In Focus: Travel, My Way by Vartika Mehrotra Gakhar
A good travel book not only inspires you to travel but it also takes you on a virtual journey to places that you have never been to. I was delighted to find so many travel books in BlogChatter Library this time. So, I picked up my third book to read, a collection of travelogues by Vartika Mehrotra. Here is my review of the book – Travel, My Way.
Vartika in her own words is “an ex-HR professional, an amateur painter, a travel enthusiast, foodie, nature lover, and an author by chance”. Born in Hyderabad, married to a Delhi-based family and currently settled in Poland, Vartika has a plethora of travel stories to share from her life. She is an avid blogger who writes about travel, lifestyle, social issues and practically everything in her blog “Vartika’s diary”.
This book is a collection of Vartika’s personal travel tales. According to the author she revisited those trips while writing this book and came up with many travel experiences and memories, right from her childhood when she traveled as a kid with her parents till now, when she travels with her twins.
Vartika’s book leaves up to its promise – it is a collection of travel memoirs written straight from the heart. A comparison with Noor Anand’s “Tales from my travel treasury” is natural because they are based on the same theme, that is, anecdotal travel stories. While Noor’s book is about her life through her travel tales, Vartika’s book is more about her travel tales with her life in the backdrop. She shares a lot of personal experiences while traveling from her childhood till now but the focus is more on the travelogues than her life. Her stories are not just engaging but also informative.
I like her endeavor to strike the perfect balance between an anecdotal and an informational travelogue. Reading her stories reminded me of some of the places I have been to and inspired me to visit some new ones. I was never so drawn to the Golden Temple of Amritsar as I am now after reading her story. There is a chapter dedicated to travel tips for Europe trip and another one about the tips for traveling with children. These are absolute gems in a nutshell for any family traveler. I am not a mom yet but I have traveled with friends who have kids. It’s sure a whole new ball-game for those who consider themselves travel experts.
Related: Packing checklist for Europe in Spring – with a downloadable checklist.
I said in the last paragraph that it’s a great endeavor to strike that balance as a travel writer. Being a travel writer I ask myself this question all the time – what is the right balance? In some chapters like the one about the Golden Temple of Amritsar or the one about Krakow, I felt the balance was perfect. The chapters on travel tips were purely informative and serve as a great resource for travel planning. Some chapters like the scary stories in Himachal are completely story-driven, and I enjoyed them too. I felt that a couple of chapters somehow remained mediocre both on the anecdotal aspect as well as on the information aspect.
I say this as a reviewer because I have to critically analyze the book. As a reader though I completely enjoyed the book and felt like embarking on a virtual journey to different parts of India and abroad.
This is a feel-good travel chronicle that you can read on a flight or while being stuck in traffic congestion. A short breezy read that will make you go on a whirlwind virtual tour of the world with Vartika. If you are not bitten by the travel bug yet, well, get ready to be stung. You can download the book for free in the BlogChatter Library. You can also download my book “15 days in Europe” for free from the library. Note, it’s a limited period offer valid only till the end of June 2019.
This review is a part of the BlogChatter Book review program.
Thank u very much for this fantastic review. Coming from an avid traveler means the world.