Interview With Travel Bloggers Revati And Charles Of Different Doors @dd_traveller

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Today I feature 2 travellers from Mumbai who have a passion for some European cities. They’ve also blogged for 3 years at Different Doors. Please meet Revati and Charles.

Revati and Charles 6 of different doors

Revati and Charles enjoying some laziness in Kerala

What is your name?

We are Revati and Charles. We’re a married couple with a passion for travel, food, photography and writing, which led us to start Different Doors.

 

Which country do you come from/call home?

We’re from Mumbai, India.  

Are you a backpacker/long term traveller/business traveller/live and work abroad?

It’s hard to actually define what sort of travellers we are. While we don’t travel for a living, we travel whenever our hectic day jobs allow us to. For us, travelling is a passion and that lets us be different kinds of travellers at different times.

How do you fund your travel (savings/work whilst travelling/other)?

We both have day jobs in advertising back in Mumbai and the long hours we put into it definitely seem like they’re worth it whenever we travel!

What is the first trip you remember taking and how old were you?

Charles: I think my earliest memory of a trip has to be the one I took as a child to Mysore when I was about 5. Mysore is an old city with a large palace and fort on the outskirts but what really made the trip unforgettable was our visit to the famous Mysore zoo when I saw my first tiger. 

Revati: I remember a holiday at age 5 with my extended family, cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents included to the lush hill station of Mahabaleshwar. We gorged on freshly picked strawberries and worked up a sweat running around in the fresh dewy air. It was a welcome break from the polluted city back then, but today sadly even these hill stations have turned as polluted.

Revati and Charles 2 of different-doors

Our first trip together, a honeymoon in Mauritius

Have you been anywhere which turned out to be totally different to how you imagined? If so, how?

Every trip makes you feel that way, doesn’t it? But I think the biggest surprise was Paris. Nothing prepares you for your first experience there. And we were most surprised by the people. One often hears so much about the curt Parisians but our experience was just the opposite. Everybody was really friendly, chatty and we even had strangers walk up to us and offer help at times.

Have you had any bad experiences whilst travelling?

 None yet and we’re hoping it stays that way!

Do you have any funny travel stories?

There are quite a few of those but our one night at Khao San Road in Bangkok will always be pretty unforgettable. We were there with four other friends and it was like living out The Hangover. All of us had very few memories of what transpired that long night over buckets of Thailand’s potent drink – Sang Som, until we saw the pictures the next morning!

Revati and Charles 3 of Different-Doors

Meeting strange creatures in Australia

Which is the worst place you’ve been to and why?

I don’t think we’d term any place we’ve been to as bad. But yes, we’re both not so sure we’d go back to Phuket. It was crowded, too touristy and not much you’d call a beach.

Where is your favourite place in the world?

Charles: I think so far, it would be Barcelona. I love the spirit of the place, the liveliness, the energy of the people, the wonderful food, the narrow streets of the Barri Gotic that are so filled with history, and so much more. The big item on my bucket list though is Africa. 

Revati: Paris. Paris. Paris. It’s always a good idea. The weather’s always wonderful, everything you set your eyes on is aesthetically pleasing, (yes even the dustbins) there’s always more to explore, the food is intoxicating.

Do you have a bucket list? If so what is on it?

I think the easier list would be the one that features the places we don’t want to go to (and there are very few of those). The big dream for Charles is Africa. And Revati will always have Paris on her list no matter how many times she visits! Our latest addition to the list has been to walk the Camino, which we plan on doing soon!

Can you imagine life without travel?

That would be so empty! We would both feel so incomplete in a world that has no room for wanderlust!

Revati and Charles 1 of Different-Doors

At Notre Dame in Paris

If you were not travelling what would you be doing instead?

Considering we both have day jobs, we’re already doing something when we aren’t travelling. But if we were full time travellers, I think a career in writing or cooking would be something we’d pursue if we weren’t travellers. 

What is the name of your travel blog and the url?

Different Doors (different-doors.com). It comes from all the many different doors we want to open across the world by travelling.

When did you begin your website?

We started in October 2011. We had just returned from our first trip to Paris and we started the site to actually help other travellers by giving them a deeper understanding of what’s it like to visit the city as a traveller. Before our trip, we’d read numerous blogs that helped us with our first visit, so we wanted to do the same for others.

Revati and Charles 4 of different doors . com

Making friends in Bangkok

Why do you write (for money/connecting with people/therapeutic/fun)?

We’re not making money out of our writing on the blog. But there’s travel writing we do for publications and journals for a fee.

What makes your site so unique and why should people read it?

