In a conversation with Swathi Hariharan tells us some interesting facts about her life and her never-ending journey of traveling. Her YouTube channel – ‘Swanderlust‘ is all about travel vlogs and wanderlust stories, her vlogs are a compilation of travel tips, itinerary ideas, and place recommendations.
Swathi’s Instagram feed, a blend of aesthetics and interesting anecdotes from her travel experiences, is enough to encourage anyone to immediately pack their bags. Read what she has to say more about her adventures.
You started your professional career being a lawyer. What motivated you to switch to traveling or travel vlog?
I started working as a lawyer in 2016 and at the time vlogging was initially my only creative pursuit. For about a year or so, it was confined to a lifestyle niche which later transformed to travel vlogging because of my love for travel, meeting new people & public speaking!
It was the excitement of seeing new places & the thrill of documenting these experiences for people to see that initially gave me the motivation. Today, it is very fulfilling when my followers say that they are inspired by my travel philosophy.
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How do you plan your daily content calendar for different social media platforms including the likes of Instagram and Youtube?
I don’t have a content calendar per se, but I do plan all my social media posts/ interactions based on the theme of travel that I am pursuing at the time.
For instance, a trip to Munnar to create content will have different stories to tell, which requires various platforms to portray. Some can be shared over a short reel on Instagram while others require a full-fledged video. So it’s basically telling different stories & perspectives through different social media platforms.
How much of your daily time do you invest in planning and strategizing for content creation on social media while also dabbling into travel?
Although I would like to have a definite distinction between times spent strategizing & otherwise, I feel that I’m generally always strategizing about the content that I have to create. The travel part of it is usually the execution of these strategies.
Do you remember the first video/photo that helped you gain an instant positive response?
Even before I actually started my travel channel Swanderlust I went on a solo trip to Meghalaya in 2018. This gave me a lot of positive traction as well as a paid partnership with a well-known travel company, which going forward helped me realize that there is a huge space available for solo female travel bloggers.
How many words have you learned while traveling and communicating with other people?
I’ve learned a few interesting phrases/ words during my travels. What’s fascinating is the similarities I can find between the local languages abroad & our own languages in India.
What is the best travel advice you would suggest to a girl traveling solo in India for the first time?
I would say that having an open mind is most important. While it’s important to be careful & take precautions, don’t become paranoid because of the reports in the media & miss out on so many amazing experiences. India is a beautiful country with millions of wonderful people so don’t let a few bad apples spoil the whole experience!
What are your future plans? Do you have a bucket list to accomplish?
I’ve had a dream to visit all 29 Indian states & I’m almost there! I have just 3 states left. Besides this, there’s a huge list of countries that I want to visit!
One content creator or influencer who must be followed on social media, according to you?
Why just one? I feel that you should follow someone that you resonate with – be it in any niche. There are many different ideas & perspectives around, so go for the ones you feel good about & that inspire you.
How do you deal with brand briefs that come your way? How do you go about executing them?
I work with brands only that I believe in. While working with them, I do put considerable effort into conceptualizing something that I feel will resonate with my audience as well as show how the USP of the brand aligns with the needs of my audience. The brands have mostly been very receptive to my ideas & fortunately, most of the collaborations have worked very well.
This or That
Are you a beach person or a mountain person?
Mountains over beaches, but that’s not to say I don’t enjoy beaches.
5-star hotel, or economical tent stays?
I’m flexible enough to not be uncomfortable in either.
Solo travel, or Travelling with husband?
Traveling with my husband for sure!! But since he’s not always available, I do enjoy the times when I have to travel solo.
City Traveler or nature wanderer?
Most Valuable travel possession?
My cameras, of course!