“It is about discovery and enjoying the journey instead of focusing on the destination, it will take me some place or I will take it somewhere!”
Gauri Jayaram's life is a tale of never giving up and true self-efficacy.
The affair with road for Gauri started as a five day old infant who was taken on a road trip by her pilot father. Living with and around Army background only strengthened her resolve to travel.
After experiencing the travel industry in Air Mauritius as Regional Manager, Gauri Jayaram decided to give the 9 to 5 a break and start a business of her own.
But success is not a walk to the next door, its a tough journey that not many can make.
"She started with zero capital in 2001. Her startup was into curating holidays. Though things were running smooth, Gauri felt her brand was not recognized and she felt restricted."
To gain momentum for next start-up and remind herself the love for travel, Jayaram joined world's largest touring company.
A trek to the Everest Base Camp brought the epiphany she had been waiting for.
"Just living out of one bag, without any gadgets made her realize how much real ‘excess baggage’ she had collected in her life back home. Gauri came back a different person and began minimizing various aspects of her life. It was then that she sold her fancy car, quit her job, and started up."
Gauri Jayaram at her book launch.
Now Gauri Jayaram runs her Active Holiday Company, which organizes foreign tours. The international adventure tour company also wants to broaden people's understanding of adventure travel, which is still an unexplored market in India. Her spotlight was on others who like her are into trekking, cycling, hiking tours internationally and also travelling to run marathons.
Personally, Gauri has ran the Dead Sea (lowest point on earth) Marathon and continues to do marathon hopping across the world.
She even has some serious advice for women who find their free will lasting only until marriage.
"Women who choose the right partners and right professions can have it all. For all the travelling I am often asked the same question, ‘Who takes care of your daughters?’ I have a simple response. 'The other parent does. I am lucky because my husband believes that they are as much his responsibility as they are mine. I admit that I do miss out on many things because of my work but so do many men who travel for work. I don’t think men have it all either.'”
Ultimately travel doesn't have to take you away from your normal life. Just like an artist nurse their passion amidst family and society, similarly travel too can be a part of someone's life and not entirety of it.
“I love the opportunities that an empty canvas gives me, the thrill to write my own story, the butterflies that the end of the month brings me when payments have to be made. But most of all I enjoy the ride. Each day is new, and every morning brings with it the chance to learn, grow and take risk. And when the going gets tough – I just go for a long run and it clears the cobwebs.” (Source)
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