Tales of a Traveller

Rajesh Vaka is a businessman who has a strong passion for travelling. His first trip was way back in 2008, to Thailand and Singapore and he hasn’t stopped since. Having travelled to over 75 countries, Rajesh has mostly backpacked solo but sometimes travelled with the company of his friends and cousins. “Travelling refreshes me and gives me a certain peace of mind,” he tells us, “It also improves one’s social skills and gives you a very real education on life. Also, I’ve found that I tend to work better with a new perspective after a break or a holiday!” Rajesh speaks to us about his extensive travels and most memorable experiences:

“When I was in school, one of my hobbies was to collect coins. I had a wide collection of coins from different countries and eras. I remember thinking that when I grow up, I’d travel to many, many more countries and get even more coins for my collection!” He explains, “I have spent hours reading travel blogs and looking at the pictures of the places I’d like to visit. I followed hundreds of instagrammers and slowly crafted my list of destinations. And then I started!” When asked what his most memorable trip was, Raj tells us, “Travelling to North Korea is definitely my most memorable trip. It is the most isolated country on earth.” Some of the most well-known tourist spots in the country are: Pyongyang, a monument, circus, casino, and mausoleum all rolled in one; Heaven Lake, which is a stunning volcanic crater lake and is surrounded by some very interesting monster legends; the historically rich archaeological site, Kaesong; and the incredibly fun Wonsan, that gives you a wide range of experiences from a ski resort to a seaside resort. “North Korea has been a heavily debated topic across the globe for decades,” Rajesh informs us, “The tourism in North Korea is very tightly controlled by the government.”

We asked this seasoned traveller to give other aspiring travel junkies his advice on where to vacation, to which he says, “The Balkans region is one of the least visited in Europe and I’d strongly recommend it. Also known as the Balkan Peninsula, it is located in the south-eastern part of Europe. Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Montenegro, Albania, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Serbia, Romania, and Kosovo make up this region and is packed to the brim with an abundance of history, culture, delicious food, pristine beaches, stunning architecture, and friendly, hospitable people.” Deriving its name from the Balkan mountains that extends between the border of Serbia and Bulgaria, all the way to the Black Sea; the region offers some breath-taking views for the traveller who loves scenic landscapes.

“Like my Instagram handle says, I consider myself a citizen of the world. I not only love to travel but also share my experiences with others. I hope to inspire people to travel and it really warms my heart to hear stories like that of the guy who booked a trip to North Korea after reading my post or the travel agent who sends her clients my links,” he concludes.     

                       - as told to Tanya