So Christmas gifts come in many forms and one of these was in my inbox today
A mention in the The Way, the online magazine of the Wandertrails travel portal.
Wandertrails is an experiential travel platform which enables the discovering, booking and experiencing of the stays and activities across over 65 destinations in India.
This is what I had to say in my e-interview with them –
1) What does travel mean to you?
Travel means the World to me. And though that may sound like a pun or a cliché, that is exactly how I feel about the exhilaration and freedom when I cross borders and break boundaries … both geographical as well as those of the mind. Since my father was in a transferable job, my childhood was spent moving from one place to another, ending up in a new city almost every two years. While on one hand, this made me feel like I was without roots and yearn for the stability of staying put in a single place, on the other, it made me unable to remain still for too long. So far, I have travelled to around 20 countries with my family, also in an attempt to get my children to expand their horizons and get out of their comfort zones.
2) Is there a place you’ve always wanted to go to for Christmas? Why?
There is really no place like home when it comes to celebrating festivals. And nothing can replace home-cooked festive meals, surrounded by family and age-old traditions. But if I were given a choice (and a fully-paid trip and extremely warm clothing, of course), then Rovaniemi in Finland would be where I would ride my sleigh to. This city in Lapland, Finland, is shaped like a reindeer head, complete with antlers and all. Trivia like this tends to influence my decisions. Known as the official home of Santa Claus, the Santa Claus village here is open year round, complete with elves, reindeer and of course the man himself.
3) Which was your most memorable Christmas trip? Tell us more about it.
Christmas was mostly spent at home and there was never much travel associated with it. But there have been instances of visiting family in other cities or journeying to a Christmas wedding in another place. A Goa wedding that I attended would qualify as memorable because Goans truly know how to celebrate. And when they have multiple reasons to do so, the bash just gets bigger and better. The seafood, the roasts, the curries and the sweets make for endless eating … and of course there is the drinking! Holidays at the homes of my aunts and cousins in Mangalore and Bombay also used to be exciting for us.
4) How do you think travel blogging has changed over the past few years?
It is only in July 2017 that I began travelling solo and blogging to document my trips. While I wouldn’t be an authority on saying what path travel blogging has taken in recent years, from what I can figure out, I’d say the progress of technology and the use of social media have pretty much changed the game. Instant uploading of photos, live coverage of events and documenting the travel via various media like Instagram, Twitter and YouTube are what have seen a surge in the recent past. Travel blogging has also become commercialized. Resorts, hotels and airlines are willing to pay to be showcased and promoted by bloggers who have a great social media presence and influence.
5) What advice would you like to give to aspiring travel bloggers?
Just take the plunge and begin with a place you’re comfortable with. It could be the nearby hills, a farm or a plantation on the outskirts of your city. It’s the experience of leaving home and exploring a new place that matters.
Don’t wait to design the ultimate blog before you start posting. Personally speaking, I took the plunge with a blog that was and is still functional, after years of wishing for perfection to land at my doorstep (or my computer screen). Creating content is the main responsibility of the blogger. Everything else can be outsourced and designed in due course. Don’t worry about writing a fancy story; sometimes simple and clear narration is enough to catch someone’s attention. Make your posts informative with necessary facts like the best time to visit a place, what to carry, how to get there and any other helpful facts. Use your smartphone to record conversations or ideas so that you never lose important details or phrases. Learning photography and videography can be fundamental in helping you showcase your travels. Similarly, invest in good equipment. If possible, try to develop a signature style or theme, whether it is in text, format or pictures. For instance, whenever possible, I have a picture of myself on a deck lounger or hammock. Use social media to get noticed. Finally, be clear on what drives you to blog. Do what makes you happy because the moment it stresses you, you are missing the point entirely.
6) Could you share a link to one of the favourite posts on your blog?
The trip to The Raviz Resort and Spa, Ashtamudi at Kollam in Kerala will always have a special place in my heart not just because it was my maiden voyage as a blogger but because it also was one of the most beautiful places that I have visited. The hospitality was warm, the food was tailor-made to suit my tastes and the activities were extremely enjoyable. The large iron lamp by the waterfront kept me fascinated by its likeness to a Christmas tree and drew me to take umpteen pictures of it.
Currylines: Raviz Ashtamudi – Part 1 – Overview
Check out their exciting website here – www.wandertrails.com
And this is the link to My Article in The Way, Wandertrails
Thank you Narayan Menon of Wandertrails, for this opportunity to showcase my thoughts on travel.
Click here for my Facebook post on my article in The Way, Wandertrails
Dec 24th, 2018