BENGALURU : When Nivedith G aka Macro Traveller was invited to cover the Oscars recently, he was every friend’s envy. He also won tickets to the Oscar Fan Experience, where he attended the red carpet and sat in the bleachers, watching the stars walk by. While he admits that this was something that was even beyond his bucket list, he also points to the ground reality behind the ‘glamorous’ way of life.
“People usually think I get to travel so much and it’s fun staying in fancy places, but it involves a lot of work. In fact, it took three months for the academy to give me clearance, which I got after a strict background check by the FBI,” says the 30-year-old.
Beyond the envy-arousing photographs, Sharanya Iyer, aka Truly Nomadly, says it much more than a rosy hotel stay and breakfast by the poolside. The challenges, she says, are endless - from pitching to tourism boards, travel companies and brands. This, even after building a considerable audience base and blog visits, delivering content, waiting on delayed payments, dealing with the instability of finances, friendships and relationships, to watching out for yourself in strange lands, taking care of health and being your own bodyguard.
“I spent two months, backpacking solo to Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan. It was all about living off one rucksack, surviving as a vegetarian, overlanding and crossing land borders by myself, battling a bad case of bronchitis in Kazakhstan, managing finances and three new currencies and learning to converse in new languages,” she says. Pay and money fluctuates as well, says Nivedith, who adds that each client has a different requirement. “I levy charges based on the project, but the starting rate is usually Rs 10,000,” he says.
‘No work-life balance’
In addition to being a jack of all trades, the job involves a lot of trial and error. Like blogger Ankita Kumar, who runs social media account by the name Monkey.inc, points out, “Content needs to be tweaked according to each platform since the audience varies. If I’m not travelling, I ensure post 2-3 on Instagram every day, but when I am, it gets hard. When you travel, you need to plan content carefully,” says the 28-year-old.
Agrees Nivedith, who schedules at least one blog post a day and uploads three to four posts on various platforms. He keeps a log of his content analytics and works on bettering engagement every month. He admits that he has undergone travel fatigue, with holidays turning into work since there no is clear distinction between personal and professional life. “I have taken 154 flights last year and it did get monotonous,” he says. As Iyer puts it, the end result far outweighs the obstacles.