Wednesday, Jul 18, 2018 | Last Update : 12:43 AM IST
These wanderful couples are not just loving spouses but perfect travel buddies, avid adventurers and enthusiastic chroniclers.
Some couples are not just loving spouses but perfect travel buddies who globetrot together, sharing with the world their experiences and the ‘chicken soup’ for happy marriages.
In life, it’s not where you go; it’s who you travel with.” That’s a nugget of wisdom from famous American cartoonist Charles M. Schulz.
Those bitten by the travel bug and wanderlust stirring their souls can’t resist the thrill and romance of discovering new places, exploring the world one trip at a time. Some love to go solo. Some in groups. And for some, it’s a long, ongoing journey of adventures with their life partner.
These wanderful couples are not just loving spouses but perfect travel buddies, avid adventurers and enthusiastic chroniclers. While enjoying the sights and sounds around, they share their experiences with the rest of the world, inspiring them to pack their bags and celebrate life. These men and women who travel together and live their dream believe that journeys help build stronger relationships and while discovering new places, they fall in love with each other over and over again.
Discovering the world
Revati and Charles, a luxury travel blogger couple from Mumbai, are advertising professionals by day. Travel, for the duo, has become a way of life.
As Revati puts it, “Opening different doors around the world teaches you how to live your life, to laugh, love and respect life around you. We love discovering new languages, cultures, cuisine, art, architecture and history, coupled with natural wonders as well.”
The couple is also into travel blogging because they feel there is little information out there for Indians travelling abroad.
“Blogging, for us, was also a means to share all our experiences as well as the research we did before our trips,” she adds.
Revati and Charles believe in having a steady, stable income as it helps them see more of the world in a better way. “As travel bloggers with a career in advertising, we believe it is indeed possible to travel the world with a full-time job. Being able to spend on once-in-a-lifetime experiences whenever you travel is often made possible only because of the hard work at a day job. We plan our trips in advance, around long weekends and holidays, ensuring we don’t waste a single day of work.” Since 2011, they have travelled to over 30 countries, and are constantly plotting ways to travel more.
About their favourite destination, Revati says, “Paris. It’s the first European destination we visited together, and both of us have gone there several times, either together or separately. It’s a city we never get tired of visiting. And as we’ve spent so much time there separately, Charles has his version of Paris and I have my own, and we’re always dying to share those secrets of Paris with each other.”
Sharing a photo from a Paris trip two years ago, she says, “This was during a visit to Champ de Mars. Over so many years, we’d never seen this side of the Eiffel Tower. This trip was the most memorable because we’d spent a week apart on two different continents, and while we had a wonderful time exploring our own diverse interests, we were delighted to share our experiences.”
The secret to keeping the travel chemistry alive between couples, says Revati, “is having a healthy balance of developing your own personal interests, and sharing or introducing each other to some as well. The beauty of travel lies in the sheer joy of discovery.”
Born to backpack
Love birds, Explorers and Awesomeness Personified is how Rishabh and Nirali aka Gypsy Couple, define themselves. Theirs was a perfectly arranged marriage, says Rishabh. He is a businessman from Ahmedabad and Nirali, a Kolkata-based teacher. Their common love for travel is what connected the two. Says Rishabh, “I’m more into reading and love networking with people. She has her group of friends and loves music. I’m a beach person and she loves mountains. Travel is the only thing we have in common and we both absolutely crave for it,” says the couple, who chronicle their adventures on their website Gypsycouple, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.
Having travelled extensively since childhood, Rishabh and Nirali call themselves born travellers. Their childhood vacations were with parents at different destinations. “We were always travelling, across the length and breadth of India,” he recalls.
After marriage, they covered major destinations in India and exotic locations in Mauritius, South Africa, Thailand, Austria, Hungary, Czech Republic, Germany and the UAE. Travel, for them, is all about creating treasured memories. “Every travel is a different experience. We can’t pick the best one. We celebrated our first anniversary in Goa during monsoon. The experience was so good that we got to see another face of Goa. The place was lush, covered with fine mist and it was drizzling. The crowd was thin and we could walk along the beaches though they were closed. The experience was surreal. Then we decided that every monsoon, we will travel to some part of India,” he says.
They visited Rajasthan in the monsoon and Rishabh swears by the beauty of the desert country in the rainy season. “We do prefer luxury, but also follow offbeat luxury to enlighten our readers on what all can be done differently,” he adds.
They have a few tips for travellers. “Every person has a type of travel they are suited with. Don’t ever set off to some place because your friend or relative had visited it. Travel as you love, it should bring happiness to you. If you don’t have a budget for a trip abroad, travel across India, there is so much to see,” he says.
In their bucket list are Antarctica and Northern Lights. With support from family business, the Gypsy Couple dreams of becoming full-time travellers.
Painting their dreams
It was in 2013 that couple Jey Sushil and Meenakshi Jey began their “art journey”. Meenakshi wanted to paint while Jey dreamt of travel. Why not combine both? That was the trigger. Thus, started the blog — artologue.
The next question was how to do it? “We decided we would paint the walls of the space we live in, and began it with my friend’s space in Mumbai. We lived there and blogged about it, which led to other projects. And from Mumbai we travelled to Chennai painting. It was in 2014. We halted at Pune, Goa, Bengaluru, Hossur and Chennai.”
