Chef-turned-travel-blogger, Karishma Sakhrani talks about her first holiday, conscious travelling, and upcoming trends in the sphere of travel blogging, globally. Scroll down to learn what does it take to tick! By Priyanka Chakrabarti
1.What inspired you to be a travel blogger?
I’ve been an avid traveller since I was a child. I relish traversing across countries looking under every rock for bucket-list-worthy meals and experiences. The rising obsession with people and social media led to me developing a community of followers after my participation in Master Chef India. Travel companies and tourism boards reached out to me to collaborate and it all happened very organically.
2. What has been your most memorable trip ever?
Far too many to name! But if I really had to narrow down on one, it would be cruising along the Alaskan coast.
3. What advice would you give to aspiring Indian travel bloggers?
Keep it real!
4. Did you face any obstacle when you started out as a blogger?
My channel on Instagram grew very organically and I always looked at it as a platform to share my creative pursuits and travel diaries. It was more about sharing than making it a commercial activity. Today however, after realising the potential of social media, I take it far more seriously and work on charting out a growth plan in terms of the direction I want to take my career in, over the current commercial viability. I’m definitely in for the long game. My biggest challenge is to work with brands I resonate with at a commercial level. Most travel related companies want to work off barter deals. And this happens more in India than anywhere else in the world.
5. If you could time-travel to any place, where would you go?
I’d love to go back in time, a few centuries ago to Kyoto. I was in Kyoto recently and I was enamoured by the rich culture and heritage. It would be incredible to experience the magic of this mystical city as it was back then.
6. What are your go-to accessories and ensembles when you are on a vacation?
My vacations are usually tropical, so I always carry a bunch of different sunglasses and hats. A good pair of dress sneakers are essential too as I believe you can only truly experience a place by walking and meandering through tiny lanes and hidden hoods.
7. What does luxury travel mean to you?
Personalised experiences and service are everything! When hotels and service providers go out of their way to pamper you and create an original experience for you, you instantly feel cared for, special and privileged. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a first class flight ticket or the most expensive hotel room for an experience to feel like luxury.
8. Tell us about a bucket-list destination that you have in mind for your 2019 travel diaries.
Copenhagen has been sitting high on my bucket list for the longest time and I’m excited to finally be visiting this summer. It’s the culinary capital of the world and as a chef, it’s going to be like being in Disneyland!
9. Which are your most favourite cities around the world?
I’m definitely a big city girl and I absolutely LOVE London, New York, Paris and Bangkok. They never grow old and I always make new discoveries with each trip.
10. What are your top three luxury hotels?
11. What’s your favourite Indian and international holiday destination?
I love Rajasthan. It’s so vibrant and exciting. When I have to travel outside the country, I’m always ready to takeoff to Thailand. I’ve visited more than 30 times!
12. Who’s your favourite travel companion?
I love traveling with new people! I feel blessed to get the opportunities through my career. And otherwise, when I really want to explore a place, I love travelling with my mum. She is my best friend and we bond over our love for food and curiosity for new flavours.
13. Do you believe in the concept of solo travelling?
I love the idea of traveling alone and I used to travel alone a lot when I had a corporate job. I’d always make time to explore the city after work. I also almost always extend trips I take with tourism boards as a travel influencer and explore the place solo. I spent two weeks in London last year, alone, and I didn’t get bored even for a moment.
14. What is your take on conscious travelling?
I think conscious travelling stems from conscious living, everyday. You need to care about the environment and form good habits. I like to treat a hotel as my own home. Simple things like reusing linen, towels and not wasting food can go a long way.
15. Do you remember your first holiday?
My parents took my brother and me to New York, Disneyland in Orlando and sunny Barbados when I was two! We have some home movies that I’ve watched over and over, and I guess those make my memories.
16. Do you like impromptu travel plans or do you plan well in advance?
Either! But generally I like to plan in advance because I like taking longer trips and living in a place, exploring it like a local.
17. What are the upcoming trends in the sphere of travel blogging, globally?
I feel blessed to have been able to forge a career that takes me around the world. However, it’s very dynamic and extremely competitive. As with anything else, I’m focussing on my strengths to create original content. I think as the travel space is evolving, people are traveling more than ever and are looking for unique travel experiences and not looking to walk down-beaten paths. It’s important to have unique experiences and translate them to meaningful information via pictures, videos and blog articles.