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Monisha Rajesh Podcasts

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5 of The Best Podcast Episodes for Monisha Rajesh. A collection of podcasts episodes with or about Monisha Rajesh, often where they are interviewed.

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5 of The Best Podcast Episodes for Monisha Rajesh. A collection of podcasts episodes with or about Monisha Rajesh, often where they are interviewed.

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Coronavirus and Predictions on the Future of Travel Writing from Paul Theroux, Monisha Rajesh, Rolf Potts, & More

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The novel coronavirus has brought the travel industry to its knees, its crash bringing the world of travel media along with it; and it would, as travel media is mostly an appendage of the travel industry itself. Case in point, the near-global paralysis of the travel industry has already resulted in the folding of some in-flight publications and the drying up of travel assignments and freelance opportunities. Travel writers across the globe are in a state of anxious uncertainty about how they will make ends meet, not just today when the need is the most urgent, but tomorrow when the dust settles. Travel bloggers, who generate income through traffic, ad revenue, and affiliate marketing, are also scrambling to protect themselves from the fallout.
Yet, with at least a third of the world on coronavirus lockdown, bookstores are reporting a surge in online sales. And my inbox is alerting me daily to new articles and blog posts recommending "the best travel books" for the vicarious or armchair traveler. Even Travel Writing World couldn't resist the urge. Surely travel book authors are seeing spikes in their sales, but with the global economy each day coming closer and closer to a standstill, one can't help but wonder how long it will last.
What will the post-coronavirus world look like for the travel industry and for travel writing, broadly speaking, when we unlatch our bunker doors and survey the landscape?
This was the question I asked a variety of writers in the travel writing space including well-published journalists like Jason Wilson and Amar Grover, renowned travel bloggers like Tim Leffel and Nomadic Matt, and travel book authors like Tim Hannigan, Jonathan Chatwin, Rolf Potts, Monisha Rajesh, and Paul Theroux.
Listen to the episode to hear what they have to say in this round-up episode of Travel Writing World—an unusual format for unusual times.
Paul Theroux was the only guest to submit a response via email, which I read at the very end of the episode and post below.
Paul Theroux
Paul Theroux, the well-known author of the recently-published On the Plain of Snakes, responded to my questions via email from Hawaii.
Travel Writing World: Commercial travel writing is in large dependent upon the travel industry. But with travel literature, if we could make such a distinction, the relationship is less direct. Do you have any insights into how commercial travel writing and travel literature might change as a result of the corona-crisis, if at all?
Paul Theroux: The "commercial travel writing" you mention is market-driven - intending to sell vacations, hotel rooms, restaurant meals, and it is nearly always up-beat. I don't disparage it, because it informs vacationers who have limited time to travel and services the travel industry. But "travel literature" - or let's say, "the literature of wandering" is quite different, low budget, somewhat open-ended, random and glorying in having a bad time full of life lessons. Your question is whether either of the two will change, and the simple answer is no - probably no change at all, because "travel writing" as a designation is maddening, and encompasses autobiography, mythomania, memoir, and topographical observation as well as adventures, exotic romances and ordeals. Of all of these I prefer to read about The Ordeal. By the way, Hawaii usually gets ten million visitors a year - and yesterday 120 visitors arrived. I have never seen Hawaii so empty.
TWW: What would you tell the aspiring travel writer whose plans are suddenly, if temporarily, grounded?
PT: Aspiring travel writers - aspiring writers of all kinds - need to be passionate readers - not of the new trend-spotting stuff but of the great novels and travel books. Ideally, this aspiring writer reads a biography of (say) Joseph Conrad or Jack London or Rebecca West - all three of whom were travelers - and then reads eight or ten books by Conrad or London or West. It so happens I have done this,
Apr 07 2020 · 1hr 53mins
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Around the World in 80 Trains with Monisha Rajesh

