A media graduate from Mumbai University, Arunima Girotra has dipped her feet in both advertising and journalism. She grew up in six different cities, soaking in their cultures and traditions. Girotra is quick to adapt and make a place her own. Extremely adventurous and observant, she wants to travel to the untapped parts of the world, explore every corner, meet new people and experience their cultures. Arunima enjoys photography, particularly shooting and clicking happy faces. She believes in taking care of the small things so that the big things eventually fall in place.

A pottery session in Andretta, India during a TravelTroovel Art Trip.
A pottery session in Andretta, India during a TravelTroovel art trip. The small village of Andretta, in the Kangra valley, near the abode of the Dalai Lama, offers a fascinating cultural heritage and magnificent surroundings. And an opportunity to study pottery with the renowned Mansimran (Mini) Singh.

How do the experiences you offer give guests a unique perspective on history, people or culture of India?

We believe the experiences we offer are more than an insight into the history, culture or people of the region. With our interest/hobby-based travel experiences, the troovelers (the travelers on-board) get to have an insight into themselves. Anyone who is travelling with us gets a chance to explore their long-sought interest/hobby with a touch of freshness through several interest related activities while he/she is going around traveling to new and unique places. They get to re-discover their talents or sometimes even discover a new thing about themselves. These hobby experiences help people to gather a unique perspective about themselves. According to the Arousal Theory of Motivation, an optimum arousal level in body helps to learn things better. In our case, the excitement and fun of traveling adds to the arousal level which leads to better learning of hobbies.

How have the experiences that you offer evolved since their inception?

In the initial trips, we only had the mentor who took the various sessions for the travelers as per the interest of the trip. With time, we started with the involvement of the local people and artisans for them to give the group an insight into the local art form of the region based on the interest. This has definitely helped us to enrich the experiences we are providing. The involvement of the local artisans has helped us provide the travelers with another avenue to help them explore their interest with a local touch.

These hobby retreats have helped the travelers to evolve in terms of their hobbies and happiness. This has motivated us in turn to keep providing better experiences.

What is one detail of an experience you provide that may go unnoticed by guests, but which you feel is important?

We try to have the entire property at the specified location in order to provide the feeling of ownership to every individual on the trip. This gives the travelers the much needed comfort and they get to enjoy the entire experience in a very relaxed manner which in turn gives them loads of smiles and happiness.

An evening out with author Stephen Altar during the TravelTroovel reading trip.
An evening out with author Stephen Altar during the TravelTroovel reading trip. Alter is an American author, primarily of non-fiction but also of fiction, who was born and raised in India, where he grew up as the son of missionaries. His childhood was spent primarily in the small British Raj-era hill station of Landour in the Lower Western Himalaya.

What do you wish every guest knew as they consider participating in the experiences you offer?

We wish that everyone who comes for our experience knows that it is not only travel but something more than that. It is a travel affair with their interest. It is a journey that will take one back to their childhood, to things that provided them happiness. It is more than a vacation, it is a hobbycation.

What is one unexpected piece of clothing or equipment guests should have to maximize their enjoyment of the experiences you offer?

A cap or a hat is something we’d advice the travelers to carry as anytime we step out for a session, we wouldn’t want the sun to be the reason for them to not being able to participate in what we have to offer.

What is one travel trend that really excites you?

The road trips really excite all of us in the team. The adrenaline rush and the thrill it provides makes the entire experience of the trip worthwhile. Driving through the beautiful valleys, scenic routes, and the many different terrains, lets us soak in every bit of the nature and enjoy the journey at our own pace.

Learning the Kangra Miniature Painting of Himachal Pradesh. Kangra paintings are famous for their lyrical contents expressed in a delicate manner.
Learning the Kangra Miniature Painting of Himachal Pradesh. Kangra paintings are famous for their lyrical contents expressed in a delicate manner.

What sets TravelTroovel apart from other, similar, organizations?

The hobby-based experiences that TravelTroovel is offering sets us apart. The idea of helping people rekindling with their hobbies through travel as a medium is what we are doing differently from others. We believe that travel is more than an interest, it is a need. So when people travel with us, they get to combine their need of travel with their interests and hobbies and get to make their travel plans exciting. While anyone is a part of our trip, he/she gets to do indulge in many hobby related activities which refreshes them and get them relieved of their stress while exploring the place. On these trips, people get to spend quality time with things they like to do at beautiful locations, discover new things about themselves, meet like-minded people and interact with the mentor.

What is one insiders tip to getting the most out of an experiential travel vacation?

While being a part of an experiential travel vacation, be open to everything that is being offered at the trip. Go for every activity that is being conducted without thinking much about it as it is bound to give you a new perspective after its completion. Don’t hesitate, if you are unable to do something, get it modified as per your convenience by the organizers but do not give up or leave it incomplete.

Troovelers participating in stagecraft during a theater trip to Rajasthanat.
Troovelers participating in stagecraft during a theater trip to Rajasthanat. Stagecraft is the technical aspect of theatrical, film, and video production. It includes constructing and rigging scenery; hanging and focusing of lighting; design and procurement of costumes; make-up; stage management; audio engineering; and procurement of props.

What is one strategy that has helped your business to grow?

The word of mouth strategy has been our support throughout and has helped us grow continuously. Our troovelers have shared their happy experiences and stories of TravelTroovel with their friends and families. which has encouraged their folks to consider us while taking their experiential vacations.

What is one personal habit that has helped you to be successful?

That optimistic approach towards life.

Please share one instance where a guest had a moving or emotional reaction to the experience you provided to them.

We have had multiple instances where the guests have had a moving experience. Here is one of them:

Our trooveler Aakash Diwan’s experience has been a moving one for him and for us as well. He being a music enthusiast got to experience his love for music in a completely different manner through the sessions that we had planned on our pilot trip which was themed music – Ghoom Barabar Ghoom. Getting a hands on experience in the studio was kind of a dream come true for him. He got a chance to showcase his singing to a new set of crowd and learn a lot from the mentor of the trip Apurav Singh. He was really happy to have both his favorite things – travel and music at one place. His memorable moment from the trip being when he could jam while admiring the mountains.

He not only shared his experience with his friends but also attended the next music trip with his friends to enjoy the entire experience once again. For us, he was our very first trooveler who registered and confirmed the spot truly based on the concept of TravelTroovel.


Arunima’s email: arunima@traveltroovel.com
TravelTroovel on Facebook: www.facebook.com/TravelTroovel
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