If asked to name someone who is a travel buff by heart and a YouTuber by profession, the name that would pop up in mind would be Visha Khandelwal. Her content and smile will keep you connected to the videos throughout. Her solo travel ideas would motivate you to take up the step and go forward with that plan which you’ve been doubting for.
In an interview with Social Nation, Visha talked about how her travel journey started and how she keeps it going properly.
How did your travel journey start? What made you create vlogs out of your travel diaries?
I completed my Chartered Accountancy in January 2018, and it wasn’t until then that my world opened for travel possibilities (since before that I was literally locked in my room for 18 hours a day studying for my CA final exams). While being locked up, I decided that I will start exploring the world once I become a CA. Soon into the field of CA, I realized that no matter how lucrative it is, it wasn’t for me, and hence I started exploring all my interests right from hand lettering, event management to traveling and even trying my hands on preparing for MBA. It was then in those series of experiments that documenting my travel experiences clicked for me, and I fell in love with the process of filming travel videos and editing them. I started doing that alongside my job for 7 months and then quit it to pursue film-making full time. And of course, along with the intrinsic motivation, came all the love I received from my friends/family, who were my first few subscribers/ followers, and that inspired me a lot to keep going.
How do you plan the itinerary also considering the content that you strategize to create?
I am someone who loves to travel slow and have unique experiences rather than ticking off places. Keeping that in mind, I always keep a minimum of an extra 2-3 days for any place just to stay wherever I like it the most. Since creating content makes me spend double the time at places than what I’d generally do, I don’t plan a lot of places for a single day. So, essentially, my planning for any trip consists of preparing the type of videos for different platforms, the number of extra days I might need, and sometimes how I plan to store all the data that is being captured. It honestly gets tedious but the outcome makes it worthwhile.
Visha’s journey of Youtube covers a lot more than just travel. She posts travel content as well content related to how to grow YouTube channel when you are newbie in the field. She has been creating content for some time now and has notes to share.
How do you differentiate between your content over specific media platforms- Instagram/ Youtube?
I started with my primary focus being YouTube and Instagram was just a space to promote my YouTube channel further. But gradually, I realized the importance of diversifying your content and spreading it across various platforms. Now, I prepare a content calendar that lists down a month’s worth of content for different types of content on both platforms. For me, the videos on YouTube definitely take far more time to curate, shoot, edit, and plan than the posts, and reels on Instagram do. The orientation for both platforms also differs, which makes us creators shoot differently for both platforms in most cases.
What has been your dream travel destination? Have you been there? How was it?
Ever since I learned about the concept of measuring ‘Happiness’ in the form of GNH (Gross National Happiness) rather than GDP in Bhutan, during my school days, Bhutan has been a dream destination for me. And I was delighted to visit the country and also document my experience with it in late 2019. It was so much more beautiful than I had imagined. The best part about the trip for me personally, was how the country’s economy has managed to preserve its culture, and raw beauty in spite of the tourism by imposing various measures and how the happiness of everyone there can be seen as a priority in those actions. It was just so refreshing!
Visha is a traveler who is not just covering places and ticking them off her bucket list. Now that she has the voice to reach thousands, she takes responsibility and keeps her content enlightening for sustainable and responsible travel.
How do you also preach responsible traveling through your content on social media?
I try to first inculcate do-able actions in my travel routine, and then try to showcase that in my videos through examples itself, such as carrying a refillable water bottle instead of buying a plastic bottle at each place you visit, at least wherever it is possible to do. I also try to showcase the reality of the beautiful Instagrammable spots that we see online, just so we all become more aware and make conscious decisions while traveling. This one time I was traveling in Dhanaulti, we also conducted a cleanliness drive near our campsite, and just showing those experiences in the videos can go a long way in telling the audience that little steps matter.
Your tough/ challenging travel content experience so far?
I think my latest solo trip to Sri Lanka is worth a mention here. I was in SriLanka in the month of April, when the country was going through its worst economic crisis in the last 7 decades. During the end of my trip, I started getting really tense about the situation with respect to safe return to India. My plans changed manifold and I decided to skip a lot of places and stay put at a place, specially because I was traveling all by myself. Fortunately, long power cuts were the only problems I faced, and returned safely. However, my heart goes out to the beautiful people who are still suffering as I write this answer. This wasn’t a tough ‘content experience’ per se, since content had taken a back seat on this trip, but just a tricky travel situation to be in, in general.
How do you deal with content blocks?
Ah well, being a travel creator amidst the pandemic honestly brought a lot of such blocks in front of me. But I have never been in favor of creating just for the sake of it, or because the algorithm favors consistency. Instead, since I see myself creating content in the long run, I tend to take required breaks, re-think an entire video idea if need be, and come back to the editing table with ideas that I can resonate with the most. When you are creating content in the long run, it’s very important to fall in love with the entire process of developing an idea, researching, scripting, filming, post processing etc, and it’s only then that you don’t despise it, for how challenging it can get at times. Infact, as I write this, I just finished a 7 day social media detox and this time gave me exactly the time I needed to think, re-think and come back with fresh content pieces and perspectives.
Visha is now a YouTube Product expert too! When asked about what more she wants to do in life, she told about her plans ahead.
Is there something more that you want to do other than posting travel lifestyle content? What kind of content do you work on best?
Yes, definitely! Though I started strictly as a travel creator, the past 2 years of continuous lockdowns made me diversify my content into educational content on Film-making, YouTube SEO, etc. And it was then that I realized how much I loved helping other budding creators start and grow their online presence using those valuable pieces of content. Soon, the team at YouTube onboarded me as a YouTube Product Expert and a video contributor for YT creators in India. I also started hosting online workshops for the same and I do plan to launch full-fledged courses shortly to help creators grow their YouTube channels.
This travel creator has come a long way from where she started and we hope to see more of her content around the places before we plan our itineraries. While you’re at this article, we suggest you check out her reels and videos over Instagram and YouTube to get travel location ideas.