The Fearless Blogger Encouraging Women To Travel Solo
The 32-year-old, Shimla-girl Akriti Mattu from Bengaluru, founder of the travel blogging platform Budget Wayfarers. More than that she has been an avid traveller since the age of three! Yes, she was three when her parents took her to South India. Since then she has back-packed to more than 5000 destinations in the world! Voila!
Oh yes, by the time she turned 13, she had travelled the length and breadth of India. And her passion to travel and explore the nook and corners of the world reflects in the form of umpteen posts she has made over the time on SHEROES.
Daughter of award-winning scientists, Akriti starts opening up about her work that stems out of her passion for travel, "Mahima, I began writing at the age of 8. Got my first poem published with the Tribune at 10. When I grew older, learned the intricacies of blogging and gradually switched to Travel Blogging. Back then I wrote a blog for myself. Gradually, I started blogging for a variety of brands and finally have come up with my own platform for Travel Bloggers from across the globe."
But not many know that this Post Graduate in English Literature has been awarded a Gold Medal, during both Graduation and Masters for topping her state. She was felicitated by the former President Shri Pranab Mukherjee. She once aspired to be a Civil Servant. And had even cracked the written exams to be the same.
Then what made you turn around to travel blogging? "Mahima, I wanted to be an IFS and nothing less. When I started preparing for UPSC and cracked the first 2 stages, I got an opportunity from the United States to be a part of a project (8 months) and that is when I worked with a startup for the first time. On my return to India, made an informed decision and moved to Bangalore – the startup capital of the country. It was time for me to polish my skills. Took a couple of jobs with a few startups and did consulting for a lot many (based outside India as well). By this time, I had turned into a professional blogger for not just travel but a variety of other domains. Travel, however, remained my favourite. I knew it was my calling."
Not everyone is happy when they have to switch to plan B, but Akriti sounds different, "When I look back, I see it as one of my best decisions. This leap of faith made me realize my creative side, my super professional side and I was convinced that I was way too non-conforming to be part of the Government sector. I had other plans in place now – to work for startups, learn and groom my skills and finally start my own venture - Budget Wayfarers."
And today the Travel Community at SHEROES is full of her work, her adventures and Community chats where she keeps promoting her passionate work, as well as keeps motivating women to travel solo. She also shared a post where she shared tips on HOW TO BECOME A TRAVEL BLOGGER.
"I joined SHEROES about 6 months back because I absolutely loved the idea of women-only space. Space where thousands of silent voices are beginning to get louder by the day. Space where our essential differences are celebrated as women. So heartwarming to see how SHEROES is empowering women. And also providing them with a rock-solid platform to have a stance, feel each other emotionally and to grow. I wish team SHEROES my very best and hope to see the platform get to 100 million and beyond," chuckles a very upbeat young lady, who is just back from the Himalayas, from where she also curated the SHEROES Twitter Handle!
So what are your tips for women who yearn to travel solo? She laughs, " I won't give out gyaan like a granny. Rather, I just want to tell women who want to pursue solo travel to let go of all fear and venture out (start by travelling to familiar places). It isn’t as scary as most people make it sound."
And I am summing up the tips Given by Akriti for WOMEN TO TRAVEL SOLO as below:
- Always make bookings in advance and at safe places of accommodation (read a lot of travel blogs and reviews online).
- Inform your friends and family about your whereabouts (share complete itinerary if possible).
- Respect the culture and people of places that you visit.
- Lastly, have fun being on your own. It’s great.
Akriti adds, "All you women out who are reading this, a big Hello! You must Travel Solo. It will help you connect with your essential ‘self ‘like never before. It won’t only make you confident but also self-aware. Every woman should take a solo trip at least once in her life."
Work, travel, and work. And being married for about a year now. How do you strike a balance between life and work? "I have been travelling even before I got married. Ashish and I dated each other for 4 long years and the first 3 were long distance actually (since we were in different cities). In the fourth year, we moved in together and finally got married on July 23rd, 2018. We try travelling together whenever our schedule permits and I’m visiting some locales close by, he often joins me on weekends. As for work, Budget Wayfarers is all about being Digital Nomads so my attitude fits in well with the platform," details a much-mentally-sorted Akriti.
