Travelling teaches you a lot of things and it brings a lot of difference in the way you perceive things. In this blog, we have Shruthi who’s a Travel Blogger and a Creator on Gigsy speak about why travelling is essential and what it means to her.
Tell us something about yourself.
I always find this question interesting, there’s so much to tell. I am a bit of a chatterbox ha-ha. That was my nickname during my growing up days. I was born and brought up in Bangalore, India.
The ’90s was a good time to live in Bangalore, and the city was greener and prettier! The music culture was great. I had all the perks of an urban life. I come from a family of overachievers (at least that’s how it seems to me) and academically inclined people. My family members are either doctors, engineers, lawyers or bankers.
I think there are a couple of architects too. Many of my family members are Ivy League graduates. I was 15 years old when I decided to break the news to my parents that I’m not planning to become a doctor like my mom or an engineer like my dad and that I want to study business and become a marketer.
This meant I had to work very hard to show my strict Indian parents that I am serious about my choice of profession.
By the time I was 17 years old, along with trying to maintain my grades I had started working part-time with different event management companies. In the last decade, I have worked hard as a business consultant, salesperson and as a marketer. Earned a master’s degree too. But it wasn’t all studies or work for me.
I had also been involved in volunteering at animal shelters whenever I could and made donations towards animal and environmental causes as often as possible.
Midway into the final semester of my master’s degree (2015) while I was Brisbane, Queensland, I turned vegan with some support and encouragement from a dear friend who was also my flatmate.
Although at the moment I am a vegetarian by diet, I am working on going back to my vegan lifestyle. I believe I connect very deeply with nature and animals from the time I was really young.
What inspired you to become a travel blogger?
I have written an entire article about what inspired me, how and when I decided to become a travel blogger. You can find it on my website: https://www.backpackershru.com/my-story-and-inspiration-to-start-a-travel-blog/
Long story short – Although I was happy in my work life, I always felt like a piece of the puzzle was missing. There was a constant feeling that there’s more to me than living the life of a 9 to 5 job goer.
Maybe it was because of how less I had travelled for pleasure or because of not finding enough time to write.
I would write these snippets of fleeting thoughts or about a chapter from my life or about my time at the beach on my phone whenever I found the time. But these snippets remained on my phone for years. This had to change. I recently took a break from my busy work life, took a step back to think through the whole situation.
Added to this train of thought was a year old tragic incident that ended the lives of young and famous travel bloggers from Canada that really made me change my world view.
All the self-doubt that had built in me for years just vanished in minutes and like the way I decided to turn vegan overnight, I woke up one day and said “Heck! I’m starting my travel blog”.
I knew it was not going to be easy. I was neither a full-time traveler nor a full-time blogger and I had to fit my passion around my lifestyle but I was up for the challenge.
I wasn’t sure about how successful I would be as a blogger, but I knew I won’t regret it even a single bit if I could inspire a few people to take some time off from their mundane life to travel and create wonderful memories.
And so, my passion to travel and to write brought me to a point where I started building my blog.
What are your favourite places?
The answer to this keeps changing with time. New places get added to my list of favourite destinations because with each place, there’s something new to love and explore.
Some of my favourites are Tasmania, Australia; Coorg, India; Kerala, India; Kabini, India; Singapore and, my hometown – Bangalore, India. Right now, my dream destinations which are on my bucket list are Petra, Jordan and Transylvania, Romania.
Do you think places have a story to tell?
Yes!! Every place has a story to tell. Everybody connects differently to a place. Don’t you think everyone has a fond memory with one place or the other? It could be nostalgia for some. For others it’s about just being silent witnesses to the history, culture, and evolution of a place.
Each to their own. No one can experience or see a place through someone’s eyes. You can share stories about your experience to inspire others to travel and create their own stories. I intend to do this with the help of my blog.
How important is to follow your passion?
Extremely important if you want to feel like you lived a full life. I believe life is very short especially to work 30 to 40 years doing a job that one isn’t passionate about.
I don’t think I want to die feeling like I didn’t achieve my purpose or feeling unsatisfied. I don’t think anyone wants to either. While you’re still breathing, I urge you to take the risk of following your passion. I understand that it can be risky and scary, but it will be worth the try.
And most certainly you will feel younger and full of life. It’s important to be aware that if you’re passionate about something, it’s not necessary that you will be good at it from the start, but as you make mistakes you will learn from them and get better.
How do you think Gigsy is enabling creators to do what they love doing the most?
I think Gigsy is a great platform for creators to showcase what they love doing without putting in a lot of effort.
It’s a unique concept that helps bridge the gap between the creators and their fans without much noise that you find on Google or social media.
You know, a platform where creators don’t get lost in the crowd and where the audience doesn’t get distracted with all the advertisements displayed by others on their content is just amazing. What I find awesome is that setting up a profile is so easy and simple and a creator doesn’t necessarily have to build a website or a business page to display their work here!
Are there any tips that you would like to give to travel bloggers?
Yes there are 5 tips that I as a travel blogger follow and would suggest the same to others as well!
- Useful content – If you’re writing your blog like a personal diary, then no one apart from your friends and family will read it. Your content has to be useful if you’re looking for a lot of people to read it – filled with information that people will be looking for – like budget travel ideas, hotel recommendations etc.
- Simple vocabulary – Your audience can be anyone looking to quickly find some travel information from your blog or just travel ideas to get inspired or simply like reading entertaining and informative content while they are just browsing the internet. The narrative should flow well. You shouldn’t use too many big words and make your audience feel like they need to have a dictionary handy. Keep it simple and clear.
- Connect with your content – You are doing this because you’re passionate about it, don’t write just to sell. If there’s no passion then there are thousands of bloggers out there, and you will certainly feel lost in the crowd. Write only about things that you are passionate about and can connect with. Try to personalize your content, speak about your experiences and give tips – something that will actually help your readers. They won’t come back if they feel like your content adds no value to them.
- Social Media is your best friend – If you want to create awareness quickly or stay connected with your audience, then you need to create your social media pages, stay active on social media, and schedule posts regularly. But don’t waste too much time on social media. I literally schedule my posts for two days in one go and check comments or messages once a day.
- Choose a good web host if you’re building your WordPress– It’s very important! I struggled with a lot of hosting issues in the beginning and I had to manually backup all the content on my website before I changed my hosting provider and rebuilt the website. Wasted two days in the process. I recommend Bluehost – it’s cheap and easy to set up.
The End 🙂
We had a great time interviewing Shruthi and our perspective on travel has definitely changed!
Before we go, we would like you to show some interesting blogs by Shruthi that you could read here https://www.backpackershru.com/
And here’s her most recent post: https://www.backpackershru.com/best-of-tasmania-in-5-days-road-trip-itinerary/