You Will Not Travel in the Same Way After Reading This! Live the Change – a Hitchhiking Rendezvous With Your Own Self

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Book Review of Live the Change: A travel tale of a twenty-something-year-old earthling by Neha Ballal

Do you know which is truly the real and possibly the only ideal way to live? Simple. Play it by the ear. Take life as it comes in your stride. Enjoy every moment. Well, that is definitely the ideology shared by the writer of Live the Change: A travel tale of a twenty-something-year-old earthling by Neha Ballal, a unique and of its kind.

Live life fully so that you get a chance to be the change you want to bring about in your life as well as those of others.

Indeed, life is a beautiful journey waiting to be lived on its own terms and also to be perused as minutely as possible. One may argue that what is so brilliant about that, I mean don’t we all do it? No, I guess not as we constantly seem to be running behind those material things which are only of superficial importance at the end of the day, overlooking the little joys of life in the process. What is important is to really take a minute, pause and see what is it that exists around us and revel and indulge in the beauty of nature around us.

In case you are wondering what has gotten into me today, well a travelogue I recently finished made me latch onto this simple yet biggest perception in life and how! Yes, sometimes the simplest of expeditions and journeys were undertaken to give you such joy, experience and wisdom in life that you are left with much more than where you began. 

Do you know the best thing about Neha Ballal’s latest book Live the Change? Well, it is a travelogue I have read like no other. From the simplest of her pursuits like riding a Bullet for the first time right to staying in the most basic of accommodations like mud houses, Neha has encapsulated not only her travels but her experiences which are worth their weight in gold. It was absolutely endearing to read her experiences right from her trysts in the Himalayas to how she helped build homes right to how she got closer to nature and animals too, pursuing the true endowments of nature in a manner we seldom do. I mean sure when one speaks travel what usually might come to your mind is an exotic bucket list of sorts where there is a lot of “planned” sort of adventure, with activities synthetic-man made designed to give you entertainment yes, but not the experience you may truly seek. Ever heard of the term hitchhiking? Well, that truly is the way to be, to travel, to explore and roam about freely, no strings attached, living to your heart’s content. Sometimes, the basic, most rudimentary ways of life living are the ones best enjoyed as you tend to live and “breathe through those moments”, truly discovering life, nature and your own self too, in the process. 

I felt absolutely smashing the way she narrates her adventures. Be it her Ahmedabad travels, her chronicles of Goa, Leh, Hampi, Nainital, Sikkim as well as Nepal, I could virtually feel myself present in these places, travelling, no wait floating alongside her as she seemed to be seamlessly gliding away, pausing to soak in the place, its beauty and enjoying the process in the meanwhile, carefree, unburdened and unthinking of anything else. There was a brilliant feel to her narrative, be it the travels, the stays, or the experiences, everything was absolutely off the hook, natural, unfiltered and beautiful. And yes, there even was a portion mentioning her tryst with the entire period of Covid19 and how she began to take life in a much different manner during as well as post the pandemic.

I liked the camaraderie between her and her besties Yamini and Krithika whom she has mentioned in the acknowledgements too. There was so much warmth in the manner she depicted her tete-a-tete with them, the way she takes their opinions while her pursuits were endearing and made me remind of my cousins and the fun times we used to have back then. Really, that is what life is truly about, a colourful kaleidoscope of vibrance, flamboyance and all those things which truly make life beautiful and worth living.

A travelogue like no other, this one was also apt and comprehensive enough to give the do’s and don’ts of travel, what one needs to keep in mind, what to avoid and how to go about undertaking the best possible travels. An absolute Pandora’s box this one was fun, frolic, adventure, and life all rolled in one big jumbo. An amazing piece of writing.

Live the Change

Neelam Sharma
Author: Neha Ballal

Writing Style


This is the story of an average twenty-something-year-old girl who has travelled a little more than an average girl with a little less than an average income. From learning to ride a Royal Enfield on the Manali Leh highway to learning how to swim in the river Tungabadra where a dead crocodile showed up one day. From living in a tent during peak winter for two months in Nepal while volunteering to build a school to segregating garbage for five months in a remote high-altitude village in Uttarakhand while teaching about waste management in schools. From getting locked out in the fire escape staircase of a five-star hotel in Goa to being offered money by the lady standing behind in the line to buy a packet of milk when counting coins to pay for it in Sikkim, this travelogue is an honest tale about all the misadventures the author has faced during her travels. 


So, hope you guys liked reading my thoughts about this travelogue called Live the Change by Neha Ballal. Stay tuned for the best in the field of entertainment, travel, lifestyle, food, finance, tech and gadgets as well as all things bookish. Only here at Booxoul, India’s best book review and lifestyle website.

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Adios Amigos!

This blog post is part of the blog challenge ‘Blogaberry Dazzle’ hosted by Cindy D’Silva and Noor Anand Chawla.

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  1. Pooja August 26, 2022 at 4:44 pm

    Travelogues for me are best when they are your own personal story. Which is why I have never really connected with someone else’s travelogue… but when you come to think of it, life is a journey and when people write about their own lives it’s a travelogue of sorts! I loved your review of this book , so I’m going to put it in my TBR list and give this travelogue a shot.

