If you eat, sleep, drink, or dream travel, there is little chance that you’ve not heard of Savi and Vid of Bruised Passports. Veterans in the travel content creation space, Savi Munjal and Vidit Taneja, a couple started their digital brand (blog and social media) Bruised Passports almost a decade ago after leaving their cushy corporate jobs, all for the love of travelling. Together they’ve travelled to 95 countries and hundreds of cities, and have now launched their new book, Bruised Passports: Travelling the World as Digital Nomads with Harper Collins India. This book is an insight into the couple’s journey and a practical guide with tips on how to be a digital nomad, just like them. On the occasion of the launch of their book, Zee Zest caught up with them to talk about their journey.
1. From before you took up travel as a full-time profession, how have your travels changed?
A lot has changed yet a lot remains the same. When we started our website, we had already been to almost 50 countries. So we had a fair idea of the kind of travel we enjoyed. When we wrote our very first post, I remember saying we enjoy a unique mix of luxury accommodation, experiential travel, hole-in-the-wall eateries, and savouring local experiences. This travel style remains the same to this date and we continue to cover these aspects of the places we visit. However, taking up travel as a full-time profession has allowed us to spend more time in places we love - now we can rent apartments and spend months in places like Bali, Paris, and Morocco - which was not a possibility with our previous jobs. This to us is the greatest perk of location-independent entrepreneurship.
2. For you, travelling involves creating content, does that eat into the aspect of relaxing or enjoying a place due to the pressure of capturing the moment first?
Yes and no. Yes, because contrary to popular opinion, content creation is extremely time-consuming. As both of us are perfectionists and love creating high-quality content, we spend hours capturing our favourite places for our audience. No, because we are so passionate about travel that we truly enjoy this process.
Additionally, we have leisure time - so instead of travelling to a place for four days, we try to travel to the same place for seven days - some of which could be spent absorbing the place and creating content. This is a conscious choice as it helps us maintain a nice balance, so we never feel burnt out.
3. What inspired you to pen down your journey into a book?
When we first started out as travel lovers and digital entrepreneurs, the field was nascent, almost non-existent. As a result, we had no one to guide us. There was no glass ceiling to break because this profession had no template. Having navigated extensive travels and working online from many different locations across the world, we wanted to provide travel lovers and aspiring entrepreneurs a blueprint to help them strike a balance between reaching out for their dreams, managing finances, and securing their future by sharing how we went about this process. And the pandemic gave us the perfect opportunity to slow down and ample time to pen the story of our life.
We hope this book will regale people with dreamy stories of travel, people, and culture. But we also hope it will inspire readers to live a life full of memories, adventure and excitement. We've packed it with tips, plans and advice inspired by the hurdles and successes we faced in our journey to create a brand of our own. The book will be a treasure trove for anyone who wants to take the plunge and set off on a journey to live life on their own terms.
4. Tell us about some of the most inspiring trips you've taken over the years.
We have mentioned all of our favourite places in the book and the different ways in which they inspired us - from the lakes of Sikkim to the glaciers of Iceland. But if we had to pick a couple of favourites we would say:
Lake Atitlan, Guatemala - It's hard to reach but living in Lake Atitlan is truly special. It's beautiful but the highlight for us was practising our broken Spanish at the local markets, bargaining for the creamiest avocados, and exploring villages untouched by time.
Faroe Islands is not on everyone's travel radar, but it truly should be. The archipelago, nestled between Norway, Iceland, and Scotland, ensures unspoilt panoramas and dramatic fjords without a soul in sight. Driving through glacial valleys and scenic cliff-top villages with less than a dozen houses is an experience like no other.
5. You've travelled to nearly 100 countries, do you still get excited about planning a new trip, especially when your vacation is also your vocation?
Very, in fact, our friends and family are constantly amused by just how excited we still get at the thought of travelling to new places. I think if someone truly loves travel - not just for the sake of seeing places but learning about new cultures and foods and people - then it is hard to get bored of it. In fact, those experiences truly feed the soul.
But I also think the process is even more exciting for us as we are witnessing the world together. We've been travelling together for almost 15 years and I can safely say it has brought us closer in so many different ways. I truly think the cliché "couples that travel together stay together" is somewhat true because travelling to new places, out of one's comfort zone, can often be a sensory overload of sorts. The good things - trying new foods, meeting new people, etc also come with the bad ones, such as falling sick in a strange place, getting lost, etc. But sharing these new experiences with someone familiar heightens the pleasure involved in the act of exploring the world in our case. And it has definitely brought us closer and made the process of seeing the world a lot more fun.
6. With the travel content creator space getting saturated, do you think there's space for new creators to carve a niche for themselves?
There is always space for more. In fact, we believe it is now easier to get into content creation as it is fast becoming an established career option and individuality is deeply respected in the field. So as long as you bring your authentic voice to the table, there is always space for new talent. In fact, this is something we speak about in the chapter on content creation in our book too.
I hope that section of the book is a reminder that living your dream life can actually be a tangible reality if one approaches it with the right mix of passion and practicality. We hope the book reminds everybody of how one can step out of one’s comfort zone and design their dream life in a financially sustainable way.
7. You mostly publish shorts on YouTube. Have you decided to not produce long-form video content on YouTube any further?
Not at all, in fact, we published long vlogs from Georgia and Armenia just this month!
8. Who's the better packer among the two of you?
Savi all the way - she loves making lists and organising in general, so her luggage is all packed and arranged in advance. On the other hand, I am a last-minute packer.
9. From being professionals in different fields to travelling the world and now publishing a book on travel, how would you rate your entire journey out of 10?
Is it possible to say 100? We started blogging almost 10 years ago when the word 'influencer' did not even exist. But our decision to start blogging was not just about travel or entrepreneurship. It was to establish a platform where we could encourage others to design their dream life. Starting anything from scratch is never easy but add to that the fact that it’s something that is not considered “normal”, and you end up facing a lot of questions from everyone around you. We distinctly remember my manager telling me that we were foolish by leaving our well-paying jobs to travel the world and establish Bruised Passports as an online venture. That we’d regret it. And he was not the only one. It was difficult for society to fathom that someone would leave financial stability to travel the world. But the two of us were sure and knew we had to give it a shot.
And we’re glad we did, or we would have lost out on such amazing experiences, a thriving business venture, and the most loving and supportive online community of Bruised Passports readers. This story is chronicled in the book - it’s all about choosing your priorities! We love our work to bits and it makes us smile every day - wouldn't trade it for the world.