A yoga teacher, writer, and travel blogger; meet Namita Kulkarni at Radically Ever After over a cup of Coffee with Stayzilla. With a goal to visit the places she has never been, to create adventures and misadventures, to read, and to learn new languages, Namita’s life as traveller reflects the phrase, ‘Carpe Diem’ – the wish to seize each day. Namita’s journey across fourteen countries as a solo-traveller has guided her in knowing herself better, by shedding all her fears.
From jumping off a waterfall in Mauritius to rafting in Rishikesh, from paragliding in Bir to bouldering in flip-flops in Hampi, from diving in the Andamans to almost drowning in the Indian Ocean, from hiking up an active volcano in Bali to getting bitten by a Balinese monkey soon after, from walking on a Mauritian seabed to freezing in my khaki pants at the world’s highest ski resort in Bolivia, from quad biking in Bali rains to getting a street sexual harasser arrested in Bombay, from holding a Bahamian jellyfish in my palms to being hounded by Bolivian pelicans, from trekking Mt. Le Pouce on an empty stomach to getting lost with a dead cell phone on a small Thai island, the list is endless.”
Tabasco, the sunshine, poetry, the night sky and writing are some of her many loves. Luckily for Namita, they are location independent and generally tag along wherever she goes. As a yoga teacher and, more importantly, yoga student, Namita feels glad to have completed 610 hours of yoga Alliance Certified Teacher Training and has learned from various teachers and students around the world. She loves working on the ‘advanced’ Asanas of yoga, which helps her keep a calm mind and a happy spirit.
Let’s get to know more about Namita over a cup of Coffee with Stayzilla.
DESIGN CREDITS: ARAVIND AZHAGAPPA
Traveller | Blogger | Writer at Radically Ever After
Former Lawyer | Gold Medalist
Mentions | Holidify’s Top 5 Solo Woman Travellers
Winner | Grab Your Dream | Travel Contest by Cox & Kings
Contributions | The Better India | Rebelle Society | Women’s Web
Coffee With Stayzilla: A Conversation With Namita Kulkarni
1. What is the story behind Radically Ever After? What was your inspiration?
After two long-awaited solo trips to Mauritius and Bali in 2014, I had a ton of new experiences to share. I could’ve talked anyone’s ears off with stories from my ten weeks of travel. A blog seemed a more civilized and efficient way of channeling that energy. So the writing began, and with it flowed more writing and more travel opportunities and more writing. The word ‘rad’ first walked into my brain at a yoga course in Rishikesh, a couple of years ago. An Indo-Canadian girl in my dorm used it often enough for me to take a liking to the word. A few months later, on the first morning of the Bali Spirit Festival, the yoga teacher walked in wearing a tank top that said ‘Stay Rad’. There was something about the energy of the word that stayed with me I suppose. Later I heard Gloria Steinem say at an event – Women get more radical as they age. I loved that! Was it the word chasing me or me choosing the word? Either way, when I decided to rename my blog last year, Radically Ever After fit perfectly. It sums up my vision for my blog as well as my life.
What’s so ‘radical’ about it, you may wonder. It’s an internal benchmark more than anything. To me, a big part of being radical is facing my fears. My takeaway has been that I’m bigger than my fears, as they are largely stories my imagination spins. Being ‘safe’ is not an absolute guarantee anywhere, so I might as well take the risks that excite me and be game for the ones I couldn’t have imagined. Through my blog, I hope to share my excitement and inspire others to explore their fears.
2. What is your favourite memory or experience whilst travelling in India?
It was the time I went hiking up a rocky trail to a waterfall in upper Bir (in Himachal) with six girls I’d met a few days ago; all of them younger than me. Through slippery rocks and steep turns, over massive boulders and under tangled trees, we helped each other and found our way to one of the prettiest waterfalls I’ve ever seen. We had it all to ourselves for a good few hours. Amid all the excited shrieking and screaming and jumping in those cold waters, I marvelled at how unreal and life-affirming it felt – that a group of women could enjoy this level of freedom in a public space in a deeply patriarchal country like ours. Not a soul around to diminish or control or impede them while they seized the day. No wonder it’s my favourite memory of my travels in India.
3. Do you have a bucket list for 2016? What’s on it?
Books, books and more books. Having just returned from a two-month, three-country trip, I feel the need to stay put for a while. Books are a great mode of travel for anyone who wants to stay put. I have a good deal of yoga classes and books to catch up on, so I’m looking forward to that.
4. Which one would you choose and why?
Treehouse | Jungle House | Boat House | Hill top House | Beach House | Tent | Skyscraper
You had me at Treehouse. I fancy staying in a treehouse simply because I have a thing for trees. I loved climbing trees and swinging from the aerial roots of banyan trees as a kid. That feeling of being wrapped in nature, with a bird’s eye-view and a city dweller’s longing for greenery.
5. What is your most memorable holiday stay experience other than a hotel or a resort?
At the Salar de Uyuni (salt flats) in Bolivia, I spent a night in these little igloo-like structures that had me just warm enough to nap and basic enough to teach me the value of civilization. The morning brought with it llamas and flamingos, lounging a stone’s throw away. Apart from that bizarre middle-of-nowhere abode, I’d have to choose between an ashram in a remote Himalayan village called Netala and a lovely temple-like AirBnB in Bali and Gili Hostel in Lombok, Indonesia.
Namita’s Coffee With Stayzilla was special, and we loved her fearless, adventurous spirit. She is an inspiration to everyone to get out and seek those exciting experiences that are waiting to happen.