A triple graduate, Sophia’s academic pursuits tell a story that is quite different from what she wanted to pursue in life. Simon graduated in arts , music and is also a software engineer, but she found her true calling in travel. Over the past 12 years she has gained in-depth knowledge and expertise on travel in Odisha. She loves the outdoors and she loves her incredible country. India is an inspiration for her and she strives to showcase the little Indian story in the Land of Odisha through authentic experiences that connect people and places. Sophia is enamored by the beauty of Odisha’s rustic villages, she hopes to settle in one of these quaint villages surrounded by rolling hills and valleys. Her husband, Kartik, who is also the co-founder of Detour Odisha shares the same vision. The two also hope to establish an experimental school for the village kids with alternate methods of learning.
How do the experiences you offer at Detour Odisha give guests a unique perspective on the history, people or culture of your region?
We care about two things, people and places. We believe, by knowing people and places, one is close to the existence. After all, we are bonded by the same force with various expressions!
The history and culture of any destination is expressed beautifully not just through its monuments but through its people. When travellers bond with the local people they take that identity and story forward. Authentic experiences by Detour Odisha are designed to engage the traveller with the local community through interaction and participation.
How have the experiences that you offer evolved since their inception?
We have integrated destination visits beautifully with experiences that add more value and insight into travel. We introduced guided walkthroughs along old city lanes which were earlier just landmarks to stop by and admire. Every place has its Story in its old alleys!
Our indigenous art and craft workshops are by nature organic and we showcase them in their purest forms by engaging travellers in the authentic villages with the local artisans native to each village . Demonstration and workshops add to the wholesome experience.
Delicious local cuisine experience are also hallmarks as they convey the warmth and essence of our People . Seasons and Traditions have been the best guides to preparing a menu for families and friends here. Witness age old methods of organic cooking and watch traditional recipes unfold!
Nature has also given us abundant resources to help us replenish our bodies and restore it to health. It is time for us to reclaim our trust in these healing processes of Life . Our nature walks with Yoga and wellness trails are designed to elevate the mind and spirit and give a sense of well being. In similar fashion all our experiences have been curated for the soul of a traveler!
What is one detail of an experience you provide that may go unnoticed by guests, but which you feel is important?
We work as an extension of the local communities in a way! Behind the scenes we have a network of local associates who encourage such authentic experiential travel as it also helps them grow in a sustainable manner. Locals love to share their way of Life and they are more than humbled when travelers engage and understand their lifestyle and culture.
What do you wish every guest knew as they consider participating in the experiences you offer?
Our tours are curated beautifully but we always leave scope for travelers to be surprised by giving them their space to drift a bit. Travel is an experience to cherish for a lifetime and in this way the nostalgia remains with the traveler as they reflect on the choices they made when they traveled!
What is one travel trend that really excites you?
Living it up with the local community.
In one incredible India there are countless cultures and stories that lends itself to the traveler and we can only imagine the infinite stories of every other lands. So local communities and their essence are timeless.
What is one insiders tip to getting the most out of an experiential travel vacation?
Be yourself, sometimes no plan is a masterplan !
What is one strategy that has helped your business to grow?
We want our own people to be proud of their state by re-connecting them to their heritage and culture. So we always invite our local folks to rediscover their land and become its best ambassadors! Tourists are seasonal but travelers are forever!
What is one personal habit that has helped you to be successful?
It’s great to find your calling. I love being high on travel and traveling alone! I am inspired by cultures across the world and it keeps me on the go to discover such quality content for my state and country and showcase the seen and unseen like never before.
Please share one instance where a guest had a moving or emotional reaction to the experience you provided to them.
In all our heritage walkthroughs we always have some local travelers joining us. What we promote to the world is always accessible to them as locals and its quite overwhelming when they step up and feel high and proud of their beautiful State and its culture. This happens because we weave authentic stories that connects them to their Land and its heritage.
We are happy to be in an Incredible country like India that has the charm to showcase inspirational tours unlike any other in the World!