Whats your story divyakshi gupta

What’s Your Story 5 – Divyakshi Gupta, the Quirky Wanderer

Today is a special day because today is Father’s day. Father is an important person in everyone’s life and he is a support structure. Just like how Divyakshi Gupta, the ace travel blogger and the Chief Food Officer at her home, plays in every newbie blogger’s life. There are newcomers in the blog world who look up to her for learning and knowing crucial travel related tips. In today’s ‘What’s Your Story’ series, we will be talking to Divyakshi.

She is not a new name in the blog world and what a Quirky Wanderer she is! She is among the top-rated travel bloggers in India and I have had the privilege of meeting her during an event in Mumbai. So without much ado, let’s talk to the super star travel blogger.

What’s Your Story – Divyakshi Gupta, the Quirky Wanderer

1. How has the current COVID-19 situation changed your life?

Divyakshi Gupta – The COVID-19 situation has been successful in putting a traveler in a house arrest for four months. It has definitely changed my life in many aspects. This is the longest ever I have been at home at a stretch. It has taught me a lot. I also don’t see travel happening at least this year for me. So safe to say this year has been a challenging one so far.

2. What constructive activity did you do in this lockdown period?

Divyakshi Gupta – I have got back to reading. I never got the time to read in the mad rush of travels and work. The lockdown helped me get back to my books and I have finished reading four of them. Secondly, it has helped me up my cooking skills. Even though I love cooking, I didn’t get the time to do it so often. So have been cooking up a riot, trying new dishes, and experimenting with limited resources. I find it therapeutic and it keeps me sane!

On the work front, I released a lockdown video series to extend support towards local brands ( artisans, craftsmen, travel enablers) Here are the videos in the series:

3. What are the main challenges and the biggest lessons you have learned from this lockdown?

Divyakshi Gupta – The main challenges are to keep yourself positive and mentally sane in this period. While there is so much uncertainty around, we need to pull ourselves together and hope for the best. Another challenge is balance work: having to do everything with no house help is the BIGGEST challenge for me! 

What are my biggest lessons?

Everyone is fighting a common enemy: a disease that has affected us all. We are all fighting battles: of the inadequacy of resources, of separation from loved ones, of loneliness, of uncertainty, and of anxiety.

Everyone’s coping mechanisms are different. Some find solace in books, some in their hobbies, some in working out, some in their kitchens (like me) some in doing nothing. We all realise we may have to suffer for someone’s mistakes but we also do know one moment of our callousness can cause irreversible damage to those around us.

This pandemic has taught me to never take ‘normal’ for granted:

It has taught me to slow down: to journal how I feel, to introspect, to get back to things that seemed irrelevant, to chew my meals without hurrying, to declutter to feel better.

It taught me nothing is permanent and as I watch birds chirp incessantly outside my window and trees change color, I know this will pass too.

4. Was there anything that completely surprised you in the last few months?

Divyakshi Gupta – The fact that ANYTHING is possible. From making jams to bread to Laadi Pavs to samosas to anything. I had proclaimed I won’t ever make Rotis, but now I am a PRO! This phase is making me do things I wouldn’t ever do.

5. How do you stay in touch with your readers or your target audience?

Divyakshi Gupta- I have been doing several interactive Lives over Facebook and Instagram, conducting webinars to teach people the basics of blogging, social media etc, posting IG stories, throwbacks, connecting with them over posts that describe my thoughts and feelings and the most importantly, NOT encouraging them to travel anytime soon.

6. What advice would you like to give the people in this difficult period?

Divyakshi Gupta- It is a tough phase. Here are my two cents based on my experience:

1. Reality check: the LEAST we can do for being safe is being at home ( protected with a roof over our heads.) Our problems are actually so so so minuscule as compared to doctors and nurses and all those who are fighting on the forefront.

2. This will pass and we will look back and laugh: A common tactic used to pacify myself during testing times.

What's your story divyakshi gupta

3. Reaching out: get in touch with friends, talk to loved ones, check on elders. The simple power of a good conversation is so underrated.

4. A mental trip: close your eyes and picture your favourite trip from last year. The first day you did this, the second day you ate at that cafe, the third day you visited this market… this can be therapeutic beyond words.