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In this episode, I speak with Monisha Rajesh about slow travel, trains, and her experiences as a woman of color on the road. We also talk about travel writing and her new book, Around the World in 80 Trains (Bloomsbury 2019).
Monisha is a British journalist and travel writer. She has written for publications like The Guardian, The Times, The New York Times, and TIME. In 2010, she traveled around India on trains during a 4-month span, which she reflected on in her first book Around India in 80 Trains.
If you're interested in train travel and travel as an independent woman, check out the episode and her book, which chronicles her trip from London and throughout the world.
Links from the show and more
Monisha Rajesh's Around the World in 80 TrainsMonisha Rajesh's Around India in 80 TrainsPaul Theroux's Great Railway BazaarJules Verne's Around the World in 80 DaysMonocle's "The Stack" Podcast Episode
Get in touch with Monisha Rajesh
Monisha Rajesh's Book WebsiteMonisha Rajesh on TwitterMonisha Rajesh on Instagram
More episodes & support
I hope you enjoyed this episode of the Travel Writing World podcast! Please consider supporting the show with a few dollars a month, less than a cup of coffee, to help keep our show alive and advertisement-free. You can also support the show by leaving a positive review on Apple Podcasts or in your favorite podcasting app, subscribing to the show, and following us on Twitter & Instagram. Finally, join the Travel Writing World newsletter to receive your free copy of The Travel Writer’s Guidebook. You will also receive monthly dispatches & reports with podcast interviews, travel writing resources, & book recommendations. Thanks for your support!
Intro music: Peach by Daantai (Daantai's Instagram)
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Aug 05 2019 · 56mins
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Around the World in 80 Trains with Monisha Rajesh

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Listen to the episode
In this episode, I speak with Monisha Rajesh about slow travel, trains, and her experiences as a woman of color on the road. We also talk about travel writing and her new book, Around the World in 80 Trains (Bloomsbury 2019).
Monisha is a British journalist and travel writer. She has written for publications like The Guardian, The Times, The New York Times, and TIME. In 2010, she traveled around India on trains during a 4-month span, which she reflected on in her first book Around India in 80 Trains.
If you're interested in train travel and travel as an independent woman, check out the episode and her book, which chronicles her trip from London and throughout the world.
Links from the show and more
Monisha Rajesh's Around the World in 80 TrainsMonisha Rajesh's Around India in 80 TrainsPaul Theroux's Great Railway BazaarJules Verne's Around the World in 80 DaysMonocle's "The Stack" Podcast Episode
Get in touch with Monisha Rajesh
Monisha Rajesh's Book WebsiteMonisha Rajesh on TwitterMonisha Rajesh on Instagram
Listen on YouTube
https://youtu.be/SAWcjMAADeI
More episodes & support
I hope you enjoyed this episode of the Travel Writing World podcast! Please consider supporting the show with a few dollars a month, less than a cup of coffee, to help keep our show alive and advertisement-free. You can also support the show by leaving a positive review on Apple Podcasts or in your favorite podcasting app, subscribing to the show, and following us on Twitter & Instagram. Finally, join the Travel Writing World newsletter to receive your free copy of The Travel Writer’s Guidebook. You will also receive quarterly dispatches & reports with podcast interviews, travel writing resources, & book recommendations. Thanks for your support!
Intro music: Peach by Daantai (Daantai's Instagram)
.ugb-d7bf5eb .ugb-block-content{justify-content:center}.ugb-d7bf5eb .ugb-button1{background-color:#0693e3;border-radius:4px !important}.ugb-d7bf5eb .ugb-button1 .ugb-button--inner,.ugb-d7bf5eb .ugb-button1 svg:not(.ugb-custom-icon){color:#ffffff !important}.ugb-d7bf5eb .ugb-button1:before{border-radius:4px !important}.ugb-d7bf5eb .ugb-inner-block{text-align:center}SUBSCRIBE TO THE PODCAST
Aug 05 2019 · 56mins
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Monisha Rajesh

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This week, Monisha Rajesh discusses with Ivan six things which should be better known.

  1. Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451 www.nytimes.com/2018/05/10/books/review/fahrenheit-451-ray-bradbury.html

  2. How easy it is to donate to local charities www.theguardian.com/money/2012/may/15/best-ways-give-charity-without-donating-money

  3. The British Empire should be taught in schools www.lrb.co.uk/v23/n14/linda-colley/multiple-kingdoms

  4. Emergency SOS dial on iPhones https://support.apple.com/en-gb/HT208076

  5. How important it is to travel to places of contention www.bloomsbury.com/uk/around-the-world-in-80-trains-9781408869758/

  6. Chocolate Guinness cake at Brett and Bailey at Crystal Palace market http://www.brettandbailey.co.uk/news/2016-04-12-we-make-londons-best-chocolate-guinness-cake

May 26 2019 · 28mins
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54. Monisha Rajesh; Around the World by Train, the Siberian Galapagos, the Death Railway from Bangkok, Fascinating North Korea and Tibetan Nuns with iPhones

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After writing Around India in 80 Trains Monisha Rajesh decided to tackle the whole world in 80 trains and left London on a journey that took in 45,000 miles across Europe, Russia, Mongolia, China, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Japan, Canada and America. Stopping at the world’s oldest lake in Siberia, taking the ‘death railway’ from Bangkok to Nam Tok and meeting Tibetan nuns with iPhones she has some wonderful, inspirational and entertaining stories for you in a conversation everyone who loves travel will just love. 

