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?
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.
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. I also co-run a responsible travel company called India Untravelled, that helps connect travellers with offbeat travel experiences across India.
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 5-6 month trip through parts of North, Central and South America. Guatemala, Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador and Ecuador are the countries I plan to slow travel in, while also catching up with friends and family in the US.
Do you dream of travelling the world too? Read these posts:
- How I afford my travels and how you can too
- Practical tips to save money for travel
- How to deal with travel-wary parents
- Tips to plan your first solo trip
- How to start a travel blog
- How to earn money while travelling
- Things I wish I knew before I quit my job
- What it’s like to travel without a home
- More questions answered here: FAQs
Too much reading?
These slides speak a thousand words!
Connect with me
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.