Episode #
084

Postcard Travel Immersive Travel and Adventure Therapy with Amit Jaipuria | TNN84

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Episode Summary

Stories and traveling really go well together. Traveling would be so much better if we experience a place or a culture instead of just skimming through every country and ticking checklists. Imagine doing a deep dive into a place, living with the locals, and getting to experience their culture in a more genuine way. This new way of traveling is the reason why Postcard.travel came to be.


In this episode of The New Nomad, Amit Jaipuria, founder of Postcard.travel, joins Andrew Jernigan and Allen Koski in educating and entertaining the audience with their take on storytelling and traveling. They talked about how being open to new experiences would make your journey a lot more enjoyable and unique. Join us this week for another gold-nugget-peppered episode and hopefully, this will help you get the most out of your next travel adventure.

From the episode

What You'll Learn

  • Having an open mind when connecting with other people
  • The importance of stories in traveling
  • Postcard.travel: a new way for people to see the world

Timestamps

[6:10] Traveling for the stories

[9:32] Travel to learn

[16:55] Having an open mind when connecting with other people

[18:30] The importance of stories in traveling

[20:18] India - what an interesting country!

[23:34] Postcard.travel: a new way for people to see the world

Show Transcript

Allen

Hello, and welcome to The New Nomad podcast. It's going to be an interesting conversation today about immersive travel, about mindful travel, about finding different locations. Amit Jaipuria, is with us today of Postcard Travel, which he'll explain, I really enjoyed reading up on it and using it. It's a platform that aims to be the Wikipedia of stories and people's people in places, which really sounds interesting to me. And, you know, mindful luxury travel. And of course, we all know on this podcast, we want all of you listeners to feel confident traveling, but finding new places, getting out of the bubble, using travel as a force for good. And I'll bring Andrew in on this. You know, Andrew, I know at this point in time, we get a lot of questions about really interesting places to go, people are trying to find new and unique locations. And a lot of times they're not quite sure of where to go. And I was looking on the website that I'm in as of Kenya, Antarctica, Sicily, Nepal, Bhutan, and all I would want to go to, but I would really want to go on a curated version of the journey there, as opposed to me just going to a location, because I think you learn more, what's your thoughts on kind of curated travel, as we talk about Postcard today?

Andrew

Let's say,  the older I get, I think I'm more and more open to curated and assisted. And as I hear this, I think there's so much value in listening to people. So I'm encouraged today, because I want to hear what Amit has in store for us and why, why this is his passion, and where he thinks it's gonna take us because, you know, as in younger lives, I think we feel like we can just follow the trail of people with cameras around the necks, except I think that was a different generation. Now they're on our back pocket, so our hands our phones, but back in the day, you follow that tourists bus and everyone would have a big, huge cameras strapped around their neck. And it was that guided tour experience but we've moved away from that. And I think that we can move need to move back toward it. So this is going to be an interesting, interesting discussion.

Allen

So let's bring Amit in, you're somebody who's very much engaged in people trying to explore their horizons, tell us a little bit about your horizons and what led you to Postcard Travel in the ideas that you put on the table?

Amit

So I think it's an interesting question. Thanks, Allen, and Andrew, for having me over. And I understand when you mean Horizon, it's my journey, if that's correct. So I kind of started off, I think I've always wanted to be an entrepreneur, you know, ever since I was growing up, I was always creative. I was trying to do different things just to get entertained, or, you know, play with toys in different ways. So, it was really about, you know, building something, I've always been passionate about building something, and I wanted to do something different, you know, towards, already in, in the market. So, I went to Carnegie Mellon, in 1995 to 99. I did an undergrad in finance and entrepreneurship. And then I came back to India, and I sort of started working on social networking back in 2000. And this was way before MySpace, Friendster, and you know, the others. But I think it was bad timing, you know, a lot of luck that plays in but, you know, wasn't able to take that off the ground, and then 9-11 happened, so chapter closed. But then I've been on this journey of, you know, trying to find innovative ways of using technology to really, you know, bring people together, right. And my whole idea is, if we can bring good people together, then you know, there's a lot of potential that opens up. So I've been through that, with that philosophy. I started, you know, something in social media. But I also got into, you know, agri tech, I got into retail, had a start up in fine art as well. And then finally, travel. Travel has been particularly interesting for me, because I think I might have met some of the most interesting people in this journey. You know, over the last 22 years, I've met a lot of individuals from different areas of life, but I think the ones that inspired me the most are the ones that I work with today. And it's really coming from that space, you know, so it's how do we sort of build technology to sort of serve a common purpose, and in this case, it's really about travel, bringing together a community of people who believe travel can be used as a force for good. And then giving them the tools to sort of help them succeed. That's, that's really scary.

