So… who is Rishad?
Rishad Saam Mehta is an avid traveller, writer and a photographer who simply thrives on the flexibility and sense of adventure that a self drive holiday affords. Rishad established himself as the expert in self-drive vacations while handling the Driving Holidays series for Autocar India, a leading automobile magazine in the sub-continent. Apart from making this series the magazine’s most popular section ever, he also racked over a 100,000 kilometers on Indian roads. Then as a freelance journalist, Rishad went international to bring to readers in India the joy of a self drive holiday in other countries.
Now besides writing about self drive holidays from all over the world, Rishad also writes about different genres be it history trails, food and drink, street markets, entertainment and lifestyle, personal encounters and adventure sports. Nine years as a travel writer have resulted in two books on Driving Holidays in India, one published by Penguin India and the other for Toyota. Rishad’s writing and his stunning photographs are frequently featured in Jet Wings, Mid-Day, The Hindustan Times, The Times of India, The Hindu, Cosmopolitan and India Today Travel Plus to name a few.
His hobbies, which he can indulge in while on the job, include SCUBA diving, photography, trekking and collecting art or posters from street markets around the world. With his experience and sense of adventure while on the road, a driving trip with him can only be a fun filled and exciting holiday.
Rishad resides in Mumbai but spends most of his time globe-trotting and immersing himself in new destination experiences.
10 Facts about Rishad –
- When he was 5 he deliberately cut the fuel pipe in the family car during a family vacation, to experience some breakdown adventure
- He won his first writing competition when he was 11
- His first camera was a home-made pin-hole camera made out of a shoe box
- Was on the Maharashtra state cycling team during his teens
- Is a Bachelor of Electronic Engineering
- Has shared a bus seat from Rishikesh to Manali with two chickens and one goat
- Has hitched a ride in a truck from Bombay to Delhi
- Has driven from India to Singapore across 8 countries in 20 days
- Won first place in the Adventure Category of the 2004 Raid de Himalaya
- Was awarded by the France Tourism Board, Atout France, for his stories on France
Where is he headed?
Rishad is headed on a self-drive holiday to the Canadian Rockies. Globus and Cosmos has launched a Contest to find Rishad a travel partner. A partner in crime 🙂
So… 10 Travel Facts about Backpacking Ninja and why she should accompany Rishad?
1. Ninja loves being ‘On the Road’. She has traveled more than 15000 kms by bus around South America, all over Western Europe using the Eurail, all over India by bicylcle, Kinetic Hondas, train, autos, buses, bullock carts and nooks and corners of Asia as well – She could never afford a car and a driver 🙂 So, Rishad – If this works out, this would be her first driving holiday.
2. Ninja loves adventure. Ninja has scuba dived, trekked, para-glided, snorkeled, tight-rope walked, mountain biked, white-water rafted and kicked some serious adventurous ass over the years. But, she has never been adventurous enough to trust a driver. Rishad – that’s where you come in.
3. Ninja makes the best coffee in the world. A coffee connoisseur and a person who has made space for a coffee filter in her bag (instead of a Swiss army knife), she will provide the driver many a cuppas. Rishad – you just do not have to worry about long drives.
4. Ninja is a serial planner. Ninja loves to read up, research and pour over every little detail of every country she visits. So, whether its city maps, things to do, what to eat, what to wear, where to drink, trust Ninja on the planning. Rishad – this would be an easy drive for you.
5. Ninja documents everything. Though Ninja looks crazy, she is organized. So organized, its scary. She maintained excel sheets of expenses from her trips, blog posts and photographs backed up, etc. Rishad doesn’t have to worry about remembering anything. He just needs to remember to take Ninja along.
6. Ninja can read maps and minds. A driver needs a companion who can read maps and that’s something Ninja loves doing. She collects maps of cities, countries, roads and reads them like the morning newspaper. (and the mind reading bit is true as well)
7. Ninja rarely sleeps. Ninja is nocturnal by nature. If Rishad is spending a lot of time during the day driving, he needs his night out to see and experience the culture. Ninja, being a nocturnal companion can ensure Rishad sees every bit of Canada without missing a thing.
8. Ninja travels real light. She can fit everything she needs in a backpack, not more than 10 kgs. So if Rishad wants to shop and carry excess baggage, Ninja is gladly willing to donate 10 extra kgs. And since she has to lift only one backpack, she would gladly carry his bags too.
9. Ninja is a DJ in disguise. Ninja’s dad taught her an important driving lesson – Turn on the ignition and turn on the music system. So, good music is critical to long drives. Ninja will ensure her I-Pod is loaded with the best music and she keeps Rishad all pepped for the long drives. Every once in a while, she can even switch to live music, playing her Berimbau (Brazilian music instrument).
10. Ninja is an entertainer. Boredom is not a word in her dictionary. So, whether its doing cartwheels in the Rockies or performing Brazilian Samba at a coffee shop, Ninja has hundreds of ideas up her sleeve to entertain Rishad – You won’t get bored for a single minute.
11. Ninja is a martial artist. She has learnt Capoeira for 4 years and Karate for 10. So, if anyone tries to harm Rishad in anyway, she will beat that person black and blue. Rishad – you get a travel buddy cum bodyguard.
12. Ninja has friends all over the world. 6 degrees of separation. With Ninja, it can be two or three. So, if we ever get into trouble in any corner of the world, Ninja’s network can come to the rescue.
13. Ninja has a Beauuuuutiful smile. (Number of Facebook comments on her smiling pictures stands testimony to this). Rishad – you need a partner who can look killer in the photographs with you. So, last but not the least, Ninja would be sporting her million dollar smile if she gets to drive with you around Canada.
Now, the request…
Please go to this link – Contest Link
Clink on the Vote for this entry icon. The site will then send you an email and you have to authenticate this email and then vote for me.
What’s in it for you?
When I make it all rich and famous like Tony Wheeler and I run t
his multi million dollar backpacking company called ‘Backpacking Ninja’, Ill remember you’ll and send youll free tickets.
For now, I promise to take a photo in the Canadian Rockies especially for each and every one of you who vote.
If that’s not enough, I’ll send you’ll a postcard. Send me your address.