“Each trip is a life lesson for me. While a trip to Bhutan taught me how to be happy with less, a trip to Manipur taught me how to be more appreciative towards others, Sri Lanka taught me to respect nature, while Andaman taught me how to cope up with a bad situation. Travel changes your perspective of life and it helps you evolve as a better person.”
For Nivi Selvaraj, travel is all these things and much more. As a travel blogger, Nivi shuffles between her 9-5 job as a Marketing Manager and her passion for new experiences – and she loves both the things equally.
She strives to provide the best ideas on budget trips and on balancing travel with a full-time job. With over 10,000 followers on Instagram and a personal website, Nivi seems to be moving on the right path with a comfortable pace.
We talk to her about her experiences in this candid interview:
- Please tell our readers about yourself.
I’m a sunshine seeking, happy-go-lucky girl who loves exploring the world. An old soul in a digital world who loves reading from hardcover books, enjoys morning yoga routine and paints postcards from the places she travels.
I’m a curious cookie, always wanting to know about things. Have never been afraid of asking questions, ‘only when you ask you get to know’ is my policy in general. I apply this at work, with life in general as well. This is also why I don’t get disheartened by failures, I try to figure out why things didn’t work and this, in turn, helps me look at the silver lining always. I brim with gratitude even for the smallest things in life, probably that’s what keeps me content with life.
- Share an incident during your travels which left a huge impact on you.
There is an interesting story of how I got stranded on an island in Andaman for my birthday. I planned the trip, packed my bags for that exotic island destination, and told the whole world that I am hitting the beach for my birthday. Exactly a week before the trip, the weather forecast was cautioning us of an upcoming storm and bad weather. Most of my friends warned me to cancel the tickets and stay home. Inspite of all the warnings, bad weather, and continuous downpour, I boarded the flight.
Exactly 2 days later, all the cautionary flags have been raised throughout the island and all the ships that ply in and out had been canceled (meaning the cruise that I had to board that day to get to the mainland was also canceled). Leave internet, there was no network in the first place, no cable TV, no newspaper to even know what’s going on in the world outside the island. I was stuck on the island for ten days and finally, the navy had to come and rescue the inhabitants of the island and took us back to Port Blair.
- How do you see the growing culture of Instagram travel blogging?
Yes, the massive growth of Instagram, social media and travel blogs in the recent years have had a huge impact on how we travel. It has shown us the world in a 3×3 grid. The places we never thought could exist became a reality only cause of Instagram. This sharing of experiences has not only created communities where people can connect and share their lives, but it has also been a place which can shine the spotlight on significant social and environmental issues.
But not all the changes of it are positive. While the Instagram surge has definitely helped the tourism industry to flourish and even helped few countries overcome financial crisis, it is also creating a negative impact by overcrowding the places and spoiling the natural resources for good. Instagram has become a place which feeds the FOMO (fear of missing out) attitude among people lately.
- What would be your advice for those wanting to be travel bloggers?
A blog is not always about you. If your blog is solely a travel journal, write about anything you want. But if you’re looking to run a professional blog that creates a sustainable business, remember that it’s not all about you. It is – and always will be – about the people reading your website. Whether that is by providing practical advice, telling them a good story, or making them laugh, remember that it’s all about how you can be of use to them.
Read as much as you can, you never know where you get the ideas from. Be it marketing, management, history, fiction, travel, business or anything under the sky, even if you get one idea from the book, it was worth it.
Don’t try to be everything to everyone. Go narrow. Go deep. Focusing lets you become an expert. For example, my blog talks about budget trips and how to balance travel with full-time job. You can be the person to whom readers always turn for information on this subject or that destination, which allows you to cultivate a bigger presence online.
As she talks about the positives of social media and travel blogging, Nivi also shares her concerns regarding the environment and people’s expectations from traveling in general.
“Projecting fake perfection only leads to form false opinions about the destinations. With the growth rate of Instagram, it is very important for us to understand what kind of content our mind consumes. It should be motivating and inspirational and not making us feel sad about life. Promoting responsible tourism has to be the key going forward. People need to be aware of how to keep a destination safe for the next generation to come and visit,” she says.
If you wish to follow Nivi on Instagram, visit: https://www.instagram.com/postcardchronicles/?hl=en
You can check out her amazing content on http://www.postcardchronicles.com/
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