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Come home with new skills

india Updated: Jul 09, 2011 15:40 IST
Sneha Mahale
Sneha Mahale
Hindustan Times
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Same old travel routines putting you off? Try something unusual on your next trip. Started by city duo, Vikrant Chheda and Sachin Parekh, the group called White Collar Hippie offers journeys with a difference. Mixing untapped destinations with art and craft, the duo hope to provide enthusiasts an experience that is out of the ordinary and allow travellers to explore their creativity while on the move. The first trips include a visit to Hampi this August while learning photography there, as well as a four-day camp near Pune to learn horse riding.

“We try to pick locations that haven’t been done yet. We cater to people who are fond of travelling, who’ve already seen the touristy places and now want something more,” says Vikrant, adding that their trips include cycling, kayaking and trekking through various regions, as they believe in having an “alternate outdoor experience”.

Getting into the group is easy. There are fixed departures, details of which are posted on their website and on their Facebook page. “We are looking to change the way Indians travel. Even our guides are avid vacationers who have visited the place often and now want to pass on their expertise,” says Vikrant, adding that the name of the travel group represents routine.

The group has conducted trips across India as pilot projects to test the concept and is satisfied with the response. Trips will commence in August, and customisation and personalisation of tours is also available, as long as it fits the ‘White Collar Hippie’ philosophy.

Apart from the Hampi and Pune trips, vacations to Ladakh and the Andamans are also planned. “The Ladakh trip will include cycling, mountain climbing and trekking to monasteries. People will also learn to make Ladakhi food. At the Andaman Islands, you can learn diving and about local wildlife.” The duration and price of each trip varies according to the trip and the duo avoid divulging more details to ensure that the trip works as a surprise. Though foreign trips are also planned, White Collar Hippie hopes to expand its services in the near future. Vikran says, “We’d also like people like filmmakers and dancers to conduct trips to areas that they are well-versed with.”

Calendar of events
A three-day boot camp trip where you acquire skills for horse riding. On August 12-15 at Talegaon, Mahrashtra
A beginner’s trip for surfing. On October 21-23 at Mulki, Karnataka.
The landscapes of Hampi for acquiring alternative photography skills. On Octover 13-16.
Roam all of Rajasthan and try astronomy with a telescope at night. One week in late November or early December at Jaisalmer, Rajasthan.
Snorkelling and organic farming in the Andamans. For 10 days in October.
Kayak, cycle and learn tree climbing in the first week of December in Kerela.
Chadar trek. Test your physical endurance at -20 degrees Celsius. In January or February in Zanskar valley, Jammu and Kashmir.