About me

Welcome to The Shooting Star!

My name is Shivya Nath, and at age 23, I quit my corporate job to travel the world. I live a nomadic life, seek adventures off the beaten path, and work on the go to fund my travels. The Shooting Star is the home of all my travels, and I hope to inspire you to step out of your comfort zone and discover the world. Come with me?

Shivya Nath, indian travel bloggers

By the Mediterranean Sea in Ibiza!

My journey

I grew up in a protective Indian family in Dehradun, a small town at the base of the Himalayas, and spent my childhood wondering what lay beyond the mountains I could see from my roof. Upon finishing high school, I went to Singapore to study, with big dreams and a big student loan. As luck would have it, I graduated in the middle of the financial recession of 2009, when most companies I wanted to work with had ceased their hiring. I landed a job with the Singapore Tourism Board, where I learnt everything I know about social media, and started following the journey of travel bloggers across the world.

It was impossible to tame my restless cubicle-bound soul, so in 2011, I took a 2 month sabbatical from work. I went flash-packing across Western Europe with a friend, and volunteer-travelled by myself in the high Himalayas of India. In those two months, I saw, experienced and lived more than I ever had before, and decided to quit my first and only corporate job with the dream of travelling the world on my own terms.

In July 2014, the story of how I quit my job to travel was featured on BBC Travel. Read it here.

Shivya the shooting star, Shivya Nath

Zip lining over the Indian Ocean on the remote Rodrigues island.

How I like to travel

First things first, I’m not a backpacker. While I carry a backpack for convenience, I like to stay in experiential accommodations (think home-stays), travel impulsively and to places that have seldom been written about, and don’t believe in counting every penny I spend. I like to go slow, get under the skin of a place, talk to locals and experiment with the local cuisine (I’m a vegetarian by choice); I’m happy to skip most tourist attractions in a big city. I mostly travel solo or with a friend; group travel with a fixed itinerary is just not for me.

I believe that our travel choices have an impact on the places we visit. On my part, I prefer public transport, avoid buying mineral water bottles, and try to look for local experiences.

Shivya Nath, Shivya Canada

Sipping glacial water in Canada.

What I’m up to now

For 2 years after I quit my job, I used Delhi as a base to find my footing and rekindle my love affair with the mountains. Then in August 2013, I gave up my apartment, sold most of my stuff, stored the rest in the boot of a friend’s car, and went location independent. The road is my home now. I’ve travelled in parts of Africa, Europe, Southeast Asia, the Middle East and the Indian subcontinent since.

I’m currently on a 6 month trip through parts of Central and North America. Guatemala, Nicaragua, Honduras, Costa Rica and Panama are the places I plan to slow travel in, while also catching up with friends and family in the US.

Indian travel blogger, Shivya Nath

My office on the countryside of northern Thailand!

Do you dream of travelling the world too? Read these posts:

Shivya Nath, Indian travel blogger

Introspective in the Himalayas of Kumaon.

Too much reading?

These slides speak a thousand words!

Connect with me

Twitter: @shivya 
Facebook: The Shooting Star 
Google+: Shivya Nath 
Instagram: @shivya

If you’re interested in hiring me as a freelancer, please see my Hire Me page.

If you’d like to invite me on a blogging trip, please see my Contact Me page.

*** ***

195 Comments

  1. @ Frisking Skies : Thanks :)

    @ Mahak : Thanks! Wow, a fellow Josephite! Which year were you there?

    @ harsh : Thanks for stopping by :)

    Like

  2. Shivya, all the best. Explore your world and life. that’s unique. Life is full of wonders and splendors – only if we ‘see’ it. Thanks.

    Like

  3. Hello Shivya,
    I liked your title “shooting star”.

    I think that today the world need resilience.
    My studies and my experience came here:
    http://vittoriobaroni.wordpress.com/cose-la-resilienza

    Sorry but the site is in Italian. But the friend Sturla has done a good job of study on cultural resilience. The file is here, in English:
    http://vittoriobaroni.files.wordpress.com/2008/10/sturle-hauge-simonsen-sulla-resilienza-culturale.pdf

    Call me if one day pass for Venice.
    Hello, Vittorio

    Like

  4. shah nawaz says

    came over by saadil’s blog.For ayoung one as you , you have lot of punch in ur words.Keep it up.

