Neelima Vallangi - Writer, Photographer (& Wandering Soul)

"There is pleasure in the pathless woods
There is rapture on the lonely shores;
There is society, where none intrudes
By the deep sea, and music in its roar
I love not the man less, but nature more." - Lord Byron

Hi! I am Neelima Vallangi and I am an itinerant Travel Writer and Photographer.

There's a lot I want to tell you about me but it's going to take me a short while to get my website in order (some serious re-hauling is needed, haven't updated my bio in ages). So I'm taking down the outdated story that was originally found here. As they say, if I had more time, I'd have written a shorter version but for now, please read this story bullet point summary of my journey so far.

  • The words by Lord Byron best describe me. When I read those words in Jon Krakauer's "Into the Wild" years ago, it felt like a lightbulb went off in my mind. I like people but what I really really like is being in nature, far away from people (the drama, pretence and misery mainly). 
  • I started travelling in 2008. It was an inadvertent trip with family to Ladakh. That was the first time I had an inkling of what India's diversity even looked like. That was also my first tryst with Himalayas. The obsession began and I am now a nomad with no home, harboring a desire to see as much of this world as possible. 
  • I worked in a corporate company in Bangalore from 2008 to 2014 as a software engineer, during which period I made best use of my money and all the paid leaves to explore as much of India as possible. 
  • I developed a knack for going really off the grid–  encompassing everything between submerged churches to strange, desolate international borders. I also developed a taste for adventure that manifested in the form of mountain biking in the hills to crossing many great Himalayan trails.  Slowly, people started recognising my efforts and the blog took off. It now had an audience!
  • That in turn led me to believe perhaps I may be good at telling some stories. A "DSLR" had also been bought somewhere along the way. As luck would have it, I won a National Award for my photography in the very first year of me wielding a semi professional camera. At that time I had no idea that within the next two years, my very first story for a travel magazine would also be published with none other than National Geographic Traveller India (in 2013). 
  • And that's how the idea was implanted in my head, that I could perhaps be a professional travel writer and photographer. So I quit my job in 2014 to do this full time and gave up my home in 2015 to be location independent. I have since written several stories for reputed national and international publications. A selection of my published work can be seen here -
  • After quitting my job, I did take up full time freelancing and full time travel. My adventures have taken me to either remote or offbeat corners of Mongolia, Turkey, Indonesia, Nepal among others. 
  • I have been fortunate enough to be treated to exquisite travel experiences so far such as stalking a snow leopard in Ladakh, snorkeling in one of the world's most pristine coral reefs, hiking independently for a whole month in Turkey, exploring the vast steppes of Mongolia by a truck for weeks and most importantly, spending an inordinate amount of time in the invincible snow fields and magnificent slopes of Himalayas.
  • That's my life now. I travel. I trek. I write and I take photographs. I share stories, the kind that will tell you more about the place or people I'm visiting rather than my personal experience or my reaction to the experience. If it is about me, then I must've gone hiking. I can't shut up about mountains and the way they make me feel! 
I will brag about my many other accomplishments, link to several of my blogposts and give a discourse on life choices very soon ( as all travel bloggers are supposed to 😉) but for now, this is the gist of my life right now. You can also find me on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook and we can continue this discussion there. 

Find me on Twitter