The Bizzare Adventures of a Backpacker

The Bizzare Adventures of a Backpacker
Travellers share strange stories of their journeys (Representative Image) Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Four Indian backpackers share their strangest, good and bad, experiences on the road

Sahana Iyer
October 08 , 2021
18 Min Read


As escalating wanderlust plagues the internet, it is difficult, if not possible, to avoid envy. Postcard posts and selfies build an aura of wonder and perfection. But the story spells differently on the other side of the screen. Travelling on a budget, these backpackers give up luxury to live and learn as a community. When one encounters an abstract variety of people as frequently as they do, stories are aplenty. Good, bad or somewhere in between, these tales will not fail to pique your interest. Step into the shoes of these four backpackers and relive a peculiar memory from their travels.



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Straight outta Kerala. . . The experiences I had in Kerala were out of the world, There were hardly any posts because I couldn't comprehend, let alone communicate to you what was happening everyday. Kerala was the birth place of Fellix. Fellix is beyond logic, the part of me that can make surreal coincidences happen coinciding with my desires, working in unison with the universe through intuition. . . Why did I fly from Nepal to Kerala? Intuition. No, I haven't seen the backwaters, nor the famous spots everyone recommended. Traveling for me is for personal growth and only when I leave a place, I understand why I went there. One day, I'll connect the dots and tell you the tale but I doubt you'll believe it.

A post shared by FLLUX (@flluxyoga) on Mar 29, 2018 at 11:27am PDT

Who: Arushi Malekar

Travel History: India (Kolkata, Sikkim, Kerala) and Nepal

Duration: 4 months

What can you do when you slip out of money in a foreign land and even the financial system doesn’t cooperate? When the banks in Nepal failed to work, Arushi Malekar stepped into a bizarre experiment. I have known Tinder to be many things - dating app, conversation starter, gateway to friendship- but means of living and exploration was far past my list. In a creative and rather comical attempt, Malekar created a profile asking if people would help her and introduce the town further. While swiping right on everybody generally ends in disaster, her results are a refreshing surprise.

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"Aren't you afraid?" "Shouldn't you get someone along?" "Ladki ho, akele dar nai lagta?" 🔥 Bish I live for it. The fear, lasts as long as you want it to, you can mould fear. As long as I feel the rush, I am good.

A post shared by FLLUX (@flluxyoga) on Feb 24, 2018 at 9:56pm PST

“It started because I wanted to experiment in my life and with people in general. I was looking at Instagram stories of travellers and on an account I saw people asking users on Tinder if they can provide free food, assist them while travelling or with homestays and I thought this particular moment, when the banks in Nepal were not working, would be the perfect time to try this out. So, I started swiping on Tinder with my bio which asked if someone could buy me food for a fun video on YouTube. Surprisingly, I got so many responses. Some of them disgusted, some asked what they’ll be getting in return and some of them were genuinely just up for it. I met some really nice people and went on 4-5 meetings where people bought me food or showed me around town. My favourite one has to be the Valentine’s day experience. We met in a really cool place and we both wished each other in a friendly manner. I think we both knew that we weren’t exactly the best match but we had exoticfood and wine. Then I showed him around my hostel.

It was mind opening. You live in a lot of cages, mostly in your mind and once you start really opening up to ideas and trying things, you realise that all the cages are just in your mind. It opened up my mind to so many ideas that I was previously afraid of trying.”


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A post shared by Anshul Akhoury | Patna, India (@untamed_bachelor) on Jul 22, 2017 at 1:16am PDT

Who: Anshul Akhoury

Travel History: Thailand, Singapore, India, Bhutan, Nepal, Malaysia

Duration: 8 years

The community of backpackers is largely defined by friendship, warmth and acceptance and more often than not, that is the case. Interesting people are always a part of your journey, even when not for the better. Backpacker Anshul Akhoury experienced his first dupe on an expedition by himself. 

“I was in old Manali and I often work in cafes, especially when I don’t have a place to stay. I chose cafes over hotels because the hotels were very noisy. I was seated at a completely empty table; I was the only one sitting there. Soon, a couple walked in and sat next to me. They must have been there for not over 15-20 minutes. They sat there, ordered and ate their food and quickly left. Once I was done with my work, I called for the bill and to my surprise, that couple’s bill was added in mine. I think they left without paying their bill and told the servers that I will be paying for them. So, it was kind of weird.”

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Colors of Punakha festival. It was a nice change to see an event that is mostly attended by locals of Bhutan. Otherwise Indian festivals are full of misbehaving and rude DSLR walas who don't know any basic decency of how to behave in public. This was the only reason I didn't visit Kumbh mela. . #IncredibleIndia#IAmNikon#lonelyplanetindia#everydayindia#cntgiveitashot#HistoryTv18#SoloTravel#writersofinstagram#worldbestgram#igersoftheday#photojournalism#Ourplanetdaily #Bihar#BihariBlogger#PatnaBlogger#bbctravel #SouthEastAsia #photography #ig_worldclub#photographer#travellingdiaries#huffpostgram#Capturestreets #Bhutan #Shutterbugs #Punakha

A post shared by Anshul Akhoury | Patna, India (@untamed_bachelor) on Feb 22, 2019 at 6:50am PST

An experienced traveller, he also shares his tips to explore more while saving your precious pennies. 

