Bengaluru-based Shreyas Danappa had a sheltered upbringing, and he had not travelled in any respect till he joined faculty. Earlier than his closing yr, in 2017, Shreyas went on a solo journey to Himachal Pradesh, Kashmir, and Ladakh.
He had discovered the sensation of independence by way of travelling. And, there was no stopping for him.
The next yr, after his commencement, 25-year-old Shreyas took a year-long break to journey throughout India—from Bengaluru to Sikkim to Nepal and the remainder of the nation—on his motorcycle.
“I hoped for this ‘hole yr’ journey to satiate me sufficient to get again into the rat race, however it by no means occurred. Quite the opposite, I received extra hooked on travelling,” Shreyas tells SocialStory.
To maintain his journey desires, he tried his luck with gigs associated to travelling, together with freelance content material writing, working a homestay in Sikkim, instructing English to the monks on the monastery, and many others.
The truth is, Shreyas additionally received into the content material creation area and was working a travel-related YouTube channel. Though he didn’t get pleasure from making content material, he wished to share his ardour for journey with others.
In 2021, Shreyas launched Map My Tales—a community-centric, immersive journey expertise mission—the place he curates sustainable journey options from his private travels.
Roads much less travelled
An avid solo traveller, Shreyas would go to distant villages and spend weeks to months, fully immersing himself within the place and constructing connections and networks in these areas.
These journey experiences, together with the nice and cozy hospitality he obtained in these villages, helped him curate conscious experiential journeys to make journey extra transformational and socially accountable and would additionally assist native communities.
“Not everybody has the posh of time to spend in distant villages. I tailor private experiences to a concise itinerary. My purchasers will expertise the identical factor I skilled however in a pocket length. I curate [these travels] in such a method that there’s a little bit of nature, tradition, and many others.,” the first-time entrepreneur says.
Not too long ago, Shreyas collaborated with a few of Sikkim’s indigenous artists to curate a journey programme, the place he took his purchasers to North Sikkim and engaged with the locals.
“We learnt Monastic portray methods from an area artist. We renovated a portion of a 19th-century previous Buddhist Monastery, learnt to make bamboo mugs from an indigenous craftsman through the use of regionally sourced uncooked supplies, brewed native beer made out of foraged produce, and jammed to music with an indigenous band,” he shares.
One other time, Shreyas curated a visit to Arunachal Pradesh, an journey into the wild- which included visiting locations close to the Indo-China border, studying bamboo rafting, and many others.
The wanderer turned entrepreneur chooses much less explored and fewer ‘touristy’ places. The journeys are deliberate in a community-centric method, the place locals, together with guides, homestay homeowners, artists, musicians, and many others., are supported.
Shreyas tries to search out native expertise and put them on the itinerary, which acts in its place supply of earnings for the locals. “It will not be intrusive and quite immersive,” he says.
At current, Shreyas runs Map My Tales by himself. He took his first set of travellers in March 2022 to North Sikkim and has taken three teams within the following months. He will likely be taking them to Arunachal Pradesh, too, this yr.
Shreyas says he’s very selective about who will get to affix the journey. He prefers to have travellers who’re extra eco-conscious and are respectful in direction of the native cultures and customs.
In line with him, a mainstream vacationer wouldn’t be normally concerned with Map My Tales curated itinerary because it acts “like a filter”.
Secondly, it asks purchasers to elucidate the aim of their journey and what they’re anticipating within the registration kind.
“I choose my purchasers based mostly on these components, which act as networking alternatives for travellers to fulfill attention-grabbing of us of their journey. There ought to be like-mindedness between them,” says Shreyas.
Every package deal prices a mean of Rs 33,000, comprising a bunch of 4 to 6 individuals for about seven days with assist from native guides. He says that every traveller can discover the locations individually whereas having the consolation of like-minded individuals.
This yr, he has curated one journey every for the month of October and November.
Shreyas needs to take his travellers overseas too. Nevertheless, he’s ready to discover all of them firsthand earlier than including them to the Map My Tales web site. He additionally plans to construct a staff of passionate travellers, who can lead journeys.