About me

I am a freelance writer from India and specialize in stories about travel, food, arts and local culture. My stories have appeared in several publications in India and abroad, including:

Portfolio

As a “writer on the go,” I was invited to speak at a TedX event in Bengaluru, where I shared my own travel experiences and spoke about fulfilling one’s travel dreams.

I am also the co-author of a book on freelance journalism, published by Westland in February 2014 – Everything you wanted to know about freelance journalism (but didn’t know whom to ask). An advance review for the book has called it a “bible for freelance writers everywhere.”

I have been blogging on travel since 2003 and Itchy Feet is one of India’s oldest and most popular travel blogs, featured in several publications, including Times of India which called my world wanderful (don’t ask), Femina and iDiva.

Read my interviews in other blogs and magazines:
~ Get started with travel writing: Women’s Web
~ Charukesi Ramadurai: travel writer, photographer: Blog Adda
~ Go trotting!: 10 Year Itch
~ Many feathers on my suitcase: Zostel
~ My little travel secrets: Travel Secrets magazine
~ Get going now!: Near Fox

***

Here are things about me as a traveler you’ve always wanted to know but didn’t know whom to ask.

Oh, you didn’t want to know. Never mind. Here they are, anyway.

1. To see what I do in my real life, head here.

2. That real life occupation – being a writer – is a dream come true for me. In fact, for many years, I did not even dare to dream about it. I worked in market research for over fourteen years. After year two, I pretty much started hating the work. And it just kept getting worse.

3. The first time I traveled abroad was at the ripe old age of 26. That’s right. It was for my honeymoon in Thailand. Since then, I have been to 40 countries in 6 continents. By 40, I want to have visited atleast 30 countries – too late, make that 50 by 50 🙂

4. Of all the cities I have visited, I love Prague, Istanbul and Amsterdam the most. In India, my favourites are Hampi, Mcleodganj and Ladakh.

5. My dream destinations are: the Andamans, New Zealand, Spain, Brazil, Tanzania, IrelandNew Zealand and Ireland now feature in my list of visited countries.

6. I have never understood this whole business about traveler and tourist. Come on, we are all tourists in one way.

7. Related to that, travel snobbery puts me off. It can work both ways – inverse snobbery puts me off too – how cheaply one travels, how lightly one packs, how hostels are the only way to stay and so on.

8. That earlier point. It has one of my biggest travel regrets. Packing light. I just cannot get it right. I end up taking much more than I need. Every single time. My perfect trip would be one where I managed to pack all I need in a backpack and find someone else to carry it for me.

9. I live with chronic, sometimes debilitating back ache. I travel despite that and am very proud of it.

10. In my spare time, I browse through the archives of my favourite travel blogs and flickr photo streams. I can never see myself do a round-the-world trip – but I am certain I will see the world, one bit at a time.

11. Being a vegetarian is sometimes the toughest part of my travels. And not just because I think it is difficult to find vegetarian food in some places but also because I believe that food is an integral part of the travel experience.

12. Despite being a vegetarian, I try to sample as much local food as I can – especially street food. I get Indian food cravings once in a while but these are rare and pass quickly.

13. I love people watching. I could sit at an airport, cafe, park all day and watch the world go past. Ok, not so much the airport.

14. The most stunning thing I have seen in my travels is the Ta Prohm temple at sunset in Siem Reap.

15. I am not a big fan of adventure sports. The most I have managed is parasailing in Goa when I landed splash into the water. Actually, I have a great fear of water – which I want to overcome.

16. I don’t always need luxury travel. But I am definitely all for comfort travel. The words budget and travel don’t go together for me.

17. One of the biggest pleasures of travel is meeting fellow travelers – I have met and made some great friends in my travels.

18. I never take notes when I travel. I use my photographs as notes if I ever need to write about the place or experience.

19. I wish I had a better talent for languages. I am hopeless at picking up new ones.

20. I am an internet junkie. I have to, have to, connect with the world out there even when I am traveling. ‘Switch off’ is definitely not my thing.

21. I love heritage and culture travel – following that, mountains. I am not too hot on beaches. As I said, I travel to recharge, not to relax.

