Random Traveller #73 with Lavanya & Pawel of IcedChai

by Poi on March 16, 2012

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Welcome to round 73 of ‘Meet a Random Traveller’. The series dedicated to bring attention to fantastic people all around the world doing their thing.

Random Traveller 73

Who are you?
We’re Lavanya & Pawel, travellers from India & Poland. After years of travelling on short holidays during studies and then work, we decided that while those trips were great we definitely wanted more.
So after 2 years of dreaming, planning, saving – not to mention doing all this over Skype as before the trip Pawel and I were working in two different countries (Poland and Dubai) – in September 2011 we finally made the move and quit our 9 to 5 jobs, packed up our stuff and took off.

Langkawi Malaysia

Exploring the island of Penang, Malaysia on a motorbike.

You’re from India and he’s from Poland? How did that happen?
We often get asked this when people see us together, especially while travelling. The story started 5 years ago in India at my business school where Pawel came for a student exchange program and well… as they say the rest is history. Since then we’ve travelled together within India, Europe, Middle East and the rest of Asia.

Whats the story with IcedChai?
We knew we wanted to share our photos and stories with our friends and as our plans expanded we realized that it could be an interesting read even for other people looking for travel inspiration.
For the name we knew we wanted something quirky that would capture both our different Indian and Polish backgrounds and perspectives and IcedChai sounded perfect! ☺

Galungan, Bali, Indonesia

All dressed up for the local festival ‘Galungan’ in Bali, Indonesia

Did it come as a shock to those around you to learn of your plans?
Yes and no. While in Poland like the rest of Europe it isn’t uncommon for people to take gap years, in India it’s quite the opposite. The idea is almost unheard of and our decision to do this did generate a lot of surprise, interest and curiosity. Though everyone we know has been very encouraging about it, we still get asked a lot of questions about it from our readers, especially in India, about the hows and whys.

What’s the one thing that should have never made it into your backpack but you can’t throw out?
We have to admit that we tried to prepare for the trip in detail. It’s usually recommended that one should have a headlamp during your travels and in the spirit of planning I went and got myself a pretty nice (meaning expensive) one. Except that whenever I do need some light whether for reading or walking at night I always reach for the torch you have on these cheaper models of cell phones. The headlamp is yet to see any use after more than 6 months of travel! But no way I’m throwing it out just yet 😉

Melaka, Malaysia

Pawel try pidan in Melaka, Malaysia

What’s the weirdest food you’ve tried and would you have it again?
In Malaysia we came across strange, boiled, bluish coloured eggs which we later found out were called pidan or “thousand-year-old eggs”. They’re eggs that have been preserved for weeks, months or sometimes years! Since I have a particular dislike for any kind of boiled eggs be it regular or preserved, only Pawel tried it and surprisingly enjoyed it too! Only one of us would gladly have it again.

What’s Next?
It’s already been 6 months on the road for us and we’re planning to spend the last couple of months of our trip travelling on a motorbike from Vietnam overland to Cambodia and Laos, ending up back in northern Vietnam. We’ve never attempted this kind of travel before but are definitely looking forward to it!
After this trip is done, we plan to move to India for a while and work there. But since we don’t think we’re going to stop travelling anytime soon, the blog is definitely going to continue as India would be a perfect place for further travel adventures and stories!

A big thanks to Lavanya & Pawel for taking part, great to have you.

Be sure to check them out:
Blog:  IcedChai
Facebook: /IcedChai
Twitter: @Iced_Chai

Fancy being Random Traveller 74? Contact us.


{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Andi of My Beautiful Adventures March 17, 2012 at 6:17 am

Off to check out your website, love the name!


Jackie March 18, 2012 at 9:36 am

Love the name too.. very original and relevant and catchy.
Excellent blog too, fantastic success with your adventures..

Best Wishes



Audrey | That Backpacker March 18, 2012 at 7:40 pm

I like the photos, especially the one in Bali! That’s picture perfect. 😀


Lavanya March 19, 2012 at 10:14 pm

Thanks everyone! 🙂 We’re really happy to be featured here too!
@Andi – Glad to connect with you!
@Jackie – thank you so much! 🙂

@Audrey – That’s one of my favourite pics too! 🙂


Sarah March 20, 2012 at 9:21 pm

These guys are my favourite!


leosmith April 3, 2012 at 2:59 pm

I like the photo Lavanya & Pawel, quite interesting trip travellers from India & Poland..nice one
Can put some videos also ..visit nearby…
Central London hotel


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