One would think that all possible combinations of travel trends in the world are done with, but when two creative minds meet, they are bound to come up with something magical. It was only a few weeks ago when two college-going travel enthusiasts, Aradhna and Rubhen had their Eureka moment when they came up with an idea that could change the way you look at travelling forever. Beginning June 2018, they are launching the first trip of their series Bin-Naqshe Kadam or Underground Travelling which will take you on a surprise trip! Yes, you read it right.
The concept of Bin-Naqshe Kadam or Underground Travelling is to bring together a group of like-minded, responsible travellers on an adventure to a place that will only be revealed once they get there!
If you’re someone who may be interested in something this adventurous, read on!
Aradhna is a statistics honours graduate and says, "What resides in my heart are not numbers and graphs, but paints, pens and my backpack. I love doodling and creating art. Art for me has become a way of survival."
Aradhna’s first ever trip was to Manali a few years back and the artistic soul in her fell in love with the hills, rivers, and the company of amazing travellers that she was with. She says, “There are times in life when you wish that time stops. My first ever trip was one of those moments.” She effortlessly fuses her two passions of travelling and art by sketching the visions she sees. “I know it’s a bit weird and I don’t know if I’m the only one, but whenever I see a stationery shop, I can’t stop myself from going inside. I absolutely love stationery and the feel and texture of different types of paper. How I wish I could build a house of not bricks but diaries." Aradhna calls herself a travel doodler and manages to stun everyone with the magic she yields with her paintbrush.
Every time Aradhna feels like capturing a moment forever, she ditches the camera and takes to sketching the vision in her diary instead. She runs a series called #aankhondekhihay on her Instagram page.
Rubhen’s first ever trip was as recent as 2016 when he visited Nainital. He felt the experience so liberating that since then, he has travelled over 17 states and union territories of India. As he travels, he also runs a community called Musaafir Hun Yaaron that works towards setting up local art communities in 6 non-metropolitan cities of India by the end of the year. Telling his stories from around the country he says, “I organised one impromptu meetup at Nainital in 2016 and was surprised to see the level of talent; but there aren’t any opportunities or platforms for these artists to grow. At Bhuj in Gujarat, I was surprised when kids asked me what my guitar does. In another instance, a restaurant owner halved my bill when I played and sang a Kishore Kumar song for him on request.”
"Through the powerful medium of art, while travelling, I wish to create local communities of change makers in India. Art can solve a lot of problems in the society."
Rubhen is basically a pocketful of sunshine who proudly claims, "I’m a guitarist, an amateur singer, a learning painter, procrastinating writer, passionate creator and I love my life!”
The combined artistic vision of Aradhna and Rubhen is the reason behind the inherent beauty and thoughtfulness of their new venture.
Extremely intrigued by their idea of a surprise trip, I asked them to explain their plan in more detail. Here’s what they had to say:
“Generally people do a week-long research on where to stay, places to visit, the duration of the trip, and the itinerary. Many travel with companies with even stricter schedules where everything is planned–the exact time and duration of meals and treks, the places you'll see; you aren’t allowed to go off route and are asked to stay with the group headed to a fixed, pre-decided place."
"We want to expose individuals to travel without bookings, reservations, itineraries and prior expectations from a place. We wish to spread the feeling of surprise and joy that comes from the unknown."
Their first trip is scheduled from 1-4 June, 2018 to an unexplored district around Shimla, Himachal Pradesh. The second trip will be held mid-June.
Both, Rubhen and Aradhna have a personal connection with the hills. So initially, they are only focusing on the districts of Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh, but they also want to take trips to Northeast soon.
Group size and age group:
They plan to take a batch of 20 travellers on each of their trips. They say, "We aim to create a space for conversations and friendships; after all, this project is all about sharing and learning from each other’s experiences. We are strictly looking for individuals who love adventure and would be up for impromptu plans."
How to register:
You can register on their Facebook page Bin Naqshe Kadam.
The registration fee is ₹500
On this page, they are not only taking registrations for their upcoming trips, but are also creating a community of ‘Underground Travellers’.
The budget for the trip is set at ₹5,000, however, this money shall not be collected by Aradhna and Rubhen, it will be spent directly by the travellers.
"We are planning to visit unexplored places or locations less travelled to. We believe in budget travelling; we wouldn’t be staying at posh hotels or eating at prime cafes. At the core, we want the trip to be as pocket-friendly for our group as possible."
"Majority of the youth has never travelled because of a false belief that travelling is costly; we want to break this myth."
Aradhna and Rubhen also have a message for everyone who would want to join them in their new adventure.
Youth is that time of one's life when there's nothing much to lose, so you are free to experiment with a lot of things. You can live freely, try out new things, make mistakes, learn from yours and others' mistakes and keep growing.
"A person is not their name, or what their resume says; a person is made up of their experiences. With Underground Travelling, one can learn to be brave, to take on life as it comes without plans, to be independent, to take important decisions for yourselves, and to share and learn from the life stories of fellow-travellers."
With a delightful vision behind this new travel trend, I'm sure this trip is going to be tough to resist. If you're someone who has always had an adventurous streak within, but never got the chance to channelise it, here's your chance! Register with Bin-Naqshe Kadam and conquer the unknown.