Love travelling? Are you one of those who can't wait for Friday so that you can pick up your rucksack and go on off exploring different places over the weekend, or plan a trip that you can take at the end of the year, months in advance?
Seema Gurnani's 'Panda Reviewz' offers travellers and foodies a wonderful platform to share their experiences and entice others, like them, to share their travel and food stories with the world.
Gurnani, a young entrepreneur started a memorable journey with Panda Reviews which soon became India's top Food and Travel Blog exploring the best fo both worlds.
And to add to it, Gurnani herself is a voracious traveller who loves to backpack alone all over the place.
In conversation, Gurnani shares her love for solo travelling, writing a blog and making money out of it.
"When you travel alone, you get more time to appreciate the diversity of different places," she says, adding, "We get out of our comfort zones and interact with new people and learn a lot."
The young entrepreneur adds that her passion for travelling has taken her to several places that include Hyderabad, Varanasi, Kochi, Ooty, Auroville, Delhi, Coimbatore, goa, etc.
"But, Goa makes my favourite destination as I have immense love for beaches. Auroville is a place where I find peace," she quips.
One of the things that Gurnani does on her travel escapades is chronicle them in her blog for others to read and help plan ahead.
Speaking about her blog, the young entrepreneur says that with the blog, she is focused on turning it into a brand.
“Helping people with my travel stories is something that I aim towards doing. And yes, blogging can be taken as a full time profession if you are enjoying it and doing it with all your heart and soul and also if you are getting enough money to support your travel expenses and others,” she adds.
But how does one make money from blogging? Gurnani explains, “Do not go straight into thinking of making money from your blog. Invest your time and efforts into your blog. Make it worthy for readers,” she says, adding, “Always think of presenting things in a detailed manner to help your readers. Note down even the slightest of your travelling details because nothing is trivial when it comes to travelling.”
Gurnani feels once these little things are done with finesse there will always be opportunities to earn money from the blog.
For the girl from Vijayawada, life has been an adventure. Having completed her education in Delhi, she got a position in a reputed MNC, but the travelling bug had always been a part of her, and nine months in, she quit, to travel, to blog and create something big out of the two.
“The quest to explore new horizons did not allow me to continue in the job. I came out to do something I enjoy doing rather than working for money. And I realized the need to do something of my own. Then I decided to create Panda Reviewz, Vijayawada’s answer to Zomato,” she explains.
Panda Reviewz, says Gurnani is an open platform for everyone where they can get all information related to food and travel, and it’s away from filmy gossips and controversies.
The voracious reader, foodie and traveller who says she is still learning something new everyday has taught herself the importance of SEO and now consults various projects on them as well
As for all those who are wondering what are the do's and dont's of solo travelling, Gurnani explains, “Well, solo travelling indeed comes with its own share of do's and dont's. I can list the ones I myself follow:
- I always inform your parents of friends about the place you are travelling to
- Whenever you are hiring a cab or auto, always use google map to check if you are on the right path
- I always keep important numbers on my speeddial.
- As a blogger, I always write down the details of the places I am visiting and I click lots of pictures.
- Well, you may call me anti-feminist for this, but I would highly recommend that always dress in a modest way to avoid unnecessary gazing.
- Never wear heavy jewellery or carry expensive things
- Always try to stick to the public place when you are travelling alone.
- Carry a pepper spray.”