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Chronicling the unexplored

Surupasree Sarmmah, July 1, 2015, DHNS 23:04 IST
EXOTIC Whale spotting in Antarctica
Going for an underwater trip or to an exotic spot in Antarctica or to an abandoned island was once upon a time a mere dream. But not anymore. ‘Byond Travel’, a start-up travel company, has been investing in treasured travel experiences around the world. Backed by an 11-member-team based in Bengaluru, it has been giving a larger meaning to the term ‘trip’. It not only takes people to unexplored places but has also been highlighting the real crux of travelling.

“I’ve always been passionate about travel, both professionally and personally. My understanding as a traveller made me realise that travel today is sold like a commodity. Booking flight tickets, hotel rooms or pre-packaged itineraries often fail to highlight the true essence of travel, which is ultimately about the experience,” says Vikram Ahuja, the owner of ‘Byond Travel’.

“My goal was to create an experience-led platform, which allowed travellers to truly immerse themselves in a destination and experience it through interactions with local cultures and communities. We realised the importance of allowing travellers the flexibility to customise products and experience a destination the way they would like to. For this, we were fortunate enough to connect with Eastbound, a travel management company, whose years of travel experience allowed us to work with the highest quality global suppliers and offer impressive travel experiences to customers,” he points out.

“The team at ‘Byond Travel’ is made up of very experienced travel and technology entrepreneurs. We work with a highly accomplished network of global travel experts, including some of the top travel bloggers and writers, who help us build and bring together some of the world’s most unique experiences. We are currently working on launching our personalised tool which will allow any traveller to build and completely plan an experience-led itinerary online,” he adds.

Most of their trips currently are international. However, they also focus on domestic trips. “‘Byond Travel’ represents a mission to go over and above regular travel — to think of ourselves as travellers and explorers and not mere tourists. More than everything else, it is also meant to challenge the traveller to think differently,” says Vikram.

To offer a platform to travel enthusiasts to share their experiences and memories of their various trips, the team also came up with the innovative concept of ‘Lime Diaries’; which is an attempt to recapture the lost art of story-telling. “We believe travel is ultimately about experience, stories and memories that stay with us long after we're back home. With ‘Lime Diaries’, we wanted to create a space for the like-minded community of travellers, people curious about the world around us and with a passion to listen and learn from each other,” he explains.

It has been a successful experiment and they are planning to launch it all over the country. By far, they have organised two editions of ‘Lime Diaries’, which attracted over 400 people.

“We have had some of the most interesting travel stories shared, including Suhel Seth’s adventures in the North Pole. We look forward to many more, including our first non-Bengaluru event in Mumbai next month,” adds Vikram.

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