The Wandering Core – Travel Interview

I’m Shivani, born and brought in New Delhi, India and in love my home city. I’m a software developer by profession and an avid book reader. Apart for the love of writing, I love food (a die-hard foodie) and also an Indian chai fan.

I started my blogging journey almost 2 years ago after coming back from a solo trip to Paris. Initially it was a journal for my travel stories, but it ignited my childhood passion of writing in me. Since then I never looked back. I travel solo and also with my family(mom, dad & brother) so my stories involve both the genres. Today when I think about my blog name, I recall how difficult it was for me to decide. After months of digging in, I realised my passion and hence I came up with “The Wandering Core”.

What plans do you have in the future for your blog?
I am passionate about architecture, history and cafes and I write a lot about my own city – Delhi, India. In the coming months, I will be publishing about a few cultural places and some series on cafes from Delhi.
Also, planning to take my blog to a next level by contributing to fellow bloggers about either my travels or any knowledge about my home city, Delhi. I also have few travel plans for this summer, probably Singapore. So, technically a lot of things are in the pipeline.

Does your blog cover anything else other than travel?

I am an avid book reader with a keen interest in history around WWII. So, a small section of my blog is dedicated towards book reviews.

What can our readers find on your website?

Do you have any travel tips or advice for our readers that might want to start a travel blog?  Before starting a blog, the most important to ask yourself is why you want write on a blog and not just use other social media. Choosing the name of the blog is the most important thing, it should represent your passion for blog, doesn’t matter if people don’t get it, you should.

The blogging medium is another thing mistake people fall for – don’t opt for blogger, wix or any other. Use WordPress either self-hosted or I use the later, it’s expensive but I like the flexibility and 24-hour support on a business plan. Choose wisely.

Also, join a few facebook groups to gain more insights on SEO and other technical things. Blogging is fun if you like to keep it that way.

What are some of the highs and lows of travel blogging?

Sometimes after writing my post, I don’t get the expected views or shares, then it’s a tad disappointing. But on the other hand, when I see the readers commenting that they liked my post and find the information useful, that just keeps me motivated.

What type of traveler are you?

I work full time and then travel. I am in corporate and I get 10 public holidays and 32 leaves annually. I utilise these leaves, mix them as long weekends or just a week off for 10-day trip. These help me travel near and also to a far off destination.

What sites or other resources do you use to decide where and when you will go to a certain place or destination?

Being a blogger, I like to read from other blogger’s websites to decide where I want to go next.

Do you have any favourite travel books you have read or use?

I don’t have any particular ones, but being a history and WWII buff, I have loved “The Nightingale” – By Kristin Hannah, “Lilac Girls” by Martha Kelly and “The Light we cannot see” by Anthony Doerr. These have been my inspirations.

What’s been some of your favourite destinations & why?

I have visited Prague for a weekend trip and absolutely loved it, the architecture, the colours, and moreover the warmth of Czech people. Apart from that I completely adore my home city, Delhi India.

What equipment do you use to blog or for your blog?

I currently use my iPhone 6s for photography, with some paid camera apps like camera+, and editing softwares like Snapseed, Lightroom and vsco (my favourite). Apart from that I write my blog on my MacBook air.

Do you have any photography or making travel videos tips?

Prefer taking pictures in natural light with grids mode on (on mobiles). Almost everything else can be edited but a bad composition can ruin even an otherwise gorgeous photograph.

What’s the TOP blog posts on your page?
The unexplored Ashokan Rock Edicts, Odisha, India 
Places to visit in Vienna in 2 days
8 Must Try European Delicacies 

Do you have any tips or suggestions on how bloggers can earn an income from blogging?

Earning money from blogging takes its own sweet time. Most efficient ways are ads or affiliates, but they give a decent income only when the blog have a good amount of views.

Top 5 Bucket-list Destinations – Iceland, New York, Germany, Russia and Portugal

Top 5 travel experiences you can’t wait to try out or do – Paragliding, deep sea diving(although I don’t how to swim)

Do you have a money saving travel tips – Don’t waste money on expensive clothes/shoes etc. Eat home cooked food rather than dining out at a fancy café. It save a lot of money we don’t realise.

Do you have any funny or strange travel experiences to share?

While in Paris, the first morning looking for a breakfast, I went in a gorgeous cafe with a view of Eiffel Tower. My limited knowledge on Parisian food drove me to the path of plain old omelette. After searching 2 different menus, I had to ask the waiter for an omelette. Got a bad stare without a smile, I felt so embarrassed. That was the point, I knew I have to learn about the place I’m visiting before going, this is my mantra now.

Was there a place you visited that did not live up to your expectations & why?  I have visited Mumbai a couple of times and despite many efforts to like it, I never could. It’s the uncleanliness which drive me crazy in that city. Going back once again this summer, in a hope to like the city this time, fingers crossed!

What’s in your travel bag? My Laptop, power bank, extra top, jeans & undies if I check in luggage, headphones and a book.

What travel apps do you use and why? I use makemytrip, and skyscanner for flights. And and Airbnb for hotels/home-stays.

What are 3 things travelling has thought you?  Travel taught me to be curious in a real sense, and not just a classroom one. When I’m in another country with little or no knowledge of language, it my curiosity that drives me to know more.

Secondly, I learnt, it’s ok to travel solo, which was a stereotype for me. I now enjoy the “Me-Time’.
Last and the most important thing I learnt is that introverts can also converse. I am an introvert, I found out I could talk to strangers, who turned out to be really nice 🙂

Have you encountered any travel mishaps or scary moments if so what happened? On my first international solo trip, I had a 4 hour layover in Doha, Qatar. After all the formalities were done with my boarding pass with gate number present in my hand, I started to explore the airport. Almost 30-45 minutes before the flight, I found out that the gate changed to a different corner of the airport without any announcement. I freaked out, ran like crazy and upon reaching the gate as a last few passengers. Here, another shocker, plane change and because I was late, I got a middle seat. This was my first solo travel and I was already anxious so I didn’t argue & let that go. But those 6.5 hours in that middle seat was literally unbearable.

Do you have any recommendations for cities and beach places that you have visited and loved? What was good about these places – I am a city person but not much of a beach one. I love architecture and so Prague tops my list(yet). Looking forward to see a place which can push Prague down 😀

Have you visited any off the beaten track places?  While in Sangla Valley Himachal Pradesh, we had a planned itinerary where we’ll visit Chitkul village – the last village of India touching with Tibet (China Border). But our hotelier suggested to try Kanda village with a gorgeous Lake. We decided to go ahead with the suggestion and it was immensely beautiful. Undeveloped route, a 4X4 truck driving up at an altitude of 4000meters and mesmerising views. I wouldn’t have known about it if I had gone to Chitkul, lucky me.

Best places you have visited or want to visit for cultural experiences?  I would love to travel to Germany for witnessing their culture, history and immense beauty.

What are 5 things you wish you knew about blogging before you started?
I wish I knew SEO is such a major factor in blogging. Pinterest is a search medium which can help reach readers looking for nice content. I wish I had worked on both since the beginning.

Where do you see your travel blog in two years? I am planning to drive more organic traffic to my site so that I can focus on my travels and writing rather than just social media promotions.

Please share one travel quote you love.

 “Wander as much as you can” – I made it up and it’s also on my blog headline.

My other favourite is:

” Travel makes a wise man better but a fool worse.” – Thomas Fuller

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  • Antonio Gabric

    Love this interview! Especially the scary experience from the airport as I can totally relate to that one! Lucky you! 🙂

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