Allen

It's interesting because in earlier podcasts, Andrew and I've discussed one of my favorite books, Rick Steve's the travel author, road Travel is a Political Act. And a big part of it is getting out of your comfort zone, getting out of the bubble, and being an ambassador of travel. So I'd love to hear your conversation on the different people that you're seeing that are traveling today and how they're using Postcard Travel to get out of the bubble. Because as I saw when I was looking online, I mean, you've toured to some really unique places in Kenya and Nepal, and Bhutan, and article etc. and other places, help share with our audience. If I'm sitting here right now, and I'm saying I want to travel, how does postcard help me get out of that bubble? Other than I'll be honest with you, it gives would give me great confidence to know, I got a great storyteller or a knowledgeable person leading the tour.

Amit

Yeah, so I think it's an interesting question. It starts with the user journey, right? It's really where do we find such inspiration today? We want to sort of travel to Sierra Leone, for example, as an abstract or, you know, how do you find these stores? Right? And how do you find these suppliers? So from a traveler's perspective, if I were the traveler had, you know, it's really hard for me to find these on Google? Because it's just not easily, you know, what do you search for, right? If you want to look at a curated tour of let's say, Sicily, like you said. And then secondly, you know, it's really hard to establish authenticity, you know, who are the right guys to travel? You know, everyone's got these amazing trips on their platform. But how do I choose which one is the right one for me. So that's the way, you know, what we do is, from our perspective, we sort of bring together these travel designers that are very authentic, that kind of uplift local communities through their work, and really use storytelling to inspire people about their land, you know. For us, mindful and responsible really is inspiration and storytelling, you know, if we, as people just start getting inspired about different parts of the world, by reading local stories from different actors that are actually in on the ground, it gives us that confidence, that assurance that you know, the person who's actually writing these stories are authentic, they're, you know, wanting to support their people. So it gives us two ways in which you know, first we get inspired through the stories. And then secondly, what Postcard also does is helps you find the people who are behind the stories, so you actually have a call to action, where you can actually go connect with them, talk to them, see if those stories are aligned with, you know, what you are inspired by, and then they plan a trip for you.

Andrew

You know, travel advising, that I hear you describing is more and more the case now because people are, I believe it, there's been a real shift from the thought of okay, maybe I can't get everything I need. That the mind has, I think we've all realised, okay, the internet is wonderful. But the filters are from algorithms that are giving me things that I already knew, things that have already been two things that are already pushing me in a certain direction. So having that external, non algorithmic urge to say, hey, why don't you go off that highway, and spend two days this way instead? There's nothing on Instagram about it, but it's amazing. I believe the need for the Travel Advisor is going to increase more and more as people realize, okay. The internet isn't the all in all. And people who know where that amazing elderly woman is that makes the best pastry or the best soup that they've got to try. Yeah, what are your thoughts on that?

Amit

I completely agree. I think, you know, since I don't come from the travel space, I think I kind of completely understand where you're coming from. I think we don't even, we haven't really realized the potential of what travel can do to our lives. You know, it's not just about going to a place it's about learning. It's about growing as individuals, right? And you can't just do that, knowing, you know, ticking off bucket lists. It's really by connecting with the culture, connecting with the narratives of the ground, you know, going as a guest to the land, right? And the people that are actually catalysts for these transformational experiences, are these travel designers because they've spent the time on the ground. They've met the people, they've built the networks They've curated the itineraries, and they really try to figure out and their role really is to sort of see what really is your angle of seeing a country or seeing a city. And they curate these amazing experiences, which kind of take you deeper into understanding the, you know, the land, the people, the culture, history, etc. So it leads to a much more immersive experience, you kind of build empathy through the process. And in doing so, you know, you come out more transplant more awake and more inspired, I feel

