Running on the Edge: Milind Soman
National Geographic Traveller India|November 2020
CLIMBING MOUNT KILIMANJARO, MUNCHING ON INSECTS, OR DIVING INTO THE FREEZING WATERS OF ICELAND—THE MODEL, ACTOR, AND ATHLETE’S FAVOURITE KIND OF TRAVEL IS SWEATY, AND ALMOST ALWAYS SHARED WITH THE LOVE OF HIS LIFE
SOHINI DAS GUPTA

Tree lover and running person,” reads his Instagram bio. The deceptively disciplined rectangles of his photo gallery are spritzed with the colour and chaos of a free spirit...hiking, diving, running all over the world. Actually, make that two free spirits. By his own admission, Milind Soman’s favourite travel partner also happens to be his partner in life, Ankita Konwar. He loves the thrill of committing to active sports in new countries, and she likes faraway places with stories to spill. Here’s how travel makes the lovers meet in the middle.

Your childhood years played out over a lot of different places—Scotland, London, and Mumbai. Do any of the places/travels stand out?

I travelled a lot because I was swimming competitively. But back then, it was never about the place. I was travelling for organised events. At that age—I could have been 13 or 14—all I cared about were the swimming pools. And my family wasn’t with me. When you’re older you travel because you want to experience something particular. As a child you don’t know enough to be interested in the place or culture or food. But what was interesting about that kind of travel was meeting new people from different cultures, from all over the country, who were doing the same as me. I met swimmers from Kerala, Delhi, Punjab, Gujarat.

When did you start travelling mindfully?

About two years ago. After I grew up, sometimes I’d be travelling for 20 days a month. But even then, I was travelling for work. Anything that I saw happened by the way.

That changed after I got married. My wife loves to travel. I mean, I do too, I’d look at those monuments, but I must also find something interesting to do. A marathon, a triathlon, an adventure sport, a hike—some activity that becomes the focal point of that trip. Jerusalem, for instance, has such an incredible energy of faith and belief. But of course, I went there to run the Jerusalem Marathon. At the end of 2019, we travelled to Japan for ‘The Last Long Run’, 120 kilometres from Tokyo to Mount Fuji. It wasn’t even an organised public event, we created it and got other people to join. We spent 10 days there and did all sorts of other things, but these are the triggers that take us places.

Any similar plans on your bucket list?

I’ve always wanted see the Grand Canyon. But again, I don’t want to just stand there and take pictures of the sunset. We hope to do the rim-to-rim hike—start at the North Rim, go into the Canyon, go across it, and then come out of the South Rim. It’s very famous and everyone going there knows about, but not many attempt it. If I’m travelling all the way to America, it has to be for something special like that.

So you want to run your run in faraway lands, but your wife likes to soak in the places. How does that work?

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC TRAVELLER INDIAView All

Where To Find Some of the World's Best Chocolate

ECUADOR’S SUSTAINABLE, LOCAL PRACTICES HAVE HELPED THE COUNTRY MAKE A CACAO COMEBACK—AND CHOCOLATE LOVERS CAN SHARE IN THE SWEET REWARDS

5 mins read
National Geographic Traveller India
December 2020

UNDER THE MOUNTAIN SHADOW

A remote and modern Georgian hotel goes out of its way to show off the spectacular hinterland that encompasses the property

5 mins read
National Geographic Traveller India
December 2020

MODERN LITERATURE & GRAND HOTELS

The Plaza Hotel might have been Fitzgerald’s true love, while Ritz Paris had Hemingway’s heart. Why did glamorous hotels evoke such passion in the greatest writers of a generation? We run through years of colourful history

10+ mins read
National Geographic Traveller India
December 2020

TRAVEL TO REVIVE SMALL BUSINESSES

“PLUNGED INTO ECONOMIC DISTRESS IN 2020, CHARIDA’S CHHAU-MASK-ORIENTED ECONOMY AWAITS A NEW LEASE OF LIFE. SO SNAG SOME PAINTED VISAGES, JUST THE DRAMA FOR STAID URBAN SPACES.”

6 mins read
National Geographic Traveller India
December 2020

TRAVEL TO RESTORE AND RECONNECT

“WE JUMPED OUT OF THE CAR TO SPOT BLUSHING PINK AND MILK-WHITE LOTUSES, RISING FROM MURKY WATER AND BRINGING TO MIND: ‘FROM DARKNESS STEMS LIGHT’.”

