Archana Singh is a brand strategist turned travel journalist. She is an award-winning travel writer and a public speaker who likes to visit offbeat places in search of untold stories. She publishes her travel experiences on Travel See Write and regularly contributes to international publications and online journals. When she is not traveling, or documenting her experiences, she makes brand strategies for some of the most iconic brands in the world.
1.)Where was the first place that you traveled that made you think WOW—travel is amazing (think history book come to life or …..)
My first solo trip to Europe was my first WOW trip. I was a bundle of nerves traveling all by myself in a completely foreign land. However, I was overwhelmed by strangers’ friendliness. People were extremely warm and helpful. They went out of their way to make me feel at home. Being a Solo Travel actually worked in my favour.
2.) If you had unlimited resources, where would you go and what would you do?
I would go to Antarctica and live with the Penguins.
3.)What were you afraid to do and how did you find the courage to overcome it?
I was a bit afraid When I left my high-flying career to choose an unstable life of a digital nomad.
- Skyscanner: To get the best and most economical flight deals
- me: Best offline navigation app
- Camcard: to scan and store visiting cards information
- Buffer: to schedule my social media posts
- Rome2Rio: to find the fastest and cheapest way to travel
5.) What place do you wish more people have seen?
India. There is so much more to explore beyond the Taj Mahal and Saddhus (Priests). India is a diverse nation where topography, culture, food, festivals, people and experiences change with every 100 kms.
6.) Best advice you have been given and by whom?
A German traveller I met in Japan gave a great advice on how we should not let our biases come in our way to travel, “The best thing about travel is it breaks your stereotypes. Before visiting China, I used to think I would never visit that country as it’s people are perceived to be very rude, insensitive, pushy and eat things which I can’t even dream. However, when I travelled to the Northern and Eastern most parts I realised, Chinese are really warm people and they come across as rude and always in hurry because of their culture. A local told me that if they won’t hurry someone else will take their place. It’s always the survival of the fastest. I would have never realised the root cause of their behaviour unless I found it myself.”
7.) When were you surprised by the kindness of strangers on a trip?
I was recently traveling in Adirondacks. I had gone to Priceless Rent-A-Car at Lake Placid to return my car and was waiting for my train shuttle to arrive. I was hungry but didn’t want to leave the place in fear of missing my shuttle. The employee at the station got the whiff of it and without me even asking, he got food for me. Now isn’t that a rare kind of generosity seen these days? But that’s how the Americans can surprise you.
8.) What inspired you to travel for extended periods of time or live in a new country?
Travel is like an addiction. You can never have enough of it. You grow as an individual manifold with every travel. My expat experience of living and working in Philippines for few years changed my outlook towards long term travel.
9.) I travel because….
Travel brings purpose and love back into my life.
10.) My favorite travel or business book is…
Into the Wild – for understanding the true essence of travel and finding oneself while traveling to unknown territories.
11.) How about hotels? What’s your favorite or one you’d recommend?
I am a fan of boutique hotels and Airbnbs as you become a part of the family. One of my favorite places was the Harbor Hill Cottages at Saranac Lake, New York.
Lastly, can you please recommend a resource for up-and-coming travel writers; this could be a course you know, a book, conference etc.
Lonely Planet’s Guide to Travel Writing by Don George is a fantastic book for up-and-coming travel writers and TBEX Conference is great to accelerate your Travel Blogging career.
Archana is next off to a one and a half month of Solo Travel across Western, Central and Eastern Europe. She is also speaking at Ireland TBEX conference followed by travels across Ireland, UK, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Austria, Hungary and Romania.
Stay up-to-date on her travels through:
Our next Travel Influencer interview will be up in a week, follow the series here.