    Like

  5. Samagra Rana says

    Hi shiv
    Browsed through your blog. Its a great piece of work put up together. i hope you keep up the gud work and keep sharing your thoughts…

    Loved to find out the things that actually move you and I always knew you were a great mind with a golden heart.
    Keep up the good work.
    Love u

    Like

  6. @ sulachanosho: Thanks, I’m trying hard to immerse myself in all the wonders :D

    @ shaakspsyco: Thanks for the update :)

    @ Salil: Thanks :) Sure, I’ll check out yours too.

    @ amreekandesi: Welcome here :)

    @ Vittorio: Thanks for stopping by! It’s a great compilation on resilience. Hope to see you in Venice some day :)

    @ Shah nawaz: Thanks :) Hope you drop by often!

    @ Samagra: Thanks Sam :D Miss you!

    Like

  7. Years come n go, but this year I specially wish 4 u a double dose of health n happiness topped with loads of good fortune. Have a gr8 year ahead! HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!
    Dinesh

    Like

  8. rave says

    wow !!
    nice interests you’ve got !!
    didnt know you were blogging for so long…

    Like

  9. @ Dinesh: Thanks, same to you :)

    @ Lucky: Thanks, and welcome to the shooting star!

    @ Liju Philip: Likewise :D

    @ Rave: Thanks rave. Welcome to my blog :)

    @ Vikas: Thanks and welcome here!

    Like

  10. ankita chauhan says

    good one shiv,thats an amazing work done on your part.keep going friend.

    Like

  11. spotlesssoul says

    It seems to be an interesting blog :) Looking forward to learn a lot from you.

    Like

  12. Sidd says

    Hey Shivya,

    What a find ! Congratulations on being a accomplished blogger ! If you’re thinking of freelancing , then I’d suggest get a domain. If you need help setting up that, I’m available :) !
    And hey, I’ve taken up freelance web designing! I am loving it !

    Sidd

    Like

  13. yours is really a nice blog…..actually i was inspired to write my own by seeing your “the shooting star”…
    i liked the comment you wrote on my post the other day …..sure i needed some break ……i m happy now …taken up photography these days

    Like

  14. della says

    Dropping by to say hello

    nice-and-inspiring blog :)

    hope we can keep in touch via Facebook

    btw, we have the same title of the blog hehehe :P

    Like

  15. Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now keep it up!

    Like

  16. Hi Shivya.

    I saw that you have included my blog as a link on your travel blog list. I feel very honoured, thank you very much. I think that you have some very nice stories here too. Keep up the good work.

    Cheers, Erin

    Like

  17. Hi Shivya.

    I saw that you have included my blog as a link on your travel blog list. I feel very honoured, thank you very much. I think that you have some very nice stories here too. I particularly like your last one about xmas, and couldn’t agree more about donating time and/or finances to those in need. Keep up the good work.

    Cheers, Erin

    Like

  18. hey do i know you? you sound a bit familiar. during my trip to cambodia i met another indian girl from a protective family somewhere in the mountains and she’s been travel writing for 5 years…wait you’re 23. so i guess you’re a different person?! she doesn’t live in singapore though. but her name is also shiva?! i’m confused!!! are you her?

    argh i’m 23 too. and i travel a lot but not certainly not as much as you. so amazing that can travel write so well yet i haven’t started my travel blog yet…

    Like

    • Awfully late reply Dew, but I’m pretty sure I’m not her. I was hardly in Cambodia for a day and would’ve remembered if I met someone. Then again, Shivya is such an uncommon name. Parallel universe maybe ;) Welcome to The Shooting Star anyway!

