Neeraj Narayanan aka Captain Nero quit his job in 2013 to chase his dreams of living a life full of adventures. Since then he has been to 25 countries, run with the bulls in Spain, deep sea soloed in the South China sea, lived with gypsies in a cave, climbed an active volcano and been chased by a bear in Croatia. In Delhi, he spends most of his time sleeping or taking people on heritage walks. Join this guy on a trip, sometime. Until then, read about them here and see what secrets he’s sharing with me today.
Last place you visited
In the last seventy five days, I have been on the road for 67 days. Since June, I spent 50 odd days travelling through Turkey, Greece and then the heart of the Balkans Albania, Kosovo, Montenegro, Bosnia, Serbia and Romania. Then after coming back to India and spending a week at home, I spent the next sixteen days in the mountains of Kashmir and Ladakh. I might be needing a holiday from a holiday now!
Three places on your travel wish list
South America, New Zealand and Antarctica. That is a lot of Tropic of Capricorn!
An unforgettable experience from a journey
Being lost in a forest in Thailand for three days and spending those days with five wild elephants. Initially, it started with me gingerly walking upto them and hoping they would not crush me. By the end of three days, I had learnt to mount them, climb up the trunk and sit on top, and bathe and feed them. One of the most beautiful experiences of my life.
Five things you always carry on holiday
I would love to believe I do not need many necessary things on a holiday. I want to stop carrying any phone soon enough. A camera and a set of clothes seem to be the only important things, besides a positive and open attitude and a desire to keep being overwhelmed.
Would you rather head to the beach, the mountains or city streets
I have always been a nature lover, so the first two attract me more. I do love smaller cities and towns too, though.
A place you’d like to visit again and again
Kotor (in Montenegro) looks like a picture postcard, arguably one of the prettiest places I have seen. But Bhutan is very close to my heart. I have lead four group trips there and they have all been very special.
A place you wish you hadn’t visited
That hasn’t happened to me yet. I want to go everywhere, and I think I will love them all.
A person (real/fictional) you’d like to go on holiday with, and where
Bear Grylls would always be a first choice. I love and look up to seemingly reckless adventurers, guys who are fearless and love nature and the outdoors. I would love to go on a trip with men like Bear or Will Gadd or Alex Hannold, to anywhere a mountain, an uninhabited island, a treacherous landscape, an intimidating jungle and live with them, and learn survival skills from them. That would be fantastic.
Your holidays are incomplete without
They are incomplete without me changing at least one plan last minute, incomplete without me having lived with at least one stranger, incomplete without me trying out at least one risky sport or adventure activity.
A stranger you met during a journey who you’re still in touch with
Well, I take people on group trips for a living. I am in touch with quite a few of them. From my solo trips, there are a couple of boys from America I met on an island in the South China Sea with whom I still talk online. And a couple of Spanish girls I met two years back.