A travel photographer by profession and passion, Ajay Sood is one of the top Indian travel bloggers of India. His Instagram feed is an array of incredible landscapes, people, streets, and architectures. It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that he has covered most of the continents during his travel.
What prompted you to go on your first journey? I was 9 years old and my parents had to visit my grandparents’ place in Phagwara, which is a town 35km from my hometown, Ludhiana. My grandma was a brilliant cook. So, visiting her was always a treat. I insisted I’ll also come to Phagwara after school gets over. So, I travelled alone as a 9-year old. And, ever since, got hooked on travel. What’s your favourite travel destination? That destination had remained on my bucket list for decades. It was only late last year (November 2017) when I finally visited Iceland. The place has all the magic I had expected. It has some of the largest glaciers in Europe you can snowmobile for miles on, craziest eerie ice caves that you can sing in, sprawling natural Jacuzzis (thermal baths) for sipping a chilled beer in arctic winters, Northern lights that remind you of a discotheque, caves filled with centuries-old lava, stunning landscape you can’t get enough of, gigantic waterfalls that inspire awe, and… and a large number of ‘Game of Thrones’ locations. What’s that one travel gadget you always keep in your backpack? My iPhone with scores of apps that range from Translate Voice Pro (my go-to app in countries where very few can communicate in English), The Photographer’s Ephemeris (it tells me the sunrise/sunset time and direction of sun at any spot I plan to shoot in), Night Sky (helps me find the Pole Star during my Astro-photography night outs), and many more. Do you have a favourite travel book or a travel movie? My favourite movie is ‘Into the wild’. The biographical story of Christopher from ‘Alexander Supertramp’ to ‘The Magic Bus’ is a story of someone who is a true explorer at heart. My favourite book is ‘Atlas Obscura’. As the foreword of the book mentions it, this book is not for travellers, but for explorers. A piece of advice for all the wanderlust-ERS out there? Here’s a money-saving travel hack. When abroad, don’t exchange currency. Use ATM. You’ll save around 8%. A travel quote that always inspires you to travel. Leave behind only footsteps. Bring back only memories.