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Romania photos, Brasov photos, Brasov Romania

Snapshots from Romania!

It all began one night, when a friend and I sat staring at the world map. I had landed a fat assignment and finally reached my savings goal for a long overdue trip out of India. After turning down many drab international 3-4 day FAM trips that offered nothing immersive or even remotely exciting, I craved a mix of the east and the west, interesting food and the chance to experience a culture I knew little about. Romania seemed to tick all the boxes. Flights were booked, visa hurdles painfully crossed, and off we went. Into a world that continues to delight and surprise me. Shivya NathWelcome to my blog, The Shooting Star. I’ve been called a storyteller, writer, photographer, digital nomad, “sustainability influencer,” social entrepreneur, solo traveller, vegan, sustainable tourism consultant and environmentalist. But in my heart, I’m just a girl who believes that travel – if done right – has the power to change us and the world we live in.

Ask Me Anything: March 2013

In this second post of the “Ask Me Anything” series, I answer your questions about how to earn money while travelling, how to pack for long trips, how to pitch travel stories to publications, and destination-related questions about Bahrain, Singapore and Thailand. 1. HOW TO EARN MONEY WHILE TRAVELLING? Ishan: I run into money problems sometimes while backpacking; can you recommend a good way to earn money while on your travels? India doesn’t currently hold a working holiday agreement with any country in the world, so the best way to earn money while travelling with an Indian passport is to work online. The options are aplenty: writing, copy editing, research, web designing, coding, teaching languages, social media marketing – really anything that you don’t have to be physically present in an office for. Becoming a freelancer and diversifying your income sources (like I try to do) ensures that you stay motivated and are not too reliant on a single piece of work. Shivya NathWelcome to my blog, The Shooting Star. I’ve been called a storyteller, …

Rajasthan salt lake, Rajasthan offbeat, Rajasthan village

Why I’m Not Celebrating International Women’s Day.

If I had a dime for each time someone asked me what it was like to travel alone, as a woman, or called me brave for travelling far and wide, as a woman, I’d be a millionaire. The one thing definitely more challenging about travelling solo as a woman, is that people look at you with concern, pity even, for being without a man to carry your things, or find your way around. Having circled the edges of being a feminist, I’ve now strongly started to feel that this relentless victimization, more than anything else, is the root cause of so many challenges faced by women. We put women on a separate pedestal whenever possible. Separate queues for women, separate compartments for women, and absurdly, even separate banks for women! These pedestals clearly imply that women are neither as strong nor as safe as men, and gradually become self-fulfilling prophecies – because as women, we unquestioningly accept that we are the victims, and it leads men to subconsciously assume either a protectionist or a predatory stance. When …

Travel Plans in March!

I’m penning this post from the cosy courtyard of one of my favorite cafes in Singapore, on whose sunny shores I landed two days ago. It was here, in this tiny island nation that my tryst with travel started, and I used it as a base to explore Southeast Asia while studying and then working. It feels surreal walking its familiar streets and revisiting my favorite hangouts, as I connect the many dots that led to the path I’m now on, but I digress. While dealing with withdrawal symptoms from my recent trip to Bahrain, many exciting opportunities and plans cropped up. Here are all the places that I’m heading to this month: Shivya NathWelcome to my blog, The Shooting Star. I’ve been called a storyteller, writer, photographer, digital nomad, “sustainability influencer,” social entrepreneur, solo traveller, vegan, sustainable tourism consultant and environmentalist. But in my heart, I’m just a girl who believes that travel – if done right – has the power to change us and the world we live in.

Mauritius photos, Mauritius photo gallery, Indian Ocean

Reflections at 25.

In the quaint French quarters of Pondicherry, I reflect on the first quarter of my life, reading what I penned almost two years ago: 25 things I’d tell the 25-year-old me. While I still have many layers to climb on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, I’d like to think that I’ve already braced and beaten my quarter life crisis. It has been one and a half years since I took the plunge to quit my corporate job in Singapore in pursuit of all things travel; I’ve been on a roller coaster ride since, and looking back on how the dots in my life have slowly connected, I feel both grateful and humbled for where I am now – closer to that illusive feeling of happiness than I’ve ever been before. Shivya NathWelcome to my blog, The Shooting Star. I’ve been called a storyteller, writer, photographer, digital nomad, “sustainability influencer,” social entrepreneur, solo traveller, vegan, sustainable tourism consultant and environmentalist. But in my heart, I’m just a girl who believes that travel – if done right – …

Why The World Should End on December 21st, 2012.

