Welcome to The Shooting Star!
My name is Shivya Nath. At age 23 (in 2011), I quit my corporate job to travel the world. In 2013, I gave up my home, sold most of my belonging and began living nomadically – seeking adventures off the beaten path and working on the go to fund my travels.
After 7 years of travelling the world – 5 of those without a home or permanent address – I’ve written a book about my journey! My first book, The Shooting Star, charts my journey from the cubicle to the road and from small-town India to remote corners of the globe. I write candidly about my personal battles and triumphs, my relationships, moving encounters on the road and why I choose to challenge social conventions – through travel stories that take my readers from remote Himalayan village to the Amazon rainforest of Ecuador.
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 turned vegan in 2015; here’s why); 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.
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 Himalayas. 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, Latin America, the Caucasus region and the Indian subcontinent since.
I wrapped up an epic 6 month trip through Central and North America in March 2015. Guatemala, Nicaragua, Honduras, Costa Rica and Panama are the places I slow travelled in, while also catching up with friends and fall colors in New York and California.
My travels are more impulsive and chaotic now. If I find a cheap flight, I can fly halfway across the world without any planning (if my Indian passport allows it), and I seldom know where I’ll wake up a week or month from now. I’m always looking for epic adventures and unique travel goals; if you have ideas, send them my way!
Do you dream of travelling the world too? Read these posts:
- How I’m Funding My Adventures Around the World Through Travel Blogging
- Practical tips to save money for travel
- How to deal with travel-wary parents
- Solo travel: To go or not to go?
- 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
Connect with me
If you are a tourism board or travel company interested in collaborating with me, please see my Work With Me page or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you’re a fellow traveller or blogger and have questions that I haven’t yet answered on my blog, you can email me at email@example.com; I respond faster to tweets and comments on Facebook and Instagram though.
Thanks for reading!