Rashmee and Anant are highly talented travel photographers from Mumbai and they run a travel blogging page on Instagram called @travelwithsearats. Their knowledge and passion for off-the-beaten path destinations—especially the underwater kind—is impressive. And we’re delighted they’ve chosen to share their wisdom with us.
Over to Rashmee and Anant...
We seek adventure travel and love to push our mental boundaries. We’ve explored some of the best underwater destinations and unique unseen paths that have led us to have the best experiences of our lives. We wanted to share some of the things that we’ve learnt and some things we wish we knew more about when we started traveling and blogging.
The camera question
There are so many cameras out there that choosing the right camera can be a real pain. We have a list of the best kinds of cameras we use, which are also budget friendly and can capture an overall travel blogging experience.
DSLR: Our go-to camera for all our photography for the past two years has been Canon 80 D, though it has been replaced by better models now. With the option of changing lenses, DSLR cameras come in very handy when you want to photograph different perspectives. Some of the lenses we use are 50mm, 10-18 mm and recently purchased a 24mm. This kit helps us capture just about anything. To understand the effect different lenses have on your photography check out this post. Good options for DSLR and Mirrorless cameras: Canon M50 MK ii; Sony Alpha 6400; Panasonic LUMIX G7 (budget-friendly).
Point & shoot cameras: While we love our DSLR, the camera can get really big and bulky. And it can get a little invasive when we want to Vlog. So we got ourselves a Canon G7x MkII camera with a fixed zoomable lens. This is a small camera that fits in our pocket. Good options include Canon G7x MkII and Sony ZV-1.
Action Cameras: They are the smallest and the lightest type of cameras. Our GoPro Hero 7 action camera was extremely useful until we lost it in Morjim, Goa. All our underwater photos have been clicked with this camera and it also captures great underwater videos. The best feature: in-built stabilisation that makes all the footage super smooth. Good options include GoPro HERO9; Insta360 ONE X2; and DJI Pocket 2.
Pros and cons: DSLR cameras provide the best quality, and with interchangeable lenses you can shoot with different perspectives (wide, portrait and telephoto). But they are really bulky and can be expensive, especially when you factor in the cost of buying different types of lenses. Point and shoot cameras are great if you just want to keep it simple. Action Cameras are perfect for shooting POV style videos, underwater shots and can be used for normal vlogging. The downside: they shoot only wide angle shots—which restricts your story telling.
From swimming with turtles in Gili Trawangan to picking up coloured pebbles underwater in Hon Mun, Vietnam, we’ve swum the most beautiful parts of the seas in Asia. Here are some destinations to put on your post-pandemic bucket list:
The Nest, Gili Air: Located off the coast of Gili Meno, Indonesia, The Nest features 48 life-size casts of real people—created by a famous sculptor, Jason deCaires Taylor. The first time we saw these statues, it was a very eerie but beautiful feeling. In Jason's words “Nest is a bridge between the human and marine worlds. I hope people will visit it both as a piece of art and as an entrance point to the underwater world." The best bit: The underwater sculptures are just a short swim from a public beach.
Anse Lazio, Seychelles: With turquoise blue waters, white sand beaches and a tropical jungle, Anse Lazio is one of the most beautiful beaches we’ve visited during our many travels. Located in Praslin, Seychelles, this beach is a great spot for snorkeling and swimming—and great for beginners who want to explore snorkeling. You can also cliff-dive off the boulders at the end of the beach.
Shark Bay, Koh Tao: Koh Tao is a beautiful island, and we would spend our days visiting the equally beautiful destinations close by, including Shark Bay. It is made up of multiple huge boulders in the middle of the ocean, and offers a look at the extremely colourful underwater life, including black tip sharks who left us speechless. Note: These sharks are not dangerous and are quite friendly but it’s always better to witness wildlife from a distance.
And lastly, some travel wisdom we’ve learned kind of the hard way:
One: When you have to choose between your home currency (INR) or the local currency while making a card payment, always choose the local currency. While it is good to know how much it costs in Indian rupees, the information carries an extra fee. The reason: payment gateways charge you extra to convert your payment into your home currency.
Two: Before choosing an airline or making a seat selection, we check out SeatGuru for the most comfortable seats. It gives you a seat map of each airline, letting you know which is the seat with the best leg room, greatest width, or is least noisy. It also helps to know if you will be able to charge your phone, laptop etc at your seat—which makes a world of difference on long haul flights.
Three: This hack is kind of obvious but we don’t see many people use it. Whenever we travel someplace new, we save all our trips and itinerary on a custom Google map. We then download it so we can use it even when we don’t have connectivity. Google lets you pin all your destinations and map your entire itinerary. We did an epic 10-day trip to Sri Lanka this way and were just fine even when there was sketchy or no internet.
Note: This is NOT sponsored content. We use this section to spotlight the recommendations of people we trust and admire.