Rashmi Chadha, the founder of WOVoyage is someone who is bringing about change by being an influence- one travel at a time. Traveling is dynamic, it’s always changing for the person who’s on the road. Similarly, Rashmi love’s being on the camera and shares her thoughts and life lessons in the hope that it might inspire other people to try something different and get out of their comfort zones too.
While traveling she observed that foreign female travelers really want to Travel to India but they feel insecure and are reluctant to travel. Extending her to create a women-friendly customized package, and assign them expert women guides. Making it safe and fearless travel and at the same time empowering Indian women.
She traveled the world extensively as a solo backpacker and now as a travel blogger along with her travel partner – husband and absolute favorite human being. In a conversation with Social Nation, she opened her heart and told us about her content creation journey.
Can you describe the evolution of your Travel Journey?
Travelling has always been my passion. And my lifestyle has played a big part in making me a travel freak. As a teenager, I was always very much into sports and played nationals at school and graduate levels. And due to this, I had visited different locations.
I can recall at that time I was around 13 years old. In college along with sports, I made sure to take a trip or two every consecutive month. There were times when my friends couldn’t join me so I ventured alone, and it was all worth it. Befriends strangers and gathered unique experiences.
Tell us about your first trip and what hooked you on to traveling?
There are so many things that have hooked me to the idea of traveling to new locations and going out of my way to experience something none has. But yes people and food are one of my biggest reasons to travel. The world is big! I want to experience as many cultures as possible and befriend people from around the world.
I always knew I wanted to do something within the travel industry, so when I turned 30, I took a trip to Auroville in Pondicherry. Little did I know that I’ll be back home with ideas exploding into my little brain and that’s when WOVOYAGE was birthed.
Have you ever felt in any of your travels like you’ve put yourself in too much danger? Share the experience.
Ah! Well, this is something where I unknowingly put myself in danger in my recent travel experience in Sikkim which was really scary.
I went to Gurudongmar lake and it’s situated at an elevation of 17,800 ft. So obviously the air was thin and I could feel that my oxygen level was gradually decreasing. I did carry an oximeter with me and my lowest was 75. It was scary as hell. And I was there for a brand shoot so I had to finish my work as well. But you know, it’s more like a mental thing. If you can make yourself believe that YOU’RE FINE – you’ll be. I carried oxygen can along with me but in the end, I didn’t have to sniff supplementary air. Came back down to Gangtok well and good with memories to cherish forever. Even though it was a petrifying experience, I will remember it always.
You have been to some amazing places. Which place do you keep going back to? Do you have a favorite place?
I do love Japan. This is also why WoVoyage is based in both India and Japan. I also love visiting Russia or Bali.
What places are left on your bucket list?
Currently, the topmost place on my bucket list is Iceland.
The funniest mistake you made when you first started traveling? What lesson did you learn from that?
Well, when I was in college. It was back in 2005. I, along with my girl pals decided to take a quick trip to Goa. And you may call it unfortunate or fate, our tickets although was booked we got to know that the train was canceled. And me being a very spontaneous girl, asked my friend if we all could convenience our parents to book flights for the next day instead. And let me put this into your knowledge in 2005, flights were quite expensive and it was considered very elite. But nevertheless, our parents were convinced and we all made that Goa trip successfully.
Lesson learned: You can convince your parents to let you go to Goa. If you think you can do it then don’t let anyone let you otherwise. Try to make them see your vision.
What is something you can’t travel without?
Phone, GoPro, and my radiant smile.
How did you take the initiative to start WoVoyage? What are your future plans with your company?
I kept noticing the rise of solo female travelers and their wish to visit India. But for most of them, safety was a big concern; they feel insecure and are reluctant to travel alone. I felt that by introducing Wovoyage I could reduce the risk and provide a secure trip. Wovoyage creates a safety net by providing safe accommodation, reliable drivers, and female guides.
Currently, we’re developing a technology that will make the travel experience better and smooth for every female who wants to travel either solo or in a group. And alongside, WoVoyage also provides digital transformation services to brands and creators. Recently we have worked with notable brands like Yatra, IND Money, Maharashtra Tourism, and Kyrgyzstan Tourism. In the coming months, we can hope to see Wovoyage expand its operations to international levels.
What were the challenges you faced as a female entrepreneur while building WoVoyage?
To be very honest I don’t feel that as a female I’ve faced any specific challenge that my male counterparts wouldn’t have. Instead, I think, in today’s time, we as women entrepreneurs get equal opportunities. So my biggest challenge I consider is myself. To what limit I can push myself. Gaining knowledge about the industry was another and of course, it does take a lot of patience and a lot of hard work to expand your network in the right direction. Networking is very very important.
Any advice for people looking for a break from corporate life?
Well, if you believe in something then go ahead. Be content with your own thoughts on why this break will be fruitful for you. Every person has a different role to play in life. And every role is not meant for everyone. Keep learning and do something that you’re really passionate about.
A Journalism & Communication graduate, Rashmi Chadha has always been an avid wanderlust and is here to inspire many!