I must admit I was a tad disappointed when the NASA video on “Why the world didn’t end yesterday” got out. No, I’m not a doomsday planner; I haven’t been waiting for 2012 all my life. Nor have I have checked everything off my bucket list in anticipation of the d-day. But while I’ve laughed at jokes about the end of the world, a small part of me wishes that the world would indeed, end in two days. Shivya NathWelcome to my blog, The Shooting Star. I’ve been called a storyteller, writer, photographer, digital nomad, “sustainability influencer,” social entrepreneur, solo traveller, vegan, sustainable tourism consultant and environmentalist. But in my heart, I’m just a girl who believes that travel – if done right – has the power to change us and the world we live in.

Confession: I’m Not a Backpacker.

This is the 4th post of my Travel Secrets series. It is a common assumption that someone who travels as much and as often as I do, is a backpacker. And that as per the conventional definition of a backpacker, I carry only a backpack when I travel, I get by with the lowest possible budget, I stay in hostels, I spend a large amount of my time interacting with fellow backpackers, and I swear by a guidebook (most likely the lonely planet). While I have nothing against such a style of travelling, and in fact have a certain sense of admiration for people who travel that way, I have a confession to make: I’m not a backpacker. Shivya NathWelcome to my blog, The Shooting Star. I’ve been called a storyteller, writer, photographer, digital nomad, “sustainability influencer,” social entrepreneur, solo traveller, vegan, sustainable tourism consultant and environmentalist. But in my heart, I’m just a girl who believes that travel – if done right – has the power to change us and the world we live in.

How Travelling is Breaking My Heart.

Only a day remains before I must board a flight back to Mauritius, and leave the island of Rodrigues behind forever. I came knowing or expecting nothing from this tiny little dot in the Indian Ocean, and I found everything. I fell in love with its stunning coastline, the volcanic landscapes of its interiors, the smiles forever pasted on the faces of its residents, the casual pace at which life moves here, the handful of cafes… I fell in love with it all. And just as I thought I could live here forever, time has come for me to move on. I feel my heart crumbling to pieces, and like a lovelorn soul, I walk into the Rodrigues tourism office to ask if foreigners like myself can buy land in this little paradise. Who am I kidding, right? I’ll never afford it in a thousand years, and even if I do, my itchy feet won’t let me stay for too long. Rodrigues and I part with a heavy heart. Shivya NathWelcome to my blog, The …

Stuck In a Vicious Cycle, Or Is That Just How Indians Like to Travel?

If you’ve been following my travel adventures on Facebook or Twitter, you probably know by now which island country I’m heading to end of the month (oh yeah!). Incase you missed it, I’ll give it away with a hint: this island nation in the Indian Ocean, off the coast of Africa, has the reputation of being stunningly beautiful. Got it? In a discussion with a travel provider last week, I was told that if I intend to write about said island country for the Indian audience, I must follow an itinerary that would appeal to Indians. This itinerary, I was told, included a visit to a massive Shiva statue to “do pooja”, and this itinerary, I was told, would ditch skydiving because that’s just as good as sitting by the window seat as your flight lands along the azure blue seas, and twenty minutes of floating in mid air are not worth the money. Shivya NathWelcome to my blog, The Shooting Star. I’ve been called a storyteller, writer, photographer, digital nomad, “sustainability influencer,” social entrepreneur, solo …

I Couldn’t Have Made it to 100,000 Views Without You.

This post is dedicated to you, whoever you are and wherever you’re reading from. Thank you. Thank you for being a part of The Shooting Star, for leaving me words of wisdom and encouragement, for liking & sharing my posts, and for being with me virtually. I couldn’t have made it to 100,000 views without you. I present you with a brand new look today. Shivya NathWelcome to my blog, The Shooting Star. I’ve been called a storyteller, writer, photographer, digital nomad, “sustainability influencer,” social entrepreneur, solo traveller, vegan, sustainable tourism consultant and environmentalist. But in my heart, I’m just a girl who believes that travel – if done right – has the power to change us and the world we live in.