THE FIRST INSTALLATION OF THE WANDERBELLE SERIES
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I hoped that with this series, I would find a way to encourage people to go out and see the word, live adventures and touch the stars that you read about in poetry.This series is for anyone who has a little bit of wanderlust in their heart and magic in their veins. Especially if you are a woman! I know that at least one woman’s story in my #WanderBelle series will inspire you to follow your dreams, your vision and most importantly your heart all across the globe xo.
- Could you give us a little introduction to yourselves?
I’m Savi. I’m 33 and a lecturer of English Literature by profession.
I’m Vid, I’m 35 and an IT Consultant by profession. We were both born in professional families in New Delhi but I left the country as a teenager and went to Singapore to pursue my undergraduate degree. Savi stuck around in New Delhi till she was 22 and then moved to the UK to pursue her PhD and I joined her there!
I spent most of my childhood playing a lot of soccer and cricket and Savi spent it reading every book she could lay her hands on. Both of us were quite studious and studied very hard to land scholarships for our dream degrees.
2. Could you tell us how you two met and how travelling has impacted your relationship together?
Savi: We met in high school in New Delhi. We travelled a fair bit in South East Asia as teenagers when we had just started dating because Vid went to university in Singapore. That’s when both of us fell in love with travelling together! As we grew up, we moved to London and got married.
At this stage of our lives, we would save our salaries to travel together each month. We spent almost 8 years in London and would try to travel to a new place every month! This is how we ended up exploring Europe, US, and parts of Africa. Sometime along the way we fell in love with travelling and savouring new experiences. Eventually, we ended up working towards travelling full time. Experiencing remote corners and busy cities of the world together has brought us a lot closer. It’s like being partners-in-crime at a whole new level.
How did you both decide to make the leap from your professional careers to travelling full time? What advice would you give to those making that transition?
Savi: After we had visited 50 countries or so, a lot of friends started asking us for tips to explore destinations. So we thought we’d put everything we’d learnt on the web! Almost 10 years after we first started travelling together, we decided to blog about it.
We knew we had to put my background in literature and creative writing, Vid’s love for photography, and our common passion for travel to generate travel-related content we thought the internet needed – content we were proud of. Of course, this was easier said than done because we’re both perfectionists.
Vid loves photography and I love writing – so from Day #1 we wanted an extremely professional looking website that would guide travellers to shed their inhibitions, explore the world, and fall in love with it. We worked 20 hour days (regular day jobs and 8-9 hours work on Bruised Passports every day) to set up a website and learnt the basics of digital marketing. Hundreds of thousands of hours were spent and continue to be spent garnering a readership on social media and our website. It’s been a steep learning curve and we’ve learnt many lessons along the way.
The one advice we’d give to anyone starting out? Despite what online memes or inspirational quotes might tell you,
“Booking a one-way ticket, falling in love, and getting a tan” is BAD advice – more often than not, it results in heartbreaks and bankruptcy.
While dreaming is essential, putting in the effort to make that dream a reality is even more essential.
Sustaining location-independent jobs is harder than you’d think and will probably need more hours of work than your average desk job
How do you finance your trips?
Vid: We worked full-time and saved for full time travelling for 8 years. We put all our savings into travel instead of buying a house, cars etc as travel is our priority. But we also work full time in travel and have a host of location-independent jobs to help sustain us as we go along – I work as a photographer, Savi writes for various magazines and website, and both of us work with several brands and tourism boards in our capacity as professional travel bloggers.
I love that instead of trying to check off lots of countries on a checklist you both want to spend time discovering a country. What made both of you want to take this route?
Savi: Just a shift in priorities over time. When we first started travelling, the hunger to check new countries off our travel checklist consumed us.
But as we started travelling more and more, we realised we enjoyed spending longer in each place. 1 week in Paris wasn’t enough – we wanted to stay for a month. Staying in one place for longer and exploring the world at a slow pace allows us to drink in local cultures, make friends over the world, pick up bits and bobs of new languages, and truly savour everything this crazy world has to offer.
You have had a number of milestones such being published in BBC Good Food Magazine, National Geographic Traveller, and have appeared in a number of TV shows on Discovery Channel and TLC Asia. For you what has been a personal milestone, the moment that you have been proud of since starting Bruised Passports?
It might sound trivial, but the feeling of having a huge virtual family and meeting readers everywhere we go – from an elevator in Guatemala and beach in Mexico to a mall in London or airport in Paris – makes me feel proud and truly happy. It leaves me smiling from ear to ear every single time.
Could you please tell us about a trip which has meant a lot to you and why?
Savi: It would have to be sleeping in an igloo on the Arctic Circle and watching the Northern Lights dance above our heads in Finland. It’s a feeling I can’t describe in words. Nothing comes close to the overwhelming experience of seeing the Northern Lights for the first time. It’s hard to explain how clean the air feels at such a high altitude, how the smell of buttery popcorn and warm wine is more enticing than most gourmet meals when one is huddled up on a stool carved out of ice, and how it is actually possible to feel entirely disconnected from the world when one is in an igloo village surrounded by miles and miles of pillowy snow
Do you have any tips for first-time travellers on how to plan their trips on a budget?
- –Use price comparison websites for flights, car rentals, and hotels to get the best deals.
- -Don’t be afraid to go beyond your comfort zone and try something new – for eg instead of opting for an expensive trip booked by a travel agent, try to reduce costs by booking the trip independently.
- –Instead of opting for package tours, rent a car in a new country to cut costs significantly and add flexibility to your itinerary.
What are your top picks for romantic getaways and why?
We’ve written several articles on this subject but I’d say a road trip in Iceland for couples that like adventure and driving, a luxurious getaway in Seychelles or Maldives for couples who enjoy beaches, and a relaxed month in an affordable beach-facing room in Thailand or Indonesia for couples on a budget.
What are your dreams and hopes for the future?
We want to continue producing the highest quality content we possibly can, no matter how long it takes to create. Seeing your way of witnessing the world come alive in photographs and videos might be time consuming and hard but it is a feeling like no other!
On a personal front, we want to work more and more with 2 issues that are very close to our hearts – gender equality and kids education. We frequently talk about the importance of donating time and other resources to educate kids who might not have access to basic education in order to raise awareness about the issue and encourage our readers to give back to society.
But going forward we want to establish a fund which will help finance the education of dozens of kids who might not otherwise have access to schools or universities.
That is it for this interview, so please follow so you can stay updated for more Wanderbelle Interviews.