1) Tell us something about yourself.
I am Gitanjali Banerjee and a fauji wife. I have worked with brands like Airtel, MMT and Educomp in their content marketing domain. These days, I am working on my own health social impact startup venture, InfertilityDost. I was not a born traveller but post marriage I started enjoying travelling, observing and experiencing unique elements. Travel is the real life teacher. It teaches about life and living.
2) After visiting which place you started your blog?
My trip to Northeast inspired me to start a blog. Northeast is a pristine beauty with such uniqueness that is unexplored by general public that I felt the need to tell all about it. My Maiden Trip to Arunachal Pradesh in Northeast is the first travel story that I wrote. The appreciation that it received encouraged me to keep writing.
3) What is the one thing you can never travel without?
My kindle. I love to read while travelling.
4) What’s the first ever trip in your life and how old were you back then?
My dad was found of travelling. So, every summer vacation we would go for that one long trip that was meticulously planned and prepared for throughout the year. The first trip of childhood that I clearly remember was the one to Maihar Devi Temple in Madhya Pradesh. There are 1063 stairs to reach the temple. Me and my sister were wearing pink colour frock made from one roll of cloth. We climbed faster while my mom was trailing behind. So, my dad recalls that all through the way they would ask people descending if they had seen two girls in pink frock climbing up and they would say, yes, yes they have nearly reached the top. We fondly remember that trip.
5) What makes “writergitanjali.com” so distinctive from its contemporary blogs?
I stay in a place where people spend a week as a tourist. I explore the place like a local not just tick off the spots. I meet local people and write about offbeat places, unique experiences and mundane lifestyle of people that makes that place so special, about their culture, their beliefs, practices and systems. This is what makes my blog different. I write about less walked path.
6) What is the most unique experience you’ve ever had while travelling?
There are many unique experiences to recount. Travelling by boat across Brahmputra, crossing a river on elephant, hitch-hiking, driving in search of season’s first snowfall, trekking to meet a sadhu and finding ancient coins, trekking to places in Uttarkhand where you need special permit, working in an NGO and staying inside Auroville, dancing with Kalbelia dancers of Rajasthan, off-roading in Chandigarh are some of the many unique experiences.
7) How do you decide on a destination? What are key factors behind your every selection?
Our place of posting decides our next destination Jokes apart! We have a set bucket list of places that we want to travel. We pick form that list depending on number of days of leave we have, budget and other requirements. Like for past few years we have been travelling keeping in mind comfort of my son who is a toddler now. Last year, I visited Gangotri, Yamnotri, Pondicherry, Auroville, Sunderbans, Imphal.
8) How much time do you spend on computer, smart phone, or any other gadgets while you are on a trip?
Not very much. While travelling I keep gadgets to bare minimum. I let my soul soak into the essence of that place.
9) Do you idolize anyone in particular that inspires you for travelling and blogging?
My husband who is an excellent photographer inspires me to blog. He clicks and I transform those into stories. His pictures give a new, fresh and unique perspective to the place or experience that I incorporate in my blogs. We, together are the best travel buddies.
10) What’s the lesson you have learnt from your travelling experiences?
Don’t hurry to reach the destination, enjoy the travel upto it. Just go with the flow. Over planning can kill the fun of travelling.