“Courage, sacrifice, determination, commitment, toughness, heart, talent, guts. That’s what little girls are made of; the heck with sugar and spice.” – Bethany Hamilton, Soul Surfer
Sugar and spice, mmm who are we talking about. No, we are not talking about the Powerpuff Girls. This quote fits Aparajitha perfectly. Aparajitha..who? You might not know her. You might not have read about her. You might not even heard her name. Because when we were busy doing our homework, she was already pursuing her passion.
Meet Aparajitha, the Indian Squash Superstar.
An MBA-graduate and a Professional Indian Squash player, her journey with the sport began at the age of 8 and her ambition to become the world’s number one player is already on course. Interestingly enough, Squash also allowed Aparajitha to travel the world and her Instagram pictures only mean that she enjoys every bit of her travel experience.
This Women’s day, we got up close with her and this is a note straight from her heart.
Her tryst with travel
Traveling gives me a sense of freedom and reassures that there is a world out to be explored. So many different people with different culture, lifestyle, and food. It’s an adventure I would never say no to. Honestly, I don’t remember much about my first travel experience. It was to Singapore and I was only 11 months old. But, my parents have always joked about how I enjoyed that trip and that travelling was meant-to-be for me.
Give us a glimpse into your recent vacation
My last trip was to Norway where I spent my Christmas. It was an amazing 10-day trip with my family. We started from Oslo and went all the way till Kirkenes crossing the arctic circle. The northern lights (Aurora Borealis) was the reason we chose Norway at this time of the year.
How do you balance travel and your career?
It hasn’t been entirely easy but I do my best to manage both equally. Though squash gives me a chance to travel, I go for matches and training which gives me less chance to go around. But, I do my best to utilise any chance I get.
A quick check on the countries visited
I have done about 30 international countries out of which 18 countries I have travelled to more than twice. Hoping to keep adding more each year.
How do you plan your vacations?
When it comes to vacations, I do about 2 to 3 international holidays a year. So, according to the season or the month, I decide the country and plan the trip. Or see if there is something unique about a particular country which is not present any other time of the year. For example, I chose Norway for the Northern Lights which are visible only in the winter. And, Tulip Gardens in Amsterdam during the summer because they bloom only two months in a year.
Any crazy experiences?
Tell us about your favourite travel companion
Frankly, I love travelling with my mom and sister. We have so much fun together. But sometimes I do love solo expeditions. They are so refreshing. It makes me feel so independent and confident.
If you are given a choice that you have to choose only one international destination to visit for the rest of your life, which destination will it be? And why?
I don’t think I can ever stick to just one destination and travel only to that. It’s not possible!
What’s next on your list?
Haven’t really decided but have shortlisted Croatia, Austria or Turkey.
Has travel changed you as a person?
Yes! Definitely, it has. It has given me so much exposure and independence, made me stronger and tougher. I now know that I can survive anywhere and face difficulties thrown at me. It has shaped me into who I am today.
A word of inspiration for our readers
Never be afraid of what if and what if not. No matter what, death is certain. All we have is one life, so enjoy it to the fullest. No regrets!
About the author
Aparajitha Balamurukan is an MBA graduate and a professional Indian Squash player. She has been involved in the sport for more than 15 years and loves juggling between her career and travel.