As a child, I had this habit of constantly questioning everything around me. I was a free spirit, a pure maverick in every sense of the term. Back then, I was seen by some people as somebody who couldn't 'fit in' with societal standards. Seems like, those people were right partially - I didn't fit in. I stood out. And I stood out well.
As a student I excelled in academics during both Graduation and Masters. In fact, one of the greatest moments of my student life was to receive two Gold Medals for topping the entire state of Himachal Pradesh from the Former President of our country – Shri Pranab Mukherjee ji.
Now after a decade of excelling as a student, my same exact attitude of questioning as a child and knowing the how, when and why of things has led me to become an acknowledged Business Woman. When I look back , I know for sure that taking a plunge and letting go off everything conventional career wise was the best decision I made. I quit a highly secure job at the time when I was about to climb the ladder really high just to build something on my own.
Today, I am pursuing what I truly like - Entrepreneurship. I currently run 3 major and 7 mini ventures. Out of these - Budget Wayfarers- a travel content startup seems to be the most publicised (owing to my love for travel and blogging. I have backpacked more than half the world till now). The travelogues of Budget Wayfarers are read in more than 120 countries and we have a global network of Travellers and Bloggers. That has got to count as a 'Whoa' moment!
I started travelling really early in life and I am super thankful to my parents for the same. As an adult, I started travelling on my own and I can’t even begin to enlist the kind of experiences I’ve had as a traveller. I’ve read poetry out in the woods in Shimla – my hometown. I’ve savoured the warmth of a hot cup of coffee when it rains in Shillong. I’ve enjoyed buying fresh green vegetables from the Dal Lake Shikara in Srinagar. I’ve sniffed pine cones on spruce trees in Alaska. I have witnessed the Northern Lights in Abisko (Sweden). I’ve cooked eggs in the wilderness in Barskoon Valley (Kyrgyzstan). I’ve danced with the Magellanic penguins in Chile. I’ve shopped from the Souks in Morocco. I’ve camped in the Wadi Rum Desert in Jordan. I’ve gone skinny dipping in the Dead Sea. I’ve travelled across so many places that I can keep on writing a thousand fascinating tales but for now, I guess let the above experiences count.
I plan to launch more ventures in the near future especially pertaining to content (now that we're surrounded by all forms of it in the digital space). A few of them already are work in progress. I’m not sure whether all of them will be successful or will utter failures but I know that , “this is my passion, my decision, my way of living life. So, I am neither quitting nor giving up. I am willing to go as far as it takes without compromising on my true self. This is what I’ve always meant to do - OWN MYSELF.” The biggest lesson I’ve realised along my journey is - “ Whatever you do, pursue it with all your heart Not piece by piece, Not part by part.”
I am surely here to stay for a long time to come.
- Akriti Mattu