      Like

  19. just kidding i checked her name again her name is shikha not shiva and her last name is longer…

    o i admire both of you so much!!!! so what do you do? do you do travel writing as a career?

    i heart traveling and really need to start blogging to on travel..but i’m just afraid that i’m not as talented as people like you ><

    Like

  20. Hey Shivya, just came across your blog after traversing the Spiti search list on twitter. Some great travel stories although (I read only few so far, but now I know I will continue :)) and nicely captured too. Glad to know that there are fellow travelers who like to visit the the unexplored places which makes you feel blissful and much closer to god :)… Keep traveling, keep exploring, keep sharing and will try follow your travel stories …

    Like

  21. Hey I found you on Facebook. I saw some nice pics out there. I have already joined your FB page. Keep the great work. By the way why “The Shooting Star”. What makes you to choose this name.

    Like

    • Ah, it’s so hard to come up with a name that makes you want to keep blogging. I experimented with several names before this, but The Shooting Star is the only one that made me want to stick around :)

      Like

  22. Dear Shivya
    I am delighted to hear that you liked that few lines on Shera Ghat. You have an amazing blog , just saw the headlines now ..cant wait to read one by one starting with Lake Garda and Dehradun . You will find more travelogue in my cooking blog because I have more followers there ha ha . Read this one http://ushnish.blogspot.com/2011/02/trip-to-sundarban-largest-river-delta.html and there are many on Northern Italy, which you will like.
    Have a nice week ahead …Ghosh from Algeria

    Like

  23. Saurabh says

    Pretty Fab , its inspiring !
    I love the way its been written and presented , i m smitten :)
    wish u all the best :)

    Like

  24. vinoth says

    the way u presenting is awesome… congrats to ur future discoverys..
    im really enjoying to look ur blog….

    Like

    • Aw thanks Jim, it’s quite an incredibly country to not love :) Let me know when you’re in Delhi next!

      Like

  25. What a pleasure to read your blog. The fact that you are 24 and have juggled all of this, gives me hope. At 22 I haven’t lost my battle yet against corporate life. Thank you. Keep up with the wanderlust.

    Like

    • Thanks Shaonli, we have the same last name! I’m glad my wanderlust inspires yours :) Hope to see you at The Shooting Star often.

      Like

  26. Murari Agrawal says

    Just Great!!!
    I like to visit different blog as usual… while wondering i just found ur blog…
    its really gud blog… but i hav 1 q 4 u… when u started this blog… u quit ur job at 23… i m little bit confused in that …..

    Like

    • Thanks Murari & welcome to The Shooting Star! I started this blog much before I quit this job, more as a place for musings and rants. It gradually took the shape of a travel blog :)

      Like

      • ohh really !!! meditation coverts into travel >> haha
        actually same thing happening with me also yaar , sum time i tried to write on technical skills or sumtime stock market or personal….. and last i stopped writing into blog and convert into my dairy!!!!
        about my travel i write it into my dairy only ….i like to travel as alwayz…..lets see

        Like

  27. Deepti Garg says

    awesome blogs… really motivated with what you are doing… right now, I am also working in mnc.. and now it has started to irritate me… working everyday, that’s not i want… if i’ll go on a solo trip, then i’ll surely comment again.. thanks.. :)

    Like

  28. rohan raj says

    goodness gracious shivya ur just awesome love ur work….and jealous tooo;)

    Like

  29. Simply loved your site…and the fact that you are living what so many of us (including me) just dream of! I wish I could chuck my corporate job and just travel and write…I do travel whenever possible but it’s just not enough. Good going girl!

    Like

    • Thanks Amrita, and welcome to The Shooting Star :) It was a distant dream for me until just a year ago, so don’t give up on it! Off to read your blog now.

      Like

  30. I quit my first and only corporate job in december to answer my call for travel and photography :)

    Very inspiring and informative blog. Loved the idea of responsible travel, something that has to be instilled among the increasing number of tourists to preserve many beautiful places.

