The Musafir Stories (TMS) is hosted by Bangalore-based couple Saif Omar and Faiza Khan. Saif has worked in the software services and financial services industry most of his professional life, and was based in the USA. He quit about three years ago, moving back to India and joining the family business. Saif’s wife Faiza is the co-host on TMS and currently works as a Team Lead with a software MNC in Bangalore. Faiza is also an avid baker and inspired crafter of hand-made organic soaps.
Talk to us about your personal journeys, how did the podcast happen?
When we moved back to India, I was looking to consume local podcasts but the options were limited. That’s when we wondered about giving podcasting a shot – even though neither of us has any background in media/journalism, or even full-time travel for that matter.
As kids, most of us have grown up on the culture of listening to stories from grandparents and elders. We can fondly recall sharing first-hand experiences about travel and life in general, with classmates and friends. The culture of story-telling and listening is deep-wired in us.
Looking at TMS at an idea stage, we thought that there might be an audience for casual and informal conversations about travel experiences, especially when pro-travelers can add tips, tricks and hacks to their conversations. That’s how The Musafir Stories was born – it began as a passion project and continues to be so.
Are holiday hangovers pretty much like Monday morning blues? Or worse? I would say that they are much worse. Once you’re past the dreadful Monday, the blues fade away, and you count the days before the weekend starts. As far as holidays are concerned, you know that the duration between two holidays is much longer than just a week, and it makes you yearn for the next time you’re away from the laptop and the perpetual feeling of catching up. In fact, the only time I welcome a Monday with open arms is when I am at one of my favorite reserve forests – though it doesn’t really matter what day of the week it is, in a forest location.
What are your feelings like when you’re heading back home, after a really nice vacation? A good vacation rejuvenates me as nothing else does. No spa, no mall can come close to the feeling of absolute contentment I feel when I am away from the city and when I am one with nature. Of course, the moment I touch city limits after a good holiday, it’s a sinking feeling. The stress sets in immediately, and I know that until my next vacation I have to wake up to the sounds of incessant honking and traffic – rather than the melodious bird sounds and the pollution-free air that I miss so much. I call it the holiday hangover, and the only ‘fix’ that can help me get over it is another holiday. Most of the times, I cannot wait to simply pack my bags, load the camera, and leave.
In conversation with Travel Blogger Shama Ahmed A communications professional working at an MNC, Shama Ahmed is a travel blogger and nature-lover with a voracious appetite for travel. She loves to take the road less traveled to photograph and study animal behavior in the wild. Partial to the jungles of South India, her love affair with the denizens of the tiger reserves in India started ten years ago, during her first safari – when she was armed with nothing but a small camera phone and oodles of curiosity.
Being the kind of experienced traveler that she is, we talk to Shama about “holiday hangovers” – a topic that we have for long wanted to feature in our Q&A sessions. Shama helps us get under the hood of holiday hangovers in an attempt to understand post vacation blues, and how to get things into perspective.
For my monthly Q&A interview on the AIRDA website, I spoke to a young group of vacation seekers about timeshare benefits and features. They gave me some very useful feedback, on planning your vacation, splitting your week into shorter getaways and upgrading your allotted facility to a higher plan or accommodation. They also talked about the one thing that adds the icing on the cake during a holiday – FOOD.
If you’re interested in timeshare, you’ll find useful tips in this interview >>
The “conversations” section on the AIRDA website is over five years old. We’ve had sessions with CEOs, business heads, independent consultants and other professionals who are connected with the timeshare industry in some way. We have also talked to customers from different age groups – our oldest is 87 years old and still looking forward to her next holiday. Our youngest was 13 when we spoke to him three years ago – at 16, he’s considering rapid-river-rafting on his next holiday.
This post is about inviting people like you for instance. Especially if you have an observation to make, a story to share, or constructive feedback to offer. We’re also looking forward to conversations with professionals and stakeholders in the industry.
The sparkling waters of the Cherai are a breathtaking confluence of lakes, lagoons and canals. Nestling between an idyllic beach and a lagoon, the resort is a magical destination for anyone looking for more than just a holiday on a calendar. That’s the place to go if you’re looking for nature’s green carpet as a setting and the calming therapeutics of Kerala’s backwaters. On the TripAdvisor website, 82% ranked this resort at #2 of 4 hotels in Cherai Beach.
For our Q&A of the month, we meet four young professionals who drove down to Cherai Beach and found the experience rejuvenating. We talk to hotelier Shashank Shetty from Kolhapur, chartered accountant Nischith Shetty from Dubai, Ulhaas Joseph who is a business analyst in Bangalore and Philip Joseph who works in the travel industry. These are old friends who got together after a long time and decided to catch up on their worlds at a setting that allowed them to do just that.