“Ours was a friendship-turned-love marriage,” says Jey. If painting is Meenakshi’s domain, Jey handles writing. The couple, who mostly rides on a Bullet, choose not-so-touristy places. “We go wherever we are invited, ranging from educational institutions to tribal villages.”
At the venue, they communicate with the people, develop an idea and give it a twist. “We make them think out of the box by asking certain questions. If we are communicating to students, we ask them about their ambition, other than a doctor or engineer.”
...In one place, a child said he wanted to be an astronaut while another wanted to become a nurse,” says Jey. Fish and ants are two recurring images in their works because Meenakshi loves them.
They do the painting for free, but charge in certain cases. “Suppose we are painting in a big school, we charge them because we know they collect good amount as fees. Otherwise, it’s free. Still, if people want to pay us, we tell them to give what they want,”
These journeys have widened their knowledge and perspectives. “I had never travelled before marriage. So, I was excited about the project,” says Meenakshi. “I could meet new people and learn about their culture. It helped me develop my art.” Jey adds, “I prefer this than splurging on a tourist destination and returning with selfies. I could invest that money to buy paint.”
Mostly, they carry paint. “If we are travelling by air, then we ask the concerned people to arrange it.” There have been both good and bad experiences on their trips, but the couple is determined to continue. Now, they have a son who joins them in their journeys. “He enjoys it. People had thought we would stop travelling when the baby arrives. We proved them wrong,” say the couple who dreams of covering 52 places in one year.
The crazy, perfect pair
A year and a half ago, when Johncy John stumbled across Ebin Ephrem Elavathingal’s profile in a matrimonial site, she had no idea that she was about to enter the most exciting phase of her life. Brought up in Odisha, Johncy surprised her parents who couldn’t understand why she was interested in the profile of an assistant professor in Kerala. “They thought that I’d prefer someone settled abroad, but I had something else in mind,” she smiles.
“Since childhood, our family trips were limited to vacation journeys to our parent’s home and it was my dream to marry someone who loved journeys, so that together we could explore the world,” she adds.
And there, she found Ebin, whose travel photos were splashed all over his social media account. When they met, Ebin realised that he’d found his soulmate. “She is everything I am not. We make a perfect pair,” he says.
Their honeymoon trip was a 21-day journey to Goa which cost them just `9,000! “We went by train and took a rental bike to roam around,” recalls Ebin. “Till then, it was mostly solo trips, or with friends. Goa was my annual pilgrimage site and I thought I knew the place like the back of my hand. Being her first time in Goa, Johncy was tired being in the sun for long. So we went looking for greener areas and reached the beautiful Mhadei wildlife sanctuary. It was a stunning place and we had a great time.”
The happy marriage led to more discoveries — lesser-known areas in Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. “On weekends, we get on our Avenger 220 and start from Coimbatore to places we can cover in two days. We take turns to ride and are very particular about limiting to 300 km a day. The budget is kept minimum by choosing hostels and off-season spots,” she says.
Their trip photos on social media were quick to garner attention. “There were so many queries, about the place, the facilities, specialties of the places, etc. That was when we thought of making videos.” Thus Trip Jodi was born!
On YouTube, Instagram and Facebook, they soon bagged thousands of followers. “We make videos about bonding, responsible tourism, safe travel, offbeat destinations, etc. The feedback has been very encouraging. Many couples have confessed to us that their relationship has improved after they started backpacking and travelling together,” says the Trip Jodi, adding that the numbers of followers don’t matter. “What matters is that people celebrate their life.”
It has been an effortless transition from a cosmetic dentist-school teacher couple to also being laidback travellers for Dr Rituraj Pathak and his wife Shreya. Travelling for them has been a ticket to bettering themselves and in the process also spurring fellow travellers to push new frontiers and boundaries.
The couple has a travel blog and Facebook page Travel Genes that provide a wealth of information about little known destinations, food and of course, budget stay. They have also put their expertise to use in their tour company called India Through The Back Door, which caters to informal small groups or private tours with the focus on going local. To name a few places the couple have travelled to — Amsterdam, Italy, Austria, Belgium, Brussels, Paris, London, Chicago, New York, Boston, Bali, Singapore etc.
All the years of experience have converged at one point, “We realised that travelling is all about the experience and it’s in the details — the places you stay, the transport, route and the people you meet.”
There could be no apt name than Travel Genes as far as Shreya is concerned, “I inherited my love of travelling from my father who would invariably travel with family every year. After marriage, I converted my husband, who also loves travelling, into a travel freak and now there is nothing like a spot of travel to bond with family.”
She recalls a very cherished memory — their honeymoon trip to Bali. “We went scuba diving which is fairly common, but what was truly memorable was sea walking. We are taken to a spot under the sea which has railings where you can hold on and then walk under the sea. Though I knew swimming, I was a bit unsure, but the spirit of my husband, who did not know swimming yet, was game, spurred me on to try it. I was bowled over!”
Shreya started documenting her travels in her blog as suggested by Rituraj. She says, “Travelling is a cathartic experience and writing about it a soul-fulfilling one. I love reading other blogs and feel inspired to travel, so I want people who read mine too feel the same. I wish to give people the opportunity to see the world with different eyes.”