    And here is my first attempt on untravel experience http://illusive.in/projects/ladakh-dreams/

    Like

  31. well done shivya …your are inspiration for all those who want to leave their corporate jobs and follow their dreams.

    P.S. – Love your site and your writing style

    Like

    • Shivya says

      Thank you! And welcome to The Shooting Star! Hope to have you join me virtually on my travels :)

      Like

  32. Gifton Samuel says

    Planning for 3 days trip(Is it enough) to Jordan from Abu dhabi. Could you pl guide me like the places to visit(Sequence of start and end) and place to stay on a reasonable price.
    Many Thanks.
    Gifton

    Like

    • Shivya says

      Gifton, I haven’t been to Jordan yet. (Turkey yes, and that’s fabulous). I guess Jordan tourism’s website will be able to help.

      Like

  33. Hi Shivya, I love your blog. It’s great seeing people take the plunge and follow what truly makes them happy. You have some amazing articles and photos.If you are ever interested in submitting any articles or photos to us at BarrelHopping, we have ongoing contests where you can win cash to help fund your continued travels. For every article or photo you do submit we will also provide a link back to your site. Our end goal is to help fellow travelers like yourself do more of what they love. Here are the details http://barrelhopping.com/get-paid-to-travel/

    Like

  34. Hey Shivya, I have a blog too. Like your travel bug, I have the writing bug. For the first time in all my life, I stumbled upon a blogger I could absolutely admire for who she is and what she does. I haven’t written in a long time now (7 months), because as a final year engineering student, I’m figuring out hard how to escape the corporate for doing that which fuels the fire in my belly. I’m sure I’ll find my way out, to that place Rumi talks about–Elsewhere.

    All the very best for your future endeavors! You inspire me so much.. :)

    Lots of love

    Kritika

    Like

    • Thanks for dropping by, Kritika; I’m so heartened to hear your comment. I’m sure you’ll find your ‘elsewhere’ soon enough. Off to check out your blog soon; start writing again!

      Like

  35. Pingback: I Could Totally Live In… Gagnano, Italy | Colleen Brynn Travels

  36. ashwin says

    Hi Shivya, stumbled into your blog while looking for vegetarian food in Turkey. I am really inspired, I see myself doing exactly the things, travelling to the places that you are now. Spain,France,Spiti are high on my list(although there’s no way I’m quitting my job, that’s what funds my travels) And I’ll definitely visit Guzeylurt. I’m glad I’ve kept 4 days for Cappadocia in my trip.
    And I ‘m going to continue visiting this blog frequently, would love to hear more from your travels. And yes,

    All the best!!
    Ashwin.

    Like

    • ashwin says

      And I really like to read accounts written by indian vegetarian travellers, its kind of reassuring.

      Like

  37. I’m elated & inspired! So far, I travelled to three countries in the Southeast Asia but still working to be a nomad officially, your blog certainly struck the chords of wanderlust within me :)

    Like

    • Thank you! I can sense that there are so many adventures lined up for you too. Southeast Asia is a great place to start.

      Like

  38. Hi Shivya,

    I am a blogger, penning randomly on anything and everything ..however, I love travelling and photography and I stumbled upon yours at blogadda… and I am so glad I did.
    Your blog is great and you are an inspiration … an inspiration to do what one loves to.

    Cheers,
    Namrota :)

    Like

  39. So glad to have stumbled across your blog! I really admire your spirit and welcome any advice you have on travelling in India. It also thrills me that you are from Dehradun as I am about to embark on a one month project there and look forward to reading on your travel advice for in and around that region. Congrats on everything you have achieved. I’ll definitely be following!

    Like

    • Thank you! What kind of a project are you doing in Dehradun? I’ll be happy to share what recommendations I have, but to be honest, it’s a region I’ve hardly explored. And that’s because each time I’m home, I have to report on where I’m going, why, when, with who et al. It’s exhausting. So I just stay cooped up at home and rejuvenate ;) It’s a beautiful little town nonetheless.