“When I started backpacking, I didn’t have a lot of money. So, I would find the cheapest way to travel from one place to another. I would take a night bus or train, sleep throughout the night and reach in the morning, I would then explore the place, use the public and hospital washrooms and take another night transport to another place. This way there was no expenditure on stay and I saved a lot of money. Other than that, I went to Thailand because I was editing a crime- thriller novel based in Bangkok and I told the client that I wanted to see the place so I can put my own input in the story, and he ended up sponsoring my flight and hotel stay. This was how I explored Thailand. Then I volunteered at a lot of places during my initial days of backpacking in Dharamshala, Ladakh and Himachal. I have met very interesting people in hostels and while volunteering.”


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I can't wait to travel again. Look how happy I am! :') . . . #jaipur #hawamahal #rajasthan #rajasthandiaries #architecture #traveler #travel #travelblogger #travelphotography #solotraveler #travelintern #roadhousehostels #jaipurdiaries #colours #india #cnntravellerindia

A post shared by Dewanshi (@dewanshipatil) on Feb 5, 2018 at 6:56pm PST

Who: Dewanshi Patil

Travel History: India (Himachal, Rajasthan, Goa, Uttarakhand)

Duration: 3 years

Scenic views, cultural festivals, delectable spreads- Instagram never fails to force feed us the glamorous lifestyle of backpackers. But what happens behind the scene when these backpackers tread through sparsely populated areas and rickety roads? Dewanshi Patil had her share of creepy when she ran into a man perched on a tree, ready to heal her ‘broken’ heart. 

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Himalayas are nothing less than heaven. Shot at Keylong, Lahaul and Spiti. . . . . #travelblogger #travelwriter #travel #traveler #solotraveler #himalayas #trellindia #trellindia #cntgiveitashot #natgeoindia #himalyangeographic #Keylong #mountains #natgeo #India #travelphotography

A post shared by Dewanshi (@dewanshipatil) on Sep 11, 2017 at 9:39am PDT

“I was meeting a new friend in the central part of town in Naggar, Himachal Pradesh. I lived on the outskirts so I had to take the single downhill pass to the town. As I was walking, I hear someone call out to me but I couldn’t see anyone. I usually carry my pepper spray so I took it out and was ready with it. I again hear someone call out to me. Then I scream “where are you?” and a male voice asks me to look up. I’m at a turning which has a cliff on one side and a mountain with a large tree on the other. This man was sitting on the tree. He asked me to sit with him. I couldn’t see much but I noticed that he had long hair and was speaking in English and seemed decent. I asked him to come down instead. 

He sat on a rock and we had casual small talk. He said he had the ability to heal people- bodily functions and fractures and diseases. He took my hand and told me I have a broken heart and he is going to heal it. I quickly left.

And I discussed this with my friend later and she told me that the same thing happened to her. Apparently, he said the same thing to everyone he met, girl and boy. The next morning we meet him again and he told us he is Jesus. It was an interesting but creepy experience.”



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Being in the right place and right time matters. View from the top!!

A post shared by Awaara (@awaaraa__hoon) on Sep 16, 2018 at 11:15pm PDT

Who: Ankur Nahata

Travel History: Indonesia, Thailand, Nepal and India

Duration: 18 months

Money is a fleeting commodity if your dream is to travel across countries. And if you’re a backpacker, your experiences revolve around a contrast combination of increased exploration and budget control. In an attempt to save time and money on a trek, Ankur Nahata got served a dish of danger. 

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Kelingking beach( also called TRex beach) was one of the fun beaches I have been to in Nusa Penida. It's drive is so beautiful and adventures because of the roads. But also when you get to beach you have to take a down hike of 15 minutes and then you can enjoy some big & rough waves. If not strongest they where definetely among the top three i have faced. The swim there was so worth it. 🙂ðŸ˜ÂÂœ

A post shared by Awaara (@awaaraa__hoon) on May 6, 2019 at 3:05am PDT

“Since I backpack, there is a certain cost I don’t want to spend on a luxury tour. There was a tour of a sunrise trek in Indonesia. I thought I’ll do it on my own. When I found out only guided tours are allowed, I took a lava trail which is made by a volcano’s lava. I parked my scooter at a temple and started trekking. While I was trekking up, it was getting a little cloudy.

When I reached the top it started raining heavily, and I was standing on a volcano with nowhere to go. The trail also got filled with water. The following lightning was a sign from God to buzz off.

I made it to a lone house on the trail. I was soaking wet, my phone was gone, and I had no GPS.

Somehow after an hour, I found my scooter. But it was getting dark and my place was far away. I thought there was no point waiting for the rain to stop. So, I took my scooter and started my journey. There was a jeep stuck on the way blocking the road. I took a gravel-filled road and as I was rolling I realise the scooter is making no sound. I look down and the key is gone. There is no key there because of the bumpy road

I parked my scooter and looked around. It’s not like I could find someone to replace it. And after a half and hour of search I found the key all the way back where I started the scooter."

Sometimes adventures can be dangerous but that’s the fun of it. Or else I wouldn’t have this story to tell."



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