Alum Ventures: Work.Earn.Travel.Repeat – Abhishek Vaid EPGP 2016

We all take a holiday from time to time to refresh our minds and body (and sometimes soul) but Abhishek has turned his love for travel into his livelihood. After a decade of corporate bish bash, he set foot into the entrepreneurial world doing what he loves. His travel production Work.Earn.Travel.Repeat creates the most visually tantalizing travel content.

You can visit the Work.Earn.Travel.Repeat page on YouTube to get a fresh take on travel. The road less traveled, and like Abhishek puts it, ” I travel for more”. Here’s an exclusive with Abhishek Vaid.

Can you tell us something about yourself and your travel production – Work.Earn.Travel.Repeat.
Well like most of you even I was in a corporate setup for almost 10 years. In my last role, I worked as Business Strategy manager with Airtel, working with the customer experience strategy function.
After working for a decade, I decided to format my life around travel. I started a travel content production house called Work.Earn.Travel.Repeat with an intent to create travel episodes focused around inspiring stories of people, places, and experiences. These are not typical travel vlogs on the lines of the best places to visit, where to eat and how to reach from point A to point B. Rather these are cinematically-shot videos showcasing a particular destination through the lens of an inspiring story, with the elements of conversations, storytelling, and the local flavors.
We create short-form content for brands and seed the brand message as part of that content plug. Simultaneously we are also in the process of pitching our content to OTT platforms and media houses for gaining a bigger distribution channel and a wider audience reach.

Tell us a little bit about your journey? Why do you travel? What pushes you to go to the next location?
Right from the time I gained financial independence, the urge to escape the monotony kept getting stronger. Very soon I realized that it is the experiences that fascinated me more rather than the sightseeing spots. I’m completely OK with going to Italy and not visit the Colosseum.

Taking a cue from the theme of my last series TravelForMore:
“Traveling today has just become ticking places off of a list. Everyone wants to take pictures of the same handful of places. But if the only thing we remember from our trip is the photos we took, have we really traveled?
Go out for new experiences, to make new friends, or even better – to find a new self.
Because for every mile we travel, there is more to go.

What inspired you to set off on this big adventure?
I have been a fan of travel shows from the Doordarshan era ( Remember Surabhi hosted by Renuka Shahane and Siddharth Kak). And all this while I nurtured a secret dream to have a travel show of my own. But like any other Indian middle-class boy, I focused on a lucrative career. So it took almost 10 years of corporate life to realize that if I really have to give that dream a shot, I have to do something of my own. From the recent times its the Canadian/Italian Chef David Rocco’s travel/food shows and our very own Rocky & Mayur of HighwayOnMyPlate fame, who I look up to.

Inspired by their journeys, I re-engineered my life. From an engineer / MBA to a travel content creator, who is on a mission to uncover the inspiring tales of diverse people, places and experiences in the form of travel videos.

What was your favorite travel location and why?
Frankly, I don’t have one – a cross-country road trip in Europe is as precious to me as was making pooris in the kitchen of a hostel in Himachal. Be it the wine-tasting session at a winemaker’s home in Slovenia or brewing Kombucha (fermented tea) with an American in Panchgani(Maharashtra) – I travel for stories of people and experiences.

What are the challenges you have faced along the way?
Lack of knowledge of the media and entertainment industry and inability to find a mentor/co-founder yet makes the road ahead quite challenging. But I’m up for it. For me it’s now or never.

What has been your greatest life lesson that you have learned while traveling?
I’d say that I have learnt to shed the prejudices – both of people as well as places. There were times when I used to roll my eyes when someone suggested commercial destinations like Dubai & Singapore for a trip. Similarly, the perceptions like people from certain countries are cold or from certain cities are loud & rude were broken. Now I feel that every place has something or the other to offer – Bas dhoondhna aana chahiye 🙂
Travel has made me more open-minded, tolerant and humble.

Any tips for people who are wanting to take a leap, to the road less traveled?
I’m not a fan of giving out tips, but here’s what I did before I took the leap. I knew I’m not getting any younger and the more I wait, the more difficult it’s going to get. So I planned all my moves around it – My liabilities, my lifestyle and my savings and just jumped right in. Abhi nahi to kabhi nahi 🙂