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Travel-themed forums picking up in the city
It’s peak time in Chennai for people to be bitten by the travel bug and millennials are ready to splurge their savings on trips that are not just Instagram-worthy, but also quenches their wanderlust cravings.
However, what if your friends don’t share the same passion and solo backpacking isn’t an attractive option? Online couch surfing platforms can offer only so much, and there’s always the danger of being tricked.
Groups on social media also rarely manage to bring together like-minded people who are trustworthy. This is what gave birth to several travel-themed forums around the city that lets people, both young and old, not only share their experiences of exploring the unknown – but also find mates to plan that epic journey with.
“Unfortunately, all my friends from school or college were only willing to go on a bike ride to nearby spots – they always turned down my ideas to plan a trip to hotspots in Asia citing it was too expensive,” said V. Karthik, a filmmaker by profession and founder of one such forum.
“It started off with just a few friends hanging out. Now, over 40 people turn up every weekend to make plans depending on budget, destination of preference, and most importantly – the vibe they feel. In the last two months, people from our group have completed trips to Bali, Sri Lanka and Cambodia, apart from numerous short trips across India,” he says.
“We are keeping it exclusive and entry-by-invitation to make sure the right people are involved.” Solo backpacker Saranya Sreenevasan began ‘Thara Ticket’ – an open-mic event for travel lovers, where they can share experiences and inspire each other.
“We named it so because there’s a difference between tourists and travellers. The former are those who prefer to stay in luxury and spend a lot of money – while travellers are the real deal, grinding it out to get the ultimate local ‘thara’ experience,” said Saranya.
Not only in Chennai, Coimbatore too has one such platform. R Chakravarthy and his friend Vinod, after a series of bikes rides to the surrounding hill stations, ran into other groups of college friends with similar interests.