“Reading is enriching, writing is liberating”
Keeping this as her mantra, Jyoti Jha embarked on her journey as an author. Her passion for expressing through words, an empirical nature, and intensive listening skills, motivated her to embark on her second innings in the field of creative and content writing and went on to tell the world about her travel experiences through her book ‘Around the World Through My Lens’.
She chose to delve into her passion for travelling the world to explore new and beautiful places. Her book presents some known and off-beat locations across the globe from her travel diary. In an interview with Storiyaan, Jyoti tells us about her passion for writing and travelling and how it has helped her discover her true self.
Questions and answers
What was the driving force behind your decision of taking a break from your career and traveling?
I have always rejoiced having lived and thrived in my bright and vibrant homeland, India, a country with an eclectic mix of various cultures and people. While I gladly engaged in my intelligent pursuit of a flourishing career here, I always had a deep longing of exploring places far and wide. ‘Traveling teaches beyond books’, was my driving force when my husband was offered a project opportunity in the USA and later the UK.
How do memories and travel and natures translate into your creative capture of words?
Traveling helps generate new ideologies and gifts precious memories that last a lifetime. While capturing those moments into creative words, I just have to close my eyes and reminisce those memories. The experience seamlessly flows into words while jotting down my memories. Capturing travel memories into photos is an added advantage, however, the whole experience of traveling is longer lasting and inspiring.
What are your words of advice for solo women travellers?
I would say- carefully choose your destination, plan well, pack light but carry the essentials, meet other women travellers, do not share your itinerary, travel documents, etc. with anyone you do not trust. Being safe and taking precautions is always wise, however, do not restrict yourself on the adventure and fun. Make memories, make friends, enjoy your journey!
What was the process of compiling all your memories and thoughts and bring together a book that acts as a catalogue for travellers?
The pandemic has hampered traveling enormously and I couldn’t help but recollect all my sojourn memories I have made over the decade. So, I compiled all those remembrances during the BlogchatterAtoZ challenge, which were later published as a book. A touch of personal details from my exceptional experience with places from India, USA, Europe, and Japan, and information about points of interest in those locations; make the book a perfect motivational guide for people to take a visual delight of some amazing places and plan their holidays.
With your mantra being “Reading is enriching, writing is liberating”, can you tell us about the incident that pushed you to live by this statement?
I have always been an avid reader, and the quiet libraries of the UK intensified my urge to devour books. However, an eerie feeling of seeing my name on one of the books someday, and a deep-seated desire to express myself through words was always there. A chance sighting of the Write India contest in the newspaper motivated the writer in me and I decided to participate in the writing contest. I was chosen as a winner for the prompt of renowned author Upamanyu Chatterjee. The winning trophy gave wind beneath my wings as I plunged into the world of my thoughts and ponders
Writing about travel is sometimes considered an objective art. How did you manage to add a personal touch through anecdotes and experiences in your book?
Having seen and visited all the places mentioned in the book and having lived in some of the locations for quite some time, it was easier for me to provide a personal touch of anecdotes, tales, experiences while describing the destinations. My involvement with the places helped me describe them with an insider’s viewpoint and not merely an outside perception.
How did being the winner of TOI write India motivate you?
TOI Write India is a revolutionary campaign conceived and conceptualized by the Executive Editor, Vinita Dawra Nangia. The online contest provides a platform for budding writers to showcase their work to the ace writers from the literary world. The winning trophy from such a prestigious platform gave me a sense of recognition and achievement which further motivated me to take a dive into the vast expanse of the literary world and explore avenues.
How do you think the pandemic will change the future of the travel industry?
The pandemic has brought down the Travel Industry to its knees. Through the blur of the current scenario, the Travel industry is meekly looking forward to rebuilding and re-emerging from the crisis. The recovery is expected to be complicated and slow. Meanwhile, the industry is deemed to cautiously rebound through the right know-how and minimal approach. Until the International arrivals see full swing, Domestic Tourism is going to help in the partial recovery.
“This too shall pass”, and we will explore the world yet again!