22. I am a big fan of short breaks (long breaks too). If I don’t go somewhere new for three months, I get all antsy.

23. My ideal travel world would be free from inequality, including in visas.

24. I hate traveling in big groups. And a big group is anything more than two. Ouch.

25. I love love road trips. My theme song is Walt Whitman’s ‘Song of the open road’ –

Afoot and light-hearted, I take to the open road
Healthy, free, the world before me,
The long brown path before me leading wherever I choose.

And to end, I have discovered that I like talking about myself (or in this case, writing) more than I thought.

Anything else you’d like to know?

41 comments

  • hello,
    I liked your blog and thanks for the efforts you put in. I have included a link to your blog in : http://www.indianbazaars.blogspot.com
    a blog about the Indian shop, the traditional Indian bazaar and the Contemporary mall in India.

    I hope this is ok with you? In case you prefer that i not include it on my ‘blog list’, please do let me know.

    thanks & regards,
    kiran

  • Nice blog. Like the various travel related posts and the latest one on tips on photography – so useful. Great work

  • I’m so glad I stumbled on this blog. Such a refreshingly wonderful blog, and such lovely photos. What camera do you use?

  • Hi,
    We have been trying to connect with you. We have a Nokia Blogger Meet Up happening tom .

    If this interests you, please share your contact.

    Cheers,
    Kanchan Verma
    Bloggers’ Mind

  • Love love your blog !!! It has some much freshness and at the same time touching the roots of our culture and identity. I am glad that i found this blog!! Your photography is awesome!

  • beautiful.
    Your post showed up as a related post on one of my posts, that’s how I stumbled upon your blog.

    /Prasad
    zenwriting.wordpress.com

  • Prasad, thanks for dropping by!

  • A fascinating blog with beautiful words and photographs. I’ll visit again and again…

  • Nice blog and I like your header image. Keep writing!

  • I love your pictures!!!

  • Are you Kalyani and Kamini’s cousin who lived in Indira Nagar, Chennai?

    Btw, your Ladakh photo essay on Matador was very nice.

  • Hey Charu… Awesome blog… just checked out the lovely stories about Hampi, which I am visiting this month 🙂

  • hi charu,
    i love the photos taken by you its really amazing. can u tell me which camera r u using as i wanted to buy one, though the credit goes more to the taker then the camera but a good camera does matter. ur suggestion will be helpful to me

    Ramesh

  • I love this page and your blog- I relate to many of your points and look forward to reading more! 🙂

  • nice blog . happy travelling

  • I never found people who’d like to travel the way i do. But strangely, most of your points match what i think of travelling. ex: More than 2? Am not at ease either….. i dislike adventure sports too. (my wife enjoys them!) ….. I like to watch people too…. I definitely dont like luxury travel….. I look down upon people who book a 5 * hotel when planning to travel. I mean, luxury is home. If u are visiting a new place, mingle with the locals. Thats the idea!

    Of course there are diferences…. Nature is my first priority.. next is Culture and i get bored of historic monuments at the drop of a hat!

    Interesting read .. happy travelling!

  • Hi,
    Would you be interested in trading guest blog post on our blog, http://onetravelbloggers.com/? We are a blog whose audience enjoys reading anything about travel (e.g. “Best spots in Philly”, “Top 10 beaches in Spain”, “How to travel around Tokyo on a budget”, etc). And, of course, you’ll receive a FOLLOWED link to your blog or page of your choice.
    Please let me know if you’re interested. I think you’d be a great fit with our audience, and we’d also like to talk with you about other partnerships.
    Talk to you soon

  • Hey there! Came to your blog while looking for weekend getaways from Bangalore, and LOVE it! I have been browsing through your archives since afternoon, and cannot get enough of your blog! Have bookmarked you… will be back to read more. 🙂

    I have a desk job, but I love travelling. I try and travel as much as I can. I sometimes dream of quitting my job and travelling full-time, but I guess that needs a bit of time yet.. I don’t think I am ready for that yet. Your blog makes me want to travel all the more, and explore the whole wide world.

    We share a lot of similarities… I made my first international trip at the age of 26, too, for my honeymoon, and we went to Thailand, too. I LOVED the experience, and wish I had written more about it now. 🙁 I just have pictures from the trip now. I am scared of adventure sports too, and the most I have done in that direction is parasailing at Goa. 🙂

  • 🙂 Enjoy your blog so much, Charu 🙂

  • Love that #2, that’s so real of you to say! I was in market research too, my first job. I made a lot of great friends but the work and me didn’t get along so great!

