Introducing Vishnu Saha, a dynamic Indian traveler redefining exploration. With over 35 countries under his belt, he defies norms, venturing into lesser-explored regions with genuine curiosity. At just 24, he’s a digital nomad, blending travel with YouTube content creation, inspiring others to break financial barriers and embark on authentic journeys. As we delve into Vishnu’s journey through NomadMania’s insightful interview, we glimpse a traveler who’s more than just a tourist – he’s a cultural emissary, a seeker of wisdom, and a bridge between nations. His travel philosophy redefines borders and champions authentic human connection, reminding us that our journey isn’t just about where we’ve been, but who we’ve become along the way.
This interview is also available in video format on our Youtube channel.
India is the largest country in the world, and the society is dynamically developing. We have started seeing more and more Indian travellers all around the world. I am happy to meet Vishnu, Vishnu in Ukraine. Hello Vishnu! You are a nice young man and you are actively traveling, you’re actively starting to see the world and I think you represent a new wave of Indian travellers out there.. We are very happy to see you in NomadMania.
Hello! Wow I feel great to be here!
Before we start, in NomadMania, we have the phrase “Show me your map, and I will tell you who you are”. So, tell us, how many countries have you visited?
I’ve been to around 35 countries and I’ve traveled more in Africa, the Middle East and in Asia. I’ve traveled less in South America and America and less in Europe. So that is the kind of regions I’ve been to.
From what I’ve seen on your map, you have visited difficult countries. The countries that travelers don’t usually start their exploration of the world with, so what are those places?
Yes, I’ve been to crazy countries like. In Africa, I’ve been to South Sudan, that was one of my most difficult countries to travel. I’ve been to Somalia. I’ve been to Sudan, which, back then, was nice. But now there are some problems that have risen. I’ve also been to Afghanistan.
So you basically started from “the other side” because usually people visit, let’s say European countries. You know, “easy” countries but you did serious stuff straight away. Why is that? What is motivating you?
I’m not much into counting countries. I’m more about experiencing the culture and the places. I really don’t want to visit every country in the world, but I want to visit the countries with the best experience.
So these countries really fascinated me and also the sense of discomfort, I think traveling to these countries. Let’s consider the example of Iran. I think it is one of the most misunderstood countries in the world but the moment you go there, it’s so different. There are such good people there, it is one of my favourite countries in the world So this is what you get when you travel to such countries, right?
What is usually important for you in travel? You said that you travel for experiences. So which experiences are you chasing when you travel?
I’m more focused on people and I’m more focused on travelling as locally as possible. I don’t prefer staying in hotels much. I try to couch surf or stay with the locals as much as possible. So when I was in Sudan, I went to some crazy weddings and that all happened because I was staying with some local guys.So that’s what I love, I’m more of a slow traveller than covering all the different places.
How did you start travelling? You are now only 24 years old, which is pretty young age for a traveller, especially from India. How did you develop this?
I started traveling in India. India is a super big country. So when I was 19, I started travelling properly like proper backpacking and hitchhiking and then slowly I started thinking of travelling abroad. I started doing freelancing and with that, I used to fund my initial travels and then slowly I started making videos on YouTube. That really worked well and then slowly I started changing my style of travel and then focusing more on YouTube and travel and trying to mix the both. So now I’m making videos on YouTube and travelling full time.
So this is your profession, right? You travel around and make Youtube videos? I believe you have one of the largest Indian channels in India?
You can say one of the biggest, yeah. The Indian travel community is really new. Especially the international travel community. And we really support each other whenever it’s possible. It’s not really easy to travel with an Indian passport but we are trying our best and it’s so nice to see Indian travellers coming together these days and travelling around the world. This is not something which we had like 10 years ago.
Yeah, I know it very well because 10 years ago I spent half a year in India, which actually, thanks to that trip, I was motivated to see the world and travel more. In NomadMania, we try to be inclusive and we try to encourage people from developing countries to travel because if you take a look at the average traveller, about 90% of these people are from Western Europe, Europe, or North America, right?
But we try to go deeper for that reason, we even have a special list, which is called the Low Passport Index List. So basically we “praise” people with weaker passports to travel and we make a special list only for them. So this could encourage them to travel.
Yeah, of course, if there are more travellers coming, maybe we might get higher in the passport index. This year, we went up about five numbers.
You represent India well and this is something very important for everyone to understand.Whenever we travel, always remember that according to your behaviour, that is people will treat others.
Of course, I always say, that for example, I’m from India and I’m representing India when I’m travelling abroad. So if I do something bad to you, you will probably judge the whole India because of your experience with me. So we should always be aware while travelling abroad because you are the ambassadors of your country when you’re travelling abroad, especially.
I believe you are also an inspiration for many people in your network. Especially looking at all the comments and your follower base and we at NomadMania, often receive messages from people who say they don’t know how to travel or they don’t have money, and so on. What would you recommend to such people, mostly young people who want to see the world, but who probably don’t enough financial means but have a desire for travel.
I think NomadMania is an example already because the travellers I have seen in NomadManiaMedia are not people who were super rich or anything like that, like.I had a friend, my friend from Germany, Sasha Grabble. He used to travel on a budget, like he used to spend like $5 a day and he was travelling all around the world. So I don’t think money is the problem. I think the problem is they don’t want to get out of the house. You know, they are in their comfort zone and if they complain, then you can just complain all the time. But if you really want to travel, I think you can travel and I don’t think money is a problem. Money is a requirement, but you don’t have to have a lot.
I started traveling with a budget of maybe 15-20 dollars per day in my early days.
I think that is very normal but Sasha is something extreme (laughs) and he travelled in a time where there was no internet. He travelled in the 1980s. I cannot imagine travelling now without Google Maps, you know? So these are the examples of people that you already have NomadMania so those are the inspirations, bigger inspirations, that I think people should take.
So we are actually now in Ukraine. In a place that most travellers don’t even think of coming. But you have spent a couple days. What are your first impressions of Ukraine?
I’m loving my time in Ukraine. This is not what I had expected before coming to Ukraine. The kind of experience I’m having, I’m telling you, Ukraine is very safe right now, especially in Lviv. You can pretty much travel independently here. All the hostels and hotels are working perfectly fine. Your debit card ATMs are working fine. And when you have somebody like Orest, your trip is even better!
To end off, this is our signature question in NomadMania. If you had the chance to invite three people, these could be someone from history or people who are alive now, who would those people be?
Wow, it’s a difficult question. I would choose a traveller who has travelled the world in the days when there was no connectivity that probably used to travel by walking. I would want to talk to somebody like that because that is of my interest. Number two would be somebody like Dalai Lama who has philosophical knowledge of the world. The third would be an entrepreneur like Marco Polo, somebody who was building international trade routes.