Welcome to The Shooting Star!
Hello. My name is Shivya Nath. I’ve been called a storyteller, writer, photographer, digital nomad, instagrammer, social entrepreneur, solo traveller, vegan and environmentalist. But in my heart, I’m just a girl who travels.
In 2011, at age 23, I quit my 9-to-5 corporate job with a dream of travelling the world.
In 2013, I gave up my home, sold most of my belongings and began living nomadically.
In 2015, I turned vegan and decided to cut out all animal products from my diet and lifestyle, realizing that it’s better for the animals, the planet and my own body.
In 2018, I published a book – called The Shooting Star – about my personal journey and how my travels have shaped my life choices. I was overwhelmed when it became a national bestseller in just over a month of release! It’s currently in its fourth reprint.
In 2019, I launched The Shooting Star Collection – sustainable travel-inspired clothing that raises funds to grow forests in Uttarakhand.
I believe in slow and sustainable travel, embracing local ways of life, spending time with indigenous communities, exploring places off the beaten path and minimizing my environmental impact.
I grew up in a protective Indian family in Dehradun, a valley at the base of the Himalayas, and spent my childhood wondering what lay beyond the mountains I could see from my rooftop. 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 hiring. I landed a job with the Singapore Tourism Board, where my experiments with social media began, and I first began following the journey of travel bloggers around 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 a dream of travelling the world on my own terms.
In 2014, the story of how I quit my job to travel was featured on BBC Travel.
In 2017, I was featured on the cover of National Geographic Traveller India magazine!
In 2018, I was awarded silver for best writing in a travel blog at TBC Asia Awards.
In 2019, my work was featured on The Washington Post, among travellers changing the way we think of the world.
In 2020, I won gold for best communicator at the WTM Responsible Tourism Awards India.
How I like to travel
I’m not a backpacker. While I carry a convertible backpack for convenience, I like to stay in experiential accommodations (Airbnbs, homestays), seek local experiences and don’t believe in counting every penny I spend. I like to go slow, get under the skin of a place, spend time with locals and experiment with the local cuisine; here’s how I survive and thrive as a vegan traveller. I mostly travel solo or with my partner; 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 try to contribute to the local economy, prefer public transport, avoid plastic bottled water and other single-use plastic, say no to unethical animal attractions, consume no animal products, prefer to eat what grows in the region, ask for permission before photographing people and try to form my own opinions of the places I visit and the people I meet.
What I’m up to now
The on-going pandemic has brought the global tourism industry to a halt. In 2020, I was to speak at The Economic Times Women’s Forum in India and at an environmental conference in Uzbekistan. I had dreamt of going back to Iran and travelling overland to Azerbaijan. All my travel plans stand cancelled.
In fact, with borders indefinitely closed, I’m compelled to re-evaluate my life as a digital nomad. I’m currently looking for a base within India, my home country, for the foreseeable future.
I’m working towards new passion projects, getting back to freelance writing to reach a wider audience on topics close to my heart like sustainability and vegan travel, and looking to collaborate with local organisations to build environmentally-conscious community tourism initiatives.
At the beginning of 2019, I took a pledge to cut down on flying as much as possible – and now I’m hooked to slow land journeys! In January 2019, I embarked on an epic solo land journey from Thailand to India via Myanmar, and through February and March, my partner and I travelled overland from the Persian Gulf, through southern Iran, to Armenia. In August, I crossed the border from Uzbekistan to Tajikistan, and we ended 2019 overlanding in Southern Africa!
Do you dream of travelling the world too? Read these posts:
- 15 Responsible Travel Tips for Authentic, Meaningful Experiences on the Road
- How I’m Financially Sustaining My Digital Nomad Lifestyle
- Four Years of Travelling Without a Home
- How I Fit All My Possessions in Two Bags As I Travel The World
- What’s it Like to Travel Solo When You’re in a Relationship
- How I Conquer My Solo Travel Fears
- 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
- 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 comments on the blog / Instagram though.
Thanks for reading! I’m glad we’re connected.