instagram: @TanveerBadal

Interview by Hannah Webb

What kind of traveler are you?

I’ve been inspired by the travels of Paul Bowles, Ernest Hemingway, Anthony Bourdain, and Paul Theroux to name a few, so I think of myself as an adventure-minded, off-the-beaten path traveler. Having said that, I also contribute to a few travel magazines and blogs, through which I’m able to experience the luxury side of travel as well.

Whose instagram travels inspires you?

I’m nowhere near as hardcore as these guys, but @coryrichards @jimmy_chin and @renan_ozturk have feeds that leave me constantly in awe. It was an incredible experience for me to travel to the Himalayas earlier this year, where it seems like these guys are residents.

Mount Everest Basecamp – Photo by Tanveer Badal

What is a favorite travel pic you snapped? Tell us the story behind it.

I took this photograph from the bedroom of a tea house while trekking to Mount Everest’s Basecamp in Nepal. My wife, Kelly, and I had just completed a punishing uphill hike through snow and mud to reach the village of Namache Bazaar. It was freezing cold, I was beyond exhausted, and I wondered how I was going to make it to basecamp seven days later — and at 18,000ft. So, I took a nap. When I woke up, I looked out the window. The clouds had miraculously parted and for the first time I saw this incredible view of the colossal Himalayan mountain range. Seeing it, my spirits soared through the roof and I suddenly understood why people, including myself, would put themselves through this. Days later we made it to basecamp, and lived to tell about it.

Do you have a favorite place that you have traveled to?

Madagascar was definitely a highlight. It was the least developed and most unspoiled place I’ve visited during my year of travels. The people are so genuine and nice that it breaks your heart to see them living with so little but appreciating everything they have to the fullest. We passed through villages where people were truly amazed to be photographed and then see themselves in the back of a camera. In a world where people are constantly being photographed 24/7 or they don’t want to be photographed, it was nice to be somewhere where people really enjoyed it. This is probably how people saw photography when it was invented over a century ago.

What do you have for breakfast?

Great question! I usually skip breakfast and just have coffee until I get hungry for lunch. But since I’ve been in Morocco and staying in historic riads, I’ve been having the most amazing breakfasts. It’s not just the typical greasy eggs and toast, but all sorts of delicious baked goods and pastries with fresh butter and jam, with the most delicious in-season peaches, melons and fresh squeezed juices I’ve ever tasted. I recently ate this sort of meal on a roof terrace overlooking the seaside town of Essaouira, with the waves breaking right in my sightline.

Do you have a travel motto or life quote you live by?

“Whereas the tourist generally hurries back home at the end of a few weeks or months, the traveler belonging no more to one place than to the next, moves slowly over periods of years, from one part of the earth to another.” – Paul Bowles

“If your dream doesn’t scare you, it isn’t big enough.” – Kristine K. Stevens

Anything else you want people to know about you?

I’ve been traveling for all of 2014 contributing to various magazines and blogs, but my personal journal where I’m most honest is my Instagram feed @tanveerbadal. I don’t have the time to keep a full-on blog, so I like to take my followers along the journey via Instagram. That’s what travel is all about for me — to engage people with my photographs and inspire them to explore the world we live in. One last travel quote I’m inspired by:

”The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page.” – Saint Augustine


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