There’s lots of fantastic travel writing available today. But we’ve tried to skew our travel writing towards experiences that are uncommon. We spend a lot of time researching, talking to people and getting lots of inside info especially from locals. So in addition to pointing our readers to mainstream experiences, we also try and show them a few uncommon things along the way. Every single word comes from our first hand experiences, so there are a lot of tips, suggestions and warnings that aren’t so easily found elsewhere.

Do you have any products or services to offer?

I think travel writing and photography would be our primary offering.

Having said that, our extensive experience in advertising also lets us work with and advise a lot of partners on how to build their brand or service in today’s cluttered marketplace. This is even more relevant when you look at a market like India. Like other BRIC countries, everything’s booming here and Indian travellers are going to be invading the rest of the world soon (if they aren’t already). And how do you engage people from a country that feels like many countries or into one? I think we’re quite uniquely placed with our understanding of travel, the complexities of India and the multi segmented Indian traveler.

What has been your most successful blog post to date and what was it about?

It probably has to be the one featuring our top 10 things to do in Goa! Goa is a really popular beach destination for both Indians and visitors to our country and everyone’s always reading up on it before they head there.

Revati and Charles 7 of different doors

Island hopping in Phuket

What has been your favourite article to write either for your blog or another publication?

Quite a few actually and it’s really hard to pick one. A lot of people found the photography tips useful, the free things to do in Paris post on our site was wonderful information to share and we also enjoyed writing a couple of pieces on Paris secrets and a culinary guide for Jetwings (Jet Airways’ in-flight magazine). Currently we’re enjoying reflecting on our larger than life trip to Australia for future posts.

What is your favourite mode of transport? (plane/train/boat/car)

I (Charles) love planes and Revati is scared if them at times (funny for a traveler, right?). It’s actually turbulence she dreads; so rocking boats are not her favourite either. Having said that, she’s quite a sport and never says no. We’ve had the most unique experiences in cars while driving and we think planes are least exciting and more functional. We’re still waiting to do our first long train trip, so for now, cars are our favorite mode of transport.

Do you have any advice or tips for aspiring travellers?

Take your time. It’s not about the number of things you experience in a day.

Carry less than you think you need.

Always learn a phrase in the local language, preferably a greeting.

If there’s one thing you’re going to spend on before traveling, let it be comfortable footwear. Your feet will thank you every night.

It’s not about the number of stamps on your passport.

Travel will beautifully change you and you will never be able to explain how to anyone.

Always help other travelers.

What has travel taught you?

Everyone’s a stranger only until you say hello to them.

What’s the most memorable meal you’ve had?

17 courses each at Tickets in Barcelona. A few hours of molecular gastronomy magic.

How do you deal with the wanderlust when you’re not travelling?

We’ve written an entire post on how to travel at home, but in a snapshot, we’re constantly plotting trips, hosting couchsurfers, watching movies and videos and reading things that transport us to another place, or discovering something new about our hometown.

Revati and Charles 5 of different-doors.com

Summertime in Barcelona

What’s your pet peeve about other travellers?

Don’t be rigid, or then just stay at home and youtube the destination. Be culturally aware. Respect it. We’ve seen loud tourists in museums, skimpily dressed ones in temples, and the uninformed tipping far too much with absolutely cheapskate ones bargaining in South East Asia. We understand travel is about the discovery, but a little bit of homework isn’t that difficult in the age of Google.

Quick fire questions:-

Favourite airline? Jet Airways (Indian, like us!), Emirates, Nok Air (the coolest paint job on an aircraft we’ve seen), Qatar Airways is super comfortable.

Favourite country? It’s always the last one we visited!

Favourite city? Paris (for Revati), Barcelona (for Charles)

Favourite beach? Pointe de Flacq in Mauritius and Mosquito Island in Thailand had the softest sand, bluest waters and perfect weather.

Favourite food? If only we could make up our minds!

Favourite language? Revati is an absolute Francophile and is constantly brushing up her French.

Website url: http://www.different-doors.com

Twitter handle: http://www.twitter.com/dd_traveller

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/differentdoorstravel

Instagram: www.instagram.com/differentdoors

Vimeo: http://vimeo.com/differentdoors

Google+ profile/page: https://plus.google.com/+DifferentdoorsTravel

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/diffdoors

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Comments

  1. Great read, lovely to meet you! I’ve heard bad things about Phuket, but it must depend on when and where you go; I stayed in Kata and thought it was lovely! Although I did visit some less lovely parts – I do know what you mean by crowded and not really a proper beach.

  2. Haha, I know exactly what you mean about the deadly Thai spirits! I have a few similar stories after a night of drinking from buckets 🙂 Would love to do one of these interviews!

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