Khyati wants to show the world traveling is not difficult. It just seems so. The stepping out bit is the only thing that awaits a lifelong desire to travel and its fulfilment. Her passion led her on the path of self discovery and sharing ways to the same through her travel blog. Read on to find what it takes to find the traveler in you.
Tell me something about yourself? How did you come to start traveling and your journey in making it your passion?
Born and brought up in Mumbai, India, I am a Lawyer - turned - Travel Blogger, who gave up my full-time corporate job to set up my dream project [A Lawyer’s Voyage] (https://alawyersvoyage.com/).
I was six months old when my parents boarded a plane with me to go on their first trip after my birth! Maybe, I was bitten by the travel bug since then! My first independent trip was when I was in college. The more I traveled, the more I realised how beautiful it is to experience and embrace new places around the world, different cultures, cuisines and meet new people. Before I could even realise, I got addicted to travelling.
I initially started sharing my travel stories with friends and relatives and posting pictures on social networks. Gradually, my hunger to pen down my travel experiences started growing. I have had a passion for travel all my life and in early 2019, I launched my own website named “A Lawyer’s Voyage” and started travel blogging and suggesting sample itineraries for places around the world.
The logo of 'A Lawyer's Voyage'
‘I am here to prove that traveling doesn’t have to be scary or out of anybody’s reach.’ You mentioned this in your bio. Have you learnt growing up listening to such notions? How did you come to break them?
More than listening to any notions, I would say I have grown up seeing my parents traveling extensively and happily dragging me everywhere around the world! Wandering around the world came naturally to me.
I have learnt from my personal experience that no matter where you go, what you do, travelling will surely change you. Nothing can be more exciting and exhilarating than going somewhere and having a good time of your life, meeting new people, exploring places away from your home, seeking new adventures and trying new things that you probably have never done before. Travel fearlessly and live freely.
I encourage everyone out there to make travel a part of their life just as we have made work, family and other social obligations!
How many countries have you visited? What does it take to really get absorbed by a place?
I have so far traveled around 17+ countries and I have an ever expanding bucket list!
Every traveler is going to absorb and learn about a place differently. I believe that when we are completely ready to immerse ourselves into a new place, we would discover new things that another person won’t. Expand your horizons, imbibe fresh perspectives, observe at your own pace and absorb all you can.
Somewhere in France. PC - Khyati
This brings me to my next question, what does it require to evolve from a tourist to a traveler?
I have in the past read so many articles on “travel like a traveler and not like a tourist”, “How to not to be a tourist” and likewise. On the whole, I do not really understand why there should be a need to identify yourself as travelers and/or disassociate yourself as tourists. In my opinion, both the tourists and travelers are on a journey. Yes, the way the tourists and travelers perceive their respective journeys, their experiences and perspectives are different from each other. For instance, tourists love to make their trips very well organized right from start to end. However, travelers would love to embrace spontaneity as they know their journey is worth more than the destination. They wouldn’t mind taking a wrong turn, drive against the traffic, wander on the streets; some tourists are on a mission to get as many selfies in front of popular sights and most of their trips are spent behind their iphone screens. They love their comfort zone. travelers, instead, would converse with locals, hike the mountains for the sake of absorbing the place, wait patiently to click pictures for that perfect sunrise.
A traveler, somewhere along his/her journey begins a deeper journey within oneself, where he or she explores a new culture, learns different perspectives from fellow travelers. These experiences last long after the physical trip end. They return home with broader horizons. Nonetheless, tourist or a traveler, it doesn't really matter as long as you are seeing the world!
Do you think in this present tourism scenario, the luxuries provided by travel agencies get more highlighted while traveling itself has got a backseat?
To start with, today, the travel industry is thriving! Let us accept that unlike during earlier times, when travel agencies were treated just as middlemen agencies, today’s agencies work quite differently. With their sleek websites, amazing instagram-worthy photos, far-off destinations, they provide travel packages that one cannot resist. The demand for more adventurous trips, romantic secluded islands, active holidays, one-kind-of experience have been on the rise, in-turn, changing the travel perspective. Now luxury is less about how expensive it is and more about how exclusive and different it is! Luxury is not anymore associated to going to five star restaurants only but includes taking a helicopter tour over the alps!
