last summer when you were in London. So yeah, not the best but a sweet spot to live I would say.
London is a lot more than simply a destination for me. The times I spent growing up in this city is something so remarkable, words can never do the justice. I was just 17 when I came here and now almost an adult few years down the road, this city and culture has shaped me in so many better ways I never imagined I would experience. More about my life in London can be read here.
But if you are not planning to live in this expensive Kingdom keep reading. The cultural cuisine is Fish and Chips, everything else is an add-on. But you must give it a try in a traditional English bar with a pint of beer. The best season to travel is mid-summer during the months of June until late August. The skies are clear and the wind is warm. Have a view of this historic city from the London Eye or the famous Shard, it's a visual treat from every high point. My 3 years passed by in a flash, but I will visit this place again if I get a chance.
10. New York, USA
This is a restless, energetic city with culture, sports, history, restaurants and shopping in abundance. After visiting the landmarks: Empire State Building, the Statue of Liberty and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, you can step off in thousands of directions: the medieval Cloisters museum in upper Manhattan, Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, a tour of pizzerias in Brooklyn... just to name a few.
The night is born again when the sun sinks into the far concrete jungle.
This is a city of experimental theater, improv comedy, indie cinema, ballet, poetry readings, burlesque, world music, jazz and so much more. If you can dream it up, it's probably happening in NYC.
I don't think my list would ever be completed without the Times Square. Every Hollywood series and TV show I watched growing up always had a scene of the iconic Times Square, busy streets, people rushing to work or simply relaxing in the lush green parks. I want to see this restless, energetic city with culture, sports, history, restaurants and shopping in harmony. Although I do feel that London was quite similar but I also believe that the American and English culture is a bit different.
Waiting for that day when I book my tickets to NYC and also meet my friends in California.
Till then never stop travelling.
Unleash The Travel Bug In You
Numerous blog posts kept on popping on my Facebook wall about travelling and solo trips. It was like one of those feelings when you feel the universe conspires against you. I felt a sensation and my funny bone twitched when I entertained the idea of “what if I go on a solo trip” and there was no turning back! All excited I got on phone with few of my friends and asked if this would be a good idea. Thankfully they all supported me, even my parents, they were surprisingly cool with the whole idea. After that all I had to do was save up, research, pack and leave. Here are some key factors that I did which made me hooked to traveling.
If you are just getting started, choose your favourite destinations first. If you visit a place you were not interested in this can alter your motivation towards travelling in the future. Travelling your favourite destination is motivating and will keep you up and active throughout your entire trip.
Once you know what country or city you wish to visit, start reading up. This is a very crucial step. The more you know the better you travel. Knowing a thing or two about a city you're about to land is never a bad idea. In fact, you will make the most of your time by avoiding any time wasted in searching and asking around while you are on the road. Although sometimes that can be fun but be prepared after all.
Remember when you are on the road every day costs you (unless you are couch surfing and hitchhiking) so make the most of your time.
Before I took my adventure trip I read many blogs and articles about travelling, in my case specific to solo travels. Surprisingly, some posts have inspiring yet fascinating things to say. I remember one quote which said how in today’s over-intrusive world, even a moment to yourself is valuable, making your journey priceless. True? Absolutely.
If you spend most of your time staring at exclusive destinations which you cannot afford to visit at the moment, then you are bound to have the travel bug in you. The bug has probably infected you and will take over soon.
There Is No Looking Back
Once you take your first trip and make the most out of it, trust me the experience is so refreshing and exotic it can leave you in a stage of ecstasy which gets your bug addicted for more. I still remember each and every minute of my first trip, every breeze, tramp bells, local crowds gatherings in town centres and airplane ear pops.
If you could travel anywhere where would you go next? I am always updating a bucket list to share so don't hesitate and please leave a reply in comments below. Remember never to be bugged down by the number of places you are not able to visit now. If the list is long so is life, make the most of it.