#foodie #foodporn #foodforlife #foodgasm #foodieforlife #food #wonderlust #traveller #travelgram #instatravels etc etc etc, #tags have become a part of our daily life, isn’t it? And are used all across the world. Curly tales has changed the way we look for travel destinations and to quench our thirst for drinks and of course hunger for food.
For all the travel enthusiasts, foodies and undoubtedly the Curly Tales followers, here we bring an inside story about the journey of a young, passionate, independent and the most Dyanamic lady, Ms. Kamiya Jani.
Presenting the conversation with Ms. Kamiya Jani and Intrepid Ideas Team.
‘Curly Tales’, how did you come up with this beautiful and attractive name?
I wanted the name of my company to be a reflection of me. The first thing anyone notices about me is my curly hair. So that’s where the first word came from. My venture was an endeavor to tell tales. And therefore, I decided to name it Curly Tales.
Could you tell us what CURLY TALES is all about?
Curly Tales is a food, travel and lifestyle content platform. We are a local discovery and recommendation based portal creating videos and articles on unique experiences around the world. We discover hyper-local hidden gems, tap into audiences’ aspirations to travel and lets travelers experience the best of what a particular destination has to offer.
Why do you think people should travel?
If you were meant to be in one place you would rather have roots instead of feet. I do believe in experiences over possessions, journeys over destinations and people over places. Even Mahatma Gandhi once said, “When I admire the wonder of a sunset or the beauty of the moon, my soul expands in worship of the creator.”
What made you convert your travel experiences to blogging?
Travelling makes me happy, content and full of life and I like to share my experiences to spread happiness. I love to spread the positivity that comes with experiencing good food and also travelling to exotic places. Curly Tales is meant to make people feel good about their lives or can lead them in that direction. I just want to inspire everyone to travel the world and feel the happiness that I do.
What made you quit your full- time job and start exploring the world?
It has always been my dream to see the world and travel as much as possible. However, after post-graduation, like everyone else, even I wanted a steady job. I had my eyes set on the business news anchor seat even when I was studying in college. It took me about 5 years of reporting, writing, producing and scripting before I got there. I started as a personal finance writer at CNBC’s web division, Moneycontrol.com. Moved onto doing a lot of feature shows like The Auto Car Show, Life & Style, E-Turn on Bloomberg TV. I totally enjoyed my stint here. And after two years I decided to quit due to erratic working hours. I was then called by ET NOW for a role of a business news anchor. I knew the universe was listening. Having mastered the art of live anchoring and gaining domain expertise for 5-6 years, I realized that being confined to a news studio is not my thing.
I wanted to be somewhere else doing something else. I was also doing a travel and recommendation based show ‘Weekend Mantra’ alongside my business news shows and I was obviously enjoying that a lot more. I also realized there wasn’t any platform that was dedicated to local discovery, travel and recommendations. So I decided to quit my job and put all my energies to Curly Tales, which was a small time blog, a year ago. My own passion to see the world, meet people from different origins, discover hyper local gems, know about the cultures across the globe; inspired the transition. Curly Tales became an instant hit and today we are a community of 1 million plus who want to get the best of what life has to offer.
How did you manage travel expenses initially without a job?
Savings. I am a planner. I love having excel sheets for everything. Plus I was also connected with a lot of tourism boards and hotels as a part of my media job and often they would invite me for FAM trips.
Why only 1- minute video?
Everyone is busy and running around these days and somewhere on their social media feed, we want to bring a smile with a delicious dish or a gorgeous sunset. We don’t want to take too much of their time and hence came up with 1-minute videos. It’s quick, crisp and engaging.
The best thing about being in travel, food and lifestyle business?
Ah, yes! The perks. Well, not only do you get to travel and eat for free, sometimes you even get paid for it! What more can you ask for? Hands down! This is the best job in the world.
Do you plan on Diversifying CURLY TALES into other genres too?
Yes, we plan to expand to other regions such as Dubai and Singapore. We see a lot of value in producing the content and hence we are building multiple consumer engagement points with strong value propositions to build a deeper connect. You will see us not only diversify internationally but also we are pushing for a strong convergence between commerce and content.
What were the challenges and hurdles you faced during the initial stages of CURLY TALES?
It takes time to unlearn the form which television medium uses and then getting yourself attuned to the digital platform. Both the mediums work differently. Another challenge has been hiring! I hire people based on their passions, aspirations and of course the right attitude. While it’s easy to get skilled employees, to get people with the right attitude is the toughest. But I guess, we are learning and getting better every day.
There are a lot of blogs and websites on social media which are doing a similar kind of job, how are you different from them?
Well, your blog is your baby and it definitely has to be unique and different. That is the key word. Either you do something different or you do the same thing differently. And you have to constantly keep evolving. There is no one single formula to crack it. Many other bloggers have started creating content similar than ours and it’s a good alarm for us to always stay ahead of the curve. In terms of getting traffic, social media is the king. Make full use of it and do not rely on only one platform. Diversify and you will find your audience.
What was the inspiration behind CURLY TALES?
