When travel and I had love children

The feeling of ‘I belong’-

Ever experienced the feeling of belonging? I’m talking about that moment when your actions feel just right.  I had that feeling whenever I was traveling. I’ve been fortunate enough to have travelled across the length and breadth of India. Ever since I was little kid I have travelled to new places every time I had a vacation from school. Those trips where often long hauls spanning across 10-15 days in various parts of the country.

Growing up –

Growing up sucks. Indian kids are spoilt brats and entering the work force is a rude shock to most young kids. We tide through though and the system grooms us into hard working people for whom office hours means anytime you aren’t in bed. I grew up fine, but there was something within me that was waiting to get out. Going out on a short trip after 1.5 years of non-stop work shook me up and made me realise that to continue the intensive corporate life I would have to travel from time to time, hoping to keep my sanity.

The Snowball Effect –

First Love Child

Twitter

When I returned from the little weekend trip I decided that I would start writing about my previous travels while doing trips whenever possible. That’s when Traveling Curiously was born. At first only a humble wordpress blog, I was inspired to move to a self-hosted website after interacting with many like-minded people on Facebook. Slowly I got into the groove of writing regularly for the blog and interacting with super enthusiastic travel bloggers like me.

Second Love Child

Lunchex.co
The logo for Lunchex.co

If you’ve ever talked with anyone working in the advertising industry they’ll surely tell you that a big idea just clicks and the rest of the campaign is just a simple derivation of that big thought. It flows naturally. Let’s just say I had a similar kind of experience. Lunchex.co was born out of the blue. Nope, I didn’t plan that one.

My vision for Lunchex is very simple. I hope to build a massive online community of people who believe travel is about experiencing, preserving and sharing cultures and cuisines. It’s been about 9 months (coincidence?) and now I am actually launching a private beta which is invitation only. It’s been an enriching journey with Lunchex and I realise that there is so much to learn even on a medium that I call my own.

I had some really awesome people who helped me build the website and one heck of a boss at work who supported my detours and was super lenient with leaves.

The future

Both of these projects are very close to my heart, they are after all my love children.  I hope to run both the properties while doing a full time job. The goal is do something that benefits people across boundaries and cultures and I’m just getting started.

Want to try out Lunchex.co when it launches? Click here and fill up a short form.

Tourlandish Review

Tourlandish Review

Every once in a while you discover something that seems to be like God’s answer to your prayers.  I always wished that tourists visiting my city of Mumbai would get a guided tour without actually having to depend on local tour operators.  There’s a simple reason to this: local tour operators won’t be able to offer the perfect mix of touring options according to a person’s choice.

I thought, may be some day I would create such a tool that would give people just want they wanted and liked with the local twist and then magically I discovered Tourlandish.

Tourlandish is like your personal concierge service to New York City. If you’re traveling to New York and want in on any of the major tourist attractions of the city this is your go-to app!

Tourlandish Options

Created by a proven team including Varun Khona (CEO), Vikram Jit Singh (CTO) and Suren Sultania (COO) this app lets you book local activities straight from your pocket.

Here’s my review of this interesting app.

Features

Screenshot_2014-07-12-09-55-04

 In-app purchase

The best part about this app is that all the purchases are in-app and there’s no hassle of being re-directed to a new window to make payments.

Wide Range of Categories

Currently Tourlandish has 9 categories: Walking Tours, Food & Drink, Broadway, Around NYC, Activities, After Drink, VIP, Arts and Landmarks.

For me, this largely covers what an average tourist would want to do. I was personally loved the fact that they have quite a few walking tours. As a traveller I enjoy taking long walks around the city and that feature really made me like the app a little more.

Pros

Last Minute Deals

No plans when you land in New York? Tourlandish has got you covered now! The last minute deal functionality adds a lot of value to its proposition.

Savings

Most bookings with Tourlandish give you a nifty discount.  Not bad for a last minute deal is it?

Cons

Android Only

As of now, the app is available for Android only. That’s a bit of a bummer for iOs or Windows phone users.  Hopefully that’s something Tourlandish would be working on!

New York City Only

It’s a startup and offers deals for New York only. With time, I’m sure they will expand to cities across the world very soon.

Final Word

Value for money

I really think that this app gives you better value for your money. Saving on most of your transactions is really cool and as a discount hunter nothing pleases me more.

Convenient

The highlight of this app would be its convenience. As a tourist to a new city you really wouldn’t know where to look for what and I know many people who are just too lazy to research about the city they are visiting to for work or any other purpose.

This app fill this stop perfectly!

Need to expand

Needless to say the Big Apple isn’t everything.  Tourlandish needs to expand its offerings to other cities around the world.

Give it a shot here:

What do you think of my Tourlandish review? Do share your thoughts in the comments below.