      Like

      • A spot of voluntary work in a school with an NGO called SNEHA. Haha, I feel your pain. This weekend I am chilling in Mussoorie, it’s captured my heart. Keep writing, keep travelling. I look forward to reading more :)

        Like

  40. ankitas01 says

    Hi Shivya,

    This is definitely one of the most inspiring travel blogs I have come across by far (Written by an Indian). You are a role model for women who wish to travel solo. I feel proud of you for having the courage to give up a corporate job and follow your heart.
    You are the perfect example of how traveling can become a life transforming experience.
    I’m a psychologist/Life coach and a newbie freelance writer who loves to travel and cook. And I would be glad if our paths cross someday.

    All the best
    Ankita

    Like

    • Thanks Ankita,

      Glad you stumbled upon The Shooting Star! Thanks so much for your kind words. Your encouragement means so much :) Sure hope to cross paths someday!

      Like

  41. Amazing blog! Do you have any tips and hints for aspiring writers?
    I’m hoping to start my own website soon but I’m a little lost on everything.
    Would you suggest starting with a free platform like WordPress or go for a paid option?
    There are so many choices out there that I’m totally confused .. Any recommendations? Cheers!

    Like

  42. Greetings! Very helpful advice within this post! It’s the little changes that make the greatest changes. Thanks for sharing!

    Like

  43. I’m so happy to have come across your blog.. What you’re doing is precisely my dream for the future. It’s also nice to see other Indians out there following this dream. Ordinarily, I see only Americans, Europeans and Australians doing this. It’s so much harder for us. Great to see! :)

    Like

  44. Hi Shivya,

    Your story is very inspiring. I am very happy to see the way you have transformed your life. Keep up the good work.

    More women power to you!!
    :)

    Like

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  46. Again, there is official Disney merchandise that can fulfill this part of the costume.
    Thread it thru this and the holes in the roof material up and over
    and back down to the other side. Oh, and don’t even get me started on the shirts she picks to go along with the skirt.

    Like

  47. Loved it! Living your dream is not something many people have the courage to do! Inspiring…truly you are!! Keep up the great travel escapades!!

    Like

  48. Iqbal says

    Hey girl, I envy you.
    You are truly brave and I salute you. I wish I had the guts when I was a lot younger. I hope and pray that your journey of life is just as fabulous as you are and your journeys to exotic places are.
    Will keep following your posts.
    Iqbal, Karachi

    Like

  49. Nice to Meet you Shivay.. Really hats off to you..Leaving a corporate job and chasing your Dream or what you like to do most is not a easy thing.. :D
    And I must say I am inspired going through you about me Page and the Slide.. :D
    Happy Traveling.. :D

    Like

  50. Meghna says

    Hi Shivay,
    Am so glad I came across your site. Truly impressed with what you are doing! Good luck to you!
    Cheers,
    Meghna

    Like

  51. Hey Kenya is on arrival you get visa for three months USD 50
    Swaziland on arrival USD 60 from South Africa and USD 20 from Mozambique

    Like

  52. When I encountered you on Facebook, I thought, you were great. Facebook led me to your Blog. Actually, I am still going through your blog. Got to know more about you. Your style of writing makes me want more of it. Your original ideas, first person views, analytical style, all teamed up with your adventurous mindset makes you undeniably awesome! I love you Shivya :-)

    Like

  53. mndudu says

    Stumbled across your website while looking for some info around travel writing.
    Truly inspiring, young achiever I must say! Keep at it… :)

    Like

  54. When I grow up I want to be like you! Hmm…well, that would have to be in my next reincarnation… till then I will live vicariously through you! Go, girl!

    Like

  55. I just discovered your blog – and it’s fantastic! So inspiring and I love your photos & adventures :-) I look forward to following your journey. All the best and happy traveling, Irene

    Like

  56. Himali says

    very interesting… thanks for sharing your experiences. They are indeed boosting and inspiring and keeping my dreams of travelling alive!!

