“Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain
The above quote has been an inspiration to me ever since I came across it. Life is a journey to be explored, a dream to be lived and in the process discover amazing things it has to offer. Curiosity will enrich you while humility will help you be grounded.
I was born and raised in the city of Coimbatore in the southern part of India. I went to a boarding school when I was 11 years old which started my journey of independence. Joining a boarding school at a young age was initially difficult but taught me one of the most important lessons of life that ‘life is in the present and accepting the situation and adapting to it is very essential.’
Growing up in a country that has diversity weaved into its social fabric, I was taught to embrace every culture and tradition with respect and humility. As a little boy my grandfather took me to places far and wide and this instilled in me the passion for travelling. My grandfather was a fan of history, heritage and arts which I inherited. The joy of exploring new places and seeking new experiences made me want to live for moments, experiences rather than any materialistic things. Every small opportunity that I get to travel, I make use of it to the maximum. As I visit new places, I will be sharing all my exciting stories through my writing, pictures and videos. You can check out my Instagram feed.
Photography & Films
My mother had a great interest for creative arts while growing up watching her work, I was naturally drawn to visual storytelling. I was always fascinated to watch stories unfold in the visual medium and loved how every photograph can be preserved as a memory to cherish for the longest time to come. Where ever I went, I made it a point to carry a camera and capture all the moments as it happened. Gradually I started to shoot weddings for it is one of the happiest places in the world where there is joy, anguish, excitement and fear. Shooting an Indian wedding could be the most amazing and challenging experience for a photographer or a filmmaker for the vibrant colours, countless emotions, happy people, endless ceremonies and the huge crowds that are present. My interest for non-fiction stories increased over the years where I enjoyed bringing to light stories that would have not known otherwise. I work with non-profit organizations to share their story and help them to raise funds. Gradually I learned the Adobe software of Premier Pro, After Effects and Lightroom which helped my work get better. You can head to Thirdeye Pictures on Vimeo for my films. I have produced short VR documentaries for NPR, Contrast VR and LA Tourism to mention a few.
I believe life is all about experiences & with every experience is a new learning. I am a dreamer who strives to live my dream and achieve the goals I set. I feel self-belief, following your instincts, hard work, passion and most importantly luck (atleast for me) will definitely help to get the best out of you at all times. Over the years, I have realized that the more time we take to think, the more we are at a loss. Remember a delayed decision is a lost opportunity so take it fast even if it turns out to be bad. I try and venture into things that scare me and the joy of conquering fear makes me feel rich and positive in every way.
My interests in travel, social media, filmmaking and photography earned me an opportunity to be a part of a socio-road trip reality travel show DrivewithMTV season 3 by Viacom and MTVIndia. It was a digital media-based reality show where the team with highest social media points won the show. The team I was part of #NanoNorth won the show where each team member was presented a car. More on this show and many other trips will be shared soon.
As I am always on the lookout for new experiences and exciting adventures, I have so many amazing stories to share and so I thought I should document all of it. Hence the birth of Myhighwaytales.
Do follow & read about my journey as I share many amazing experiences from places that I come across and people I meet.
Raja Venkatapathy Mani