Oftentimes, when we travel, we look out for the most significant monument, the oldest piece of architecture, or the most-visited tourist spot. Rarely do we visit a new place with an intention to get to know its people, communities, or way of life –– but it is possible that it may feel like a more authentic and fulfilling way to travel.
25-year-old traveller, Shreyas Danappa, has a similar approach to his travels –– to focus on people, culture, history, and communities. His passion project, ‘Map My Stories’, chronicles all his journeys. From learning their traditional cooking styles to learning all about their spiritual or religious beliefs, Shreyas’s travels come across as more wholesome than travels with any other motive. With an aim to travel in a more slow, immersive, and transformational manner, Shreyas does not hold back from truly getting involved in the destination’s communities and way of living.
“I find them to be more aligned with their immediate environment which reflects in their slow life and their warm demeanour. Through my passion project, Map My Stories, I want to share these richer outlooks with like-minded travellers who may not have the same luxury of time as I do.”— Shreyas Danappa
Taking a different approach to travel is a novel concept –– usually, people travel to see places, but Map My Stories holds stories of people met and cultures experienced on these very travels. Shreyas offers services of planning and curating community-centric trips. He also supports indigenous writers and musicians by introducing them to newer audiences, who are also his clients.
“My experiences have led me to believe that exploration is an art. Painting a 19th-century old monastery and learning to craft mugs in Sikkim, making wine from foraged produce and bamboo rafting in Arunachal’s challenging terrain have made me more mindful of the great learning opportunities that living with indigenous communities has to offer.”— Shreyas Danappa
Shreyas and his brainchild Map My Stories reiterate our belief in the cultural hotspot that is India, and that to learn about them, all one has to be is open-minded. Travel plays the perfect part in allowing us to do so, and if we were able to learn a thing or two from Shreyas, it would be to not just step out and explore India –– but explore for its people, their beliefs, and their heritage.
Find Map My Stories here.
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