On this episode we cover:

How many trains it really took to do ‘Around India in 80 trains’ and ‘around the world in 80 trains’

Not having previously been a big train fan

Living in India for two years as a child

Her Indian heritage

Deciding to travel India on her own

India’s domestic airlines covering 80 cities

India’s amazing network of trains

80 cities became 80 trains

Trains became the life blood of her writing

How India can be quite hard work

How Indian people treated her

Not seeing women travelling long-distance on their own

Being invited into carriages to share food

The upside to being an insider and an outsider

Understanding cultural nuances

Travelling some of the way with her photographer friend

Feeling quite safe yet being cautious

Hearing about a growing rape culture in India

Being mindful of where you are

Lisa filming in the centre of Bangalore and attracting a crowd

People being curious about her

The best view in India

Rajasthan, the Golden Triangle - Jaipur, Jodhpur, Udiapur

Sunrise at Jaisalmer – one of the oldest working forts

India Raj era palaces, deserts, coconut groves, the greenness of Kerala, electrifying Mumbai, snow and glaciers in Ladakh

Returning to London and working for The Week Magazine

The isolation of writing a book

Being unable to replicate what she’d done in India in any one specific country

Being daunted by going around the world in 80 trains

The thrill of going from London to Asia overland

Staying overland all the way to Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam

Waking up on the trans Mongolian railway pulling into Beijing

The mesmerising changes of the landscape

Realising how linked we are to Asia

The no-mans land of Siberia and central Asia

Seeing the change in people’s faces and colouring

The food changing, packets of noodles appearing, food getting a bit spicier

How such a journey can change the way you see the world

Travel’s power to combat prejudice

How travel can be an escape but finding the similarities in people all over the world

Eurostar from St Pancras to Paris, Europe, Latvia, the overnight train to Moscow, four and a half days in excruciating heat across Siberia

The stunning Lake Baikal, in south-east Siberia, the oldest (25 million years) and deepest (1,700 m) lake in the world

Known as the 'Galapagos of Russia', 

Fresh water seals turning somersaults

Hiking trails around the mountains

Feeling far away from everything

The train from Siberia to Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia

Through the Gobi Desert

Conical hats and fisherman

The incredible feeling of arriving in Beijing in China after that incredible journey

Having the time and money to take the trans Mongolia

How the domestic Trans Mongolian isn’t so expensive

Travelling through the south of China to Hanoi in Vietnam

The phenomenal trip along the Reunification Express all the way down Vietnam – stopping in Da Nang and the stunningly perfect town of Hoi An

Trains being so cheap they could get off anywhere and come and go as they pleased

Taking the ‘death railway’ from Bangkok to Nam Tok

Allied prisoners of war being used by the Japanese to build the death railway

For every sleeper laid one man died

The ‘hellfire pass’ where the prisoners worked in excruciating circumstances

The monk who sat motionless for 8 hours on a delayed train

The special moment at sunset to the Bridge on the River Kwai

Banana pancakes by the broken down train on the track

How delays are part of travel

How you think travel will change you versus how it really does

People not talking to each other on the train in England

The journey to Birmingham on the train

The people she met along the way

The Tibetan nun on the train from North West China forever grateful to India for protecting The Dalai Lama

Visiting Lhasa, the Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple Monastery

The nun with the iPhone and her zest for life

Cambodia’s lack of trains after Pol Pot used them for the killing fields

Thailand, to Malaysia, to Singapore on train

Flying to Japan and onto Vancouver

Travelling across Canada and across the US by Amtrak

North Korea being one of the highlights of the trip

How North Korea is probably the most fascinating country she will ever visit

Pyongyang being a show case city

The North Koreans being detached and unwelcoming

The ten day train tour all around the country

How tourism is a growing source of income for North Korea

America and the UK selling arms to Saudi Arabia

Referring to all Americans as ‘American Imperialists’

Propaganda about Americans and Japanese

If having children clips your wings

Watching Game of Thrones whilst the whole train bottom gets changed

Pirated copies of books in India and other Asian countries

Taking a Kindle but not reading for fear of missing things

The curious border crossings that take 5-6 hours of lifting the train up between China and Mongolia

Travelling through the American deep south listening to jazz

Whiling away hours drinking mint juleps in New Orleans

The Sunset Limited train from New Orleans to Los Angeles

Jan 29 2019 · 44mins