This is Delhi-based travel blogger Swati Jain. In the last two years, she’s visited 135 cities across 20 states and two union territories in India.
Jain worked as a public relations consultant for eight years before deciding to quit her job to travel full time.
"I never planned to quit my job, I did it all by chance," she said. "One fine day I got up with this strange feeling to let go of my mundane life. I realised that the world outside is welcoming me with wide open arms and it’s time to experience something more fascinating."
"As far as I remember, I always loved travelling," Jain said. "I remember sharing my travel stories with my friends occasionally and introducing them to the places that many would still not know."
"But it was my trip to Ladakh in 2011 that changed things for me. I don’t know what, but something stuck in my mind that made me realise the world is a better place and it needs to be explored in the best way. There is beauty, magnificence, splendour in the world today, and all I want is to be a part of it."
"Ninety-five per cent of my travels have been self-funded. I never broke my savings to travel despite initial struggle to earn money while on the go."
Jain travels by road, which helps her manage expenses more efficiently and experience the country's "innate beauty".
Jain said she met a bunch of amazing people along the way, saying, "I have many interesting instances to share from my journey actually which rekindled my faith in humanity while traveling in this beautiful country.
"I remember during my initial period of travelling I met a couple who helped me get out from a secluded place in Rajasthan when my taxi broke down and I was absolutely clueless on the way forward. Another instance when it was 11pm and I was stranded alone at Varanasi station as my train to Patna got delayed, I was having a conversation with a couple who helped me arrange a spare ticket. I was treated like a family member in the guest house I chose to stay in Zanskar Valley."
Jain’s year is completely packed. She started 2016 backpacking in Karnataka for over 70 days, after which she took a short family trip to Almora in Uttarakhand around Holi.
"Today, I really feel proud of myself that I decided to explore this country on my own," Jain said.
"It makes me smile when I look at my journey and feel glad that I opted to break the shackles of the society which made me experience the real beautiful world which we live in. There is much more to India than what is shown.
"I agree that India has flaws, but my question is, which country doesn't? Travel with open mind and maybe you can discover the warmth which I experienced. Challenges may come and go but it will definitely help you to discover the beautiful side of this country that we live in."