    Like

  57. Great intro! Can’t wait to read where all you’ve been. I was working in Goa as of last year, and love to travel! There’s a couple of interesting places which you have not covered and you may like near Goa, and I’d love to discuss the same with you, given the opportunity.

    I’ll reach out through email.

    All the very best for your travels :)!!!
    Utsav

    Like

  58. Hari Om, Shivya,

    I don’t seem to remember how I stumbled onto your blog but I must say it’s extremely refreshing.
    Your travelogues are truly outstanding.

    Regards,
    Krishna

    Like

  59. Hey Shivya:
    Just wanted to let you know that your blog is amazing and I have quite enjoy reading it !!
    Take Care
    Sonal

    Like

  60. Pingback: How I Tried to Make The Sri Lanka Tour Plan Work : Travel Hustling

  61. wonderful issues altogether, you simply received a logo new reader.
    What would you suggest in regareds to your put up that you simply made a few days in
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    Like

  62. Shivya,

    I enjoyed reading your blog. You have great enthusiasm. I too was like that and did the same thing you did as well as my friends. We quit our lucractive corporate job on 10+ years and traveled the world for the next 8 years. When we decided to go back to the corporate life, we realized why they call it a corporate ladder. When you step off the ladder and decide to travel, the ladder you climbed has fallen and you start over. However, the corporate world doesn’t hire older or experienced people for entry level positions. Entry level positions are reserved for the 20 something year olds. We decided to go back to school for 4 years in hope of increasing our chances. That also didn’t work. So we now our overeducated with technical degrees earning a living in poverty. Lesson learned: Never leave the corporate world. Just be happy with he 2 week annual vacation. It’s better than living in poverty.

    Like

  63. Pingback: Snapshots from Romania! |

  64. Surbhi Goyal says

    Hi Shivya,

    You are an inspiration! Really liked your idea of being location independent. Hope to be that myself some day.

    Surbhi

    Like

  65. Palak Saxena says

    Amazing blog.
    I find myself in the same shoes as of yours.
    Your work made me say ” Because of you I won’t give up”.
    One day I will be like you… :) :)

    Like

  66. Shivya, I am just speechless! You are an inspirational travel blogger. I am so happy to have found your blog today. I would love to stay in touch! Keep up the good work. I’ll send you an email.

    Like

  67. Hi Shivya,
    Its an amazing and inspiring story of yours. I’ll be honest to say that I envy people like you who actually live life on their terms. The rest of the people only wish they could.

    Amazing and all the best to you in your adventures and endeavors. See the world, and let the readers of your blog see it through your writing. Cheers

    Apurva Oka
    http://www.apurvaoka.com

    Like

  68. Hi Shivya Nath,
    None can define The beauty of nature itself a writer,poet,traveler and a child.Famous Poet William Wordsworth has define as small child “Lucy” in his poetry “Lucy Gray” and famous Hindi poet Jayshankar Prashad has define in the character of “Manu” and “Shraddha” in his famous book “Kamayani”.Thank you for sharing such post….You have proved the role of writer to defining the beauty of Nature.

    Like

  69. Hi Shivya,

    The pic “In the last village of India before Tibet.” is very beautiful. I cant take my eyes off it. Can you kindly share more pics of that village.

    Ashish

    Like

  70. Dude, I just read your blog, and I cannot tell you how much you inspire me!
    I am in school – stuck with a possible college/ career that I do not want to do. Reading about you quiting your corporate job to do what you wanted just might have given me the inspiration to do that myself one day!

    Like

  71. Wow, beautiful intro..!!! :)
    And hats off for the courage to quit your job and pursue your passion..!!!
    Would go through your blog right way..!! Till then, stay in touch ..!!

    Like

  72. shiv paswan says

    Hi Shivya,
    I have been to your blog, its really inspiring. I am a corporate guy but i think life is taking me on another track, i wish to travel all the world , discover places and search my soul.
    I am planning my first trekking to Manali in feb. with my friends, Later on i am really planing to travel solo and discover my self.Your blog on traveling will be really helpful to me.
    Thanks.

    Like

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