12 EXCEPTIONAL TRAVEL STORIES FROM AROUND TGE GLOBE
1. SUNDEEP BALI- LENS-BASED ARTIST & PHOTOGRAPHER
Sundeep Bali is a lens-based artist and commercial photographer. As an artist, Bali has been engaging with and making images around myriad manifestations of culture and heritage in India. This gets coupled with his interests in issues of socio-economic and environmental justice.
As an artist, Bali has exhibited widely- around the world and in India. He is a Global Ambassador for Carl Zeiss and Fujifilm.
2. RANJAN PAL-FREELANCE WRITER
Ranjan Pal is an adventurer in both his professional and personal life. Professionally he has had a rich and diverse record of accomplishments at the leadership level in a variety of fields ranging from investment banking to education. Personally, he now pursues his twin passions for the outdoors and for travel writing. When it comes to travel writing, he is a great believer that in exploring other countries and cultures one gets to know oneself better.
3. PRINCY MEHTA-FITNESS COACH, CHOREOGRAPHER, FOUNDER OF THREDA
Fitness, Dance, Fashio, Princy does things that not only make her feel #StrongWildHappy but also let others imbibe this mantra. FITNESS - Princy is a certified fitness instructor, specializing in Strong Nation (HIIT) and Animal Flow program. She also takes the group and individual classes for HIIT, strength, mobility, and functional training - for clients across India. DANCE - As a trained dancer, she regularly teaches school kids, and also takes select choreography assignments every year. FASHION - Princy founded threada.in, in 2019 and the #StrongWildHappy dresses being created in the threada studio have been amassing a huge fan-following since its inception
4. VAIBHAV CHHABRA-MAKER
Vaibhav Chhabra is a mechanical engineer by education but a carpenter by passion. A graduate from Boston University, Vaibhav spent the first 2 years of his career at EyeNetra, a startup from MIT Media Labs, building portable Virtual Reality-based eye diagnostic devices. While working with the rural community in India for his eye diagnostic prototype, Vaibhav founded ‘Makers Asylum.’ Maker’s Asylum is a community space focussed on fostering innovation through hands-on learning. The space houses various labs that are co-located in order to facilitate the prototyping of ideas that are interdisciplinary in nature. Vaibhav essentially coupled his degree with his passion to create the first community Makerspace in India. The key focus of this space is to foster education in areas of hardware, design & sustainability. In his leisure time, Vaibhav enjoys making furniture, photography, and winning at ping pong. He is also the Chair for innovation and entrepreneurship at Young Indians – Confederation of Indian Industries, a Global Shaper at the World Economic Forum, and part of the French President's Young Leaders Club.
5. SHALOME POTNIS TUINMAN-TRAVEL ENTREPRENEUR
Shalome was born into a family of travel agents and travel writers. So it was inevitable that she would work in travel. She lived for ten years out of a suitcase working as a Tour Leader, Travel Agent, Travel Writer, and finally, Travel Consultant for Lonely Planet Magazine India.
Currently, she runs two travel businesses – one which creates unique, illustrated travel maps (including one on Goa) and another – a platform for 10-15 years olds around the world that is a safe space for connections and conversations that you wish you’d have when you travel – sort of a virtual pen pal network with a 21st-century upgrade.
6. MAYOR/JOY SONTAKKE-FOUNDING COCONUTS, NOMADGAO
Mayur met Joy during his nomadic journey in Vietnam. Joy traveled back to India with him and they got married in beautiful Himachal, all within 6 months. After deciding to settle in Goa, they started NomadGao, a coliving place for digital nomads.
7. SHAWN RODRIGUES-ENTREPRENEUR
Shawn is a plant-based chef who has made Goa his home for the past decade. If he isn’t serving lip-smacking meals at his award-winning restaurant he’d most probably on a bicycle exploring the hinterlands of Goa. Shawn has some amazing experiences to share from watching Grizzly bears devour the salmon traveling upstream in Alaska to sharing meals with locals in Mexico and Nepal.
8. GAUTAM NIMA-PERFORMING ARTISTS & EDUCATOR
Gautam is a Performing Artist and an Educator who grew up in Mussoorie. He has been dancing, singing, and entertaining his family and friends since a very young age. Later, his talent got to grow in-school rock band and a dance team. His professional dance artist life began in New Delhi. To further explore his artistic inquiry, he moved to New York City and later to Virginia where he was offered a scholarship to pursue his MFA in Dance. He moved to Goa in 2016 where he lives with his wife who is also a performing artist. They are both passionate about bringing embodied ways of learning into the education system. Together they create experiential artworks that would facilitate the human consciousness to expand and for the soul to heal. Gautam is also the Creative Director of a Kindergarten school in Margao.
9. SUNIETA NARAYANA-YOGA TEACHER/FASHION DESIGNER
Sunieta Narayana is an Environmental Engineer. Her brand Stylewaali is known for sustainable fashion for 10+ years in Goa. Her pioneering Slow Fashion initiatives like high-fashion community Clothes Swaps have been highly successful and impactful. As a Speaker, she's given talks and workshops about circular fashion, women's health, sustainable menstruation at TEDx unplugged and other conferences.
As a Yoga Teacher, passionate about the health and wellness of mind, body, spirit, she's traveled from Kanyakumari to the Himalayas by road documenting and giving talks about Yoga in schools, colleges, Institutes requesting them to make Yoga part of the curriculum.
10. NOLAN LEWIS-EDITOR-AT-LARGE
Nolan Lewis is a Mumbai-based travel writer who lives out of a suitcase. He’s here in Goa chasing a deadline on the new bar openings in Goa when a friend suggested that he participate in the next edition of Pechakucha. Nolan writes for Conde Nast Traveller, Architectural Digest. Travel+Leisure, Hindustan Times, and so on.
The subject of my speech is Freeloading for Beginners: I’ve never spent a paid vacation my entire life!
11. CHANDREYI & JOY-MOONCHASERS
Chandreyi & Joy from Goa likes to call themselves The Moonchasers. They travel with the moon to offbeat places and like to tell interesting stories through their blogs and films. They moved to Goa in 2020 in search of a peaceful home where they can be close to nature and fuel their creative aspirations.
We would be talking about 'How to leave only footprints when traveling/What is it really like to be a traveler by choice'.
12. SUDEEPTA SANYAL-CO-FOUNDER, BLUEBERRY TRAILS