5 mins read
National Geographic Traveller India
December 2020

Priya Krishna: Cheering on Indian-ish food

THE INDIAN-AMERICAN CULINARY WRITER DISCUSSES ALL THINGS CULTURE, CUISINES AND BEING THE PERSPECTIVE SHE WANTED TO READ

10+ mins read
National Geographic Traveller India
December 2020

Of Sun, Sand and the Sea

ARCHITECTURAL MARVELS, CHARMING TRADITIONAL VILLAGES AND VARIED, NATURAL LANDSCAPES PERVADE OMAN’S TOPOGRAPHY LIKE THE FRANKINCENSE-INFUSED SMOKE THAT RISES FROM THE REGION’S HOUSEHOLDS. THE MIDDLE EASTERN COUNTRY EMBRACES ARABIA’S ANCIENT SOUL, WHILE LOOKING AHEAD AT A FUTURE, IN WHICH IT EMERGES AS A RISING HOLIDAY DESTINATION

1 min read
National Geographic Traveller India
December 2020

MINIMAL FOOTPRINT

“IN 2021, LET THE HIMALAYAS BREATHE AND PLAN SOME LOW CARBON FOOTPRINT ADVENTURES IN THE SAHYADRIS OF MAHARASHTRA.”

10+ mins read
National Geographic Traveller India
December 2020

A Traveller's Eyes in the Skies

DRONES GAVE US SOME OF THE MOST STIRRING IMAGES OF A PANDEMIC YEAR, WATCHING OVER OUR BEREFT PUBLIC SPACES AND PLACING THE EVERYDAY IN A STARK, NEW LIGHT

6 mins read
National Geographic Traveller India
December 2020

Conscious Wildlife Travel

“As with any interaction with nature, the only way to do it is to be mindful of not taking up more space than absolutely required.”

4 mins read
National Geographic Traveller India
December 2020
RELATED STORIES

An Alternative Way To Get Burned

YieldStreet pitches investments you can’t get elsewhere. That’s not always a good thing

6 mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek
May 11, 2020

PURE SIMPLE WARMTH

Designed by Ankita Jain and Dhwanil Patel, this 3,500sqft home in Ahmedabad has a delicate patina that is very endearing

1 min read
GoodHomes
November 2020

I feel blessed that I could play in tournaments amid Covid-19: Ankita

Tennis champ Ankita Raina, India’s number one women's tennis player, is back to the country after almost three months.

2 mins read
The Times of India Hyderabad
December 05, 2020

A very different jamboree

We had always heard of Mandi Dabwali and its Jeeps. This time round Rahul Ghosh decided to delve deeper and even got a short drive in a rebuilt Jeep.

4 mins read
Auto Today
October 2020

Thinker Tailor

In an age of speedy obsolescence, what does it take to make a gadget live forever? Diwik Singh Chhalani, founder of the sustainable luxury speaker brand Diwiks, tells Nidhi Gupta about his vision for timeless technology

5 mins read
GQ India
October 2020

Decor In Full Swing

To feel the festive vibes, it is mandatory to create that environment around you. We have got creative minds and decor enthusiasts Neha Jhunjhunwala and Ankita Rai to get every inch of your home into a vibrant and colourful spirit

1 min read
The Ideal Home and Garden - India
September 2020

"मेरे लिए लौकडाउन अच्छी सौगात ले कर आया" अंकित अरोड़ा

जानेमाने अभिनेता अंकित अरोड़ा को आप ने टीवी पर कई बार देखा होगा, लेकिन शायद ही कभी उन के जीवन से जुड़े इन पहलुओं को जाना होगा, जानिए उन के बारे में सुनीअनसुनी बातें उन्हीं से.

1 min read
Mukta
July 2020

Alankit And IDP Launch Innovative Identity Solutions

Contactless, smart and seamless cards solution provider, Alankit has launched two new products – SOLID-510 and ID software ALSSEC-ID

3 mins read
Dalal Street Investment Journal
July 06 - 19, 2020

A FUTURE FILLED WITH HOPE

BINDU GOPAL RAO SPEAKS WITH CAMP DIARIES FOUNDER MILIND CHANDWANI ABOUT MAKING A DIFFERENCE IN THE LIVES OF CHILDREN FROM LOWER-INCOME COMMUNITIES

3 mins read
The Sindhian
July - September 2020

LIKE A SHADOW!

Ankita Kapoor is your 26-year-old quintessential girl. A decent corporate job and loving family and now an amazing fiancée she has everything she has ever wanted. Like every bride, Ankita has her own bridezilla moment and hiccups that keeps popping in from time to time. Planning a wedding can be stressful, we all know that. It’s just not planning but also taking care of your personal and mental health which we often take it for granted. If you ask Ankita now what is the one thing she needs the most, she will probably tell you that she needs somebody who can do all the planning and take the load off from her so that she could just enjoy this phase.

3 mins read
Wedding Vows
April - May 2020