    1. Kaveri Chhetri August 29, 2022 at 7:00 pm

      Wow!!! the book sounds too adventurous to be true😉. And your review as usual Neelam is nothing short of an amazing piece of writing… the language, the clarity of thoughts, your rhythm… all superb👌

  2. Manisha Garg August 27, 2022 at 6:21 pm

    I wasn’t aware of this book but your review really looks good. I will surely get my hands on this one, thanks.

  3. Samata August 27, 2022 at 9:36 pm

    Travelogues I like a lot because i love traveling it open up new avenues to witness and explore a destination better. After reading your review of this book I am confident that I am going to love it and enjoy every bit of it. Travelogues are not just typical story or poetry ones….. its something different bringing you very close to nature and the destinations beauty and specialty.

    1. Flavia Cutinho August 29, 2022 at 9:11 pm

      The depth with ur review is a mist to sneak peak tru this book. I love travel from the field so definitely the book will hold a very good position when it comes to me enjoying it.

  4. Smita Saksena August 28, 2022 at 12:02 am

    The book seems to be an interesting one. Your lovely review made me feel like to read it and am going to order it soon.

  5. Jeannine August 28, 2022 at 7:22 am

    That adventure sure is interesting! Reading some of her misadventures though makes me think twice if travelling to places like those are worth it. Nevertheless, you can never tell unless you’ve been there too and the lessons you learn on the journey is something no one can take away. It’s truly one of a kind. This is one story that can easily be made a documentary and give interest on TV viewers.

  6. Neeta Kadam August 28, 2022 at 9:25 am

    I do like to read travelogue. Your review is really good. Would like to read how she survive in tent in peak winter, and how she swim in crocodile lake. Really intresting. Go to my reading list is sure.

    1. Swati Mathur August 30, 2022 at 8:53 pm

      Travelouge is something I personally enjoy especially when it comes from experience of their own. Will surely check out this book as your review is to the t.

  7. Harjeet Kaur August 28, 2022 at 6:18 pm

    Wow..travelling like this is a dream for me. I had my son at 20 and started travelling only after i reached 50. One of my friends in Mumbai is a rider, and she started at 35. I will surely do this in my next birth. You have given a raving review and I am sure the travelogue is as interesting.

  8. Anjali Tripathi August 28, 2022 at 8:12 pm

    Travel books can change the way you explore the world, and your review makes it sound exciting. I’d like to read about how how she swam in Crocodile Lake and all the other adventures she faced. Very intriguing. This book is certainly going to be on the reading list.

  9. Shail August 29, 2022 at 2:13 pm

    My husband and I love travelling to the Himalayas. The review written by you gives a perfect picture of the book and the character living her life. I could picture her riding the bullet across the mountains. I am definitely getting this book. Thanks for the review!

  10. Madhu Bindra August 29, 2022 at 7:00 pm

    I don’t usually read travelogues but your review is tempting me to read this one. It sounds really interesting.

  11. Ritu Bindra August 29, 2022 at 10:59 pm

    Another 5-star from you and this one looks like a must-read. I enjoy reading travelogues but have had mixed experiences. I love the theme of this one. Adding it to my TBR to pick it up soon. Thanks for sharing a detailed review.

  12. Nikita Jhanglani August 30, 2022 at 12:03 pm

    Travelogues are perhaps the oldest unread genre in my TBR now! God knows when I’ll get around to picking one. A very well-written review 🙂

  13. Neha August 30, 2022 at 12:14 pm

    Thank you for sharing this book review looks quiet interesting, would surely like to read this one

  14. Docdivatraveller August 30, 2022 at 1:42 pm

    This sounds really adventurous but a bit far too adventurous for me! I have been a safe player/traveller throughout my life and have never travelled solo. Hitchhiking much as it sounds thrilling, I may never experience it in my life ever!

  15. Varsh August 30, 2022 at 1:55 pm

    Girls’ travelogues somehow are more fun to read their guys since their experiences are different. I enjoy reading them a lot. This book seems like a fun read and has a lot of takeaways for people like me.

  16. Monidipa Dutta September 1, 2022 at 9:17 pm

    I have stopped reading travelogues since a year, but this looks enticing and Neelam your reviews always impress me.

  17. Jhilmil D Saha September 2, 2022 at 2:21 am

    Ok, to be honest, I don’t quite enjoy travelogues. However, I have never heard of such adventurous travel tales too. This surely garners a lot of interest.

  18. Vasumathi September 5, 2022 at 4:56 pm

    That is the thing about reviews. They can make one want to pick up the book. Your excellent review shows how much you enjoyed this travelogue. Though not my kind of read, iam tempted to try it.

    1. Rekha Bhagtani October 16, 2022 at 2:08 pm

      Thanks for your appreciation Vasumathi. Go on and try it and am sure you will not be disappointed ya.

  19. Noor Anand Chawla January 18, 2023 at 11:18 pm

    Seems like an interesting read. Thanks for the review!


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