Allen

the adjective you used immersive to me is the important one. So when I travelled without something like postcard where I just land, so I've got a guidebook done some research, it's, it doesn't get as deep because I just can't find those little things that are not written up. And actually, what I can find is other people who have a guidebook also, there, and what I was really interested was looking at postcard is because we're getting immersive travel with somebody who really understands the local mores, I'm actually now being taken not by the guide book by the person who really locally knows what's going on. But also that I'm developing a relationship with that person, because I have to put the trust that they're going to take me to the right place. So maybe if you could share with us a little bit how you find these different, not only locations, but people, because I think that's very interesting how you find the person that leads you on the immersive travel, because to me, that's a very important piece also.

Amit

Sure, sure. So I think the whole idea came about when I joined the Transformational Travel Council. This was about a year ago, and I came across these incredible people that were doing this amazing work on the ground. So what we did was we started having conversations with these people, you know, we went to their website, we kind of saw that they were talking about sustainability, they were talking about their why. And I think that's really the thing, you know, what we get down to is we try to find out what their Why is. And if they have a compelling why as to why they do what they do, then it kind of we know that they're in this beyond the money aspect of it, you know, and the interesting part is, they really end up curating these experiences where, you know, they give back to the community as well. So from a people's perspective, I think, you know, the TTC, and there are a bunch of these kind of collectives in different parts of the world, whether they're representing travel designers, whether they're representing boutique hotels, and what we try to do is sort of have those interactions, you know, make sure that we are aligned with the overall vision as to what we're trying to achieve. And then if there's a fit, then we invite them onto the platform. So we've made sure that we've kept this as an invitation based platform simply because we want to make sure that it's authentic, and we have the right voices coming on the platform.

Allen

I also think what's really neat is I've looked at the platform, it's really user friendly. You can maybe you can split, you can pick kind of by adjectives, what what you're looking for, or you can pick by location. And obviously, you put a lot of thought into the technology on that, that ties things together, maybe you could share with our audience. And I mentioned to our audience, it's really important for you, if you really like looking at it, we'll have it in the liner notes, too, to go to the platform. I think it's www.postcard.travel. And I was really impressed because it gave me a lot of choices, but gave me a lot of different ways to select what might be the right immersive experience for me.

Amit

Yeah, I think that's 22 years of experience trying to build technology products, right? I think you learned from your mistakes, you know, a little bit of intuition, a little bit of luck. But I think, you know, if you think of how everything came together, we didn't know that we were building a product called Postcard, you know, it started off in a very different form factor. But then as we started working on the technology, we took about two years to sort of figure this out. But as we work towards the technology, it started shaping up to something that eventually resembled a postcard. And that's really how the brand name came in. So actually, the brand name came after the product was ready. And what we wanted to do was also go beyond just a listing platform, you know, we wanted to be a little bit of something that we could give the reader before we sort of asked for any action. And that's where the whole idea of a postcard which is an animated flip card, right? It's a two-sided user interface where every story is presented in the form of a postcard. And each of these stories become inspirations that you can like kind of tie into the overall tour. So what we're trying to do you know, or even from a tactical perspective is to, you know, focus on education of the stories of the land. And that's where the postcard comes in. And then following that is where we connect the, the form through which the traveler can then connect with the supplier.

Allen

It also looks like your time together, people culture, the different foods, the history, the nature in and people get all those pictures. And what got me really excited was a thing more often when you travel by yourself is, you don't meet the local people, you meet fellow travelers. And I thought that that's a really cool thing that you're able to tie in there on that. And so maybe a quick comment from you on, as you see diverse groups traveling young to old. What, what are some tips if somebody was to take a postcard travel? I mean, obviously, you pick a location, etc, that you know, our audience that's looking for a new location, we've come out of COVID people are ready to travel again. What's some of your tips to get people going with the platform?