While I do agree on some accounts that these luxuries do get highlighted more often by travel agencies, I believe that it is done with an intent to encourage and promote travel to this generation. As far as the main crux remains to encourage travel and stay authentic, this is harmless in today’s scenario.
Zillertal valley in Austria. PC - Khyati
Tell me, do you travel solo or are you into otherwise? Which one would you say describes you the best?
I do not travel solo everytime. Most of my trips as a kid were with my parents; and now most of them are with my companion. Ofcourse, I still continue to take trips with my friends and myself (solo)!
Travelling the world allows you to see and experience the world’s best beaches, best historical sites, gorgeous landscapes. The essence of travel is to get out of your comfort zone and adjust and accustom yourself in any situation and in any company. Hence, as a traveler, I prefer being flexible to travel - be it with the family, companion, solo or group. There’s just one quote that I strongly relate to - “Never go on trips with anyone you do not love”. When you travel with the right people, you are in for an absolute win!
Khyati in Spain...
Being a lawyer, you have talked to an array of people very few have. Does this passion of meeting new people, knowing their worlds and being a minuscule part of them still echo in your travel?
Haha, to answer this question honestly, “yes” it does! My legal profession had given me some opportunities to travel to several cities and Asian countries for work assignments. My learnings in my legal profession have taught me to create deeper and profound connections with people around you. You open yourself to people around you and are also ready for unexpected possibilities! Like I say, “Once a lawyer, always a lawyer”!
You left your job to embrace traveling. People also spend most of their lives earning to travel after they retire. More often than not, the plans do not get materialized because life happens! How do we resolve this? Could you give our readers a distinct solution to this conundrum?
I have been asked so many times as to why and how did you decide to quit your profession and decide to be a full-time traveler. Does it earn you money? What is like being a blogger? I can only relate to this one quote “Just because my path is different doesn’t mean that I am lost!”
To be very candid about this, my decision of quitting my job wasn’t an overnight plan. And I do not believe in “quit your job and travel” but what I strongly believe in is that whatever job you are into, enjoy it to the fullest. While some people can balance work and travel both, giving my work schedule, I just couldn’t! I soon realized that I love being a lawyer but being a full time traveler is what gives me immense satisfaction. Before I dipped my toes into this, I made sure I saved enough money to travel and start my own venture.
If you want to shift your career path, the foremost thing you should do is to create a plan to have clarity on what you are working towards and what will you achieve. Save every penny that you earn for your venture that you wish to set up.
One has to bear in mind that following your passion will always be a heart v/s mind battle! You have to make a choice someday and move on. It may sound very radical but if you want more out of your life, you must lose your inclination for monotonous security and be ready to adopt a bold and a different lifestyle. Like it’s said, “If you don’t go after what you want, you will never have it….” ~ Nora Roberts.
Road trips take you to universes of your own sprinkled on to this world.
The ‘about’ section of your website sets everything so clearly! Your articulation is remarkable. There goes a saying “It's not always necessary to be strong, but to feel strong.” How, in your opinion, does this quote resonate with traveling overall?
Thanks, I really appreciate the compliment. I am so inspired by Jon Krakauer, Into the Wild! Travel is more than just seeing the sights. Travelling brings joy to your life and opens up new horizons of your mind and trust me, losing yourself to the world is the best feeling ever!
Over the years, jumping off from the cliff or the sky; talking to strangers or living with locals have made me realise how strong a humans’ will power is to combat fear and anxiety.
People always ask me to justify as to how has travel made me stronger. If I look back at who I was years ago and compare myself to now, I feel more confident, stronger and fearless in life.
Can you recall a stage in your life when you have been knocked down hard enough and traveling helped you overcome it? It would be great to listen to your story.
