About Me


Okay, I am here to bust some myths.  If you believe travel is for the young and adventurous with no strings attached nor a steady job or career and nary a care about the future, think again. And if you think travel bloggers almost invariably turn into influencers and digital nomads, hawking and promoting travel-related products sponsored by brands and tourism boards, this blog does not sell or promote anything or any destination.  And this blog is not going to tell you to drop your career or corporate job, eschew your loved ones and turn into a digital nomad. It is here to tell you you can have it all, if only choose to and plan wisely.

I am Sudha Mahalingam, resident of Bengaluru. I have a doctorate in Economics from Sydney and a LLB from Delhi University. Until recently, I was a full-time professor at a reputed think-tank. I have always believed in real travel, which I have been indulging in, for as far as I can remember.  A homegrown Indian woman with an Indian passport, married for over four decades, mother of two boys and having a demanding full-time professional career in energy (petroleum, oil, gas, electricity) spanning 35 years, I managed to travel through 73 countries on the map, some, multiple times.  Of course, my career fueled, funded (I was invited to many international conferences) and enabled my travels to a great extent. I managed to extend such trips to newer destinations. Most of my journeys have been solo – before it became fashionable in India – although I do enjoy company from time to time.  Unlike most others, I never wanted to turn my passion into profession. Travel is and will always remain a pleasurable hobby.

I love multitasking. As energy economist, I consult, advise, research, lecture.  As member of National Security Advisory Board, I used to be advisor to the Indian Prime Minister on energy security issues; I was also a full-time regulator of India’s petroleum sector. Now, as visiting fellow at reputed international universities and consultant to international energy organizations, I get ample opportunities to indulge my passion to travel and photograph. I have published over 400 travelogues and more than a thousand photographs in national and international publications on places some of which seldom figure on the popular tourist map.  All the photos on this site have been shot by me except when I am in the picture. This blog is thematically arranged rather than geographically and I have made an effort to ensure that there are no overlaps. The destinations and experiences straddle all six continents, every kind of landscape and culture, a mix of adventures including transnational motoring rallies.

Of course so much travel must have its share of surprises, not always pleasant. In 2019, Penguin Random House published a collection of my travel misadventures around the world, narrated tongue-in-cheek. The book is titled ‘The travel gods must be crazy’ Recently, Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts, New Delhi, published a coffee table book titled Mustang: Mystique of a Mountain Kingdom, where both the text and the pictures are exclusively by me. IGNCA also hosted an exhibition of my photographs of Tiji Festival in November 2019.  Earlier, I had held photo exhibitions in Delhi on Samarkand and Bukhara and Ladakh.

This website, in existence since 2005, has been revamped in 2018 in blog style. In these pages, I lead you through several thematically arranged journeys to present you with some unembellished travel accounts and lingering images of our kaleidoscopic planet.  Except two, numerous trips undertaken prior to 2000, have not been posted here, since I had not yet acquired a good camera then.  Virtually every travelogue on this site has been published in national (and occasionally, international) newspapers and magazines with links at the end. Of course, many destinations were not written about because I was busy with my career; for those, I have given a short introduction.

Before I conclude, I must record my appreciation for my family – husband and two sons – without whose unstinting support I could not have been so footloose and fancy-free.

I know many of you scroll through this page invisibly, but never bother to record a comment.  If you do care to leave a comment or suggestion, email me at mahalingamsudha@gmail.com.

From CNN to CondeNast Traveller, Atlas Obscura to Times of India, from FM radio to El Mundo, I have been profiled in dozens of forums as an unconventional traveller. Click on the links to below to read these