This is what happens when an adrenaline junkie and an intrepid explorer fall in love.
During my daily scrolls and double taps, I discovered the @goproselfiedude handle, which documents the travels of Vishnu and Tara. I instantly screamed ‘relationship goals’ and ‘Instagram goals’ in my head, because I’m secretly 16.
Hill selfie - Lugano, Switzerland
Tara, the explorer in the relationship, explains:
“Vishnu is a banker by profession and a photographer by passion. I’m an entrepreneur, blogger and budding freelance writer. We both live in Dubai. We were in high school together here in India, but Vishnu left for Dubai soon after his 12th. I landed up there for my post graduation, and that’s how we got reacquainted (thanks to Facebook). A hop, skip & jump later, we were married.”
Flying Selfie - Ras Al Khaimah, UAE
But why the trips?
‘One of the reasons we fell in love was our shared passion for exploring the world, but not in the typical touristy way. It has been a deep rooted life mission for both of us to travel, and we found the ideal travel buddy in one another. Having said that, we enjoy different things in travel: Vishnu is more of an adventurer, while I’m an explorer. We balance out trips by incorporating the best of both worlds.’
‘Sometimes you just know your calling in life. For both of us, that’s been travel. It excites us immensely and any country in itself proves to be an inspiration’
Mountain selfie – Swiss Alps, Switzerland
They share that inspiration through their Instagram page, which is populated by beautiful selfies taken during adventures such as:
- Climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro, Tanzania
- A 10 day cross country road trip in Georgia
- Walking deep into the sea bed during low tide at Zanzibar to experience true serenity
- Flying a Micro-light flight in Ras Al Khaimah
- Hiking in Petra, Jordan
- Cycling through the world’s biggest tulip garden in Keukenhof, Netherlands
- Discovering the many beer delights of Belgium (and clicking some Murad Osmann-inspired pics)
- 100 miles of hiking in Switzerland
- Trekking to Mt. Everest base camp
- Tandem bungee jumping in Dubai
Seabed selfie – Zanzibar, Tanzania
Despite the idyllic photographs, Vishnu and Tara’s travels haven’t been completely hassle-free. Their search for adventure has included brushes with danger, such as when their car skidded near the edge of a cliff at the Georgia-Russia border.
Says Vishnu: ‘I am an overenthusiastic adrenaline hunter. I wanted to drive off-road through the hills. It was just after a hailstorm. The plan was to take a break by a cliff and camp there for few hours. We reached the edge of peak with no land to be seen in front of us. Even though I was driving a land cruiser, the wheels stopped listening to me...’
Tara continues, ‘This point at the cliff’s edge had a good photographic viewpoint, so we drove up. But soon realised our car was too big for this stunt. When we tried to reverse away from the edge, we lost control of the car for a moment. All I can say is that my life and loved ones flashed through my mind in that split second. I started yelling "we are at the edge" and somehow, Vishnu's driving skills saved us.’
Let’s thank the old gods and new for that!
Forest selfie – Brussels, Belgium
Vishnu explains another crazy encounter in Kenya: ‘Safari in the Masai Mara, Kenya is an amazing experience. The travel company arranged for accommodation inside the nature reserve in makeshift huts. From there, they took us on safaris deep into the wilderness, in vans with foldable roofs that allowed us to stand and enjoy the animals in their natural habitat.
You hardly hear about attack incidents by animals, and the whole safari is deemed pretty safe. By the second day, we were feeling pretty confident… until we spotted a herd of wild elephants! Obviously nobody wants to piss off an elephant, so we stopped the van and were enjoying the distant view of them gently walking past.
After a few minutes, we realised that these giants were walking in our direction! Our guide warned us not to make a single sound. There were babies in the herd, which makes every adult elephant doubly vigilant.
We hid in the van for 5 minutes, motionless, listening to our heartbeats, not wanting to take any chances. I was struggling to control my sneezes while we waited for these giant to pass by. A few of them stroked the vans with their trunks as they moved around us. It was a Jurassic World sort of experience’
Bungee selfie – Dubai, UAE
All this craziness makes you wonder, what’s it really like to travel as a couple? How does it affect the marriage?
“Though we were initially nervous at the idea of travelling together, our first trip was super fun and put the worries to rest. Conflicts are bound to arise, especially when you’re tired and hungry, but you find a way to solve them more quickly while travelling. Travel has helped us communicate better, break the monotony and keep ourselves excited.”
Pool Selfie – Zanzibar, Tanzania
As for the budgeting and logistics, Vishnu says: ‘We take one vacation every 4 months. Leave dates are planned and applied at the start of the year itself. We have a window of 3 and a half months to do our research about the place and come up with our tailor-made itineraries. Flights are also booked way in advance to get better rates. Tara is the expert at this.’
Tara explains: ‘As we have full-time jobs, it’s all about planning our annual leave efficiently and effectively (strictly). We are semi budget travellers.
Trek Selfie - Mt Everest National Park, Nepal
Looking at the frequency with which we travel and the locations we visit, there’s a general misconception that we are this extravagant couple. The budget usually varies from country to country. We fix our travel budgets way in advance, and plan our trip and life in general around that budget. The real challenge is to stick to it, but who doesn't like a challenge?’
Rafting Selfie – Martvili,Georgia
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are independent views solely of the author(s) expressed in their private capacity and do not in any way represent or reflect the views of 101India.com.
By Arjun Raj
Cover Photo Credit: @goproselfiedude