So Akriti, you lived-in with your partner before marriage, even if it was a short term, sounds like a cakewalk. But I am sure it had its own challenges, especially from the society. I had to ask her considering our country has become digital, but mentally lives in the mythological age! Her reply wears a serious assertive tone, "You know Mahima, both our families have been supportive of us right from the beginning. But the society had their own logic and fears. And thus I really hope, more and more parents understand their children's needs and be friends with them." She is giving credit to her parents, but her voice has a rebellious streak so I dig a bit more.
She finally opens up, "Actually I have been rebellious. The very nature of mavericks like me is rebellious by default. No revolution can happen without rebels. This includes the internal revolution that churns inside women like me. Not just my wedding to the man of my choice, but my life journey till now has been challenging. But it has also been one of growth and transformation. Society has learned to accept me the way I am and I live each day being ‘me.’ This makes me happy. Really happy."
A successful rebel, or a successful woman? So, how do you define yourself Akriti? She says, "For me, a successful woman is somebody who can be her ‘true self’ in every phase of life – un-jaded, unmoved and unstoppable. If nothing, and I mean nothing prevents her from being her true self, she surely is successful."
She leaves us with a bit of two-point advice;
"Dear SHEROES, my constant quest to finding answers has led to my self-discovery as a woman. Thus you must...
- Never ever be afraid to venture to the ‘OTHER’ side that society makes you believe is a place for rebels. Truth is that society is damn fearful of anyone who breaks the norms. The other side is the empowering side.
- Learn the craft of objectively saying ‘NO’ to even your closest people. This single quality will save you a lot of trouble and will help you remain true to yourself.
I am sure that Akriti Mattu's life-story shared in our #MeetTheSheroes Series has left you inspired enough. So don't forget to share it with your friends, especially the ones who wish to break barriers and shatter the glass ceiling. What more? Do pour some love for Akriti in the comments below after all she has loved you guys a lot, all this while.
You can follow her on SHEROES.
A*****Lovely story of Akriti Mattu .very much inspired ,it's really what I want to do , I always wanted to travel solo, but u know na family ,specially mom, don't allow, but now I am at that stage of my life where I don't want to think about others. pl.help n guide me to be a part of travel solo. today only I hv joined Sherose n this is what I read abt. Akriti Mattu n got inspired. at such a small age what things she has done, I am just thinking only to do so.but now even I want to travel solo but don't know how? pl.help Akriti.......this is my very first comment on Sherose post.
S*****Just loved it. I too am keen to travel solo after reading the story will give it a try.
A*****I got a warm feeling read about our camp Akriti I'm proud that finally we are breaking barriers and women are being more conscious about how admirably strong we are!
V*****Superb....this article will definitely encourage others
L*****I loved loved loved this article.. ive been wanting to travel solo but my family has its fears. I guess its time!!
S*****Wonderful girl with a wonderful journey💓
A*****Wow. You have a great journey with amazing personality. Inspired to read about you .
P*****Awesome! Loved reading your journey, You are an amazing personality and very inspiring strong woman🌷🌷@Akriti Mattu
S*****Ur r really great and very brave one. Keep going on dear.
F*****You are simply a great gal congrats to you on building your life the way you wanted
R*****Love all the way you craft and success. Loved💝
S*****Inspired to read about her.would love to meet her sometime and travel with her.
P*****I met her here and had gone through her write ups about travelling .Again inspired today reading in details about her life and strong determination.My love and best wishes to her and a ton 9f thanks to mahima for a wonderful story to motivate me more.❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤
P*****Beautiful girl with Beautiful story with super Beautiful characters giving many more girls a beautiful inspiration to live and lead their lives... I am your fan ...mam.. add me in your long long list of fan followers!!!♥️♥️♥️
U*****Great dear.... Really inspiring.... Keep exploring ..... Keep rocking
S*****Superb n a real inspiration for youngsters especially when times r changing lives digitally n allowing the girls taking their own decision is really making a way for all women go free n do watever suits each one of us to be independent n follow our passion grt going keep it up