Things I did in times of no travel (spoiler – I wrote a book)
Yes, you heard it right. Locked-down at home during the difficult times, this travel blogger made her journey from a blogger to author, through Blogchatter. I published a short 70-page e-book titled “Postcards from India”. It’s not a collection of travel guides or a journal of my expeditions across India. I already have many such content in my blog. For my first travel book on India, I wondered, what if the remote places of the country themselves write letters to us? With that premise, I started penning down my thoughts which then materialized in the form of this e-book. Well, that’s the long-story-short, which you will find in all my book-promos. Let me tell you a little more about my journey from a blogger to an author – the longer version.
I have been travelling extensively in South India ever since I settled in Bangalore for job. With our stressful full-time job, it’s hard to take long leaves. Besides, when we do so, our families back home in Kolkata expect us to visit home. I’m not complaining about expectations. We love going home and living with our parents. Not because we are so responsible children. Rather it’s because when we go home, we get to back to our irresponsible childhood. The truth is, the moment we go home, we stop being adults. Lazying away till late night, waking up after 10 am to a cup of morning tea, followed by breakfast, lunch, TV and talks. No worries about who will do grocery, when will the house-help come, when to cook , what to cook , household chores etc.
Sorry for digressing from the topic of our India travels. I have travelled extensively in peninsular India with my husband especially over the last two years. Recently this year, I made time for a trip to Sikkim too. But since then, we all know what happened. A mysterious disease engulfed the world and changed the way we ever thought of life. All of a sudden I don’t crib about not having the time for international travel any more. In fact I feel blessed for all the road-trips we did over weekends. I feel blessed that at least I am at home writing this article, telling you about my book, while so many are on the road, stripped off their basic income-source due to lockdown. As a travel blogger these were odd times. No one was searching for itineraries and travel guides any more. For a blogger like me with little social media following , the organic traffic plummeted. There was little motivation to write travel articles that no one was searching for.
But travel has to open up sooner or later for people working in the industry to get back on their feet. This is what inspired me to write a series titled – Postcards from India. Every day over the month of April one remote place in India wrote a letter to travelers stuck home during lockdown. Well, I wrote those letters, imagining myself as one of those places. Do you collect picture-postcards when you travel somewhere? Now that we were unable to leave our home, those picture-postcards had to travel to us. So my blog became a busy postbox, which kept receiving picture-postcards from different parts of India. I was fortunate to be read by several published authors and amazing writers who suggested that this could be a great material for an ebook. So I selected some of my favorite postcards, wrote a few more from places covering my bucket-list destinations across India and wrote my book. The Blogchatter Ebook Carnival was an apt platform to do it. With the help of three amazing mentors- Sonia, Amrita and Richa Mukherjee, I was able to turn my dream of becoming an author into reality. Yes, I managed to write and publish a book. During the promo period on Blogchatter it made its way to the digital library of almost 200 readers I know it’s not amazing or awe-inspiring, but I was just happy to think that someone is reading my book.
Then based on the feedback I worked hard on the initial manuscript and came up with a refined version of the ebook on Amazon. You can download it in Amazon India using the link below. It is also available in all other amazon market places with the Product id B08FHZ3MY2. Just search “Postcards from India” and my book cover displaying the gorgeous sunset at Rameshwaram will emerge on your screen.
Watch the teaser of the book on my Youtube channel. If you liked the post please share it and help spread the word about my ebook. You can Pin the post here.
Meanwhile here are a few more lockdown resources I checked out at home and would strongly recommend.
- Amazon Prime – They have come up with some fresh and amazing originals in India. I recently watched Shakuntala Devi on Prime.
- Try Amazon Audible – the audiobook free-trial is a great catch. Relax your eyes, and transcend into the world of your novel through an audiobook. Currently listening to “Sapiens” – the legendary book by Yuval Noah Harari
- Read e-books on Kindle. Don’t have it yet? Order a Kindle online – it’s one of my best purchases ever. Currently reading the classic Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri
- Check out the huge repertoire of online courses on Udemy. Being from the technology industry, I have recently registered for a Python course for data analysts.
- I also made a slightly extravagant purchase for Chayan’s birthday (which was on 27th May by the way). It’s a 61-key musical keyboard by Yamaha which we are struggling to learn together. You may find me displaying my amateur learning sessions on Instagram stories soon.
- And when I’m not doing any of the above, I try practicing watercolors. You can see them too on Instagram.