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Blogger Of The Month – The Shooting Star

It’s time for Round 3 of the Blogger of the Month series. This is my first ‘series’ of posts on Nomadic Lives, and I must admit I’m beginning to enjoy this quite a bit. That’s it then, time for me to stop meandering and present to you, the Blogger of the Month – September 2015.

Blogger Bio: Today I have the immense pleasure of introducing to you, Shivya Nath, the wonderful, wonderful girl behind The Shooting Star. I think it’s an incredible twist-of-fate that 3 years ago, Shivya was one of the biggest reasons I started documenting my travel logs, and today, I was able to mooch off a good half hour of her time for this little interview. Like me, Shivya is born to lovely Indian parents, and the challenges of explaining the concept of a nomadic lifestyle to them is one of many strings that stitches us together. Shivya quit her desk job with Singapore Tourism in 2011 to seek a life of long-term travel. Her journey has been incredible to say the least, and I mean this more now than ever before – I don’t think anybody else has personally inspired me more towards making that leap of faith myself. So enough of Dusky talking then. Let’s hear it from the woman of the moment herself!

Shivya Nath - The Shooting Star

Introducing Shivya Nath of The Shooting Star

Dusky: The highest item on your bucket list that you’re yet to tick off?
Shivya: Riding a motorbike through Central Asia or the Caucasus region! (pretty sure she ticked this off by the time I published this. HA!)

Dusky: One item you carry with you on your journeys that has absolutely no right or reason to be with you on the road, but you still can’t leave it behind!
Shivya: Tibetan prayer flags. I’m not a Buddhist or anything, but don’t have the heart to ditch them and they carry no weight 😉

Dusky: Describe the biggest stereotype that travel has busted for you.
Shivya: Beware of strangers – I can’t believe we grow up hearing that. I’ve found the world to be full of kind, helpful, wonderfully warm people, though of course, you always have to trust your gut.

Dusky: You are now working completely on the go. Personally, I find it a little tough to balance work & leisure on the road. How do you manage to find balance? Also, how tough was it for you to develop an independent income stream? Is it something aspiring travel bloggers can reasonably expect to build & sustain?
Shivya: Oh it’s tough to maintain that balance. I think what helps is that I really love what I do – writing, social media, connecting with travellers and travel brands online. These days when I see a gorgeous view and have a creative burst, I find my notebook or iPhone and start penning thoughts that would otherwise just flow by and be forgotten.

It wasn’t easy to develop an independent income stream, especially since I didn’t really know what I was doing! I had my feet in several pits – running a travel business, freelance travel writing, freelance social media and copywriting work, partnering with travel companies on my blog, and blogging itself. It took me almost three years to streamline and somewhat stabilize my income flow, and get a work-life balance I crave; (un)fortunately that meant selling India Untravelled earlier this year and becoming a full time blogger.

Shivya Nath - The Shooting Star

Not sure how she manages to work amidst views like these!

The number of serious / professional travel bloggers in India is still small, and there is potential for aspiring travel bloggers. That could mean persevering without an income through the blog for 2-3 years; however, and in my opinion, someone with an immense love for travel, writing and social media (and someone willing to refine their skills) is most likely to succeed.

Dusky: Describe one moment of random kindness at the hands of a stranger on the road that warmed your heart beyond words.
Shivya: There are so many! Here’s a recent one from Nicaragua that I wrote about [Read: Isla De Ometepe: Where the Streets Have no Name]

Dusky: Describe one place you stumbled upon that is relatively off the tourist map and you deliberately didn’t speak about on your blog. You don’t have to name it, just describe the moment and the place!
Shivya: That beautiful little island in the Indian Ocean; my friend and I were the 11th Indians to arrive there that whole year. You hike through the forest, and see an aerial view of four bays with azure blue waters and white sand beaches – and not a soul on them. Yours is the only fishing boat island hopping and snorkeling in what looks like an aquarium. You look away from the scorching sun and see a heart-shaped like in the middle of the ocean. You land on an uninhabited little island to cook yourself a makeshift meal and wonder what if you never took the boat back…

Dusky: If you could never travel again, but could be stuck for the rest of your life in a place of your choice – what place would that be?
Shivya: Don’t wish that on me please! (I never will Shiv) I would pick a secret island in the Indian Ocean where no one can find me 😉 (May I recommend to you Moyenne Island?]

