Meet: Ajita Chowhan

Name & Age? Ajita Chowhan, 32

Where's home? Congo - Brazzaville

What was/is your last/current trip? Vietnam - Last Trip
Republic of Congo - Current Trip

What got you started? A travel shoot for a television show in 2008. 32 countries later, there is no looking back.

How do you pay the way? Work. Write. Make documentaries. Plan in advance.

What's always on your packing list? Camera. Pens. Notebooks. Cap. Red lip color. Sturdy walking shoes. Lotion. Apps ready for offline use.

What’s the last thing that blew your mind? The grandeur of Angkor Wat in Cambodia. The ability of children to smile amidst death and nothingness of Congo basin.

By land, by sea, or by air? Land.
 
Hotel or hostel? Camp or Couchsurf? 
Hotel. Airbnb. Mostly.

What's your travel pet peeve? Dirty washrooms. 

How do people react to you as a solo female traveler?Too much unwanted attention. I smile. They realise the limits. We become 'friends'.

What scares you? Fear of assault.

How do you overcome fear / anxiety / doubt? Trust in humanity. There are good people around who are in-charge of the world right now.

Worst memory: Being threatened by police in Guatemala in Zona Roja.  

One unforgettable memory: The first sight of waterfalls in Iceland.

Bravest memory: Fighting racism in Prague.

Culture shock moment: Servility in Africans and lack of opportunities in Central America. Drugs and normalcy of related crimes.

Best reason to talk to strangers:  Stories ! Everyone has one. Better than the ones I have heard.

How are you different while traveling? The 'come-what-may' aspect of mine becomes me. I always like that part of me.

Is it harder to leave or to stay put?  :) Good question. To stay put is harder. To leave is a promise of a new adventure.

Three things you've learned on the road: Respect local culture.You do not know it all.
There is much goodness in the world, much more than what we are being otherwise.

What keeps you going? The magnificence of the world around and the romance of the unknown.

What's next?  Morocco/ Jordan or Antarctica.

What would you be doing if you’d never left home? Living outside my body. In the perennial state of Elsewhereness. I was miserable when I could not leave home. So I was relentlessly planning for the next escape.

What advice do you have for wanna-be Wild Hearts? Go for it. It is easier than you think. Warning - you will never be the same again.

Last question: What would make you stop traveling? Exhaustion. Burn out. Physical inability to do it.

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