In our series of interviews with travel blogger and influencers across the globe, we look for travel bloggers and influencers with interesting lives who can share some inspiring stories and useful advice from their experience. This week we have Shivani From Whims That Woo blog.
An Interview With Shivani From Whims That Woo
Tell us a bit about yourself
Curator of the ‘Whims that Woo’ travel blog, I am an enthusiastic solo traveller, and has travelled to 24 countries solo which includes places from various parts of the world like Latin America, Caribbean, Africa, Europe, Middle East, America and Asia.
I am a post-graduate in English literature and an MBA with double masters in marketing and HR. I have a full time job heading Marketing for one of the leading IT companies in Hyderabad. I am also a graphic designer who loves to create visual stories. I hail from Saharanpur, UP and shifted to Hyderabad around 14 years back.
Talking about travel, my love for travel comes from my first job, where I got a chance to travel to some very exotic locations for work. That is when I realized that travelling for me is just not for leisure or a get-away from the grind! It is something that I loved doing, And eventually, it became my passion. Since I was very young, I had this list of places that I wanted to see. The list was made primarily from the lessons taught in geography and history classes in my school. And I maintain that list even today.
When work or travel is not keeping me busy, you will find me sketching or reading. I am an avid reader and makes sure to spend some time with books every day; howsoever crazy the day might be. I am also a lover of cars and gadgets!
I am an active promoter of responsible travelling and completely endorse the idea of assessing and evaluating the impact on the environment and local cultures and economies where people are travelling – and acting to make that impact as positive as possible.
What’s your biggest achievement as a Travel Blogger/Influencer?
I have gained more than 35K+ followers in last two years on Instagram and this has given me the assurance that I am on the right path, and I feel very proud of it. Also, when I get messages from girls from all over India saying I inspire them to follow their own path, I feel accomplished! And my biggest achievement is getting several messages everyday from strangers appreciating my work!
You have an unlimited travel budget for 24 hours. Give me your itinerary.
I will fly down to Paris, book a Paris Private Tour by Classic French Citroën, would go to Private Wine Tour to Burgundy Region from Paris and at last, would book a Private Yacht on the River Seine and would spend my whole night there gazing the stars and the beautiful Eiffel Tower adorned with golden lights and sparkles!
How do you fund your travel?
I am marketing head for an IT company and I am pretty good at my job!
What is the first trip you remember taking and how old were you?
My first trip was to Trinidad and Tobago (Caribbean) and I was 24 years old then.
Have you been anywhere which turned out to be totally different to how you imagined? If so, how?
Egypt! It is an amazing country. To be honest, it was way different from what I expected: it blew me away completely! Before starting for the trip, I was really scared – because there are always so many prejudices about the country! But I was so wrong! It is a wonderful place which is so safe that I did not feel intimidated anytime during my trip!
Infact, my best experience from the trip lied in meeting the Egyptian people. They are fabulous! Very friendly, very warm, and always smiling.
I don’t have words that can describe that journey. It was breathtakingly fabulous! One has to really live the experience to completely understand it. Infact, I would really love to go back to it again.
Have you had any bad experiences whilst travelling?
Nope! I am generally very careful while travelling. I have been quite fortunate not to have witnessed any mishap during any of my trips! Thank God.
Where is your favourite place in the world?
I do not have one answer for this! I fall in love with every place I go to, trust me. Every city, where I have set my foot is close to my heart. But if I have to really put names forward, then they would be Tobago, Bogota (I loved the culture there!), Petra, Iceland, Paris, Cape Town, New York, Switzerland!
Do you have a bucket list? If so what is on it?
Oh well yes! As I have already mentioned above, I maintain a bucket list since I was very young! There are more 146 countries on it. Some of the places on it are Antarctica, Australia, Argentina, Peru, Brazil, Prague, Greenland, Japan etc.
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Promenade Beach – One of the most visited places in Pondicherry! The beach stretches almost 1.5 kilometres and is absolutely approachable from all almost all the famous places in the beautiful city. . The beach itself has some of the most magnificent landmarks like the War Memorial, statue of Joan of Arc and the heritage town hall situated on it. . It is a visual treat with black rocks around the whole beach! . . #pondicherry #puducherry #tamilnadu #travelblogger #whimsthatwoo #indiantravelblogger #hyderabadblogger #traveldiaries #solotravel
If you were not travelling what would you be doing instead?
Honestly, I don’t know. I have left everything behind that couldn’t go hand in hand with this passion of mine, So, I don’t think I would be doing anything else. I would have made this happen in any situation! I earn for it, I live for it – It is not just my passion, its my life!
What has travel taught you?
Travel teaches you a lot! I believe it helps you navigate challenging and unknown territories seamlessly. It helps you discover your own strengths and who you are.
Travel has taught me to be patient and appreciate small things in life (which is very useful at work). Those small joys are absolutely indescribable when you reach the top of a mountain, or successfully convey something to people who do not understand your language. Travel has taught me to celebrate small moments in life. It has made me a better person!
Another thing about Travel is, you get to know so much about not just the history, but the politics, economic scenario and social structure of the world that we live in today! Helping you work with stakeholders across the globe.
You realize your true potential when you are on your feet going places! Travel gives you a different perspective about situations.
Who, in your opinion, is the most successful travel content creator? Why do you think that is?
I love following The Shooting Star by Shivya Nath! She left everything at the age of 23 just to travel! She is someone I admire and would love to have the courage she has to do follow her heart one day!
Do you prefer solo travel or with someone else?
Solo! Any day!
If you could swim with dolphins or go shark diving, which would you pick? and why?
Dolphins because that’s another thing that is there in my bucket list. So another weird thing is I also have a list of animals that I would like to see or spend time with (in their own natural habitats!). I wanted to get to know dolphins since I saw Zeus and Roxanne! Penguins were also there on the list until I saw them in cape town! And another one was Icelandic Horse!
What is your dream travelling experience?
Sleeping under the Northern Lights in a glass igloo. After witnessing the beauty of northern lights in Iceland, the urge of sleeping under them has become unquenchable!
I would also like to visit the Torres del Paine National Park, Chile someday!
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