Travel blogger Tanya Khanijow quit her corporate job in 2018 to pursue her dream: travelling. Since then, this full-time traveller has been on-the-go undertaking new adventures, exploring cultures, and sharing it with her followers on YouTube and Instagram. While her travel plans are temporarily suspended, her inner wanderer continues to shine. We got in touch with her to learn how she has been coping with the lockdown, her post-pandemic travel plans, and more! By Bayar Jain
1. Where were you when the lockdown was announced and how did you spend your time during this period?
Incidentally, I was at my home in Delhi when the lockdown was announced. I had an intuition that the lockdown was going to be announced sooner or later, so I came home. Although I had a filmmaking project that I wanted to pursue for my YouTube channel lined up in Gulmarg, I didn’t undertake it when the situation started to get worse.
2. What was your last vacation before the lockdown was announced and what did you do there?
My last vacation, per se, was when I visited London for Christmas during the New Years. After that, I visited a couple of places for my projects, one of which was Gulmarg. I had pursued it a couple of weeks before the lockdown was announced. I was trying to pick up snowboarding there to enjoy the environment and generally soak in the beauty of the place.
3. If you could choose a place to be quarantined at other than your home, where would you go and why?
I would go somewhere in the mountains or to the beaches. However, if I really had to be quarantined somewhere else, Switzerland would have been ideal even though it’s so far fetched!
4. In terms of travel, what changes do you predict in the post-Corona world?
There will be fewer people who will be enthusiastic about international travels because of so many restrictions, even though borders have started to open up in bits and pieces. Domestic travel will pick up the pace. Of course, people will gradually start to travel in and around their own state. Cross-state travel may have quarantine restrictions, even in the near future. I would expect, people will focus on safety, social distancing, and where they stay. Travel is probably going to become slower and people will choose to stay at one place for a longer duration, rather than just hopping from one destination to another. After three months of lockdown, I think most people would prefer to spend more time in the lap of nature and would want to do it in the most meaningful manner – even if it’s a one-day retreat.
5. What do you miss most about travelling?
I miss everything about travelling! I miss exploring new places, meeting new people, local travels, cross-state travel — everything! I miss taking flights! Above all, I miss content creation around travel.
6. Your go-to destination once travel restrictions ease and why?
It would probably be somewhere in South India, assuming cross-country travel would take some time to ease. I really want to go to this place called Mulki in Karnataka for surfing. I want to travel slower and pick up skills along the way. South India has been calling out the most to me because of the beaches and the destinations.
7. Road trips are expected to be the next travel trend. Where would you go for one and why?
My road trips would be in a place not too far away, but at the same time, away from the tourist destinations. I don’t want to go somewhere very tourist-y! Since I live in Delhi, maybe I will go somewhere in Himachal Pradesh where I would stay in a beautiful property in the hills, overlooking the scenery – preferably one with large windows!
8. Your take on conscious travel and how do you incorporate it when you’re on-the-move?
I am big on conscious travel. I don’t want to hurt the environment in any way or leave any trace while I’m travelling. Over the last few years, I’ve adopted a few things. I try consuming as little plastic as possible. I carry a filter bottle with me wherever I go – it’s a norm for me! Even when I stay in hotels, I don’t drink from the bottles given and instead fill my filter bottle with tap water. This way, I try to minimise single-use plastics as much as possible.
Besides that, I try to take as many local services as possible. Tourism, I feel should help locals also. For example, I would opt for tours organised by locals, or stay at an eco-lodge.
9. In a sentence, why do you love to travel?
When you’re travelling, what matters the most is when you convince yourself to head out of the comfort of your home, and learn a little bit about who you are, about ways of other people’s lives, different cultures, and – more than anything – you learn how vast the world is and how many endless possibilities exist out there.