An Interview with YouTuber and Travel Blogger Harish Bali
He smiles slightly, as if suppressing a full-blown grin, and describes in his characteristic voice the complex geography of the chicken cafreal that he will delve into. The excitement floods his face and as the slight traces of the crow’s feet deepen, the joy of seeing Harish Bali nod in the affirmative and let out a sonorous sigh of satisfaction comes alive. I contend that the man in a crew cut and neatly ironed half-sleeve shirt who got single-digit likes up to nearly 950,000 subscribers three years ago failed to notice how iconic he has become.
In terms of the area covered, Bali hasn’t done anything that others haven’t. But you probably saw him while exploring the World Wide Web during the pandemic – when you followed a group of Rajasthani farmers into a field to see where what he just ate was born. Speed down the snow in Manali and scream like a child with excitement; Explain the hotel room prices in Gangtok in the simplest way and embark on a complex journey through Kumaon as if he were born.
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Aside from the fact that it wasn’t – Bali, which accidentally launched its Visa2Explore channel on a family trip to Mussoorie in 2016/17, owes its success to its sales experience. “I started doing technology tutorials on my first channel. But there is a difference between what interests you and something that is your passion. It was around this time that I found things were moving at a less than ideal pace, and it was around this time that my wife and I traveled to Mussoorie, where, without even thinking about starting a channel, we watched our first video on a recordings mobile phone. That was the genesis of Visa2Explore, ”he recalls.
Bali is nothing special. He doesn’t prance through the main streets of New York or Vienna. He does not discover any Hindu temples in Muslim countries and does not pet any goat children in the remote Himalayas. He doesn’t make uncomfortable jokes to break the ice with the viewer or to make filler small talk with himself to seem like hot stuff that’s still commonplace. His videos last anywhere from fifteen to thirty minutes and generally offer detailed guide to the place, an in-depth exploration of the food and must-see destinations – all man-style. It’s the perfect fallback snack for fattening up when travel is slowly recovering.
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Those who have followed Bali have seen it move from inconsistent video quality and choppy audio to a standard that is increasingly reminiscent of the Rick Steves style, just more Desi and Au Naturel. “In the beginning I was used to one or two or a maximum of five calls a day. We loved to see 70 views one fine day. At that point, we realized that there was an audience for what we were doing. “Today, having covered 22 states, Bali retains its childlike curiosity and first-time traveler charm.
He remembers day trips within Delhi and short short breaks to destinations in neighboring countries with a colleague he had trained in videography and editing. “I realized that I couldn’t handle the camera, present videos, and then edit. You can’t talk in front of the camera and at the same time worry about whether the camera is switched on at all or whether things like lighting and the aperture are okay, ”he explains.
What impresses the viewer is the access to the man he is watching on the screen. The other reason for this is the sheer ease with which Bali makes connections with people on its show, minus any millennial blogger shows. The credit for this goes back to his sales background, he agrees, and then to the fact that he prefers actual interaction over social media. “It’s an age where everyone has a thousand friends on social media, but I believe in making a more organic connection. Meet someone, spend a few days with them, and that’s how you get to know them, “he says, adding,” I find it very easy to make friends. People may not always be open to contact with everyone, but I’ve always received recognition after reaching out to them with my ideas. “
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Bali is known for patiently explaining the various aspects of its trip, from food reviews to bad weather, to sighing with a familiar wonder when faced with pristine views, exclaiming “what the moment” or exactly which one Spice the “changing” game of a recipe. “Even I didn’t know how much I loved food until I started traveling extensively as the scope of our trip increased from the 200 km radius we knew. While a Lachcha Parantha used to upset us all, now we are just as excited about the cuisine in Goa, Meghalaya and Assam, ”he says with the same sociable energy.
In his videos, Bali’s open and slightly self-deprecating admission that due to his weight, adaptability as a North Indian man eager to pronounce umngot, he is unable to paraglide, or he is just impressed by the unspoiled joy Drinking coconut water on a Kerala beach – mark him as a uniquely rising figure in the travel blogger realm. Next on his list is Himachal. But many people often ask him if he will ever report on international travel, and Bali tells us that he would like to travel to the picturesque landscapes and delicious cuisine of Nepal and Bhutan first and make a series about it.
As the journey slowly begins again, the man approaches her cautiously. He recently traveled to Mukteshwar, Kumaon to observe all security protocols, and posted the video a few days ago. “I’ve had my team members cleaned up to the point where they’ve even been annoyed, but it’s necessary. We have to be very careful and be aware of the danger around us. Always wear masks as we would neither travel to give nor get the virus. We as a team are also working on strengthening our immunity, ”he says, holding his salad bowl in front of the camera.