StreetTrotter is a Travel & Fashion blog, inspiring people every day with real stories to look good and travel even better. Founded in 2012 by Shraddha Gupta, Founder & COO, this space is all about experiencing new things in life, be it a daring mountain trek, a frugal backpacking trip, a runway look made local, or simply anything that scares you enough to live a little deeper.
StreetTrotter inspires people to travel and look at the world trip by trip because we believe that life is too short to sit back and stare at inspiring travel quotes and destination pictures – instead we urge you to make some of your own! Full of travel tips, ideas, and itineraries, we help people to plan their travels and look at the world a bit through our eyes and share their version of the world too. After all, the world is a big and beautiful place, and we all are here to be a part of it with our own unique ways and visions.
SHRADDHA GUPTA, Founder & Chief-Editing-Officer
Shraddha Gupta is a Fashion and Business Journalist by profession and a passionate traveler at all times – not working. With over eight years of published work, she is currently teaching as Assistant Professor of Design in NIFT, Bangalore. She has also been a former faculty at NIFT, Delhi, and holds a Masters’s degree in Journalism from Boston University. Call her a hopeless believer, a creative thinker, blogger, writer, foodie, and social media addict – Because what would life be, if we had no way to document it before it ends?
Shraddha went on her first solo trip in 2013 to volunteer in Mcloedganj, India, teaching English to the Tibetan-in-Exile. Earlier in 2014, she dared to complete the Chadar Trek through the Himalayas, considered to be one of the wildest frozen river treks in the world. Since then she has traveled solo to many places around the world in search of a meaning to life and giving back to society as a traveler by volunteering wherever she could.
What inspired me to become a solo traveler?
In a desperate need to escape one day, I applied for a month-long sabbatical from my beloved day job, and traveled solo to Mcloedganj to volunteer with LHA, teaching English to the Tibetans-in-exile living in Dhasa, India. The fellow travel volunteers I met throughout my stay, the friends that I made from different parts of the world, the things I learned about diverse cultures, and the moments I experienced with the Tibetan people, changed me in ways that are hard to describe. Since that journey, I knew deep down in my heart, I was never the same again and I was always meant to be a solo traveler.
Where have I traveled to?
I have traveled extensively in India from as far up as Kashmir till the country’s tip-in down-south Kanyakumari. Work gave me the opportunity to visit Bangladesh often in 2012 giving me a preview of what a global emerging market looks and feels like. Internationally, United Kingdom has been my favorite place to live in the world with London and around (Scotland, Oxford, Isle of white, Brighton, Manchester, and Lancaster) being my home for almost a year in 2009-10.
I visited Bali, Indonesia in 2014 and have been in love with the serenity of Ubud and the madness of Seminyak ever since. Now in 2015, it’s all about the United States for me, so along with my husband, I have explored Washington, New York, Boston, Maine, Texas, Nashville, Atlanta, and Florida, also with a few beach and island holidays around the east coast. The list is growing day by day, and I hope my journey never stops.
What challenges did I face, and how did I overcome them?
Being a girl solo traveler, the challenges I have faced are slightly different from what a boy would face. You are definitely stared at and sometimes being flirted with too, as it would be very unreal to say that such things do not happen. But on the brighter side, I have also met very hospitable hosts and travel companions who are respectful and even protective of you on the road.
Some quick tips for women solo travelers to avoid uncomfortable situations are – research your place of travel well in terms of its culture, crowd, and systems before you decide to go; always carry a phone, GPS, portable chargers, torch, and pepper spray with you; tag along with fellow travelers who make you feel comfortable and confident about yourself and do not run into unnecessary obligations; always trust your gut and your female instinct.
My advice on a few solo travel hacks?
Always Pack light while traveling solo, and pack only what you really need. Use a travel bag that you can carry easily on your shoulders through all terrains. Always carry a good pair of hiking shoes and replace your umbrella with a North Face raincoat. Keep a diary and a pen handy for quick notes and download offline maps while exploring unknown destinations with low connectivity.