Sunday, May 7, 2017

Suitcase memories

Savi Munjal and Vidit Taneja
Savi Munjal and Vidit Taneja 

The one trip that brought tears to Savi Munjal's eyes was when she and her husband, Vidit Taneja, spent a night in an ice igloo at the Arctic Circle. "We watched the Northern Lights. You hear so much about the experience, but, when you do see it, you are overwhelmed," says the 32-year-old.

Munjal and Taneja are based out of New Delhi but that is only as far as postal address goes. Once a month, the couple, who go by the name Bruised Passports, head to a new geographical coordinate — Cambodia, Croatia or Guatemala. If you are among those aching to live a similar dream, the duo has tips for you on their website (, which they shared in person at a meet-up earlier this week in the city. "We save a lot of money and we recommend that people do the same. But, before you go about making a travel fund, you have to think about priorities. If you want to collect bags or shoes, then that's your priority. There's no wrong or right. But, if you want to travel, then don't buy that expensive car, which can fund two years' worth of travel," says Taneja.

Meeting in high school, and dating soon after, Munjal and Taneja got married in 2008. Their love story has come with a good dash of travel in their lives: When Taneja was studying engineering in Singapore, the couple backpacked across South East Asia; when Munjal was pursuing her PhD in the UK, the couple visited as many European countries as they could. They now live the life of freelancers - Taneja is a photographer and Munjal a writer — working remotely and getting commissioned for online gigs.

Owning an Indian passport comes with its limitations unlike an American passport, which promises you endless possibilities. The duo overcome that by applying for visas by the plenty and jet-setting every time one arrives. Plan six months in advance for each trip, is their suggestion.

Having hit 72 countries so far, we ask them if it's tiring or exhilarating to do the couple-trip every time. Munjal says, "I have done several trips with my friends and even solo ones. When I travel solo, I worry a lot about losing my passport or my cash. With Vid around, I know I can bully him into taking all responsibility."

The couple is often faced with the question of why they travel so much, a seemingly indulgent choice. "I tell them that my travels have taught me more than my PhD could. You meet another traveller in Peru who speaks only Spanish. How do you get to know this stranger? You learn how to figure common ground, and love it. That's what travel is for me," she says.

from travel

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