“I’ve wanted to be a writer ever since I learned to read.”
Ankita Shreeram, travel blogger and writer at Trail-stained Fingers shares her travel stories over a cup of Coffee With Stayzilla.
Ankita published her first article when she was eight years old and later went on to pursue a degree in Journalism. Ankita experienced a wish to travel and learned to let go of her fears and inhibitions when she moved to Pune to pursue a postgraduate degree. Ankita says, being an introvert, she never feels completely at ease with herself and yet, she forgets it all when surrounded by tall trees and undulating mountains. Her blog, Trail-stained Fingers is a collection of luxury travel, food and lifestyle articles.
“Someday, I want to write a novel, but I’m not worried about mass approval; I’m happy if the critics love it, though having both would be a real icing on the cake.”
Ankita enjoys writing poetry, singing, dancing, watching intense thrillers and science fiction shows, but taking a walk in the woods tops her list of favourite things to do.
Let’s get to know more about Ankita over a cup of Coffee with Stayzilla.
DESIGN CREDITS: ARAVIND AZHAGAPPA
Traveller | Blogger | Writer at Trail Stained Fingers
Mentions | Top Travel Blogs | Holidify | Rise Global | Hello Travel | Social Samosa
Contributions | The Times Of India | Lonely Planet | Mumbai Mirror | The Huffington Post | Nat Geo Traveller | Happy Trips
1. What’s the story behind Trail-Stained Fingers? What inspired you to be a traveller?
I’ve had a blog ever since I learned to use the Internet. Trail-stained Fingers was born when I realised that I wasn’t doing justice to my travel stories on my personal blog. As for travelling, it was never a passion until after my teens. The desire to travel stemmed from a desire to know more of the world, break out of my comfort zone and experience exciting adventures. Life had reached a plateau phase and as I heard and read more and more about travellers and beautiful destinations, I wanted to be out there and experience it all by myself. As soon as I received my first pay cheque, I began planning my first trip.
2. What is your dream destination in India and what do you wish to experience there?
I’ve travelled the length and breadth of India, but one piece of paradise that has eluded me thus far is Kashmir. It is synonymous with a wealth of emotions and vistas, foremost among the spirit of romance. To float along the serene Dal Lake in a fairytale houseboat, with my beloved, to wander among the fragrant markets of Srinagar, to stroll over the flower-covered slopes of Gulmarg and Sonmarg, and brave the rapids of Lidder River at Pahalgam – that would truly be a dream come true. Who knows how long this unearthly beauty will be accessible to us? Who knows what tomorrow brings? Something tells me that I need to seize the day and surrender to the snowy charms of Kashmir now.
3. You write about luxury travel and lifestyle, with a focus on food and wine. Share your best food experience while travelling in India.
I don’t focus just on food and wine. My interests revolve around wildlife, nature, art and culture, history and wellness as well. But my best food experiences have been in my city, Mumbai. My favourite luxury restaurant is Jyran at Sofitel. The décor is so atmospheric, taking you back to the Mughal era and lulling you into a sweet stupor with the combination of classical fusion music and shamiana style outdoor seating. The food is North Indian and Mughlai and impossibly decadent – I love their paan kulfi and stuffed gulab jamun, their melt in the mouth dahi kebabs and ghee-soaked black dal. As far as street food goes, I love Delhi’s chole khulcha and rabri.
4. Which one would you choose and why?
Treehouse | Jungle House | Boat House | Hill to House | Beach House | Tent | Skyscraper
I’d say treehouse but I’ve already stayed in one twice, so I’ll choose a boat house. I love the idea of a tiny cabin all for myself on the banks of a serene river. I’d go boating at the crack of dawn and watch the sunrise from the middle of the river. Pure bliss.
5. What is your most memorable holiday stay experience other than a hotel or a resort?
I stayed in an apartment in a little-known town of Pune called Hadapsar just to use a voucher and it turned out to be a splendid weekend getaway. My friend and I discovered the serene Mastani Lake in the midst of a village, supposedly the bathing spot of Queen Mastani, the great love of Peshwa Bajirao, as depicted in the film ‘Bajirao Mastani’. We also visited a gliding centre for the first time and were awed by the passion with which people pursue this hobby. I loved the greenery surrounding Magarpatta City which was also in the area.
Ankita’s Coffee With Stayzilla has nostalgic travel tales and she is an inspiration for us to travel and explore the beauty of India.