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.
Also read: How I’m Funding My Adventures Around the World Through Travel Blogging
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.
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Welcome to my blog, The Shooting Star. I’ve been called a storyteller, writer, photographer, digital nomad, instagrammer, social entrepreneur, solo traveller, vegan, sustainable tourism consultant and environmentalist. But in my heart, I’m just a girl who believes in the transformative power of travel.
Thank you for your wonderful journeys,I would like to be your virtual reader.
Always happy to have more virtual travellers with me 🙂
A big Congratulations Shivya.. you totally deserve this. Makes us feel so proud of you. Hope this adventure trip never ends and you keep discovering beauty in these places and show them to us through your eyes.. Last pic is something I still remember from my trip to Mauritius. Looks like as if the road is leading you to the beautiful ocean.
Thanks so much Poonam! I hope so too; and Mauritius always creates beautiful memories that way.
Go to Malawi. I lived there for 2 years. It’s an amazing country, friendly people and so often overlooked. The lake shore is beautiful
Thanks for the tip Fiona, will definitely look into it.
How does one get into travel blogging? This is amazing!
The only way to get into travel blogging is to go visiting places and start writing about your experiences in a blog 🙂
What Krish says is true. Here are some tips I wrote on getting started as a travel blogger – http://the-shooting-star.com/2013/02/24/how-to-start-a-travel-blog/
Aww, utter gorgeousness. Going through the same phase too, refusing trivial work for trivial sums of money (others are happily grabbing it); I sometimes feel like Roark!
The iambassador group sounds really cool. The sunset picture from Mauritius is such a stunner. Cheers.
Keep at it Shubham. Love your work and I’m sure you’ll find partnerships more worth your while soon.
I enjoy reading your blog immensely
Thanks Smriti, happy to hear that 🙂
You are wonderful. Keep going 🙂 I hope I get to travel 1/10th of what you do.
Make it happen Anoop; one step at a time and you’ll get there!
Congratulations on the iambassador entry. Look forward to reading your blog posts as always !
Thanks so much Harish, exciting!
Congratulations Shivya for the entry into iambassdor. A well deserved one 🙂 Definitely inspiring too for many of us 🙂 Looking forward for your next post!
Thanks so much Krish! Excited to see where this will lead.
Shivya, I love you. 😍😋
You have visited some amazing places all unique in different ways keep on traveling, – Africa will be great.
Thanks Terry, appreciate the support!
I’m looking forward to more wonderful adventurous travel stories from you. Congrats! Keep us entertained with your awesome escapade here in your blog.
Thanks Annika, always on it 🙂
Handfull of information, thanks and all the best. I am just behind…
Congratulations on getting this new recognition. Now we will get to see more interesting blogs from you. Hats off!
Thanks Kushagra! And I sure hope so 😉
Congratulations Shivya. This is a great milestone.
Thank you, exciting times ahead I hope!
So inspiring! Hats off to your exploration. 🙂
Uganda is also beautiful ..Pearl of Africa
I hope you had a beautiful time in Africa,East Africa and especially my home ,Kenya ♥
Karibu Tena ( Welcome back / Come again ” roughly translated )
Your blog is amazing!!!!!!😊😊😊😊😊😊😊
DEAR FRIEND ….I Â WISH YOU MERRY CHRISTMAS, I PRAY ALL THEBLESSINGS AND THE JOY OF CHRISTMAS TO YOUR LIFEÂ WITH LOVEÂ SHAJI