From being a full-time nomad to starting my first hospitality venture: A Campsite In Sethan
When in 2015 I was facing a lost battle with my corporate life, unsatisfied and wanting more my myself, I had no idea that in just a couple of years I would be exploring countries on media trips. I’d no idea that tourism boards would be inviting me for experiencing what their country has to offer in return for promoting them on my digital channel(s). In short, I didn’t know that I would become a travel influencer!
And what I certainly didn’t know, after quitting my job to travel and facing more financial problems than I could ever imagine, during the initial year of travel blogging, that very soon I’ll have my own hospitality business.
FootlooseCamps, as I now tell the world with a proud look and a confident face, is my first hospitality venture — a brainchild, a chef-d’œuvre!
Long-Term Travelling Made Me A Risk Taker
Before I started travelling, I was one of those people who would never take risks in their life, someone who would only want to play safe and invest in things where the gave a guaranteed return — something akin to investing days and months in return for a monthly pay-check. But travelling taught me how to take risks. Though of course I never learned about playing a blind shot, and I think I never will. But the fact that I am more open to ideas and possibilities now what makes me a risk-taker.
And FootlooseCamps is an outcome of that learning — of taking risks I was hopeful for!
The Love For Sethan
The idea of starting a campsite in Sethan germinated about 6 months ago, during the summer of 2016, when I visited Sethan yet once again and ended up staying — as always — for a couple of weeks. I remember how every day, after a few nights, I would wake up and decide to spend just another night.
Its stillness, its beauty, felt addictive, and the local hospitality — a hope, for the better world!
Sethan: A Place For Slow Travellers
Sethan is not a place for hurried tourists but for slow travellers, for those who appreciate the cliched idea of ‘taking the road less travelled’ and exploring offbeat places.
For the hurried tourist, for those for whom the idea of holidaying is drinking a few beers in the night, dance their arse off over the bonfire and waking up groggily the next morning, I’d advise to stay away and sticking to the frequented places like Manali and Shimla. Becuase for them, Sethan has nothing to offer.
Getting to Sethan is expensive than most places you can think of and so is staying and eating for the kind of experiences it offers: that is raw and rustic. Sethan moreover has no tourist attraction(s). It has no famous temple and neither does it have a waterfall. But what Sethan has is an experience of a different kind.
FootlooseCamps: My First Hospitality Venture
So, when the idea of starting my first hospitality network germinated in mind, I chose a place like Sethan, where tourism had just picked up, and where transportation was not just limited, but controlled too!
TIP: The road to Sethan (which, however, is only 15km away from Manali) has no public bus or shared jeep/auto service. Though well connected with the road, one is required to obtain permission (that costs around 100 Rupees per vehicle) to access the area. One can self-drive and pay for the permission, or take a taxi from Manali that cost a whopping 1000 to 2000 Rupees per trip, depending upon the number of passengers and the time of the year.
Since I’ve always appreciated the idea of slow travel, of maintaining perfect harmony with nature and getting local experiences, my campsite, FootlooseCamps deliver to all those ideas.
It offers (yes I claim it!) The Best of The Himalayan Views, a raw and rustic camping experience, and (to those who appreciate it and whenever possible/asked for) a chance to meet the local community.
Here’s the link to the website for more details: FootlooseCamps In Sethan.