Escape from the humdrum

Comfort Zone

Escape from the humdrum

Women travellers have come of age. They are discovering the world, albeit on their own terms, and in the company of like-minded people from their own gender. As they are enjoying assorted experiences, be it getting stroked by the sun or soaked in the waters, they are leaving not just their troubles behind but the men too.

Beautiful Journey Private Ltd, a City-based women’s travel group, is helping women explore the world. Jyothi Nair, the brain behind the venture and the CEO, says it is the result of her personal struggle to travel.

She had worked in IT consulting space for about 15 years and that gave her the opportunity to live in different parts of the country and the world.

 It also helped her fulfill her desire to be a pilot during her stay in the US. “After quitting SAP in 2012, I wanted to read, meditate and travel. The first two were very easy. But travel was very difficult to do. Friends had their busy lives. My immediate family is not much in to travel and like many other women, travelling solo is not much fun for me,” she says.

“So I started a travel group, which was a mixed one. Many girls joined it, but never showed up for travel. So, I set up a lunch in September 2012, just for girls – and it had a good response. Eleven girls turned up and they were very happy that we had set it up for all girls. In January 2013, the group was turned into an all-women group with a trip to Navadarshanam and the response was beyond our imagination. This emboldened me to look at going commercial with the concept of an all-women travel group,” she informs.

But there have been hurdles and she says, “Any start-up journey has its own challenges — from finding the right talent to join us to creating the right supplier network or even making people believe in one’s business card. People were quick to frown because I’m a woman and running this effort solo and ‘targeting a super niche in an unknown industry’ — as someone told me at one of the conferences. But consulting had taken me to many industries and that gave the confidence to look at another one,” she says.

The trips are fun-filled, unusual and have a bit of adventure too. “Younger girls want to travel the world and middle-aged women want a nice break and so do older women. Many girls who join for flying events find comfort in the fact that I have a flying licence myself,” she says. Instead of five-star places, the groups stay in safe and value-based accommodations. “These are trips our core team themselves want to take, at a package that fits our middle-class purses!,” she says.

The safety aspect is something the organisation gives much priority to. Trips are not created unless the destination is familiar to the organisers.

“Either one of us in the extended team should have grown up there or have travelled extensively through those places recently. If no one has travelled to the place, or have not been there in recent past, we do an elaborate recce,” she says. “We carefully screen our accommodations and ground transport providers to ensure that the experience is as beautiful as possibly can be. Like pilots, we also use an extensive checklist for each trip to ensure that each minute detail is taken care of,” she adds.

While Jyothi is looking ahead to make the experience better and brighter, travellers are returning with a bagful of not just souvenirs, but memories as well!
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