Amit

I think go with the story in mind, right? What postcard does differently is it doesn't tell you, you know, these are the top 10 things to do, right? If you look at the Peru album, for example, the Peru directory, we have three narratives through which you can see Peru. One is obviously irony, which is the whole story of generosity, which goes back to the Inca period, someone's taking people on a tour, if you're inspired by that narrative. Or if you're a foodie, you can go on Greek or green gold, which is all about agricultural advancements that the Incas and the Peruvian people have made, which brings them the best cuisines in the world today. So my suggestion for people is really to go with an open mind, you know, go as a guest to the land, learn from the people, connect with the people. Listen to the stories, I think that's really important, because I think that's when a lot of self realization comes in, you know, you grow individually, you can relate to the stories that they are encountering, maybe it has some inputs that can help you in your life and your situation. So it's really going with an open mind, you know, saying yes, a lot more than saying no, to circumstances that present themselves. And yeah, just enjoying the process. I think it's, you know, it's, I think people are lucky to be in this generation where, you know, you have this concept of nomads, right, and people are able to figure this out. And it's such an amazing opportunity for, I think, the global community to sort of unite and really connect with one another connect with different cultures and realize that, you know, at the end of the day, we're just one humanity, right? It's Yes, which I think is so important.

Andrew

So people can get listed on postcard travel, as storytellers at no charge right? And properties can get added. So that they get additional traffic and or guests at their, their hotels and other attractions can list as well. Right?

Amit

Yeah, so I think so right now, we are focusing on tours and hotels, as far as the products are concerned. But what we've also realised is a lot of the hotels that we talk to, and even travel designers, you know, either they're very busy, or they're not very good at storytelling. So what we do is we the storyteller directory is really to sort of help partners find storytellers who are, who've written for top tier publications who are looking for work to really connect them so that, you know, we present them with the opportunity to have really high quality stories that they can publish on behalf of their product, and then use that to sort of inspire our audience.

Andrew

Very intriguing. I'm loving it, because it takes me back to having people visit when I've lived in different places around the world. And I like to, I like to take them to the places that are, you know, off the street down some path and there is the artisan, that's carving that's making the pottery, that's making the quilt the, the different fabrics, things like that, because you see things through different eyes when you're the one telling the story versus just receiving the story.

Amit

Exactly. And it's so much more immersive. Right?

Allen

Right. Makes it makes a big difference. So you're a storyteller yourself, and you're in India. If I were to come to India, we and we've had, we actually haven't had many guests on the podcast from India as if somebody was traveling to visit with you in India and what would you suggest because I also love to give people other ideas and I don't think people traveled to India quite enough. It's an incredible country, I've had one trip there and just scratched the surface to change the conversation, but tell us a little bit about if somebody were to visit you what they would expect.

Amit

Oh, there's, there's so much to see. I mean, India is a subcontinent in itself, we've got so many languages, we got such as depth and culture, history, nature, food, you know, wildlife, all these things, right. So there are so many different narratives through which I think India can be seen. We still need to bring those stories on board. You know, we just launched in September. So it's early days for us. But one of the tours that I can talk about is the Pashmina Trail, which is in Ladakh, which is way up in the mountains, the whole I mean, if you're familiar with the pashmina textile, yeah. It's one of the most expensive fabrics in the world. And it's been so for generations, right. And people don't know that this textile actually comes from Ladakh. And it's often thought that it was from Kashmir, which is up north. But what happens is, you know, you've had these nomads in the Ladakh region, which I think they live in 16,000 feet. And they migrate eight to 10 times a year with these pashmina goats. And the whole journey goes into that story. And as the travel designer we have called Shoba from the extra mile. Her whole idea was, you know, how do I tell the pashmina story through travel, you know, so this could be a great trip for people who are into fashion, people who want to go up in the, you know, on a little adventure up in the mountains, but the trip actually takes you through the narrative of the pashmina. So you end up, you know, staying at the stork Palace Hotel, for example, which is still hosts, the current king, who's I think, the 34th to the throne. If you if you're lucky, you get to meet him. And he tells you the stories of his people and his history. You go up to the mountains, you see that? You know, you see the goats, you actually live with the nomads for two nights in a tent. It's only eight people because they don't want to sort of over you know, overcrowd the whole idea. You meet entrepreneurs, you know, who are supporting these nomads, right? They design high fashion, and we have a label there. I think it's called Lena, this, they export that all over the world. And a lot of proceeds from the revenue actually goes back to the nomadic community. And I asked Shoba you know, why do you do this? And it was all about, you know, her answer was, it's a living heritage of India. And if we have to sort of use tourism, to actually find ways to preserve, celebrate, because the next generation is, you know, taking into the technology space when they aren't kind of preserving their old stories, right. So her idea is to sort of present the stories in this manner. So I would definitely recommend the pashmina trail for someone you know who's coming to India, I think it would be an interesting experience.

