Published: 20th April 2021
This Kerala couple quit their jobs and has been travelling across India to prove how safe the country is
Harikrishnan J and Lakshmi Krishna have been documenting their journey through many states in the country that has lasted for more than five months and spans many states
“When we used to travel individually, people used to ask us ‘How could it be safe to travel alone in India?’,” Harikrishnan J tells me. Two years after he tied the knot with Lakshmi Krishna, they have been on the road on a mission to prove exactly how safe it is to discover oneself and each other while travelling across the country.
The idea struck them on their honeymoon. As two avid backpackers with a penchant for adventures, they convinced each other to quit their full-time jobs and dedicate enough time to do what they were most passionate about. After six trips to places like Thailand and Rishikesh, last year, wanderlust finally got the best of them. On October 28, they revamped a Hyundai Creta, packed it with a few essentials and a gas cylinder before embarking on their longest journey yet.
ON THE ROAD: The duo have been travelling since they got married
“When we met each other for the first time, the first thing we spoke about was how much we love to travel,” says Harikrishnan. “We have travelled a lot on our own and were excited to find out what it would be like to share that love. We usually plan budget-friendly trips. For this one, we have kept aside a 2.5 lakh budget but we’re happy to say that we have been able to save a lot more than we even expected!”
The couple eats, sleeps and explores new cities in their car. While Lakshmi runs an online accessory store, Harikrishnan works part-time jobs to keep them going. During our conversation, the couple was in a village in Uttarakhand, five months into their journey. The idea was to cover Karnataka, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Lucknow and to slowly make their way down back home to Thrissur.
“We never planned any part of this trip,” he says, “Most of our plans are impromptu and made on the road. After a maximum of five days, we literally go where the road takes us. Thankfully, both our families are very supportive and have never questioned us about our choice to do this.” The couple has a treasure trove of tips and pointers for anyone who wants to master budget-friendly travel including how to save on hotel bookings and secrets behind cooking on the move.
MAKING LEAPS: They always ensure that their trips are budget-friendly
“We have learnt a lot from the amazing people and places we have seen so far on this journey. People have been supportive throughout the way. Sometimes, strangers have approached us while we are cooking in our car and offer us a space in their house to cook so dust wouldn’t fall on our meals,” they say. I guess this is the power of community.
The duo continues, “On our way back from Kumbhalgarh Fort in Rajasthan, we stopped by a lake to take a few pictures. We spotted a group of people cleaning a dam nearby. Two young girls in the group spoke to us and we became very friendly. We went with them to their village where we became close to the people who live in the 70-odd houses there. We have felt so much acceptance every step of the way. And this is our answer to the question people ask about how safe it is to travel in India.”