With Wanderlust's annual World Guide Awards just around the corner, we chat to shortlisted guide Bhupendra Sharma
Mountain/desert/jungle/ocean which are you?
First travel experience?
As I have been working in travel for the past 20 years I have had many different experiences, but my favourite has to be spotting 23 tigers in one trip in 2004.
It would have to be from Chitwan to Pokharain Nepal as it has such a beautiful landscape.
Top five places worldwide?
Varanasi, India; Pokhara, Nepal; Edinburgh, Scotland; Blue Lake, South Australia; Chiang Mai in Thailand and Cambridge, England.
Special place to stay?
Orcha in India.
Three items you always pack?
A torch, a first aid box and a couple of multi-country adapters.
Passport stamp you're proudest of?
Canada and the UK.
Passport stamp most like to have?
Canada and the UK again – I’d like to go back to both!
Who is your ideal travelling companion?
People aside, I always take my laptop and some books!
Best meal on the road? Worst?
Two years ago we had a flat tyre between the Varanasi-Sonoli Border. Our trip was delayed, which meant we were late for lunch. I walked to the nearest village 2km away and all I could find was a few fresh samosas and a bunch of bananas. We were so hungry it was the best meal ever!
Most surprising place? Most disappointing?
The location of Orcha Resort is surprising. Fortunately, I am yet to be disappointed.
Who/what inspired you to travel? Any travel heroes?
I come from Bharatpur, which has produced a lot of tour guides who are all an inspiration to me.
What do you listen to on the road? Any song take you back to a particular time or place?
I don’t listen to music while I travel, especially when I am working. I need to keep my eyes and ears open!
What do you read?
I enjoy reading books about wildlife and religion.
What's the most impressive / useful phrase you know in a foreign language?
I have learned some of the Nepali language. When I use it in Nepal I find they get a big smile on their face. Especially when I ask: "Sanchai hun hun chcho?", which translates loosely to “How are you?”.
What is your worst habit as a traveller?
I always carry big bag pack! This actually comes in useful for my group members, as it contains binoculars, a first aid kit, torch, multi-country adapter, books and small change.
Snowbound in a tent in Antarctica, how would you entertain your companions?
I have not experience of places such as Antarctica but I when I get there I will not disappoint you.
When and where in your travels have you been happiest?
When I have stayed in in Orcha (India and Pokhara (Nepal).
What smell most says 'travel' to you?
The hospitality and relaxed nature in South Asia.
Given a choice, which era would you travel in?
I love travelling so I’d like travelling in all eras!
If you could combine three cities to make your perfect metropolis, what would they be? -
I need to see a few more to comment!
Bhupendra is one of four finalists in this year's Wanderlust World Guide Awards. The winner will be announced at a gala event at the Royal Geographic Society on October 4, 2012. Register for your free tickets now.
Sign up today for free and be the first to get notified of new articles, new competitions, new events and more!