I find myself most happy when I am travelling and I wanted to please my soul at all times. I started discovering the globe and started documenting my experiences along with my job. There were few people who were following my experiences and always encouraged me to continue. Sometime in 2016, I got done and bored with the same routine of waking up at 5 am for a TV show and decided to take the plunge. Having mastered the art of live anchoring and gaining domain expertise for 5-6 years, I realized that being confined to a news studio is not my thing. I wanted to be somewhere else doing something else. I was also doing a travel and recommendation based show ‘Weekend Mantra’ and ‘Great Getaways’ alongside my business news shows and I was obviously enjoying that a lot more. I also realized there wasn’t any platform that was dedicated to local discovery, travel and recommendations. So I decided to quit my job and put all my energies to Curly Tales, which was a small time blog, a year ago. It became an instant hit and today we are a community of 1 million plus who want to get the best of what life has to offer.
How do you manage CURLY TALES in different cities?
Honestly that was fairly simple. Everyday, we get a minimum of 100 applicants wanting to work with Curly Tales and create content for us. So we get a few creators on board with us. We train them to shoot videos as per our brand guidelines and since they are a local, they know their city the best. It is more of user generated content.
Your favorite travel destination and your most favorite dish?
I was in the middle of the Sam desert in Jaisalmer under the shade of an orange canopy with local Rajasthan artists performing dance and music. The sound of sand blowing and the sun melting down right in front of me with a good spread of food laid out. I wanted to freeze that gorgeous moment in my life as I felt, I am blessed to experience this magical moment.
People think that I have traveled the world so I may say some fancy dish from some place on the map, but if you honestly ask me what I like, I would say pani-puri. It is my favorite dish that I think I can never get fed up of. I make sure I eat at least one plate when I’m back from my travels.
Any advice to young people who have a sheer passion of Travelling and are not able to travel because of different reasons?
Start a travel fund to be able to fund your passion when you truly can. Passion pays in more ways that can’t be measured so don’t be out there hoping to make big bucks as soon as you launch. Be passionate and the rest will follow. And yes, start early. Don’t quit your job as yet just because someone’s profile says so. Be smart and build a strong plan B before taking the plunge.
What has the experience of Travelling and Exploring the world taught you?
Happiness can mean different things to different people. How to achieve it is a lifelong question for most of us. However, Psychology Professor Thomas Gilovich from Cornell University spent 20 years of his life doing research on happiness and he concluded that: Happiness is derived from experiences, not things. We are the accumulation of everything we’ve seen, the things we’ve done, and the places we’ve been. Buying an expensive watch isn’t going to change who you are; taking a break from work to hike the Mount Everest from start to finish most certainly will. Or skydiving from an aeroplane will. You can really like your material stuff. You can even think that part of your identity is connected to those things, but nonetheless they remain separate from you. In contrast, your experiences really are part of you. We are the sum total of our experiences.
If not a Traveler then what?
There are two things that give me a lot of happiness – dancing and travelling. While travelling is now work for me, I really miss dancing. It makes me feel alive, kicking and full of life.
What do you love about exploring your own country?
I’ve been to 36 countries and the more I travel, the more I realize how unmatched the hospitality in India is. We are one of the few countries who believe in offering a glass of water at a restaurant – no matter who you are and where you come from. One of my favorite places in India has to be a small town called Virajpet in Karnataka. Straight out of a fairy tale, it’s got dense green forests, paddy fields and about 50 varieties of butterflies.
What are the three most important things for a traveler?
Some hacks are very important.
- Always apply nail polish while in the flight. The only time you won’t move much!
- Always carry a scarf. It is truly a Swiss Army knife of the travel space. They keep you warm when it’s cold outside, they block you from mid-day sun and also act as a great beach cover up.
- Rather than folding your clothes, roll them up into a little tube. This will save a ton of space and stop creases and wrinkles – all in all, pretty sweet!
- Any one underrated and overrated place and a dish in the world according to you?
India is highly underrated by Indians themselves. While the world comes to India, we go abroad to explore places. My all time favorites include:
- Gurdaspur in Punjab – A small village that lets you live a rural life in Punjab.
- Neil Islands, Andamans – A beautiful little island off the tourist grid
- Bekal, Kerala – A treasure trove of beauty that lies between Karnataka and Kerala
What is the most difficult phase in a Travelers life?
Packing a suitcase, the queues at immigration, the transit at the airports and the flight food!
One line to inspire the food bloggers and travelers to live their life to the fullest.
Having a living funeral will reconnect you to the fact that time is a priceless commodity and the best time to live a richer, wiser and a more fulfilling life is now. No one gets to take his possessions with him when he dies. At the end of the day, the only thing we can take with us are our memories of all those great experiences that add meaning to our lives. I would rather have roses on my table than diamonds on my neck.
If you could associate yourself with a dish, something that resembles your personality, what would it be?
Chatpatta like pani puri 😛
Well well well, this was a wonderful, insightful and an inspiring conversation, which has not only given us a sense of how beautiful this world is, but has given every reason to love food, explore more and live our life to the fullest.
————————————————-A Series by Intrepid Idea————————————————