Allen

That's amazing. Well, it dovetails into the question that we asked guests on our podcast. Now you gave us a little journey. If we came to visit you if could you share with our audience, perhaps an overlooked person, place or experience that you'd like others to look into themselves? This is almost like a plus one, because you just gave us a great one in India. But another idea

Amit

Though, man, yeah, there's so many, right? I mean, I think what you're trying to do is show people a new way to see the world, right? Because I think what we talk about when we look at travel is I'm going to Kenya, I'm going to, you know, South Africa, or I'm going to you know, Ladakh, things like that it's started with it starts with the destination, it doesn't start with the story. What we're trying to do is have people start thinking about starting thinking of travel through narratives of different parts of the world. So now, if you're looking at Kenya, you can go on a Kenya Tour, where they actually look at conservation as their focus. So you actually interact with people, you see the work that's being done, but at the same time, you're working closely with specialists who are in the conservation space. There's a tour in another tour in Kenya that goes Kenya beyond the safaris, you know, it goes into the deserts and it goes into those narratives. So what I've learned, you know, just building this platform is you know, really to sort of go beyond the destination that you're looking at, but to start seeking out these interesting stories that you want to sort of experience in real life for yourself. And for me, that's been so so amazing that it's hard for me to now I feel like I've never traveled before

Andrew

This is inspiring, because I want to be watching to see the new developments coming to postcard.travel and, so as I hear this, your website postcard.travel is probably one of the best places to keep up to date with you. Is there other places online that people should follow you?

Amit

Yeah, we have our social media channels, we have, you know, we post one story every day on Facebook, on LinkedIn as well as on Instagram. We have a blog as well, where we sort of, you know, send out a newsletter every week or two weeks. You know, that's something that people can subscribe to. And of course, you know, the platform postcard.travel is the space to go if they want to sort of look at hotels or tours of this kind

Allen

Fantastic. Well, we really are very supportive of your goal and vision. And we hope our listening audience out there avail themselves of some of these amazing, amazing trips and opportunities. And what I like that you said is, it's not like, Hey, I'm going to Kenya like checking it off a list. I'm experiencing Kenya, I'm experiencing the people and the food and the immersive experience. And, Andrew, I'll turn it over to you for the final word. But we've always been big fans of getting quote unquote, out of the bubble. And into the immersive experience. I think this is a great tool for people who may be concerned that if getting out of the bubble on their own might be a little difficult it but with somebody to help them through that. I think this is a great, great tool. Your thoughts?

Andrew

I do this is this is one of those things that I'm excited to have learned about through it and those who are new looking at different regions, looking at places as they plan the next season of life, I think Postcard. travel is needed to be part of the planning. So thank you, Amit, for joining us. Thank you all who are listening today if you will subscribe, follow, share and write us a review as the platform you're on has the ability if it's Apple or others.

Allen

Thank you once again.

Amit

Thank you so much. Thank you, Allen. Thank you, Andrew. It's been great being here.

Allen

Thank you, our audience. We look forward to you traveling well, we'll catch you next week. Cheers

Postcard Travel Immersive Travel and Adventure Therapy with Amit Jaipuria | TNN84

About the Guest

Amit Jaipuria

As a serial entrepreneur for the last 22 years, Amit has started multiple companies across industries such as consumer tech, retail, Agri tech, fine art, and travel. He is passionate about creating technology that empowers communities to bring about changes in the status quo. Postcard officially launched on Sep 1, 2022. Amit started Postcard Travel because he found it difficult to find boutique hotels and tours that offered immersive experiences, uplifted local communities, and were authentic voices for responsible tourism. Amit has also authored multiple patents on social media platforms and is a Media Herald and Ally Partner at the Transformational Travel Council.