Oh yes, so many times! One of the instances is when I was working on launching of my own website, there had been days when I have slept only for 2-3 hours, working on my blogs and planning to make it ‘live’.
Keeping in mind the budget I had to use for my website, I couldn’t afford to spend too much on technical expertise and I had to do it on my own. The moment I use to decide to make my website live, I use to get encountered by multiple problems! To add to the misery, I had immense pressure and deadlines to create good content (as a blogger) on my social platforms and for my collaborations. I reached a point where I got bogged down by this and I decided to make a short unplanned trip to Bali!
I was once again amazed by what travelling does to your brain (and not just to your soul)! This short trip boosted my creativity and refreshed my senses for sure!
This is an important point of note for female travelers: How do you manage adversities while traveling solo? Could you give some tips for our budding female solo travelers?
I wouldn’t consider myself as a solo traveler per se but I have done multiple solo trips. One of the biggest upsides of travelling solo is the power it holds to stimulate psychological growth. However, solo travels are not about seeing a rainbow every day. You will face challenges regardless of your gender.
On my first solo trip, more than embracing and enjoying the place, I was worried about being alone and scared of getting unwanted attention. Some of the things that you normally face during your solo travel are:
Feel Lonely. After a couple of days feeling lonely and the need for human interaction arises.
You have to eat and drink alone.
Feel jittery on the first day.
You are more easily approachable.
No one to look after you if you fall sick.
Not having somebody to watch your bags when you have to use the washroom!
Taking photos. One of the problems that is quite common and talked about is that you don’t have anyone to take your pictures!
Of course, all these problems have a solution and for all you know, you may not even face them at all. Honestly, the hardest part of solo travel is just to make the decision to do it!
Few tips that I would like to give are:
Trust your instincts.
Research about the places that are female friendly.
Take baby steps. Don’t jump on a month-long solo trip, to begin with.
Always tell people about your travel plans. Keep your family informed.
Respect the local culture and law.
Don’t be afraid to meet the locals and talk to them. However, stay alert at all times and don’t overshare any information about you.
Keep an open mind and always walk around with confidence.
Nothing is without risk but with a bit of common sense and alertness, you are good to go. Travelling solo is the most liberating and powerful experience that you can have!
It feels nice to think that our ambitions match in a way. You are trying to build something single handedly what we are trying to work out as an organization. What moves you to go on with this initiative? I mean, where from comes the will to prove to the world travel is everyone’s cup of tea?
I am so glad to hear this!
Traveling is a healthy addiction that I have and sharing my travel experiences through my stories is what keeps me going. I keep my motivation battery always charged as the idea of travel inspires me. Quitting a lucrative paying job to generate time and money came naturally to me.
When I started posting pictures on Instagram and sharing travel stories on one of the travel platforms, the responses that I received moved me enough to give a serious thought about having my own website and sharing the travel experiences and making sample itineraries for fellow travelers as an easy reference.
One more thing that keeps me highly motivated is that I am aware of the fact that travel blogging isn’t easy and it’s going to be a rocky road to keep up the blog going! This is just a beginning and I have a long way to go!
I have met so many people who think that they are not cut out for travelling due to lack of time, health, money and likewise; but I have thousands of reasons to believe why everybody should travel and I am on a mission to convince them otherwise!
Meeting people along the way. Khyati and Anoop.
Is it a myth that it doesn’t require money to travel? What do you think?
Travelling doesn't need to cost you a fortune and you don’t have to be rich to travel. All you need is courage and some good planning. If you do it rightly, it is achievable.
It breaks my heart every time I hear “I would love to travel if I could afford it!” I receive tons of messages asking how do you afford to travel so much.
My answer to it is that travelling is not expensive if you plan it well. There are ways to achieve affordable travel but you ought to follow them. Some of the tips would be to save money and make a travel fund, earn miles, research the places, take free walking tours, go for cheaper countries, go to on-arrival visa countries, take off beaten paths etc.
For my readers, I have even written a blog on [How to travel on a Budget] (https://alawyersvoyage.com/how-to-travel-on-a-budget-l-money-saving-tips/).
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