5. Do NOT compare: everyone is coping differently. In some places, the lockdown is lifted. People are going out, meeting friends, ordering from restros, going for runs. While you feel you’re flung into four walls, and people are doing better off, do NOT compare. Social media can overwhelm you.

Frustration is inevitable. Our response is in our control.

7. What inspired you to start a travel blog? And what tips would you give to someone who wants to start a travel blog?

Divyakshi Gupta – My love for writing and telling stories was the biggest inspiration to start blogging. 

To newcomers, I would suggest : 

  1. Be passionate in whatever niche you choose
  2. Be innovative and do not copy styles.
  3. Be consistent in whatever you choose to do: writing, videos, whatever.
  4. Hard work will always pay. There are really no shortcuts to success. If they are, they are short-lived. 
Whats your story divyakshi gupta

8. What tips would you give for someone who wants to embark on a solo journey?

Divyakshi Gupta – Solo journeys are special. There are so many learnings and experiences one can get when they travel by themselves. 

Some starter tips would be:

  1. Research your destination.
  2. Keep your family/friends informed of your whereabouts. 
  3. Trust your gut and instinct. 
  4. Download google maps ( very helpful if there are network issues where you’re traveling).
  5. Travel with an open mind and be receptive to new experiences.

9. Have you faced any difficulties in any of your travels?

Divyakshi Gupta – I have faced difficulties: ranging from losing my way in the buffer zone of Jim Corbett, to losing track of the route while road tripping at night in unsafe areas of UP and Haryana and losing network, to language barriers in Spain.

Each difficulty has taught a lesson and gave an experience. So no complaints! 

10. You are featured amongst the top travel bloggers of India. How does it feel to be listed amongst the top folks?

Divyakshi Gupta – It feels overwhelming. All the love, accolades, recognition, and features are special and mean the world to me. 

While it reaffirms the hard work and passion I have put in my blog, it also makes me strive to work harder, be innovative and adapt to newer techniques and bring more to the table. 

11. Who is your target audience and what can they get from your blog?

Divyakshi Gupta – My target audience is those who love offbeat travels, India travels, and offbeat travel stories. They get compelling stories, hidden gems, lesser-seen perspectives, and visual stories from India and abroad. My target audience loves honest narratives and that is what they get. 

Story of Sathya

12. Are your travels self-funded or you have sponsors? If yes, then what are your tips for getting sponsors?

Divyakshi Gupta – Most of my travels are self-funded.  I have collaborated with tourism boards, hospitality brands, and other travel brands who have sponsored my travels in return for content. Tips for getting sponsors is to genuinely strive to create high-class content and build a brand of your blog and social media so you garner the right attention. 

13. Because of COVID 19, you must not be traveling much. So, what are the other things that you do?

Divyakshi Gupta – I work in my family business, so the focus has shifted there. While I operate from home, I also am doing Instagram Lives and Webinars and workshops for people who wish to know more about travel blogging and social media. 

14. Social Media – a boon or bane?

Divyakshi Gupta – Depends on how you use it. It is full of negativity at times and if you want to dive in that and let it get onto you, it will. At the same time, it is a wonderful place to connect with like-minded people, build a community, be there for each other, and extend support. It totally depends on what you want to give and what you wish to receive. 

15. What would you want your legacy to be? How do you want to be remembered?

Divyakshi Gupta – While I would love people to know me by my work, my travel stories, my photographs, I would love them to remember me as a person: How I made them feel, the conversations, the dialogue, the interactions. The best legacy would be if I made any positive change or if my presence has been impactful in anyone’s lives. If I have managed to inspire even ONE person, that would be a life well-lived. 

You can connect with her through any of the below mediums:

Instagram: divsigupta

Twitter: divsigupta
FB Page: The Quirkywanderer
Blog: http://quirkywanderer.com/

The Solitary Writer
Step right up, it's Ste's show! Join me on my writing journey where I dish out witty tales, thought-provoking poems, and quirky musings on life. I'm a social justice warrior who sneaks in some humor wherever I can. Book, movie, and cultural critiques included. Buckle up, it's gonna be a wild ride!