  • Ok, I found you on the reader, and after reading your “about me” we are so much alike, except for the travelling part… I mean you travelled to so many countries and cultures and I have not, just a few, but your love of people watching, comfort travelling, healthy eating and taking photos could be me writing about me, but I am hooked, and will follow you now. Not as a stalker but a dreamer… you go!!! And even though I may not have the $$$ to travel the world, I can enjoy it through your eyes. Thanks for the fun I am going to have! P.

  • SO inspiring to read your blog and know that I needn’t be afraid to travel and write and make them both work somehow. Looking forward to catching up with all your posts!

  • Nice . I like your 25 “about me” points.

  • like your blog… “travel for recharge” …. agree…

  • It’s so great to read about you and I’d say you’re lucky for having travelled so much. I want to travel the world and I just don’t know how to go about it. It always stops at the ‘money’ part for me haha. When I read all the points you have mentioned here, I just realized how badly I wish to look around the different countries and cultures; eat different cuisines (thank God I am a non-vegetarian); try out all the adventure sports and write about every thing I feel. Yeah, that’s so important for me: the writing part. I’d follow you to see how it goes as you travel more and more. Good Luck!

  • Hi , I have come across your blog. Very nice description and photos . I had a chance to read your Gangtok post . Awesome ! I’ll come back again to read other posts . Thanks for sharing your wonderful journey and experience . Thanks

  • Hello,
    I have recently started a new blog http://everydaypeopleoftheworld.wordpress.com/ and having read your blog I think that you are someone who would be excellent to feature.
    The aim behind this site as a result is to conduct a short interview with a variety of people to show people throughout the world’s hopes, fears, loves and hates. Who are these 7-billion people who inhabit this rock going round the sun? What do we all have in common? What difficulties can we all face together?
    In my simple mind, the more we learn about each other, the more we highlight that we’re all just people then the less chance there is that we’ll turn guns and words of hate upon on another. It’s a simple dream, but we have a lot of people so let’s get started………
    If you’d like to feature on the site, then please get in touch via the contact page.’
    Do you think this is something you or anyone you know would be interested in? The idea is not for profit in anyway, the simple aim is to break some stigma and stereotypes.
    Many thanks for reading
    Claire Allen

  • Hehe, I loved reading the 25 things about you. I totally relate to #6, 7, 19, 23, 24 and 25 🙂 And TOIs “wanderful”… I hope that was intentional?

  • You have a very wonderful blog here. Spent a good day reading some of your articles. Glad to have stumbled across a fellow traveller’s blog 🙂

  • Almost everything you wrote above could above could be me. I mean, your travel style and lot of the opinions are what i think as well. Except i just can’t express them as well as you do.

  • A nice blog. Keep up the good work.

  • Amazingly nice and refreshing blog…looking forward for more..

  • Hi,
    I just read your blog. I liked your writing style which has a personal touch.

    Since you said you are all in for “comfort travel”, I am curious to know from where does the money follow in. Right now, the explanations I have in my head are- publications pay you for travel; you are working in some high-paying MNC; you have a rich husband.

    Do answer the query. I am dying to know.

  • Nice blog , providing good travel tips

  • Your blog cover so many places. Makes the world even much smaller a place. Nice.

  • Hi Charukesi,

    What a wonderful discovery for me. I can especially connect with points 2, 11, 12 and 24, though a lot of other points are pretty relatable too 🙂 I too was in Market Research for the last 4.5 years, and hated it from the core of my heart. Quit in May, and am now aiming to be a full-time writer. Point 24- My wife and I always travel only as a couple, have never joined a formal or informal group for traveling since we start feeling claustrophobic if we’re around too many people, especially those we know. So we just do our own thing. By the way, my first foreign trip was when I was 35, to Switzerland since I’m a Bollywood buff 🙂 We’re way behind your ‘countries traveled to’ number, but have been covering Europe bit-by-bit every year- Switzerland, France, Austria, Italy (twice), Greece, Croatia, UK, Russia, and the latest being Norway last month, when we went till Svalbard! Wooohoooo!
    Now that I’ve found this blog, will keep stealing travel ideas if you don’t mind 🙂
    Cheers, and thanks for writing.

    Anurag

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