2016 has been a roller coaster ride. Even as I explored remote national parks in Sri Lanka, hiked in the Ecuadorian Andes, and lived in the shadow of the snow-capped Panchachuli in Uttarakhand, a part of me felt perplexed professionally. I was constantly saying no to travel invitations and collaborations – for either they didn’t agree with my travel philosophy, or they refused to compensate me adequately for my work. I saw fellow bloggers readily take up assignments I passed on, while I trudged on, self-funding my travels with dwindling savings, refusing to compromise on the things I’ve believed in.
Then one day, in the blissful little Himalayan village of Sarmoli, I received an email that changed everything.
I’m super thrilled to share with you a big milestone in my blogging journey: I’m now one of the core bloggers of iambassador – the world’s leading international travel bloggers collective! That means I’ll possibly be part of more creative travel campaigns and blogging conferences the world over. But more importantly, it is to me a meaningful recognition of my work as a travel blogger, and proof that the love and effort I’ve put over the years into building The Shooting Star, is paying off.
I owe each one of you a big thank you – for being a virtual part of my journeys, for encouraging me to stay on this path I’ve chosen, and for the critical feedback. Accept a big bear hug from me!
I first fell in love with Mauritius in 2012, when I spent a couple of weeks hanging out with local fishermen on the pristine beaches, riding my bike through the surreal wilderness, and gorging on delicious Creole food. That year, I was the 11th Indian to visit Rodrigues, perhaps the Indian Ocean’s best kept secret.
Over the next 10 days, I’ll be rediscovering Mauritius with Mauritius Tourism and Air Mauritius, as an iambassador blogger. I hope to be lulled to sleep by the gentle waves of the Indian Ocean, walk on the soft white sands by moonlight and drink fine Mauritian rum. But I also hope to reconnect with my wild side – skydive above the blue waters, hike the Black River Gorges and spot the underground waterfall! Follow my journey, along with 8 other bloggers from around the world, with #MyMauritius on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.
In my 5 years of traveling, I’ve realized that my coolest adventures were also the most impulsive ones! And so it’s going to be with East Africa – a region I’ve dreamt of exploring since I fell in love with Ethiopian food in NYC.
I had to pick a destination for my flight out of Mauritius, and given its proximity to East Africa, I impulsively picked Kenya. I managed to get a yellow fever vaccination certificate in Bangkok last week (mandatory for most East African countries) – and that’s about how prepared I am. A friend works in Addis Ababa (Ethiopia), so I’ll definitely be popping in and out of there often. Other than that, I have no plans and no ticket out.
Also read: Get Busy Living or Get Busy Dying
I hope you’ll join my adventures in Mauritius, Ethiopia and possibly other parts of Africa virtually. If you have any recommendations for offbeat places, environmentally conscious accommodations, community run initiatives, or tips to stay safe and be a happy vegan, please send them my way.
See you from the other side!
How’s 2016 shaping up for you?
I wrote this post as part of the #MyMauritius blogging trip, created and managed by iambassador in partnership with Create, AHRIM, Mauritius Tourism and Air Mauritius. Opinions on this blog are always my own.