Interview: Meet Angela, Writer Behind SlumdogSpirit

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It’s been a while, but I am happy to share insight into another travel blogger’s life with you. After having had a look at Angela’s blog, I sure wanted to interview her. She is the wandering soul and creative head behind Slumdogspirit, having a deep love for all things India. In fact, she loves this country so much, that she is volunteering in the slums. Interested in what she has to share? It’s time to read on then. 

How long have you been blogging for? / Why have you started your blog?

I have had my website for almost a year now. I started it to inspire women (and men!) that you can travel around India alone and also to encourage more people to volunteer and help causes in India, which is so desperately needed.

Has there been a situation that made you realize you have caught the travel bug and everything else except travelling the world would make you unhappy?

When I came home in 2007. I hated my job(s) and found ‘normal life’ dull and mundane in comparison to the experiences I had whilst travelling. I was very much living for my weekends where I was partying in London with the same group of people every weekend, which at first was fun. However, once the novelty wore off it became apparent that life was only sustainable for a limited period and in my late twenties I was becoming bored of doing the same thing week in, week out.

What kind of traveler are you?

Budget unfortunately (wish I wasn’t!) . I take sleeper trains and buses around India to save money, it’s more exciting anyway!

How do you fund your travels?

I saved like mad at home. I have a property I rent out, so get a small cash flow through that. I’m also a fully qualified reiki healer and read tarot cards!

Is there one thing you never travel without?

A book called 'Living in the Light’ given to me years ago by a very special person. I’ve had it for so long the pages are falling out as it’s so old! But it’s been such a good life guide for me.

What do you like most about traveling?

The freedom and adventure. Also meeting some of the most interesting people who I will know will be in my life for a long time.

What is your most memorable travel experience?

Sitting on the banks of the ganges in Varanasi, India 2006. It felt like another planet.

Have you had any bad experienced during your travels?

Yes quite a few! -  Every single one in India! (But all the best experiences in India also may I add :)

Of all the places you have been to, is there one you like best? Why?

Country wise - India and Nepal. India is out of this world - crazy, it’s like going to 7 countries in one - mountains, beaches, jungles and deserts. Every state is so different. Culturally, it’s the most mesmerising place too. It’s magical to me.

Have you been anywhere that turned out to be completely different from what you imagined?

The Thai islands in 2011. I couldn’t believe how overcrowded and commercial they had become. I’m really grateful  I experienced them 12 years prior, they were beautiful then. It’s sad how developed and spoiled they have now become.

In your opinion, what’s the key to a successful, enriching travel experience?

Follow your heart and notice signs and synchronistic events. Don’t have a planned out rigid schedule - you never know who you might meet :)

Last but not least: What’s your advice for all the other twenty-something adventure seekers out there?

Just book a ticket and don’t worry about what society tells you about finding a 'good career’ early. You have the rest of your life to do that.

On your deathbed you won’t think about your beautiful house or career progression. It’s the experiences, adventure and people you have encountered that will enrich your life.

Angela Haines is a British citizen who feels more at home in India. She took her first solo trip around India aged 23 and for some reason the country has always called her back. Her website Slumdogspirit  focuses on India solo travel for women (and men!) She inspires others to travel solo and to volunteer with various NGO’s in India. Her most recent volunteering adventure was working in one of Mumbai’s poorest slums.  

If you are interested in being interviewed by me and featured on the blog, please don’t hesitate to get in touch at theredheadstory@gmail.com ; I’m looking forward to hearing from you.