“If traveling is an art, Heena Raheja is a pure artist. If traveling is a book, she is a best-selling author.”
Meet Heena Raheja, a digital nomad, a blogger, a TedX speaker and a full-time traveler. She is also the founder of Travel Affairs. In a conversation with her, she has explained the life before and after traveling. She has also explained how marriage is not a barrier for being a traveler and her journey from a 9-5 job to a TedX speaker. She is an inspiration. Let’s read the conversation below.
1. How was life before traveling?
– Life was monotonous, confused, boring. I was lacking inspiration and purpose. I had no clue what I am doing and why. Every day I was questioning myself.
2. When and why did you take traveling as a full-time job?
– I decided to quit my job once Travel Affairs started and I was taking people out on trips. I was enjoying the newly found freedom plus the feeling that I was able to create a difference in people’s life via travel. It was in Nov. 2017 that I quit and jumped full time into traveling.
3. Does your family support this at first unlike most of the Indian families?
– It took a little while for my family to accept that their daughter is going to travel, alone most of the time and taking a group of random strangers on trips. But I made sure that I don’t hide anything from them and keep them in the loop with whatever I was doing. I told them, that my life is different than yours, accept it and let’s grow together. They took it positively and eventually, there started enjoying my journeys, virtually!
4. When did you feel that traveling now can be a full-time option?
– Let me be very clear here, finances are something that needs to be taken care of once you decide to jump full time into traveling. I was able to develop new skills that managed to get me some freelance projects. When I was sure of my money inflow to back up my travel, I was sure of quitting my job.
5. How did this journey make you a TedX speaker?
– Aah, that’s a beautiful thing that happened. Unexpected and randomly. It happened through my Instagram stories. Since I started Instagramming, I used to document my journey there. Not only travel journeys but my real life, like what’s happening, how do I feel, etc. Someone from the TEDx team used to follow me and they invited me for the talk.
6. How was your TedX experience?
– It was a mixture of a lot of emotions. I was Nervous, Excited, Proud, and a little scared at the same time. I couldn’t believe for days that it was happening. Speaking on the TEDx stage was amazing and a dream come true. I managed to make an Instagram story on stage and it was one of the best experiences of my life.
Watch her Ted Talk :
7. Which is your favorite place to travel?
– Jibhi (Himachal Pradesh)! Without any doubt.
The place is so special and close to my heart for multiple reasons. I have had so many “firsts” in my life there. Like, I experienced my first snowfall there, Travel Affairs Hostel started at Jibhi, We celebrated Travel Affair’s first birthday in Jibhi, I organized my first trip to that place and so many other things. The vibe of that place is magical. It’s a beautiful valley, and mesmerizing enough to make you forget all your problems and you just get lost in yourself and nature in no time.
8. Do you like traveling solo or with groups?
– Both. I enjoy my company as much as I enjoy the group. It depends on my mood. And both have their pros and cons.
9. Any advice you would like to give it to the people who want to take traveling as a full-time option considering the safety and career issues?
– People think traveling full time is a fancy word. It is not. Survival is a task. and one should only take it up if he/she is very sure of the future. And it’s not sustainable honestly. One can’t be on the road all the time. What I rather suggest is, try to manage travel along with your regular life. It’s difficult, I know but that way, you won’t miss anything and you won’t have to worry about finances also, which is the biggest concern when you travel full time.
Watch Travel Gossips with Heena Raheja: https://youtu.be/EnOfDPAPpFs
10. Who is your biggest inspiration?
– I have a vision of my future self which motivates me and inspires me to do better every time. Plus, everyone who is following their passion and are consistent with it, is my inspiration. I have a lot of such people in my friend list.
11. Has traveling affected your life after marriage?
– I feel the question should be another way round. Marriage has affected my Travel Life to some extent. With additional responsibilities, I am not able to travel that frequently but fortunately, my partner and family are supportive enough. I have no complaints. I guess I can manage well.
12. Do you have any best experience that you would like to share with our viewers?
– That’s difficult to choose. Every travel experience has been amazing in terms of learning and experience. I would like to share a small story here. I was supposed to go on a Solar Electrification Expedition to Ladakh with Global Himalayan Expedition. Exactly 3 days before the trip, I met with an accident (Ok so I slipped and fell in the running stream during a trek, to be exact).
Both my knees and elbows were badly injured and I was not even able to walk properly. Plus, I fell sick, high fever, cold and cough.
I didn’t share it with my family, but just with my brother, who suggested me to cancel the Ladakh trip.
I was adamant enough to go to Ladakh. It was a 10-day trip. It was no less than a challenge to go there & complete the Electrification project.
I am happy I took that challenge.
13. How is your quarantine going on without travel?
– Aah, this is tough! Travel for me is more of a Rejuvenation. I feel a lot more energetic, productive, motivated and inspired when I travel. And I am the best version of myself once I come back from a trip.
But, since there is no way I can go out in Quarantine, I am utilizing my time in planning my future trips and creating content while sitting at home.
A journey that started from a question and that ended to a wonderful inspiration. No dream is small and no dream is impossible, Heena Raheja has proved this over the times and is certainly inspiring a lot of youngsters. Even in her quarantine, she is busy holding workshops. She is not only fulfilling her dreams bur also ensuring people like similar visions reach their destinations.
Follow the wonderful Instagrammer: https://www.instagram.com/hina_raheja/
And a book your next travel trip at https://www.instagram.com/affairs.travel/
Follow her YouTube channel https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJNj4lEGCkzXNh4D4Mjju5g
Check out more content at: https://gogomagazine.in/category/lifestyle/