Sonal Kwatra Paladini
As a child what did you want to grow up to be? Did you stick to it?
I wanted to be a DJ. No, I did not stick to it.
What and where have you studied?
I studied Economics Honors from Delhi College of Arts and Commerce (Delhi University).
What made you choose to travel full time?
I have never been addicted to anything in my life except traveling. Traveling for a few days a few times a year always left me hungry for more. Last year, I decided to take a month off work and travel. That’s when I decided I never wanted to stop traveling and eventually decided to quit my job to travel full-time.
What is your work or travel blogging all about?
It’s usually writing about places I visit, sharing crazy stories from the road my website Drifter Planet, sharing pictures my Instagram account and occasionally working with a few travel brands. At times it’s also about frantically searching for WiFi in random places while traveling to meet pending submission deadlines.
How to crack it as a professional blogger?
I don’t know the answer to this. 🙂 I don’t know if I have cracked it yet.
How have your family influenced your personal and professional life?
My parents always supported the idea and have always encouraged me to travel more. In fact, they are the ones that gave me and my sister the “travel genes” (haha). My sister travels a lot herself and is always excited to hear about my adventures on the road. My husband is my partner in crime and usually travels with me all the time.
If you were not been in a travel blogger, what would you have been?
A PsyTrance DJ!
What is the most profound advice you have heard and remembered?
All problems are illusions of the mind. Also don’t shy away from hard things.
“I was in the heart of Istanbul a few months back during the attempted military coup.”
Do you live your life by principles? What principles are important to you?
Do things that make you happy. Smile more. Radiate happiness, peace, and love so that others around you also become happier. Spread good energy.
It’s never too late to find out what you love doing. Maybe you can make a living out of it?
Don’t take things for granted, not everyone has them – a loving family, a healthy body, etc. Be grateful for what you have.
Take responsibility and initiative. We all have to work together to get things done – in life and at work.
What advice do you have for women in your industry?
Enjoy each day. I actually don’t have gender specific advice, to be honest.
“Sadly, the only time I ever faced racism was in my own country, India.”
What advice do you have for young women and girls in general?
Start traveling early and travel solo at least once in your life.
Your favorite memory from childhood.
My sister teaching me how to ride a bicycle.
What was the worst trip you’ve ever been on?
I have never really had a bad trip except when I was stranded in Istanbul, Turkey when the military took over. Yes, I was in the heart of Istanbul a few months back during the attempted military coup. It was very scary hearing fighter jets, and loud bangs outside our hostel at night. You can read about my experience here.
Ever battled with racism or sexism while traveling? How did you handle the situation(s), if any?
Sadly, the only time I ever faced racism was in my own country, India. It was when an upcoming backpacker hostel refused me entry but not to my husband, Sandro.
What country/city/town do you hold close to your heart and why?
Goa. This was where my travel addiction started back in 2004. Everything is perfect here – the weather, the beaches, the food, the people, the parties and the vibe. Goa is massive, so matter how touristy it gets, there are many hidden areas where one can find peace.
Are you married? When did you marry?
Yes. I got married in 2015. My husband’s name is Sandro. I fell in love with him while traveling and we eventually got married.
Has a married life had any impact on your work?
Not at all.
What question(s) do you wish I had asked?
“What is your dream destination?”
Oh and my dream destination is Papua New Guinea!