Dusky: One bizarre incident on the road that will stay with you forever!
Shivya: So many again! Here’s one encounter I’ll never forget [Read: What a WWII Polish Refugee Taught Me About ‘Hindustan]

Dusky: Can you describe some common struggles you face as a 20-something Indian girl who’s main objective is to travel?
Shivya: Finding fast connectivity in remote areas and finding clean bathrooms on long journeys in rural India. Other than that, I’ve found people to go out of their way to look out for me.

Dusky: This one’s particularly sacred to me and immensely personal. Describe one moment from your journeys that you’d point out as a moment of absolute clarity – one where you felt the most absolute of absolutions about anything.
Shivya: Sorry to disappoint you, but I’m either still looking for that moment or that moment is every single day on the road.

Shivya Nath

Think I’d go with the latter on that last answer of yours!

Dusky: Do you ever yearn or miss the stable (and if I may say so) the more routine & conventional life? Do you think you’d someday want to come back to the other side?
Shivya: I have clarity on this one – an absolutely NO! I would never give up the freedom that my current lifestyle entails me, never go back to try and ascend the corporate ladder. Even if one day, I decide to give up my nomadic, location independent life and find a place to call home, I don’t think I’ll be able to survive in the corporate world.

Dusky: From one Indian kid to another, I know it isn’t easy to explain the kind of life we aspire to live to our parents/family. Describe one of the toughest & most irritating question you’ve to answer time after time again from family and sometimes even some friends. (I get called ‘hippie’ a lot! HA)
Shivya: Haha, I get called many things 😉

The most irritating question – “Akeli hi chali jayegi?” (“You’ll go/travel all by yourself?”) That’s when the fictional stories begin :p

Dusky: Name the person you’d want to deliver an eulogy for you. Give a short version of what you’d like to hear in it!
Shivya: I’ll be dead, so doesn’t matter who delivers it and what they say. But if were to listen in, I’d like it to say, “She was just a girl who travelled…”

That’s it for this time, folks. Don’t forget to take a peak at the poetic incredulity of Shivya’s life by following her on Facebook and Twitter and I will be back with the wanderings of another awesomesauce travel blogger. Stay tuned for the first Wednesday of next month.

17 comments

  1. I really enjoyed the interview with Shivya. Thx for posting it. We travel bloggers all have interesting stories, don’t we?

  2. It’s so nice reading stories about fellow travellers and see how similar we all are in one way or another. I also agree with her, “Beware of strangers” where in fact, a lot of people are very kind and helpful 🙂

  3. Great interview with Shivya!
    Love it!
    And I agree 100% with her, the world is full of amazing people and sharing souls. We should not be so afraid of venturing ourselves on strange roads.
    All the best and thanks for inspiring us!
    Nat

  4. Shivya sounds like a really positive and upbeat person. I enjoyed her interview and free spirited out look on life 🙂

  5. It is so fascinating to read of others’ experiences and travel lifestyles!

  6. Great interview. It is amazing the number of people out there who choose to travel around and explore the world. May they be an inspiration to everyone to add some travel to your life. You will be a better person for it.

  7. Fantastic interview. What great questions to ask Shivya.
    So pleased to see she has myth busted the ‘don’t talk to strangers’ stereotype. Completely agree with this. We often find its the ‘strangers’ that make the memories that last.
    Shivya certainly sounds like the sort of person you’d like to bump into on the road. Inspiring 🙂

  8. I’m sure being a solo, female, Indian traveller would present a whole different world of challenges. Thanks for an enlightening read!

  9. I absolutely love “meeting” new bloggers so thank you for this fabulous series! Can’t wait to go and explore her blog!

  10. I love reading other people’s stories, even in an interview format. I would have to agree with Shivya about the most annoying question asked. That is usually followed by “you’re brave”, which I think sometimes is what people say instead of what they’re thinking, which is “you’re crazy”. 😉

  11. Great interview! I actually carry some Tibetan prayer flags as well! I got them on one of my first adventures and have carried them ever since!

  12. I really enjoyed this interview a lot. I spent some time living in India so can kind of understand some of the incredulous comments you both might get about your nomadic lifestyles. I love Shivya’s positive outlook on life. Thanks for the introduction!

  13. Sounds like Shivya is breaking barriers and making travel blogging possible whilst having a ball! Craig would love to motorcycle more!

  14. I haven’t read interviews in a while and this is an interesting section! Will get in touch for updates! Xx

  15. LOVE the eulogy! Just a girl who traveled. 🙂

  16. So great that you came full circle to interview one of the bloggers that inspired you!! Can see why she was such an inspiration!

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