Sarina Singh has challenged and changed the definition of travel. She is an internationally published journalist, travel columnist, and guidebook author. She has written about many countries (with a speciality in the Indian subcontinent) and is a regular writer for BBC’s world-famous Lonely Planet. She is an Australian writer of Indian descent who makes each journey memorable for us by taking the road less travelled – always going that extra mile – and encouraging us to look upon the world with brave new eyes.
Welcome to Blogcritics, Sarina. When and where was your first overseas trip?
It was when I was six months old – from Fiji to Australia. My father, who was born in Fiji, studied medicine in Melbourne and worked as a doctor in the South Pacific for a few months (during which I was born) before permanently moving the family to Australia. Of course I was too young to remember that epic journey, but it appears that travel was destined for me right from the start.
Apart from return visits to Fiji, my next international trip was when I was five years old, to the United States. I remember it igniting my fascination for airports…To this day I find airports immensely intriguing – i.e. the whole metaphorical notion of being ‘In Transit’. I love watching people. Especially in-between destinations.
Did you start your career as a travel journalist? If not, what transformed you in that direction?
No, I actually completed a Business degree at university and was all set for a career in commerce. However, after a trip to Egypt (aged 19) I knew that upon graduation I had to pack my bags and continue crossing oceans…And so I travelled for five years before returning to Australia. I left Melbourne as a business graduate and returned as a writer.
How long have you been associated with Lonely Planet? How many assignments have you done?
My very first guidebook for Lonely Planet was a (wonderfully challenging) first edition to Rajasthan, which I co-authored with another Australian writer, Michelle Coxall. It was published in 1997 and was very successful. Since then, I’ve authored around 30 books including eight editions (six as Senior Author) of the best-selling guide to India. Other books include Pakistan & the Karakoram Highway, Mauritius, Reunion & the Seychelles, Australia, and Africa. I also write a monthly column for the Lonely Planet Magazine (India) and am frequently interviewed about all things travel.