The first superhero of the series is Shubham Dharmsktu aka Shubyatra as his IG followers know him to be. Shubham was born and brought up in Haldwani, Uttarakhand and his village is in Pithoragarh. After his schooling he completed his degree in Design from NID, Ahmedabad. He has already-
Walked solo from Kashmir to Kanyakumari.
Cycled the entire Himalayan length.
Cycled Gujarat to Kanyakumari.
But that’s not why he is a hero, he is a hero for the environment. Throughout his travels he has been focusing on the importance of saving the environment and minimalistic living. In his 5000+ kms of journey on foot he used 3 pairs of clothes, 4 pairs of shoes, 0 plastic bottle, and 0 packed food. Something as small as using a soap till its not finished was also one of his priority because he did not want to waste the resources, so he carried a soap he opened and denied fresh soap until the initial was over. I have followed him throughout his journey and was it nostalgic when he ended the walk. Hell Yes, I was so psyched and full of motivation for life.
I happen to have the pleasure to talk to him about his experiences and ask a few questions. He was happy to give a brief interview after I told him I love to write, and I want to do an article on him. He did not do it for fame or followers, he said if I like writing and I want him to be a part of it, he is happy to contribute. From that moment apart from being a great adventurer I also know him to be an amazing human. I for one, is a lost person without any sense of direction or purpose but Shubham’s journey inspired me, to start what I want. So here I am writing this about the person who also encouraged me.
View this post on Instagram
Before having a conversation with him I watched his Ted Talk, read articles and blogs and found out about this word ‘Traveliving’ which is closely associated to him. According to Shubham – “Travelling is going from point A to point B, but most of us forget living while we are travelling. Traveliving is going from point A to point B living each moment and enjoying the experience” Traveliving is a company which is based on the idea of slow and sustainable adventure. The travellers visit a place and go on cycling tours and hiking adventures, trying to use as less resources as possible. They live and talk with the locals, learn their culture and traditions all while learning to be kind and respective towards mother nature.
Below are some questions I asked him and the answers he gave-
Q. From whom do you get the emotional, physical and mental strength? What did you do on the days that were not all sunshine and rainbows?
Shubham: Personally, I do not get strength and motivation from one single person. I get it from a lot of people I meet on the way. I listen to stories and from those stories I get strength.
There were happy and bad days, In the beginning when i was walking is Kashmir i had blisters my shoes were wet, my feet were freezing, it was snow and i was cold. Now i am walking in Tamil Nadu its hot, sunny and i feel dehydrated, its 45 degrees and that’s a part of life. Adventure does not come easy it comes with problems and good stories also come with good problems. I enjoy all the problems I face. These problems are gonna teach me a lot.
View this post on Instagram
Q. Do you think it’s also easy for a girl to do the journey that you are doing.
Shubham: No, it is for sure not as easy as it is for me, but that should not stop the girls or anyone out there to not do it. The first thing our mind thinks when we want to do something big are the drawbacks of doing it. I want to tell everyone, instead of finding reasons not to, find ways how to and just do it.
Q. How important was social media in your journey?
Shubham: Social media was very important. It helped me connect with a lot people and I could share my journey with a lot of them. Sometimes I just put the screenshot of the map where I was walking the next days and people shared it in their stories. The locals connected with me through Instagram provided me with food and a place to sleep.
View this post on Instagram
Q. Being from Uttarakhand you have witnessed the degrading environment. At what extent do you think tourism is responsible. Whose fault do you think it is- people, the companies or the government.
Shubham: Tourism has more negative than positive impact now. Everyone is responsible for it and everyone has to work on it. People throw trash around and waste so much, they are rude to locals. It’s a chain. But the main power lies in the hands of the people. We are electing the government and giving fuel to the companies. The change will come when we will change.
Q. Do you believe in God and Religion?
Shubham: I choose the the Environment above every god and religion. The mountain, the trees, the rivers, the lakes, the soil, the things that provide us food, shelter and keep us alive. Environment is my religion and that’s where my God is.
Q. What do you do after you complete every journey?
Shubham: I go back to my family and spend time with them, a lot of time with them. Home cooked food and the people whom I love. It prepares me for the next adventure. I work for my company- Traveliving and on my next expeditions. I used to write blogs and I am planning to start again.
Q. One things your adventures have taught you?
Shubham: They have taught me to be fearless and go for it.
To all of us Shubham has two messages in particular , “The environment is dying’’, he says “ We should all be minimalistic, only buy the things we need. Our shopping bags are killing the world. The plastic and the oil is not killing the world, our habits are.” According to Shubham minimal living is not only beneficial for the environment but also for our own mental peace. Less objects around us provides us more mental space. Minimalism is a key to live happy and peacefully and help the environment.
The second one being to follow our dreams and not question our own selves too much. He focuses again and again in our chat and in his Instagram feed and stories how with belief and a little courage everything is possible.
“Make a plan, believe in yourself, work on it and never give up”
– Shubham Dharmsktu.
This was a candid conversation with him, he answered all my questions while he was still walking the last weeks of K2K solo walk expedition. I have never known someone to be so humble and down to earth with such clear thoughts. In the end after I thanked him for everything and said it would be really great to meet him in person he left a message “thank you for connecting and yes let’s meet someday, somewhere”
Follow him on Instagram for his videos, stories and pictures. https://www.instagram.com/shubyatra/
Like his Facebook page to be a part of Traveliving. https://www.facebook.com/thetraveliving/
You can listen to his Ted Talk here- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7eNJSqtW9wk
Till then signing off to look for another superhero without a cape and suit striving each day to save the world.
‘The temple came before the mosque, hence we should break the mosque and build the temple back’ said one of the minister I met on the way.
‘Before the temple and the mosque, trees were there, which were chopped down to make these buildings, so let’s break all temples and mosques and plant the trees!’
– I replied.